Tag Archives: Video

Introducing the new Webmaster Video Series

Google has a broad range of resources to help you better understand your website and improve its performance. This Webmaster Central Blog, the Help Center, the Webmaster forum, and the recently released Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide are just a few.

We also have a YouTube channel, for answers to your questions in video format. To help with short & to the point answers to specific questions, we've just launched a new series, which we call SEO Snippets.

In this series of short videos, the Google team will be answering some of the webmaster and SEO questions that we regularly see on the Webmaster Central Help Forum. From 404 errors, how and when crawling works, a site's URL structure, to duplicate content, we'll have something here for you.

Check out the links shared in the videos to get more helpful webmaster information, drop by our help forum and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips and insights!


Gmail Add-ons framework now available to all developers

Originally posted by Wesley Chun, G Suite Developer Advocate on the G Suite Blog

Email remains at the heart of how companies operate. That's why earlier this year, we previewed Gmail Add-ons—a way to help businesses speed up workflows. Since then, we've seen partners build awesome applications, and beginning today, we're extending the Gmail add-on preview to include all developers. Now anyone can start building a Gmail add-on.

Gmail Add-ons let you integrate your app into Gmail and extend Gmail to handle quick actions.

They are built using native UI context cards that can include simple text dialogs, images, links, buttons and forms. The add-on appears when relevant, and the user is just a click away from your app's rich and integrated functionality.

Gmail Add-ons are easy to create. You only have to write code once for your add-on to work on both web and mobile, and you can choose from a rich palette of widgets to craft a custom UI. Create an add-on that contextually surfaces cards based on the content of a message. Check out this video to see how we created an add-on to collate email receipts and expedite expense reporting.

Per the video, you can see that there are three components to the app's core functionality. The first component is getContextualAddOn()—this is the entry point for all Gmail Add-ons where data is compiled to build the card and render it within the Gmail UI. Since the add-on is processing expense reports from email receipts in your inbox, the createExpensesCard()parses the relevant data from the message and presents them in a form so your users can confirm or update values before submitting. Finally, submitForm()takes the data and writes a new row in an "expenses" spreadsheet in Google Sheets, which you can edit and tweak, and submit for approval to your boss.

Check out the documentation to get started with Gmail Add-ons, or if you want to see what it's like to build an add-on, go to the codelab to build ExpenseItstep-by-step. While you can't publish your add-on just yet, you can fill out this form to get notified when publishing is opened. We can't wait to see what Gmail Add-ons you build!

Gmail add-ons framework now available to all developers



Email remains at the heart of how companies operate. That’s why earlier this year, we previewed Gmail Add-ons—a way to help businesses speed up workflows. Since then, we’ve seen partners build awesome applications, and beginning today, we’re extending the Gmail add-on preview to include all developers. Now anyone can start building a Gmail add-on.

Gmail Add-ons let you integrate your app into Gmail and extend Gmail to handle quick actions. They are built using native UI context cards that can include simple text dialogs, images, links, buttons and forms. The add-on appears when relevant, and the user is just a click away from your app's rich and integrated functionality.

Gmail Add-ons are easy to create. You only have to write code once for your add-on to work on both web and mobile, and you can choose from a rich palette of widgets to craft a custom UI. Create an add-on that contextually surfaces cards based on the content of a message. Check out this video to see how we created an add-on to collate email receipts and expedite expense reporting.

Per the video, you can see that there are three components to the app’s core functionality. The first component is getContextualAddOn()—this is the entry point for all Gmail Add-ons where data is compiled to build the card and render it within the Gmail UI. Since the add-on is processing expense reports from email receipts in your inbox, the createExpensesCard()parses the relevant data from the message and presents them in a form so your users can confirm or update values before submitting. Finally, submitForm() takes the data and writes a new row in an “expenses” spreadsheet in Google Sheets, which you can edit and tweak, and submit for approval to your boss.

Check out the documentation to get started with Gmail Add-ons, or if you want to see what it's like to build an add-on, go to the codelab to build ExpenseIt step-by-step. While you can't publish your add-on just yet, you can fill out this form to get notified when publishing is opened. We can’t wait to see what Gmail Add-ons you build!

Announcing AVA: A Finely Labeled Video Dataset for Human Action Understanding



Teaching machines to understand human actions in videos is a fundamental research problem in Computer Vision, essential to applications such as personal video search and discovery, sports analysis, and gesture interfaces. Despite exciting breakthroughs made over the past years in classifying and finding objects in images, recognizing human actions still remains a big challenge. This is due to the fact that actions are, by nature, less well-defined than objects in videos, making it difficult to construct a finely labeled action video dataset. And while many benchmarking datasets, e.g., UCF101, ActivityNet and DeepMind’s Kinetics, adopt the labeling scheme of image classification and assign one label to each video or video clip in the dataset, no dataset exists for complex scenes containing multiple people who could be performing different actions.

In order to facilitate further research into human action recognition, we have released AVA, coined from “atomic visual actions”, a new dataset that provides multiple action labels for each person in extended video sequences. AVA consists of URLs for publicly available videos from YouTube, annotated with a set of 80 atomic actions (e.g. “walk”, “kick (an object)”, “shake hands”) that are spatial-temporally localized, resulting in 57.6k video segments, 96k labeled humans performing actions, and a total of 210k action labels. You can browse the website to explore the dataset and download annotations, and read our arXiv paper that describes the design and development of the dataset.

Compared with other action datasets, AVA possesses the following key characteristics:
  • Person-centric annotation. Each action label is associated with a person rather than a video or clip. Hence, we are able to assign different labels to multiple people performing different actions in the same scene, which is quite common.
  • Atomic visual actions. We limit our action labels to fine temporal scales (3 seconds), where actions are physical in nature and have clear visual signatures.
  • Realistic video material. We use movies as the source of AVA, drawing from a variety of genres and countries of origin. As a result, a wide range of human behaviors appear in the data.
Examples of 3-second video segments (from Video Source) with their bounding box annotations in the middle frame of each segment. (For clarity, only one bounding box is shown for each example.)

To create AVA, we first collected a diverse set of long form content from YouTube, focusing on the “film” and “television” categories, featuring professional actors of many different nationalities. We analyzed a 15 minute clip from each video, and uniformly partitioned it into 300 non-overlapping 3-second segments. The sampling strategy preserved sequences of actions in a coherent temporal context.

Next, we manually labeled all bounding boxes of persons in the middle frame of each 3-second segment. For each person in the bounding box, annotators selected a variable number of labels from a pre-defined atomic action vocabulary (with 80 classes) that describe the person’s actions within the segment. These actions were divided into three groups: pose/movement actions, person-object interactions, and person-person interactions. Because we exhaustively labeled all people performing all actions, the frequencies of AVA’s labels followed a long-tail distribution, as summarized below.
Distribution of AVA’s atomic action labels. Labels displayed in the x-axis are only a partial set of our vocabulary.

The unique design of AVA allows us to derive some interesting statistics that are not available in other existing datasets. For example, given the large number of persons with at least two labels, we can measure the co-occurrence patterns of action labels. The figure below shows the top co-occurring action pairs in AVA with their co-occurrence scores. We confirm expected patterns such as people frequently play instruments while singing, lift a person while playing with kids, and hug while kissing.
Top co-occurring action pairs in AVA.

To evaluate the effectiveness of human action recognition systems on the AVA dataset, we implemented an existing baseline deep learning model that obtains highly competitive performance on the much smaller JHMDB dataset. Due to challenging variations in zoom, background clutter, cinematography, and appearance variation, this model achieves a relatively modest performance when correctly identifying actions on AVA (18.4% mAP). This suggests that AVA will be a useful testbed for developing and evaluating new action recognition architectures and algorithms for years to come.

We hope that the release of AVA will help improve the development of human action recognition systems, and provide opportunities to model complex activities based on labels with fine spatio-temporal granularity at the level of individual person’s actions. We will continue to expand and improve AVA, and are eager to hear feedback from the community to help us guide future directions. Please join the AVA users mailing list to receive dataset updates as well as to send us emails for feedback.

Acknowledgements
The core team behind AVA includes Chunhui Gu, Chen Sun, David Ross, Caroline Pantofaru, Yeqing Li, Sudheendra Vijayanarasimhan, George Toderici, Susanna Ricco, Rahul Sukthankar, Cordelia Schmid, and Jitendra Malik. We thank many Google colleagues and annotators for their dedicated support on this project.

Modifying events with the Google Calendar API

Originally posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite, on the G Suite Developers Blog.

You might be using the Google Calendar API, or alternatively email markup, to insert events into your users' calendars. Thankfully, these tools allow your apps to do this seamlessly and automatically, which saves your users a lot of time. But what happens if plans change? You need your apps to also be able to modify an event.

While email markup does support this update, it's limited in what it can do, so in today's video, we'll show you how to modify events with the Calendar API. We'll also show you how to create repeating events. Check it out:

Imagine a potential customer being interested in your product, so you set up one or two meetings with them. As their interest grows, they request regularly-scheduled syncs as your product makes their short list—your CRM should be able to make these adjustments in your calendar without much work on your part. Similarly, a "dinner with friends" event can go from a "rain check" to a bi-monthly dining experience with friends you've grown closer to. Both of these events can be updated with a JSON request payload like what you see below to adjust the date and make it repeating:

    
var TIMEZONE = "America/Los_Angeles";
var EVENT = {
"start": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T19:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"end": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T22:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"recurrence": ["RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=2;UNTIL=20171231"]
};

This event can then be updated with a single call to the Calendar API's events().patch() method, which in Python would look like the following given the request data above, GCAL as the API service endpoint, and a valid EVENT_ID to update:



GCAL.events().patch(calendarId='primary', eventId=EVENT_ID,
sendNotifications=True, body=EVENT).execute()

If you want to dive deeper into the code sample, check out this blog post. Also, if you missed it, check out this video that shows how you can insert events into Google Calendar as well as the official API documentation. Finally, if you have a Google Apps Script app, you can access Google Calendar programmatically with its Calendar service.

We hope you can use this information to enhance your apps to give your users an even better and timely experience.

Modifying events with the Google Calendar API


You might be using the Google Calendar API, or alternatively email markup, to insert events into your users’ calendars. Thankfully, these tools allow your apps to do this seamlessly and automatically, which saves your users a lot of time. But what happens if plans change? You need your apps to also be able to modify an event.

While email markup does support this update, it’s limited in what it can do, so in today’s video, we’ll show you how to modify events with the Calendar API. We’ll also show you how to create repeating events. Check it out:

Imagine a potential customer being interested in your product, so you set up one or two meetings with them. As their interest grows, they request regularly-scheduled syncs as your product makes their short list—your CRM should be able to make these adjustments in your calendar without much work on your part. Similarly, a “dinner with friends” event can go from a “rain check” to a bi-monthly dining experience with friends you’ve grown closer to. Both of these events can be updated with a JSON request payload like what you see below to adjust the date and make it repeating:
var TIMEZONE = "America/Los_Angeles";
var EVENT = {
"start": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T19:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"end": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T22:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"recurrence": ["RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=2;UNTIL=20171231"]
};

This event can then be updated with a single call to the Calendar API’s events().patch() method, which in Python would look like the following given the request data above, GCAL as the API service endpoint, and a valid EVENT_ID to update:
GCAL.events().patch(calendarId='primary', eventId=EVENT_ID,
sendNotifications=True, body=EVENT).execute()

If you missed it, check out this video that shows how you can insert events into Google Calendar as well as the official API documentation. Also, if you have a Google Apps Script app, you can programmatically access Google Calendar with its Calendar service.

We hope you can use this information to enhance your apps to give your users an even better and timely experience.

Building trust and increasing transparency with MRC-accredited measurement

Measurement has been top of mind in our recent conversations with advertisers, and for good reason. As we’ve said many times, “If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked?” Committing to measurement is critical, but just the first step. We believe that that the industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified. Today, we’re pleased to share several updates on the work we’re doing with third party verification and audit partners to ensure that the metrics available from Google are objective and accurate.
Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy. We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over ten years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads. We currently maintain over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability.

MRC accreditation for 3rd party viewability reporting on YouTube

Since 2015, we've completed integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enable third-party viewability reporting on YouTube. These integrations offer advertisers additional choice for measuring viewability on YouTube, alongside Active View.
Today, we’re announcing that each of these integrations will undergo a stringent, independent audit for MRC accreditation. The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards. In short, advertisers will have even greater confidence in the metrics returned by these third party partners about their campaigns on YouTube.
“Google’s announcement that they are undertaking an independent audit of their 3rd party viewability reporting integrations is a positive step forward for marketers. At the ANA, our goal is to create transparency for the advertising supply chain. This action from Google today demonstrates their commitment to partnering with us to deliver this goal."
—Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association for National Advertisers

New MRC accreditations for DoubleClick and AdWords

Our commitment to MRC accreditation goes beyond our media to include our platform solutions as well. We maintain several accreditations for DoubleClick already, and today we’re announcing that we are now fully accredited for video impressions and viewability statistics for desktop web, mobile web and mobile app in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.
We are also seeking MRC accreditation for video impressions and viewability statistics and GIVT detection for display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.
"Google's commitment to MRC's initiatives has been unwavering over time, and their participation in industry standards projects has been helpful. We look forward to working on these new audits and expanding the industry's trust as it relates to YouTube's third party integrations and DoubleClick Bid Manager."
—George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director, Media Rating Council
“Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward. At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain.”
—Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

With so much activity underway, we know that it can be difficult to stay current. For an up to date list of all MRC accreditations, click here.
Transparency and trust are fundamental to measurement, and they’re fundamental to our strategy for giving marketers and publishers the metrics and insights they need to make better decisions. A solid foundation has been created, but there is much more work to do. In 2017, we’ll continue to seek ways to raise the bar on transparent and trustworthy measurement, and we welcome your partnership along the way.

Building trust and increasing transparency with MRC-accredited measurement

Cross-posted from the Google Agency Blog

Measurement has been top of mind in our recent conversations with advertisers, and for good reason. As we’ve said many times, “If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked?” Committing to measurement is critical, but just the first step. We believe that that the industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified. Today, we’re pleased to share several updates on the work we’re doing with third party verification and audit partners to ensure that the metrics available from Google are objective and accurate.

Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy. We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over ten years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads. We currently maintain over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability.

MRC accreditation for 3rd party viewability reporting on YouTube

Since 2015, we've completed integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enable third-party viewability reporting on YouTube. These integrations offer advertisers additional choice for measuring viewability on YouTube, alongside Active View.

Today, we’re announcing that each of these integrations will undergo a stringent, independent audit for MRC accreditation. The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards. In short, advertisers will have even greater confidence in the metrics returned by these third party partners about their campaigns on YouTube.

“Google’s announcement that they are undertaking an independent audit of their 3rd party viewability reporting integrations is a positive step forward for marketers. At the ANA, our goal is to create transparency for the advertising supply chain. This action from Google today demonstrates their commitment to partnering with us to deliver this goal."
—Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association for National Advertisers

New MRC accreditations for DoubleClick and AdWords

Our commitment to MRC accreditation goes beyond our media to include our platform solutions as well. We maintain several accreditations for DoubleClick already, and today we’re announcing that we are now fully accredited for video impressions and viewability statistics for desktop web, mobile web and mobile app in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.

We are also seeking MRC accreditation for video impressions and viewability statistics and GIVT detection for display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.

"Google's commitment to MRC's initiatives has been unwavering over time, and their participation in industry standards projects has been helpful. We look forward to working on these new audits and expanding the industry's trust as it relates to YouTube's third party integrations and DoubleClick Bid Manager."
—George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director, Media Rating Council

“Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward. At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain.”
—Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

With so much activity underway, we know that it can be difficult to stay current. For an up to date list of all MRC accreditations, click here.

Transparency and trust are fundamental to measurement, and they’re fundamental to our strategy for giving marketers and publishers the metrics and insights they need to make better decisions. A solid foundation has been created, but there is much more work to do. In 2017, we’ll continue to seek ways to raise the bar on transparent and trustworthy measurement, and we welcome your partnership along the way.

Posted by Babak Pahlavan
Senior Director of Product Management, Analytics Solutions and Measurement, Google

Increasing viewability could boost earnings from video ads

For the seventh installment of the #SuccessStack, we’ll explore the topic of viewability for video ads and take a look at how mastering this could boost your earnings from video ads on your site.

Why is viewability for video important?

On YouTube, over 50% of viewership happens on a mobile device and the number of hours people spend watching videos on mobile is up 100% YoY. So, adding video content represents a huge opportunity for publishers and advertisers alike. But as with display advertising, advertisers are now looking to transact only on viewable video. This means that publishers looking to grow their earnings from this dominant media type will have to ensure they are delivering viewable ads.

How do we classify viewability for video ads?

A video ad is viewable when at least 50% of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds, as defined by the Media Rating Council (MRC), in conjunction with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

What factors affect viewability for video ads?

  • Device: Video ads are more easily viewed on mobile (73%) or tablet (81%) devices than desktop (64%).1
  • Location: 76% of non viewable video ads were never on screen at all, for instance because they are on tabs situated behind the one the user is looking at.2 Additionally, videos positioned in the center of the page and towards the top are the most visible locations on the page.3
  • Player Size: Bigger players deliver better viewability. The most popular player size of 300x250 offers only 20% viewability whereas the 848x477 is the second most popular size but offers a huge improvement of 89% viewability.4

What can you do to improve viewability in your video content?

  • Choose a bigger player: Larger player sizes have been shown to have a positive correlation with viewability and other key metrics that advertisers care about, so advertisers are increasingly targeting them. In Q1 2016 on DBM, growth in spend on large players outpaced all other player sizes combined by 17%.5
  • Spread your content: The average viewability of video ads across the web is 66%, whereas YouTube offers 93%.6 Hosting your video content on YouTube as well as on your site could allow you to benefit from this uplift.
  • Be more mobile: Mobile friendly sites that encourage traffic from mobile devices and tablets can increase viewability for video ads. For example YouTube viewability rises to 95% on mobile devices.7
  • Give video content top billing: As we’ve seen above, placing content at the top of the page in the center and using a larger player size both increase viewability. So give your video content the highest possible profile on the page to increase viewability.

Next steps

Alongside your work on video viewability, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools in place for managing the video ads you serve. To make sure you’ve got the right tools in place, have a chat with one of our experts. They can offer a personalized consultation to help you make the right choice for your business. Book a slot.


https://goo.gl/c5MWaa

  1. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://storage.googleapis.com/doubleclick-prod/documents/State_of_Play_-_Video_Insights_Report__v23.pdf 
  2. https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/5-factors-of-video-viewability.pdf
  3. https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/5-factors-of-video-viewability.pdf
  4. https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/5-factors-of-video-viewability.pdf
  5. https://www.doubleclickbygoogle.com/articles/global-state-play-programmatic-video-insights-report/
  6. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://storage.googleapis.com/doubleclick-prod/documents/State_of_Play_-_Video_Insights_Report__v23.pdf
  7. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://storage.googleapis.com/doubleclick-prod/documents/State_of_Play_-_Video_Insights_Report__v23.pdf

Source: Inside AdSense


Announcing support for video campaigns in AdWords scripts

Today we're announcing the release of video campaign management support in AdWords scripts. You can now create and manage in-stream, video discovery, and bumper ads in your existing video campaigns, set targeting for your video campaigns and ad groups, and report on performance including views and view rate.

To get started, visit our Video Campaigns guide for an overview of the new functionality. You can also view a variety of samples both in the docs and by using the Show examples button in the script editor. These are pre-built functions that may be useful to drop into your code or use as the basis for expansion into your own custom script.

When you're ready to dig in or when you're ready to learn more, check out the "Video" section of the left navigation bar under our AdWordsApp documentation.

If you have any questions about this new feature or AdWords scripts in general, you can post them on our developer forum.