A bright spot on the open web

Meet Courtney Quinn, the web creator behind Color Me Courtney, a bright spot on the web where she shares her positive outlook on life. 

“I see my blog as my own little corner on the internet where my community can always find joy, whimsy, fun, love and strength,” Courtney says. “My main goal is to promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique–all through my love and affinity for color.” 

That’s a mission we can definitely get behind, especially in these, um … maybe not always so bright and colorful times. 

We reached out to Courtney to learn more about her story and to see how she manages the Web Creator life. Read on if you need a dash of sunshine and color to brighten your day. And stay tuned for our exclusive IRL interview with Courtney, coming soon to YouTube!

What does your average day look like? 

That’s the thing about this job, there is no average day because every day is so different depending on the time of year, my content series, current events in the world, etc. People assume that web creators just create beautiful images and videos with witty captions and call it a day. For me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because 80 percent of my work is things that people may not see: storyboarding, calls with brand partners, content strategy, emails, backend website developing, editing and engaging with my community.  

What inspires you on a day-to-day basis and gets your creative energy flowing? 

Color Me Courtney at its core is a true reflection of me and my (many) interests–fashion, lifestyle, food, culture, entertainment, etc.– so I don’t have trouble with “turning it on” or finding creative energy. Oftentimes my problem as a creative is actually the opposite, and the challenge is really to be more focused on reining things in and making sure all of the ideas get executed.  

To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive. I’ll do one day a week that’s all meetings and phone calls and another where I’m binge watching a show in my pajamas while I’m answering emails and editing and planning content. Then the next day I’ll get photoshoot-ready and dedicate all my time shooting content. Of course, this doesn’t always go according to plan. There can always be interruptions like a timely cultural moment, an urgent email or just being present for my online community. But it does help to plan my day and create some semblance of a structure.

To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive.

What’s the best part of your job? 

I love the creativity, the freedom to express myself and working with my favorite brands, but the best part of my job is my amazing community and the ability to connect with others. There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine the light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together. That’s what my community is! It means so much when someone tells me how my post has brightened their day or gave them confidence to wear an outfit, or just let them know that they weren’t alone!  

Sometimes though, people can forget that there is a real-life human being on the other side of the screen and that you’re not always omnipresent. At a normal 9-5 you either have off-days, take vacations or leave your work at the office when you go home. However, in this industry it’s a little tough to take a week vacation or even clock out for the day because there are always alerts and people are constantly reaching out. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but you definitely have to set aside time for yourself because it can be overwhelming if you don’t “turn it off.”

An animation of Courtney wearing different colorful outfits.

A healthy dose of stop-motion sunshine from Courtney’s Instagram.

What’s the mission behind Color Me Courtney? 

Color Me Courtney and my online shop, Color Me Magic, is a vibrant fashion, lifestyle and culture media company that is designed to empower others to "Dress Outside the Lines," promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique. It’s been great to create a safe space to express my unique thoughts and interests and encourage my community to come together to share theirs as well.    

What is something that inspires and motivates you every day about the web, or in general?

The most inspiring thing is to see how many people your content, conversations and general presence can have on others, whether they are other creators or moms just entering a new career. That relationship is reciprocal in that there are so many times where my community also inspires and motivates me.  

The other inspiring thing is that my online presence isn’t stagnant, but rather grows with me. I’ve been fortunate that it grows in terms of followers and readership, but more importantly it's grown as my interests, hobbies and career have evolved, and that’s amazing to me. Because of this, I’m constantly thinking of new concepts and the process of being able to take them from idea to execution and seeing everything come to life is inspiring and motivating.

There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine a light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together.

What tools do you use to make your stuff? 

I used to be exclusive to Dropbox, but I just switched to Google Drive so now I operate completely on Drive. I use Adobe Suite (Lightroom mostly) for editing but I do it almost exclusively on my phone. I edit video in Final Cut or Premiere depending on the project and I use VLLO and Splice for on-phone editing.

And finally … what advice would you give someone trying to make it in your industry? 

Find the thing that makes you special, different and unique. Then celebrate it and build a brand around it. The number one mistake that I see when people are starting out is they try to be everything to everybody instead of starting with the things they are most passionate about and building a community and business around that. Too many people try to conform to the trends of the moment and get lost in the shuffle, or they fall for the trap of comparing themselves to others, and that’s 100 percent  a losing game.   

A bright spot on the open web

Meet Courtney Quinn, the web creator behind Color Me Courtney, a bright spot on the web where she shares her positive outlook on life. 

“I see my blog as my own little corner on the internet where my community can always find joy, whimsy, fun, love and strength,” Courtney says. “My main goal is to promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique–all through my love and affinity for color.” 

That’s a mission we can definitely get behind, especially in these, um … maybe not always so bright and colorful times. 

We reached out to Courtney to learn more about her story and to see how she manages the Web Creator life. Read on if you need a dash of sunshine and color to brighten your day. And stay tuned for our exclusive IRL interview with Courtney, coming soon to YouTube!

What does your average day look like? 

That’s the thing about this job, there is no average day because every day is so different depending on the time of year, my content series, current events in the world, etc. People assume that web creators just create beautiful images and videos with witty captions and call it a day. For me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because 80 percent of my work is things that people may not see: storyboarding, calls with brand partners, content strategy, emails, backend website developing, editing and engaging with my community.  

What inspires you on a day-to-day basis and gets your creative energy flowing? 

Color Me Courtney at its core is a true reflection of me and my (many) interests–fashion, lifestyle, food, culture, entertainment, etc.– so I don’t have trouble with “turning it on” or finding creative energy. Oftentimes my problem as a creative is actually the opposite, and the challenge is really to be more focused on reining things in and making sure all of the ideas get executed.  

To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive. I’ll do one day a week that’s all meetings and phone calls and another where I’m binge watching a show in my pajamas while I’m answering emails and editing and planning content. Then the next day I’ll get photoshoot-ready and dedicate all my time shooting content. Of course, this doesn’t always go according to plan. There can always be interruptions like a timely cultural moment, an urgent email or just being present for my online community. But it does help to plan my day and create some semblance of a structure.

To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive.

What’s the best part of your job? 

I love the creativity, the freedom to express myself and working with my favorite brands, but the best part of my job is my amazing community and the ability to connect with others. There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine the light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together. That’s what my community is! It means so much when someone tells me how my post has brightened their day or gave them confidence to wear an outfit, or just let them know that they weren’t alone!  

Sometimes though, people can forget that there is a real-life human being on the other side of the screen and that you’re not always omnipresent. At a normal 9-5 you either have off-days, take vacations or leave your work at the office when you go home. However, in this industry it’s a little tough to take a week vacation or even clock out for the day because there are always alerts and people are constantly reaching out. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but you definitely have to set aside time for yourself because it can be overwhelming if you don’t “turn it off.”

An animation of Courtney wearing different colorful outfits.

A healthy dose of stop-motion sunshine from Courtney’s Instagram.

What’s the mission behind Color Me Courtney? 

Color Me Courtney and my online shop, Color Me Magic, is a vibrant fashion, lifestyle and culture media company that is designed to empower others to "Dress Outside the Lines," promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique. It’s been great to create a safe space to express my unique thoughts and interests and encourage my community to come together to share theirs as well.    

What is something that inspires and motivates you every day about the web, or in general?

The most inspiring thing is to see how many people your content, conversations and general presence can have on others, whether they are other creators or moms just entering a new career. That relationship is reciprocal in that there are so many times where my community also inspires and motivates me.  

The other inspiring thing is that my online presence isn’t stagnant, but rather grows with me. I’ve been fortunate that it grows in terms of followers and readership, but more importantly it's grown as my interests, hobbies and career have evolved, and that’s amazing to me. Because of this, I’m constantly thinking of new concepts and the process of being able to take them from idea to execution and seeing everything come to life is inspiring and motivating.

There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine a light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together.

What tools do you use to make your stuff? 

I used to be exclusive to Dropbox, but I just switched to Google Drive so now I operate completely on Drive. I use Adobe Suite (Lightroom mostly) for editing but I do it almost exclusively on my phone. I edit video in Final Cut or Premiere depending on the project and I use VLLO and Splice for on-phone editing.

And finally … what advice would you give someone trying to make it in your industry? 

Find the thing that makes you special, different and unique. Then celebrate it and build a brand around it. The number one mistake that I see when people are starting out is they try to be everything to everybody instead of starting with the things they are most passionate about and building a community and business around that. Too many people try to conform to the trends of the moment and get lost in the shuffle, or they fall for the trap of comparing themselves to others, and that’s 100 percent  a losing game.   

Your photos delivered monthly from Google Photos

With Google Photos, you can relive and share memories both on your phone and in your home. It’s easy to turn your digital photos into photo books or canvas prints and have them shipped to your door, or order same-day photo prints from CVS Pharmacy and Walmart. This month in the U.S., we’re adding two new ways to print your photos with same-day printing at Walgreens and a premium print series.

Your recent photos, printed and delivered monthly

Our premium print series, available in the coming weeks, is a new way to enjoy your photos. You’ll get 10 high-quality photo prints delivered to your door every month, so you can decorate your home with important memories, create a scrapbook or share with a loved one. The premium print series will be available for $6.99 per month, including shipping and before tax.
Google Photos arrive in a box

The premium print series uses machine learning to suggest 10 recent photos to print. To give you control over what photos you get and how they look, you can edit your photo selection, choose a matte or glossy finish or add a border before your photos ship each month. You can also easily skip a month or cancel the service.


You can even turn your photos into postcards, perfect for mailing a memory to a loved one you haven’t seen in a while. And these prints are made with cardstock paper, so they’re built to last. 

Google photos postcard

Same-day printing, now at Walgreens

Starting today, you can now order 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 photo prints through Google Photos for same-day pickup at Walgreens. This nearly doubles the total number of stores available for same-day prints, making it easier to find a location near you.
Google photos ordered at Walgreens

Printing your photos to display in your home or to share with others can be a really meaningful way to relive our most important memories. The premium print series will start rolling out later this month, and you can order same-day prints, canvas prints or photo books (now with up to 140 pages) today.  

Your photos delivered monthly from Google Photos

With Google Photos, you can relive and share memories both on your phone and in your home. It’s easy to turn your digital photos into photo books or canvas prints and have them shipped to your door, or order same-day photo prints from CVS Pharmacy and Walmart. This month in the U.S., we’re adding two new ways to print your photos with same-day printing at Walgreens and a premium print series.

Your recent photos, printed and delivered monthly

Our premium print series, available in the coming weeks, is a new way to enjoy your photos. You’ll get 10 high-quality photo prints delivered to your door every month, so you can decorate your home with important memories, create a scrapbook or share with a loved one. The premium print series will be available for $6.99 per month, including shipping and before tax.
Google Photos arrive in a box

The premium print series uses machine learning to suggest 10 recent photos to print. To give you control over what photos you get and how they look, you can edit your photo selection, choose a matte or glossy finish or add a border before your photos ship each month. You can also easily skip a month or cancel the service.


You can even turn your photos into postcards, perfect for mailing a memory to a loved one you haven’t seen in a while. And these prints are made with cardstock paper, so they’re built to last. 

Google photos postcard

Same-day printing, now at Walgreens

Starting today, you can now order 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 photo prints through Google Photos for same-day pickup at Walgreens. This nearly doubles the total number of stores available for same-day prints, making it easier to find a location near you.
Google photos ordered at Walgreens

Printing your photos to display in your home or to share with others can be a really meaningful way to relive our most important memories. The premium print series will start rolling out later this month, and you can order same-day prints, canvas prints or photo books (now with up to 140 pages) today.  

A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers

Google Search has put the world’s information at the fingertips of over a billion people. Our engineers work to offer the best search engine possible, constantly improving and fine-tuning it. We think that’s why a wide cross-section of Americans value and often love our free products. 

Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives. 

This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use.

The Department's dubious complaint

Let's talk specifics. The Department's complaint relies on dubious antitrust arguments to criticize our efforts to make Google Search easily available to people. 

Yes, like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level. For digital services, when you first buy a device, it has a kind of home screen “eye level shelf.” On mobile, that shelf is controlled by Apple, as well as companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung and LG. On desktop computers, that shelf space is overwhelmingly controlled by Microsoft. 

So, we negotiate agreements with many of those companies for eye-level shelf space. But let's be clear—our competitors are readily available too, if you want to use them. 

Our agreements with Apple and other device makers and carriers are no different from the agreements that many other companies have traditionally used to distribute software. Other search engines, including Microsoft’s Bing, compete with us for these agreements. And our agreements have passed repeated antitrust reviews. 

Here's more detail:

Apple devices

Apple features Google Search in its Safari browser because they say Google is “the best.” This arrangement is not exclusive—our competitors Bing and Yahoo! pay to prominently feature, and other rival services also appear.
Bing and Yahoo! pay Apple to be featured in Safari. iPhone 11 and Macbook Pro showing iOS 14 and MacOS Catalina with callouts showing Yahoo!, Bing and Google icons

Changing your search engine in Safari is easy. On desktop, one click and you’re presented with a range of options.

Setting your search engine on Safari desktop. Laptop showing a dropdown menu in browser with options to select Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo

Apple’s iPhone makes it simple to change your settings and use alternative search engines in Safari—and it’s even easier in iOS14 where you can add widgets from different providers or swipe on the home screen to search.

Microsoft

Google doesn't come preloaded on Windows devices. Microsoft preloads its Edge browser on Windows devices, where Bing is the default search engine.

Microsoft Edge is preloaded on Windows devices and Bing is the default search engine. HP 14" laptop with Windows 10 showing Bing preloaded.

Android

On Android devices, we have promotional agreements with carriers and device makers to feature Google services. These agreements enable us to distribute Android for free, so they directly reduce the price that people pay for phones. But even with these agreements, carriers and device makers often preload numerous competing apps and app stores.

Rival apps and app stores are often preloaded onto Android devices. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 with a callout box showing Samsung Bixby Assistant, Samsung Galaxy Store, Samsung Browser, Facebook, and Microsoft Outlook Email

Look how easy it is to add a different search app or widget on Android.

Downloading a search engine on Android. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing Bing being downloaded
Setting a search widget on Android. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing Bing widget being set up

The bigger point the lawsuit misses 

The bigger point is that people don’t use Google because they have to, they use it because they choose to. This isn’t the dial-up 1990s, when changing services was slow and difficult, and often required you to buy and install software with a CD-ROM. Today, you can easily download your choice of apps or change your default settings in a matter of seconds—faster than you can walk to another aisle in the grocery store. 

This lawsuit claims that Americans aren’t sophisticated enough to do this. But we know that’s not true. And you know it too: people downloaded a record 204 billion apps in 2019. Many of the world's most popular apps aren't preloaded—think of Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat, Amazon and Facebook.

The data shows that people choose their preferred service: take Mozilla’s Firefox browser as an example. It’s funded almost entirely by revenue from search promotional agreements.  When Yahoo! paid to be the default search engine in Firefox, most Americans promptly switched their search engine to their first choice—Google. (Mozilla later chose Google to be its default search provider, citing an “effort to provide quality search” and its “focus on user experience.”)

It’s also trivially easy to change your search engine in our browser, Chrome.

Setting your search engine on Chrome mobile. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing someone changing search engine from Google to Bing
Setting your search engine on Chrome desktop. Chrome browser on desktop showing someone changing search engine to Bing


How people access information today

There's another area in which the lawsuit is wrong about how Americans use the Internet. It claims that we compete only with other general search engines. But that’s demonstrably wrong. People find information in lots of ways: They look for news on Twitter, flights on Kayak and Expedia, restaurants on OpenTable, recommendations on Instagram and Pinterest. And when searching to buy something, around 60 percent of Americans start on Amazon. Every day, Americans choose to use all these services and thousands more.

Next steps

We understand that with our success comes scrutiny, but we stand by our position. American antitrust law is designed to promote innovation and help consumers, not tilt the playing field in favor of particular competitors or make it harder for people to get the services they want. We’re confident that a court will conclude that this suit doesn’t square with either the facts or the law. 

In the meantime, we remain absolutely focused on delivering the free services that help Americans every day. Because that’s what matters most.

You can learn more about our approach to competition at g.co/competition.

A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers

Google Search has put the world’s information at the fingertips of over a billion people. Our engineers work to offer the best search engine possible, constantly improving and fine-tuning it. We think that’s why a wide cross-section of Americans value and often love our free products. 

Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives. 

This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use.

The Department's dubious complaint

Let's talk specifics. The Department's complaint relies on dubious antitrust arguments to criticize our efforts to make Google Search easily available to people. 

Yes, like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level. For digital services, when you first buy a device, it has a kind of home screen “eye level shelf.” On mobile, that shelf is controlled by Apple, as well as companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung and LG. On desktop computers, that shelf space is overwhelmingly controlled by Microsoft. 

So, we negotiate agreements with many of those companies for eye-level shelf space. But let's be clear—our competitors are readily available too, if you want to use them. 

Our agreements with Apple and other device makers and carriers are no different from the agreements that many other companies have traditionally used to distribute software. Other search engines, including Microsoft’s Bing, compete with us for these agreements. And our agreements have passed repeated antitrust reviews. 

Here's more detail:

Apple devices

Apple features Google Search in its Safari browser because they say Google is “the best.” This arrangement is not exclusive—our competitors Bing and Yahoo! pay to prominently feature, and other rival services also appear.
Bing and Yahoo! pay Apple to be featured in Safari. iPhone 11 and Macbook Pro showing iOS 14 and MacOS Catalina with callouts showing Yahoo!, Bing and Google icons

Changing your search engine in Safari is easy. On desktop, one click and you’re presented with a range of options.

Setting your search engine on Safari desktop. Laptop showing a dropdown menu in browser with options to select Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo

Apple’s iPhone makes it simple to change your settings and use alternative search engines in Safari—and it’s even easier in iOS14 where you can add widgets from different providers or swipe on the home screen to search.

Microsoft

Google doesn't come preloaded on Windows devices. Microsoft preloads its Edge browser on Windows devices, where Bing is the default search engine.

Microsoft Edge is preloaded on Windows devices and Bing is the default search engine. HP 14" laptop with Windows 10 showing Bing preloaded.

Android

On Android devices, we have promotional agreements with carriers and device makers to feature Google services. These agreements enable us to distribute Android for free, so they directly reduce the price that people pay for phones. But even with these agreements, carriers and device makers often preload numerous competing apps and app stores.

Rival apps and app stores are often preloaded onto Android devices. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 with a callout box showing Samsung Bixby Assistant, Samsung Galaxy Store, Samsung Browser, Facebook, and Microsoft Outlook Email

Look how easy it is to add a different search app or widget on Android.

Downloading a search engine on Android. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing Bing being downloaded
Setting a search widget on Android. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing Bing widget being set up

The bigger point the lawsuit misses 

The bigger point is that people don’t use Google because they have to, they use it because they choose to. This isn’t the dial-up 1990s, when changing services was slow and difficult, and often required you to buy and install software with a CD-ROM. Today, you can easily download your choice of apps or change your default settings in a matter of seconds—faster than you can walk to another aisle in the grocery store. 

This lawsuit claims that Americans aren’t sophisticated enough to do this. But we know that’s not true. And you know it too: people downloaded a record 204 billion apps in 2019. Many of the world's most popular apps aren't preloaded—think of Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat, Amazon and Facebook.

The data shows that people choose their preferred service: take Mozilla’s Firefox browser as an example. It’s funded almost entirely by revenue from search promotional agreements.  When Yahoo! paid to be the default search engine in Firefox, most Americans promptly switched their search engine to their first choice—Google. (Mozilla later chose Google to be its default search provider, citing an “effort to provide quality search” and its “focus on user experience.”)

It’s also trivially easy to change your search engine in our browser, Chrome.

Setting your search engine on Chrome mobile. Samsung Galaxy A51 running Android 10 showing someone changing search engine from Google to Bing
Setting your search engine on Chrome desktop. Chrome browser on desktop showing someone changing search engine to Bing


How people access information today

There's another area in which the lawsuit is wrong about how Americans use the Internet. It claims that we compete only with other general search engines. But that’s demonstrably wrong. People find information in lots of ways: They look for news on Twitter, flights on Kayak and Expedia, restaurants on OpenTable, recommendations on Instagram and Pinterest. And when searching to buy something, around 60 percent of Americans start on Amazon. Every day, Americans choose to use all these services and thousands more.

Next steps

We understand that with our success comes scrutiny, but we stand by our position. American antitrust law is designed to promote innovation and help consumers, not tilt the playing field in favor of particular competitors or make it harder for people to get the services they want. We’re confident that a court will conclude that this suit doesn’t square with either the facts or the law. 

In the meantime, we remain absolutely focused on delivering the free services that help Americans every day. Because that’s what matters most.

You can learn more about our approach to competition at g.co/competition.

Five ways publishers can drive more revenue this holiday season

We know from previous years that the holiday season and the end of year bring increased internet traffic and advertising spend. But this year, people have already started their holiday shopping. According to research we ran with Ipsos over the summer, over 25 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers said they had started shopping for the season as of the end of August. This means publishers have an opportunity to jump-start their seasonal monetization strategies now.


As people search the web to look for inspiration and research ideas for that perfect gift, publishers can review their content strategies, get their sites and apps ready for fluctuations in traffic, and of course adjust their advertising plans to make the most of the increase in marketer demand. Here are some tips and optimizations Google Ad Manager partners can start applying today to ensure they’re ready for the 2020 holiday rush:


One

Optimize your site’s user experience


Start optimizing your site’s performance as soon as possible. Our Web Vitals initiative identifies three key aspects of performance for you to start with: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. We’ve started surfacing the Web Vitals in all of our most popular tools, including Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, and Chrome DevTools. You can also quickly improve your pagespeed by optimizing your top Google Publisher Tag (GPT) calls, limiting calls to third-party servers, and compressing images.


You can also work to maximize your site’s ad viewability. Viewability is a measure of whether an ad had a chance to be seen by a user, and marketers are generally willing to spend more money for viewable ads. You can get started improving your site’s viewability with these best practices, such as using responsive design, lazy loading and vertical ad units.

Two

Know your audience


Google Analytics is a good place to start when you’re looking to learn more about your audiences. You can use Analytics core functionality to better understand how your users are engaging with content across your sites and apps, then use those insights to take action, such as improving your UX, optimizing your editorial or content strategies. Analytics also features several seamless integrations with Ad Manager. 

 

Another free tool you can use to learn more about your visitors is News Consumers Insights (NCI). NCI can benefit all types of publishers by providing insight on which readers drive value and how to improve engagement with personalized business recommendations. Download the NCI playbook to learn more.
Three

Increase competition for your ad inventory


Incorporating new ad formats and sizes can help increase competition for your inventory. Some good options include; Native ads, which match the look and feel of your site or app, Sticky ads, which stay visible on the page while the user scrolls through the content, and In-feed and in-article video ads, which allow you to serve outstream video content that can appear in articles, social feeds, or in between levels of games. 


Another way to increase competition is to make sure you aren’t limiting your demand through potentially unnecessary category blocks—for instance, blocking general categories is not recommended. Instead, try blocking sensitive categories, a specific advertiser URL, a sub-category, or reassessing the block altogether. 


For more information on ways to increase competition for your inventory, Ad Manager partners can also check out their Opportunities & Experiments recommendations throughout the holiday season.

Four

Monitor price floors


Keep a close eye on your unified pricing rules throughout the holiday season to make sure you’re not missing out on demand. The pricing rules insights card on your Ad Manager dashboard shows the bid landscape data for your top five rules by revenue, and helps you search for your other rules. If you notice that a large number of bids are coming in below your unified pricing floor, you may want to consider lowering it.


Make sure your unified pricing rules use target CPM. Target CPM is an opt-in feature that uses machine learning to help you optimize your floor prices to increase your revenue. It dynamically adjusts your unified price floor up or down to allow all your non-guaranteed demand sources like Authorized Buyers, Open Bidders, and remnant line items, like those from header bidding, to win more auctions, increasing your fill rate. When you use target CPM, winning bids can be higher or lower than your target CPM, but the average CPM of your inventory will be equal to or above the target price you enter, maintaining your inventory pricing.
Fine

Identify premium ad inventory


During the holidays, advertisers are looking for quality inventory where their consumers are spending the most time. This year more than ever, they’re prioritizing deals on premium inventory early in the holiday season. Take advantage of this high demand to set up deals with your advertisers usingProgrammatic Guaranteed. Our new features allow you to negotiate special sponsorship deals with advertisers for day part or share of voice during high demand periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


To achieve the best results with Programmatic Guaranteed, run regular reporting on your inventory like placements, creative types, and audience segments. This will help you identify and market inventory that is in high demand. Keep an eye out for audience segments that match consumer trends, and proactively flag these to advertisers.


While we may not know all the trends this year’s holiday season will bring, we do know that shoppers have already begun their search for the perfect gifts. By starting to optimize your site and account early, you’ll be better positioned to drive more traffic to your site and offer marketers valuable inventory at a premium price. 


For more tips and optimization suggestions, register for our upcoming How to prepare for the 2020 Holiday season webinar and read our new guide, “Get ready for 5 big shifts in shopping behavior this holiday season.”

Five ways publishers can drive more revenue this holiday season

We know from previous years that the holiday season and the end of year bring increased internet traffic and advertising spend. But this year, people have already started their holiday shopping. According to research we ran with Ipsos over the summer, over 25 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers said they had started shopping for the season as of the end of August. This means publishers have an opportunity to jump-start their seasonal monetization strategies now.


As people search the web to look for inspiration and research ideas for that perfect gift, publishers can review their content strategies, get their sites and apps ready for fluctuations in traffic, and of course adjust their advertising plans to make the most of the increase in marketer demand. Here are some tips and optimizations Google Ad Manager partners can start applying today to ensure they’re ready for the 2020 holiday rush:


One

Optimize your site’s user experience


Start optimizing your site’s performance as soon as possible. Our Web Vitals initiative identifies three key aspects of performance for you to start with: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. We’ve started surfacing the Web Vitals in all of our most popular tools, including Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, and Chrome DevTools. You can also quickly improve your pagespeed by optimizing your top Google Publisher Tag (GPT) calls, limiting calls to third-party servers, and compressing images.


You can also work to maximize your site’s ad viewability. Viewability is a measure of whether an ad had a chance to be seen by a user, and marketers are generally willing to spend more money for viewable ads. You can get started improving your site’s viewability with these best practices, such as using responsive design, lazy loading and vertical ad units.

Two

Know your audience


Google Analytics is a good place to start when you’re looking to learn more about your audiences. You can use Analytics core functionality to better understand how your users are engaging with content across your sites and apps, then use those insights to take action, such as improving your UX, optimizing your editorial or content strategies. Analytics also features several seamless integrations with Ad Manager. 

 

Another free tool you can use to learn more about your visitors is News Consumers Insights (NCI). NCI can benefit all types of publishers by providing insight on which readers drive value and how to improve engagement with personalized business recommendations. Download the NCI playbook to learn more.
Three

Increase competition for your ad inventory


Incorporating new ad formats and sizes can help increase competition for your inventory. Some good options include; Native ads, which match the look and feel of your site or app, Sticky ads, which stay visible on the page while the user scrolls through the content, and In-feed and in-article video ads, which allow you to serve outstream video content that can appear in articles, social feeds, or in between levels of games. 


Another way to increase competition is to make sure you aren’t limiting your demand through potentially unnecessary category blocks—for instance, blocking general categories is not recommended. Instead, try blocking sensitive categories, a specific advertiser URL, a sub-category, or reassessing the block altogether. 


For more information on ways to increase competition for your inventory, Ad Manager partners can also check out their Opportunities & Experiments recommendations throughout the holiday season.

Four

Monitor price floors


Keep a close eye on your unified pricing rules throughout the holiday season to make sure you’re not missing out on demand. The pricing rules insights card on your Ad Manager dashboard shows the bid landscape data for your top five rules by revenue, and helps you search for your other rules. If you notice that a large number of bids are coming in below your unified pricing floor, you may want to consider lowering it.


Make sure your unified pricing rules use target CPM. Target CPM is an opt-in feature that uses machine learning to help you optimize your floor prices to increase your revenue. It dynamically adjusts your unified price floor up or down to allow all your non-guaranteed demand sources like Authorized Buyers, Open Bidders, and remnant line items, like those from header bidding, to win more auctions, increasing your fill rate. When you use target CPM, winning bids can be higher or lower than your target CPM, but the average CPM of your inventory will be equal to or above the target price you enter, maintaining your inventory pricing.
Fine

Identify premium ad inventory


During the holidays, advertisers are looking for quality inventory where their consumers are spending the most time. This year more than ever, they’re prioritizing deals on premium inventory early in the holiday season. Take advantage of this high demand to set up deals with your advertisers usingProgrammatic Guaranteed. Our new features allow you to negotiate special sponsorship deals with advertisers for day part or share of voice during high demand periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


To achieve the best results with Programmatic Guaranteed, run regular reporting on your inventory like placements, creative types, and audience segments. This will help you identify and market inventory that is in high demand. Keep an eye out for audience segments that match consumer trends, and proactively flag these to advertisers.


While we may not know all the trends this year’s holiday season will bring, we do know that shoppers have already begun their search for the perfect gifts. By starting to optimize your site and account early, you’ll be better positioned to drive more traffic to your site and offer marketers valuable inventory at a premium price. 


For more tips and optimization suggestions, register for our upcoming How to prepare for the 2020 Holiday season webinar and read our new guide, “Get ready for 5 big shifts in shopping behavior this holiday season.”

Mashujaa: Celebrate the communities of Kenya with Google Arts & Culture

Today in Kenya we’re celebrating Mashujaa Day, or National Heroes Day, and honoring the remarkable people who have shaped our nation. We are shining the spotlight on a pantheon of cultural and folk heroes, and how their superpowers continue to be the strength and heartbeat of not only the communities from which they came, but all of Kenya. We need days like these to remind us how our shared heritage and our diversity unites us as people, and it is therefore with great pride that I unveil the second chapter of the online project Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya, created in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, Google Arts & Culture and the creative agency Shujaa Stories


Originally launched in 2019, Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya is Google’s most ambitious digitization project to date in Africa, and one of the first digital content features on the subject of Kenyan communities. Everyone can now explore over 10,600 high-resolution photographs, 170 expert-curated exhibits, 80 Street Views of 16 sites and learn more about the intangible heritage and stories of the country’s 44 communities officially registered by the government. The exhibits shine light on the regions, history, traditions, morals, worldview and wisdom of Kenya’s communities, some of whose stories—usually passed on through oral history—have been written down and shared online for the first time.

Today, on Mashujaa Day, I am delighted to announce that we now have at least one superhero for each of our 44 communities, and I invite you to explore their stories on Google Arts & Culture. Originally conceived by the late Masidza Sande Galavu and Jeff Muchina of Shujaa Stories, the first 21 heroes were unveiled at an exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya  and online as part of Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya. Now, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia, the Director General of the National Museums of Kenya, a dedicated team of researchers, curators, academics and young creatives has worked to bring 40 more stories to life. They have travelled far to get first-hand knowledge of the communities and passionately researched, documented and illustrated a total of 61 heroes spanning cultures, generations, gender and geography.

The government’s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture has democratised access to Kenya’s rich heritage and enabled more people to discover our culture and human connections in new, exciting and interactive ways. It has also encouraged real-life visits to the country’s museums, monuments and heritage sites.

I encourage you to read each of the stories, and be inspired by the achievements and bravery of each superhero. They are a celebration of the values and the heritage of the peoples of Kenya and of our unity in diversity. I would like to echo the words of the great author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, who said, "The peoples of Kenya have an incredible richness of history and culture. Learning from what we already have, from all the communities, is the way into the world."

Mashujaa: Celebrate the communities of Kenya with Google Arts & Culture

Today in Kenya we’re celebrating Mashujaa Day, or National Heroes Day, and honoring the remarkable people who have shaped our nation. We are shining the spotlight on a pantheon of cultural and folk heroes, and how their superpowers continue to be the strength and heartbeat of not only the communities from which they came, but all of Kenya. We need days like these to remind us how our shared heritage and our diversity unites us as people, and it is therefore with great pride that I unveil the second chapter of the online project Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya, created in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, Google Arts & Culture and the creative agency Shujaa Stories


Originally launched in 2019, Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya is Google’s most ambitious digitization project to date in Africa, and one of the first digital content features on the subject of Kenyan communities. Everyone can now explore over 10,600 high-resolution photographs, 170 expert-curated exhibits, 80 Street Views of 16 sites and learn more about the intangible heritage and stories of the country’s 44 communities officially registered by the government. The exhibits shine light on the regions, history, traditions, morals, worldview and wisdom of Kenya’s communities, some of whose stories—usually passed on through oral history—have been written down and shared online for the first time.

Today, on Mashujaa Day, I am delighted to announce that we now have at least one superhero for each of our 44 communities, and I invite you to explore their stories on Google Arts & Culture. Originally conceived by the late Masidza Sande Galavu and Jeff Muchina of Shujaa Stories, the first 21 heroes were unveiled at an exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya  and online as part of Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya. Now, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia, the Director General of the National Museums of Kenya, a dedicated team of researchers, curators, academics and young creatives has worked to bring 40 more stories to life. They have travelled far to get first-hand knowledge of the communities and passionately researched, documented and illustrated a total of 61 heroes spanning cultures, generations, gender and geography.

The government’s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture has democratised access to Kenya’s rich heritage and enabled more people to discover our culture and human connections in new, exciting and interactive ways. It has also encouraged real-life visits to the country’s museums, monuments and heritage sites.

I encourage you to read each of the stories, and be inspired by the achievements and bravery of each superhero. They are a celebration of the values and the heritage of the peoples of Kenya and of our unity in diversity. I would like to echo the words of the great author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, who said, "The peoples of Kenya have an incredible richness of history and culture. Learning from what we already have, from all the communities, is the way into the world."