Tag Archives: Tips

What’s under the hood: Security on Google Pay

In the last two years, instant bank-to-bank transfers via UPI have become the preferred form of payment for millions of Indians, many adopting digital payments for the first time. At Google Pay, we’ve been very excited to be part of this story, and bringing the convenience of UPI to millions of users, in a simple and secure user experience. 

We launched Google Pay with the best of Google’s security infrastructure, leveraging our experience of 20 years of bringing some of the world’s most helpful technology products to billions of users worldwide. Some of these are: 

  • Enhanced fraud protections with SafetyNet: Beyond the ‘one device - one account’ safeguards offered by UPI, Google Pay is secured with Google Pay advanced fraud models and backed by Google’s authentication platform, ensuring world class protections against fraud attacks and faster identification and suspension of fraudsters.
  • Secure access: The PIN entry screens in Google Pay have been secured against remote desktop attacks since the early days of app’s launch, keeping our users safe, even when widespread scams have affected other digital payments users.
  • Blocking fraudsters from getting on to Google Pay: Our exhaustive risk relations check at the onboarding stage prevents known bad actors from recreating their accounts on the app.
  • Scam protections: Since its launch, Google Pay uses machine learning-based scam prevention models, and also displays explicit ‘scam’ or ‘stranger’ warnings if a user receives a request from someone suspicious or not in their contacts.

    • Explicit language and prominent warnings during collect requests: Collect requests as a flow are unique to UPI and thus might be new to several users. For this reason, Google Pay displays very clear and prominent warnings to the user about what it entails at each step.

      Additionally, to help our users fully understand each step on the app, we have now launched notifications and SMS alerts to clarify the direction of flow of money: Google Pay will now send app notifications as well as SMS to inform users each time they receive a collect request to highlight that approving the request will deduct money from the users’ bank accounts. 

      We are mindful that at Google Pay, users are entrusting us with their most sensitive asset - their money. We are conscious of the responsibility that comes with this trust. The above security features, and a lot more ongoing work in this direction, are a small example of how we keep our users safe. 

      As we make this journey together, there are steps that our users can also take to keep their money secure. Just as we learnt to handle cash carefully, the world of digital payments requires care and mindfulness as well, to ensure we keep our money safe. Some of these are:
      • Just as you keep your ATM card PIN private, your UPI PIN needs to be safeguarded in the same way. This code is only for your use, to securely access your UPI-linked bank account, via Google Pay. The same applies to your phone PIN.
      • Google Pay customer care representatives will never ask for your PIN or ask you to authorise a money transfer, while troubleshooting. If anyone contacts you with such a request, always decline.
      • UPI places incredible power in the hands of the user and money can only leave your account if you authorise it. Only approve transfer requests from people you trust, or for transactions that you have initiated. If you don’t remember initiating a transaction, decline.
      • Please pay attention to ‘scam’ and ‘stranger’ warnings that appear on Google Pay, in case an unknown contact requests for a money transfer. Read these signals carefully and only transact with people you trust. 
      • Be alert to the direction of the money flow. Receiving money never requires your UPI PIN, only sending money does. If you need to enter your UPI PIN, you are authorising a payment.
      • If you ever need any kind of support or help, our 24/7 support is available to help, who you can contact safely from within the app. Do not call unverified numbers present on the web. 
        These simple tips, along with Google Pay’s security infrastructure, can ensure that your experience on digital payments stays seamless, and you can leverage its many conveniences to the fullest. This journey is an ongoing one as we continue to learn and evolve the product, and look forward to your feedback to make Google Pay even more helpful in your daily life. 

        Posted by Ambarish Kenghe, Director, Product Management, Google Pay

        Tips to help you stay on the right side of Google Play policy

        Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

        Today we have released a new video ‘10 tips to stay on the right side of Google Play policy’. The video provides 10 best practices to help you develop and launch apps and games which follow Google Play’s Developer Program Policies.

        It accompanies the recently published News video series and is part of our 10 tips for success on Google Play video series.

        Watch the video to learn how to review your app, to ensure you have appropriate content and the rights to use it, how to handle user data, and more. Also, find out how to stay up to date with policy updates and get support from our policy team.

        You can also find more resources on Google Play policies in the Developer Policy Center, and also get the new Playbook for Developers app to learn more best practices to find success on Google Play.

        3 easy tips to build a relationship with your audience

        Drawing new visitors to your site is only half of the battle. Having a plan for them to follow once they get there is the key to encouraging repeat visits and building a meaningful relationship with your readers.

        To engage user-focused design for your site, it’s important to consider the following:

        1. Keep It Simple

        Gating desirable content can be a great way to learn more about visitors by prompting them to fill out a form or sign up for your newsletter to access it. However, roughly 67% of users will abandon an effort to obtain information or purchase something online if there are too many steps to take. Make sure your users get what they need in as few steps as possible. Matched content is another way to keep visitors from checking out too soon by increasing your odds of presenting them with content they are directly interested in.

        2. Identify User Moments

        People often look for inspiration and ideas while they complete a task online. Anticipating your visitors’ needs can help you set up your site to better serve them so you can capture and capitalize on these important moments. Whether they are purchasing something or just browsing, presenting this information in the right format can greatly increase the amount of time they spend on your site. 

        For example, if you’re an eCommerce site selling chocolates, having recommendations alongside each product such as gift boxes, complementing candy, and drink pairings can get your site visitor thinking about the holidays or gifts for their loved ones.

        3. Create engaging Calls to Action 

        Bold “sign up” buttons and friendly prompts or reminders move visitors to take action. From bold colors and text to exaggerated size and other visual clues, there are a number of ways to make these important actions stand out on your site and even fun for users to engage with. In fact, our own AdSense team tested different campaign graphics on our marketing campaigns and saw higher implementation and engagement rates.

        To learn more about familiarizing your audience with your brand, check out the AdSense Guide to Audience Engagement.

        Posted by Jay Castro
        From the AdSense Team

        Source: Inside AdSense

        Three Things You Should Know Before Choosing AdWords Express

        Online advertising is a powerful, affordable way to grow your business, but you have to start with the right tools. Many small businesses are interested in reaching new customers online, but don’t know where to start, and don’t have much time to spare. As Benoit Ballon – the owner of King Florist in Austin, Texas – puts it, “We just wanted a platform where we would be able to keep it simple. For our small business, that’s a big plus.”

        For business owners like Benoit, we recommend AdWords Express, a smart advertising tool from Google that’s designed to manage your ads for you, helping you get the most out of your budget and allowing you to stay focused on your business. A lot has been written about choosing the best product for you, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everyone’s recommendations. So if you’re considering AdWords Express for your online ads, here are the top three things we think you should know:
        1. It uses expert techniques to manage campaigns for you.
          AdWords Express is constantly fine-tuning your campaigns. It monitors how often and where your ad appears on Google (and across the web), adjusts spend, and makes sure your ad is placed in front of the right people, to help you maximize the number of clicks or calls for the budget you selected.
        2. It’s designed to make setup easy and results clear.
          Setting up your first AdWords Express ad takes just 15 minutes – it’s as simple as answering a few questions about your business. Once your campaign has had some time to run, AdWords Express shows you focused results – including views, clicks, and calls – in an easy-to-read dashboard, available on desktop and in the mobile app. You’ll also get an email of your results every month, so you can keep track of things right from your inbox.
        3. It’s improving along with the rest of Google.
          One of the best features of AdWords Express is the work it does on your behalf, and we’re making it even smarter with cutting edge technology from Google Brain. We also recently announced the addition of Google Analytics to help advertisers get even deeper insights into their performance. We’re constantly improving AdWords Express, so keep an eye out for even more features in the coming months.
        For Benoit at King Florist, the difference AdWords Express makes clear. “With AdWords Express, we can actually see an increase in business. If tomorrow I turn off the AdWords Express campaign, two or three days later I can feel it. The phone isn’t ringing as much. Our presence online isn't as much. Every day, on one of our campaigns there is an impact.”

        AdWords Express is designed to be effective for all types of business and all sizes of budget, so sign up today and get it working for you. To see a full list of features, and more information on choosing between AdWords Express and AdWords (including a detailed comparison), visit our help center.

        Use Online Reviews to Connect with Back-to-School Customers

        It’s time to get down to business for back-to-school. During this time, students, teachers and parents are relying on reviews while searching online for everything from notebooks to new clothes to campus coffee shops. In fact, 3 in 4 consumers say it’s important to read reviews before visiting a business.1

        Business owners like Brian Wood of Sureflow Rooter see the value in customer reviews. “We often ask our customers how they found us: online, word of mouth or advertising? We have been pleasantly surprised to hear them say ‘from Google’ and that they liked our reviews and felt comfortable calling us.”

        Small business owners looking to make a good impression on back-to-school shoppers should use tools like Google My Business which allow you to engage with, and manage, customer reviews. Below are a few tips to help you get started:

        Tip #1: Just ask
        Satisfied customers don’t always remember to write reviews, so it’s important to give them a reminder after they make a purchase or interact with your business – but remember to keep review guidelines in mind. Try including a survey link in your receipts or sending an automated follow-up email, rather than, say, setting up a laptop for reviews in-store, or offering incentives, which violates Google policy.

        Tip #2: Be proactive about responding to reviews

        It’s important to address both positive and negative reviews, since 83% of customers remember reviews from search results.2 When responding to reviews, it’s always good to thank customers. In the case of a negative review, address the issue without getting defensive. For example, try posting a reply describing the steps you took to remedy the situation.

        These personalized responses are an opportunity to build relationships with customers. Don’t be afraid to highlight your business’s personality.

        Tip #3: Actively monitor your reviews
        Managing reviews is an ongoing process, so you should make sure to check in periodically and stay up-to-date with what your customers are saying. You can do this by checking the reviews section of your Google My Business dashboard.

        The Children’s Museum of South Dakota noticed that this method helped their business stay in tune with customer interests. Randy Grimsley, the Director of Marketing, told us, “We regularly check on customer reviews. It’s a quick way to discover what’s working and what may need tweaking.”

        Your back-to-school assignment? Apply these lessons to your business, and start getting proactive about online reviews.

        For more helpful tips on managing your online reviews, check out: gybo.com/review

        1. Impact Report: How are Customers Discovering Small Businesses?, May 2016
        2. Google/ Ipsos, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses. Base: Saw Listing (Control=494, Test= 496), August 2014.

        Boost your mobile performance with the right ad sizes

        We’re paying special attention to improving the mobile ad experience to help empower content creators, news organizations, and publishers. As mobile continues to grow, choosing high-impact mobile ads are key for businesses to generate revenue from a mobile audience.

        When choosing the right mobile ad units for your business, it’s a best practice to ensure that each and every mobile impression receives the highest value possible, which can be determined by a mix of metrics like viewability, size, placement, and demand.

        It’s also important to protect the user experience by choosing the right ad formats and placements for your site to engage mobile users so that you don’t interrupt their desired intent.

        Start by choosing a high-impact mobile format: medium rectangle (300x250), large rectangle (336x280), large mobile banner (320x100), and rectangular responsive ad units tend to get the best results. Here’s why we recommend these formats:

        • Each format works well on both desktop and mobile (with the exception of the large mobile banner). This gives advertisers the opportunity to appear on a variety of screens which increases demand, upward auction pressure, and potentially even earnings. The large mobile banner will also allow 320x50 display ads to appear within this format, which increases competition. If the 320x50 ad unit wins the auction, it will always be vertically aligned to the top.
        • These formats are bigger and more engaging than smaller mobile units, so they'll grab user's’ attention. Here's an example of what the medium rectangle looks like placed above the fold, yet below the main content.

        For additional changes for incremental revenue gains, you may want to consider trying link units. Link units are designed to be responsive, so they work with both mobile and desktop. You can add up to three link units in addition to the default limit of 3 ad units per page.

        However critical mobile is to your business today, it will be more critical tomorrow. Energize your mobile strategy today by using high-impact mobile ads, they’re a great way for businesses to generate more revenue and engage your users. 

        Be sure to follow us on Google+ and Twitter we’d love to hear what’s working for your mobile business. Until next time.

        Posted by:

        Denis Rodrigues,
        AdSense Account Strategist

        Source: Inside AdSense

        How Dr. King, Jr. Elementary created a culture of innovation with 20% time

        Editor's note: Today’s guest author is Susan Gonzalez, district preparation teacher for grades 4-6 at Bayview Elementary School in San Pablo, California and Dr. King, Jr. Elementary School in Richmond, California. West Contra Costa Unified School District introduced a new program to give students time to explore passion projects, based on Google’s concept of 20% time. To learn more about this idea, read Kevin Brookhouser’s blog post about 20% time in schools.

        Sixth grader Johntae Tolerson plays basketball every day during recess and dreams of becoming a professional basketball player, but that dream often feels disconnected from the work she does in the classroom. When her school, Dr. King, Jr. Elementary in Richmond, California, gave her 100 minutes a week to explore one of her passions in class, she researched the requirements for becoming a professional basketball player and the background of some professionals in the game.
        Johntae dreams of being a professional basketball player
        Johntae’s basketball project is just one result of our school encouraging students and teachers to build a culture of innovation. We wanted to engage and motivate students in new ways and give them the opportunity to take the lead. Many of our students see street violence on a regular basis, and a majority live in poverty. With those hardships on their mind, it can be difficult for them to stay fully present and motivated at school. We wanted to give them a sense of purpose and help them drive their own learning.

        Last summer, Google and West Contra Costa Unified School District came together to help launch IDEO’s Teachers Guild, a creative collaborative for teachers to design solutions to the biggest challenges in education today. Teachers and district leaders from around the U.S. went on a design thinking journey to answer the question, “How might we create rituals and routines that establish a culture of innovation in our classrooms and schools?”
        The Teachers Guild brings educators and partners together to tackle big challenges in education today
        With the help of IDEO’s Teachers Guild and Google, we focused on how to answer this question. We were inspired by Charles Shryock, an educator in Maryland, who came up with the idea of a “sub hack” that would let students pursue passion projects. Days when teachers are absent tend to be filled with rote, “drill and kill” activities since substitute teachers have minimal time to prepare a lesson plan and lack context about what’s been going on in a given classroom. Charles set out to turn this otherwise unproductive time into opportunities for students to pursue their passions. Students come up with a project that sparks their interest and spend time on it when they have a substitute teacher.

        The projects range from poetry to fashion design to researching family heritage. I’ve been so impressed by the creativity and personality students have put into their projects. Lashay chose to research her favorite sport, football, and wrote about why boys and girls don’t play football together. MarShawn wrote a poem describing how the emotions he expresses don’t always match how he feels on the inside.
        Katie Von Husen, coordinator of educational technology, helps a student identify his essential question
        Before rolling out this idea across the district, we tested the idea with one fifth and one sixth grade class, with a small change. Since it’s hard to predict when teachers will need a substitute, we used my class period, when students typically focus on keyboard and computer literacy skills, to trial passion projects. Students worked on their passion projects during two 50-minute class periods weekly for a 12-week period. I created a website as a resource for students to brainstorm their essential questions, get inspiration from their peers’ projects, locate graphic organizers for the research, including links to videos to fuel inspiration, ask questions, and communicate with me via the site. Having a workspace with computers for students to do research and setting aside dedicated time each week for passion projects were instrumental to our success.

        Dr. King, Jr. Elementary values positivity, teamwork and support. Since introducing passion projects, I’ve seen students who weren’t always motivated come to class with big smiles and energy. Students shared their projects on a celebratory day at the end of the trial, and it was especially motivating to hear students ask when they would have a second opportunity to pursue a passion project.

        We’ve seen this program inspire students like Johntae, Lashay and MarShawn to be critical thinkers and problem solvers while developing their reading and writing skills. It empowered them to take initiative in personalizing their learning, which had the result of boosting excitement about coming to school. The Teachers Guild collaborative helped our school identify how to establish a culture of innovation and better utilize substitute time for passion projects. I encourage all teachers looking to create a culture of innovation to turn underutilized time into opportunities for students to pursue their passions. It truly is a win-win!

        Preventing accidental clicks for a better mobile ads experience

        We’ve all been there. You’re trying to send an article from your phone to a friend, or you’re playing a mobile game while waiting in line for a movie, when you accidentally touch an ad on your screen. You weren’t interested in the ad -- heck, you didn’t even have time to see what it was for -- but now you’re hitting the back button to get back to what you were doing. Not only do accidental clicks like these annoy users, but left unaddressed, they can drive down the value of ads.

        Over the last four years, we’ve introduced a series of protections across mobile web and mobile apps to prevent accidental clicks like these on ads. Today we are continuing this commitment to protecting users and advertisers by extending accidental click protections to native ad formats. Native ads were developed to help publishers and developers implement ads that complement the look and feel of their content.

        Since our teams started instituting various click protections, we’ve learned quite a bit along the way. Here are two insights among many that guide our ongoing work.

        Fast clicks are not real clicks
        A professional baseball player has about 680ms1 to react and swing at a baseball thrown at 90mph. That’s fast, even for a professional who’s paying close attention to hitting the ball. We think it’s virtually impossible for someone to read, understand, and take action on an ad in that amount of time.

        Figure 1: A click is ignored when a user accidentally fast clicks on an interstitial ad

        Not surprisingly, we found super-fast clicks on ads to provide little to no value to advertisers. That’s why we ignore fast clicks that we detect to be accidental immediately upon ad load. Rather than our ads causing surprise low quality clicks, users can continue on uninterrupted.

        Edge clicks lack value 
        If you’ve used a mobile device, you know fat-fingers are a reality of touchscreens: the average fingerpad is roughly 50px large when pressing down.2 When we’re swiping, pinching, and poking our screens, it’s easy to accidentally touch the edge of an ad that appears unexpectedly or is placed too close to tappable controls on your screen. 

        Figure 2: A click is ignored when a user misses adjacent content and accidentally hits the ad

        When we compared the performance of clicks from the edge of ads to those coming from the interior region, we found dramatically higher conversion rates and user intentionality on clicks toward the middle of ad units. A few years ago, we started to expand these protections across mobile placements resulting in ad clicks that are more intentional.

        The overall benefits of click protections
        Fast clicks and edge clicks are just two of the user interaction issues we prevent in order to deliver value to advertisers. By expanding protections like these to native ad formats on mobile, we observe conversion rates increase over 10% on average with minimal impact to long term publisher revenue. This combined with our previous efforts has greatly improved the experience with mobile ads for users and advertisers.

        The protections we’ve put in place across mobile web and mobile apps prevent tens of millions of accidental clicks per day, saving users tens of thousands of hours. When we look at the effect for advertisers in mobile apps, we observe double the value per click. We work hard to ensure that the clicks advertisers are charged for are more meaningful, and we hope sharing insight on these protections helps raise awareness and guide the wider advertising ecosystem. Plus, we really love playing games on our phones too, and want to make sure that we’re only taken to an advertiser’s page when we mean to go there. 

        Posted by Alex Jacobson, Product Manager, Ad Traffic Quality 


        1) 90ft/132 ft per second = 681ms, 132 ft per second = 90mph
        2) http://touchlab.mit.edu/publications/2003_009.pdf

        Source: Inside AdSense

        Tips for writing a successful invalid traffic appeal

        In a previous publisher blog post, we discussed tips for writing a successful policy appeal. In today's topic, we’re exploring what happens when publisher accounts are disabled due to invalid traffic, when to submit an appeal, and tips for making those appeals successful.

        Invalid traffic includes any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. Invalid traffic covers intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks.

        In the ads ecosystem, advertisers rely on the relevance of our ad placement and the quality of the interaction their ads receive. Publishers in turn count on advertiser participation that contributes to the success of their apps and business. Without this trust, the Google advertising network could not exist. Google treats invalid traffic very seriously, analyzing all clicks and impressions to determine whether they fit a pattern of use that might artificially drive up an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. If we determine that an account might pose a risk to our advertisers, we may take actions against the account, such as suspending or disabling it, in order to protect our advertisers' interests.

        Before we continue, let's clarify the difference between an account suspension and an account disablement.

        If your account was suspended due to invalid traffic, ad-serving has been turned off for a fixed period (typically 30 days). While suspensions are not currently appealable, if you would like to provide additional feedback to help us improve our processes and communications, you may do so using our suspended publisher feedback form. If there are no further compliance issues with your account, it will be automatically unsuspended after the fixed period. For more information about account suspensions, please visit our AdSense Help Center (or AdMob Help Center).

        If your account was disabled due to invalid traffic, your account is no longer serving ads, and you will be unable to monetize with any Google ad solutions. You're eligible to file an invalid activity appeal, but please be aware that that filing an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement. For more information about account disablements, please visit our Help Center.

        If you would like to file an invalid traffic appeal for account reinstatement, please first review the AdSense program policies and top reasons for account closure. These policies and reasons apply to all Google ad solution products, including but not limited to AdMob and YouTube.

        Here are some tips that you may find useful in writing your appeal:

        1. Review the top reasons for account closure. Think about if any of these reasons applied to you and your content. Did your friends click on your ads too many times? Did you purchase traffic that led to a surge of invalid activity? Can you make content and/or behavioral changes to prevent the activity from happening again?
        2. Review ad implementations on your desktop site, mobile site, and/or mobile app. Think about what your typical user journey would be, and see if the ad implementations may cause users to accidentally click on your ads.
        3. In the appeal form, provide the e-mail address that is associated with your disabled AdSense account. This will help locate your account and reduce delays in appeal processing time.
        4. Tell us what changes you’ll make for the future. Once again, carefully consider the top reasons for account closure. What systems or behaviors have you put in place to ensure this won't happen again? For example, tell us how you've adjusted your ad implementations, evaluated your traffic sources, hired testers to properly test your content, etc. We will appreciate your honesty in the appeal.

        Publishers are a vital part of the online ads ecosystem, and we want to see you succeed while keeping your users happy and engaged. Everyone in the digital ecosystem benefits when publishers provide engaging content and useful resources, which in turn incentivizes advertisers to bid for space on your content. We hope that these resources can provide some guidance.

        Posted by Danielle Chang of the AdSense Ad Traffic Quality Team

        Source: Inside AdSense