YouTube Partners Join Remote Usability Testing - DoubleClick Search July 11 Release Adds AdWords Conversion Tracking, Target Bid Column - Maker Camp Free Online Summer Camp on Google+; Google Ideas to Fight Drug Cartels and Other Illicit Networks

Google is currently looking for YouTube partners interested in participating in a remote usability testing.The main goal of this study is to test new product features to better understand your needs -- and it will take place on Monday the 30th and Tuesday the 31st of July."The studies will be remote sessions of 60 minutes […]

YouTube Partners Join Usability Testing

Google is currently looking for YouTube partners interested in participating in a remote usability testing.

The main goal of this study is to test new product features to better understand your needs -- and it will take place on Monday the 30th and Tuesday the 31st of July.

"The studies will be remote sessions of 60 minutes that will be streaming using Google+ Hangouts, so you can participate from home on your desktop or laptop computer. After participating, you'll receive a $50 Amazon voucher as a token of appreciation," informs Google

To participate you will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Accept the terms of our Usability Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • Be able to work for an hour in a quiet place on a desktop PC or a laptop (no tablets or mobile phones).
  • Have a Google+ account we can use to create a joint Hangout to stream your session.
  • Allow us to video- or audio-record the session (the recording will only be used for internal documentation and analysis).

Interested partners can sign up here. For more information on usability studies, refer to this FAQ.

Google also announced "Maker Camp," a new free online "summer camp" on Google+ that encourages 13- to 18-year-olds to get creative with up to 30 different types of fun projects themed around creativity and "the art of making."

"Over the course of six weeks, 13- to 18-year-olds (as well as their parents and teachers) will have the opportunity to collaborate with popular maker personalities--including Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing, Stephen and Fritz of EepyBird (the Coke and Mentos guys), Jimmy DiResta (co-host of Dirty Money on the Discovery Channel) and Limor Fried (founder of Adafruit)--and other creative teens on fun projects themed around "the art of making."," posted Dale Dougherty, Publisher, MAKE Magazine.

"Every Monday through Thursday morning, beginning Monday, July 16, a Maker Camp counselor will post how-to instructions for a new project on g.co/makercamp and Makezine.com/go/makercamp."

Also, Google Ideas this week in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, convening Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition (or the INFO summit) in Los Angeles, Calif.

"This summit aims to break down those silos by bringing together a full-range of stakeholders, from survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking and forced labor to government officials, dozens of engineers, tech leaders and product managers from Google and beyond," posted Jared Cohen, Director, Google Ideas.

Through the summit, which lasts until Wednesday, "we hope to discover ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole--and to put some of these ideas into practice," Cohen adds.

DoubleClick Search (DS) Adds AdWords conversion tracking report; Target bid column

In other Google news, the DoubleClick Search (DS) July 2012 release now includes the following new features:

AdWords conversion tracking reports: You can now report on AdWords conversion tracking data separately in DoubleClick Search (DS). To see these columns in DS:

  • Above the performance summary graph, click Columns.
  • Under Available columns, navigate to Engine stats > AdWords Conversions.
  • Add the desired AdWords conversion tracking columns to your report.
  • In your report, look for the columns that begin with aw.

Target bid column for bid strategies column shows you the bid that DS would have used if there were no secondary constraints (such as minimum/maximum bids or a secondary position goal) and just a primary goal.

"This is useful for advertisers who want to first see what DS would bid before deciding to relax their bid limits. It also gives some guidelines on how much to relax the bid limits. You can use the column selection tool to choose this column, under the Bid strategy > Bid limits section. You can also see it from the Bid strategy performance default view<" explains DS team.

To get an idea, just follow these steps:

  1. Create your bid strategy and apply it to some keywords.
  2. When applying the min and max bids for the selected keywords, set a tight bid range that you're comfortable with. For example, you could set the bids so they match the range of max CPCs, as shown in the following example:

    DoubleClick Search (DS) Bid Strategy

  3. Let the bid strategy run.
    The bid strategy won't be able to update the bid beyond the tight min and max bid limits, but it will update the Target bid column.
  4. Navigate to a Keywords page that contains the keywords in the bid strategy.
  5. Filter to the keywords in the bid strategy.
  6. Above the performance summary graph, click Columns and then select the Target bid column.

    DoubleClick Search (DS) Target Bid

  7. Review the target bids. If they look reasonable, relax the bid limits to give more control to the bid strategy. In the following example, you may want to set your min bid to $5.00 and max bid to $60.00 for the keywords, to ensure that the Performance Bidding Suite has the room to set the target bids.

    DoubleClick Search (DS) Review Target Bids

  8. If you're not quite ready to give control to the bid strategy, you can continue the preview to see what the bids would be in the next run. To do this, use the manual override feature to set the current max CPC bid to the target bid.
    • In the UI: On the Keywords page, update the Max CPC field with the keyword's target bid.
    • Via upload: Update the cell in the Keyword max CPC column with the keyword's target bid and upload the file.

Google also added support for including close variants for phrase and exact match keywords in AdWords.

"This allows you to capture additional traffic by focusing on user intent in queries. With this option, AdWords will display your ads even on search queries that are common variations such as misspellings and plural forms. When you create an AdWords campaign in DS, the Include plurals, misspellings, and other close variants option to activate the near exact match type will be selected by default. If you want your DS campaigns to inherit the near exact match settings you have on AdWords, please run a sync on your account," the team explained.

Read the Help Center release notes for more information.