Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google Allows Saved Search Settings Across Computers & Browsers

A recent post on their Google+ Page announces a change to the way Google remembers individual search settings.google-search-settings

Now, users can save their search settings in their Google account, negating the need to reset them each time they sign in or use a different computer.

When multiple people use the same computer, signing into their individual Googleaccounts will also trigger their unique preferences.

In the Google+ post, they wrote:

You asked, we listened—having the ability to save search settings in a way that provides a more consistent search experience was one of the top requests we heard from our users.Now you can save your search settings, such as your language preference or having Google Instant on or off, to your Google Account, enabling you to search with your preferences wherever you’re logged in, even if you’re searching across different browsers or computers.

Google offers these search settings instructions in their Help resource:

To get saved search settings, regardless of which computer or browser you’re using, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Sign in button in the top righthand corner of the search results page to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of any search results page.
  3. Select Search settings. (You can also visit the page directly at google.com/preferences.)
  4. Customize your search settings.
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your search settings to your account.

On mobile devices, they said, “To get the same search settings on any mobile device, save your search settings to your Google Account. Since people frequently have different settings on mobile and computer, such as the number of search results per page, your search settings on mobile devices are separate from your search settings on desktop computers. Currently, the SafeSearch filter and language preference settings can be saved and synced on your desktop computer and mobile device via your Google Account.”

If you try to save your settings and it isn’t working, you may have cookies disabled. A SafeSearch lock may also prevent search settings from saving.

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An easier way to view advertising policies

Originally posted on Inside AdWords:

Understanding AdWords advertising policies is an important part of successfully managing your account and delivering ads that are safe and useful to users. To help you understand how policies affect the delivery of your ads, we recently introduced a status insights icon on the Ads tab. We’re now following up with another feature to help you identify policy issues more quickly: a new Policy Details column.

The Policy Details column allows you to scan and sort policy issues across all of your ads (without hovering individually over each status one by one). You’ll find information like:

  • Approval status for each ad
  • Disapproval reasons, if applicable
  • Specific policies that can limit where your ads show

This information is available for paused ads as well, which can be particularly helpful if you want to know the status of your paused ads or if you need to temporarily pause a campaign while you work out some policy problems.

Here’s what the Policy Details column will look like, alongside some fictional example ads:

To find this new column, navigate to your Ads tab and click the “Columns” button to start customizing your columns. Under the “Attributes” section, click to add “Policy details” and save. You’ll then see the new Policy Details column in your Ads tab. (One note: this new policy column isn’t yet downloadable in your reports, but we’re working on it!)



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Google I’m Feeling Lucky Button Adds New Options


Not feeling lucky? Maybe you’re feeling stellar? Maybe hungry or perhaps puzzled? Google has added a few new options to its I’m Feeling Lucky button. Simply hover over the button and Google will send you to one of Google’s various other properties such as Hot Searches or Google Earth.

Here are the new options:

  • I’m Feeling Artistic: Takes you to a random Google Art Project.
  • I’m Feeling Doodly: Takes you to a random Google Doodle.
  • I’m Feeling Hungry: Takes you to a search for restaurants.
  • I’m Feeling Playful: Takes you to a random interactive Google Doodle.
  • I’m Feeling Puzzled: Takes you to a Google-a-Day site.
  • I’m Feeling Stellar: Takes you to Google Earth.
  • I’m Feeling Trendy: Takes you to Google Hot Searches.
  • I’m Feeling Wonderful: Takes you to a random World Wonders project.

The I’m Feeling Lucky has been pretty much irrelevant for many users since the introduction of Google Instant (though only roughly 1 percent of Google users actually used the button, according to Google). Prior to that, clicking on the I’m Feeling Lucky button without entering a search would send you to the Google’s collection of Doodles. Entering a search term and then clicking I’m Feeling Lucky would take users to the top ranked website, bypassing the search results page completely.

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Study Suggests Search Engines Not As Popular On Mobile Devices

Originally posted on Search Engine Land:

Google is seeing huge mobile search growth and search engines are widely used by mobile device owners. However a new study confirms that search is not the center of the mobile universe, as it is online. I discuss many of the top-line findings of the study, conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by Telmetrics and xAd, in my post at Marketing Land: Study: 50 Percent Of Mobile Queries In Travel, Restaurants, Autos Result In A Purchase.

In a finding I didn’t talk about in that post, the data reflect that tablet and smartphone users (in Travel, Autos and Restaurants) tend to go directly to websites and apps more than they use search engines to find information.

While the data vary by vertical and device category search engine usage was secondary to direct navigation across the board. For example, in the Travel category, tablet users went directly to familiar sites/apps (46 percent) or apps/sites they had previously used (49 percent) more often than they used search engines (15 percent) to find information.

Smartphone users also went directly to websites/apps in all three verticals more often than they used search engines for information:


  • Direct navigation — 43 percent
  • Search engine –24 percent


  • Direct navigation — 46 percent
  • Search engine –37 percent


  • Direct navigation — 44 percent
  • Search engine — 33 percent

In an unrelated study Nielsen found that US mobile device owners were spending 81 percent of their time in apps vs. on the mobile web.

Source: Nielsen July 2012

On the PC search is the near-universal starting point for people even when they have a site or brand in mind. However, the data above show that 1) mobile users spend more time with apps than the mobile web and 2) they often go directly to particular apps (or sites) without using a search engine.

This is in no way to suggest that mobile search or Google in particular is “in danger.” But it does argue persuasively that mobile user behavior is different than on the PC and that the search experience must continue to evolve and adapt in mobile. Google is trying to do that in Jelly Bean with its voice-based “assistant” and Google Now.

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Olympic Searches on Mobile Devices Rising

Google has hailed the London Olympics as the first multi-screen Olympics with games-related searches on mobile devices and tablets during the first week up ten times on the previous seven days.

In Australia the percentage of Olympic related searches made on mobile and tablets in the first two days of the world’s biggest sporting event hit 45%. In Japan 55% of searches were made on mobile devices, with the US at 47% and UK at 46%.

“As users watch TV, or watch their laptops at work, they’re searching for information about athletes, sports, events and records –  on their tablets and smartphones. In fact, at some moments during the Games, there have been more searches performed on tablets and smartphones than on computers,” Google said.

During the opening ceremony, searches on mobile devices for the query Paul McCartney soared in line with his performance of Hey Jude.

Google also found that in popular tourist island destinations, search on tablets were almost as equal to those made on smartphones, which it says is different from other countries where smartphone shares is significantly higher than tablet. It attributes this to the “tablet-toting tourists”.

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Google Hangouts Now On Gmail


Google is removing the video chat function from Gmail that has been available since 2008 and replacing it with a Hangouts style video feature as seen in Google+.

“Unlike the old video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, Hangouts utilize the power of Google’s network to deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality,” Google’s product manager Fred Brewin said in a company blog post. “You’ll be able to chat with all the same people you did before and with Hangouts you’ll now be able to reach them not only when they are using Gmail but also if they are on Google+ in the browser or on their Android or iOS devices.”

Google said all Gmail users will benefit from the upgrade, but in what has to be a bid to boost Google+ usage, those Gmail users who are also on Google+ will be able to take advantage of additional features.

“You’ll be able to video chat with up to nine people at once, watch YouTube videos together, collaborate on Google documents and share your screen,” Brewin wrote.

The Hangout-inspired video messaging also brings a variety of fun effects using augmented reality such as virtual costumes.

Google said it has already begun rolling out Hangouts in Gmail and will continue to do so gradually over the coming weeks.

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Google Now Lets You Write Search Queries

It started with typing your query, then voice queries, then image based queries and now Google has just announced you can hand-write your search queries.

You can hand write your query on your smartphone or tablet when on Google.com. All you have to do is place your finger on the Google home page and use your finger or stylus to write. Google will use its handwriting technology to convert the handwriting to text.

To enable it, go to Google.com on your mobile or tablet device and click on “Settings” at the bottom of the screen (or for tablets at the top right) and enable “Handwrite.” Then go to Google.com on the device and start writing. There is some slight annoyances in having to switch out between the modes, but definitely a neat idea for searching.

Here is a screen shot after you enable the handwrite option:

Here is a screen shot of an “SEO” hand written query from an iPad:

Once it is enabled, the home page wil allow you to write your query. On the search results page you can activate the screen by clicking on the “Handwrite icon” at the bottom right of the screen. Here is a more detailed help document on handwrite instructions and here is a tips document from Google on this new feature.

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YouTube Adds Face Blur Functionality


YouTube has added the ability for users to blur the faces of people appearing in videos they upload to the site.

The company said that the feature was designed to protect the anonymity of individuals in potentially dangerous situations, such as anti-government protests.

“As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them,” the company said in a blog post announcing the feature.

“Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your eight-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube.”

The company noted that the feature is still under development and that in some cases the blurring may not function properly. The blurring option will be offered under the YouTube ‘video enhancements’ tool.

While facial blurring is largely considered to be a tool for protecting freedom of speech and human rights, the technology has also been used as a measure for preserving privacy and anonymizing users whose images are captured in public places – such as with Google Street View.

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