Tag Archives: YouTube

Driving growth in the Middle East

The Nest is an online store that offers curated handcrafts from Egypt, from home accessories to fashion and furniture. When the pandemic started, founders Dina and Omar had to close their physical showroom, which used to drive 90% of their sales. They listed their business details on Google Maps and Search, promoted their products online and revamped their website which, in less than a year, became their main source of revenue.

According to a new report published by Public First research agency and commissioned by Google, our products and tools in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia helped businesses to adapt during the pandemic and helped people sharpen their skills and find jobs.

The report shows 45% of people in Egypt last year used Google Maps to find a local business and 52% of businesses in Saudi Arabia reported an increased proportion of their customers coming from online search or search advertising.

Since opening our first office in the Middle East and North Africa 13 years ago, Google has been actively supporting local businesses and developers, YouTube content creators, and publishers. Public First estimates that last year Google products like Search, YouTube, Android and Google Ads drove 12.2 billion SAR [3.2 billion USD] to the Saudi economy, 11.3 billion AED [3 billion USD] to the UAE economy and 11.2 billion EGP [600 million USD] to Egypt's economy.

Growing developers and creators

Manal, Saudi YouTube creator, shows how she tailors trousers on her YouTube channel

Manal, DIY content creator on YouTube in Saudi Arabia. Photo credit: Manal’s YouTube page

Manal, from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, has a passion for DIY in fashion and home improvement. She started her YouTube channel to share her knowledge in upcycling dresses and scarves to make trousers, and repainting her room for Ramadan. Manal’s work has inspired others, and her community often share their own versions of her designs and ask for DIY tips. When she built her channel during the pandemic, her subscribers grew by over 300%. Manal is one of many talented creators in Saudi Arabia growing their business on YouTube. In fact, the percentage of YouTube channels in Saudi Arabia making six figures or more in revenue is up more than 20% year over year. That's a sign of steady growth in Saudi Arabia’s YouTube creator community.

Founder of Lamsa, Badr Ward, stands, smiling, with his arms folded

Badr Ward, founder of Lamsa World, an Arabic educational platform in the UAE. Photo credit: Hub71

Lamsa World is an educational platform in Arabic for children. It has interactive courses in math, science, language, arts and more. Badr Ward, the Dubai-based founder, wanted to help his children watch more educational content in Arabic, which was sparse and not always engaging. Badr and his team took part in the Google Accelerator Program in Dubai last year and, with the help of mentors, tested different sign-up options and experimented with different content formats. This led to a significant increase in the website's sign-up rates and a 300% increase in Arabic content downloads.

Unlocking skills and jobs

Since its launch in 2018, Maharat min Google, Google's digital skills program in Arabic, has trained 1.5 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. And in October 2020, Google announced a $13 million USD fund for digital tools, training programs, mentorship and financial grants to support businesses and job seekers in the Middle East and North Africa during the pandemic. Following Google's mentorship program with Mercy Corps, 50% of trainees said that they found a job, accelerated their career or grew their business by hiring new staff or increasing revenue.

Google Search also played a big role in helping people in the region access information and skills last year. For example, 85% of people in the UAE said they used Search to learn a new skill.

People looked for jobs too. Every month, around 11 million women in Egypt go to Search to look for a job. In Saudi Arabia, 1.8 million people use Search to prepare for a job interview. According to the World Economic Forum, many women are contributing to the innovation coming out of the Middle East and North Africa, yet this region continues to have one of the lowest levels of female economic involvement globally.

Public First estimates there are already 85,000 Android-based developer jobs in Egypt and 50,000 in the UAE. In Saudi Arabia, the total number of developers making USD 10,000 per month on Google Play grew by 16% last year.

We are proud that people in the Middle East and North Africa are able to unlock opportunities for themselves with the help of Google products and tools. The region is young, smart and digital, and Google is committed to doing more to help entrepreneurs, local business owners, developers and content creators get the skills they need to build and grow their digital businesses.

If you want to understand more about Google's impact in the Middle East and North Africa, and the methodology behind the report, visit the links below:

Building the future of marketing together

Technology is powering more business growth around the world than ever before. And new consumer behaviors are redefining the role technology plays in everyday life. We see this in the surge of video watch time, the rise of browsing behavior on Search and the growth in online shopping. There is opportunity in all of this.

With the right tools, you can meet your customers where they are today while building resilience for tomorrow — and Google is here to be your partner. Your insights and feedback are helping shape every investment we’re making across Google Ads.

Throughout Google Marketing Live, you’ll see the many ways we’re working to help you unlock growth for your business and navigate today’s rapidly shifting advertising landscape. Join us at 9:00 a.m. PT (12:00 p.m. ET) to hear about Google’s latest product innovations across Ads and Commerce. Here’s a preview of some of those announcements.

Reimagining the future of marketing across Search and YouTube

Consumers are turning to Google Search and YouTube more than ever for help with purchase decisions. In fact, we see over one billion shopping journeys happen across Google every day.[5bfc42]

When it comes to shopping on Google Search, we’ve made the experience more natural and intuitive. Categories like apparel have seen tremendous success as consumers explore information in more visual and browsable ways. Later this year, advertisers will be eligible to show new, highly visual Shopping ads to U.S. customers. These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page.

Reimagining Shopping ads in new, visually engaging search results (U.S.-only search results)

However, nothing can quite replace seeing a product in person or bringing it home to try out. Augmented reality (AR) on cameras gets us close, and shoppers are ready for it. More than 90% of Americans currently use, or would consider using, AR for shopping.[3396f7]Soon, merchants will be able to have 3D models of their products appear directly on Google Search, allowing shoppers to easily see them in their spaces.

Augmented reality in Search provides a fully immersive shopping experience

In the coming months, you’ll also be able to promote your loyalty benefits to potential customers in the U.S. when they’re shopping across Google. Loyalty programs represent a meaningful relationship between you and your customers, and soon you’ll be able to easily integrate them with Google Ads.

A mobile phone screen showing the search query “hair blow dryer brush.” One of the results shows a tag that says “Get free shipping and earn points.”

Showcase your loyalty benefits across Google to consumers in the U.S.

Using Performance Max campaigns — along with a product feed — you’ll be able to drive more online loyalty sign-ups across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.

Starting today, your Video action campaigns and App campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts now averages over 30 billion daily views — four times as many as a year ago — and we want to help you reach people immersed in this short-form content.[4cc29a]Later this year, you’ll also be able to connect your product feed to your campaigns and make your video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable. We've been experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since last year, and we’re now gradually rolling that out to all advertisers around the world. This is an exciting milestone for advertisers, and a key step on our road to developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for our creators, which we'll share more about soon.

Product feeds on Video action campaigns will roll out to YouTube Shorts later this year

Delivering better results with automation and insights

The best way to unlock growth for your business is combining your data and marketing expertise with Google’s machine learning. This means building automated products that meet your objectives and are simple to use.

Performance Max campaigns are a powerful tool for helping you meet consumers where they are across Google channels. In fact, advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their account see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.[ee87c8][3b5bb4]Today, we’re announcing six upcoming additions:

1. More tools for experimentation, like A/B tests to see how Performance Max is driving incremental conversions.
2. Expanded campaign management support in Search Ads 360 and the Google Ads mobile app.
3. Support for store sales goals to optimize for in-store sales, in addition to store visits and local actions.
4. Maximize impact with burst campaigns for a set time period to help meet in-store goals during seasonal events.
5. New insights and explanations, including attribution, audience and auction insights so you know what’s driving performance.
6. Optimization score and recommendations so you can see how to improve your campaign.

Rothy’s, a sustainable brand known for its iconic shoes and accessories, turned to Performance Max to connect with customers across channels. As a result, they increased conversions by 60% and grew revenue by 59%.

Case study video where Rothy’s discusses their experience with Performance Max
10:25

Insights page uses machine learning to identify new pockets of consumer demand and provide personalized trend data. Only Google can surface these types of insights, based on the billions of searches we see every day and the millions of signals we analyze for every ad auction. Today, we’re introducing three new reports that will roll out over the coming months:

1. Attribution insights show how your ads work together across Google surfaces — like Search, Display and YouTube — to drive conversions.
2. Budget insights find new opportunities for budget optimization and show how your spend is pacing against your budget goals.
3. Audience insights for first-party data show how your customer segments, like those created with Customer Match, are driving campaign performance.

Building resilience in a shifting landscape

At Google we’re driven by a shared goal: to be the most helpful company in the world. But we know that our products can only be as helpful as they are safe. That's why we’re launching innovations like My Ad Center later this year to keep users in control of their privacy and online experience. People will be able to pick the types of ads they want to see more or less of, and control how their data informs ads they see across YouTube, Search and Discover.

Control your ads experience in My Ad Center

And these solutions can and should still work for advertisers. We can both advance privacy and continue supporting the ecosystem.

Join us at Google Marketing Live

What an extraordinary time to be in this industry — my team and I are humbled to be on this journey with you. It’s a big moment for all of us, and I know that we can meet it by working together.

Join us today at Google Marketing Live at 9:00 a.m. PT (12:00 p.m. ET) to learn more about these and other ads innovations and commerce announcements. We hope to see you there!

How we build with and for people with disabilities

Editor’s note: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. We’re also sharing how we’re making education more accessibleand launching a newAndroid accessibility feature.

Over the past nine years, my job has focused on building accessible products and supporting Googlers with disabilities. Along the way, I’ve been constantly reminded of how vast and diverse the disability community is, and how important it is to continue working alongside this community to build technology and solutions that are truly helpful.

Before delving into some of the accessibility features our teams have been building, I want to share how we’re working to be more inclusive of people with disabilities to create more accessible tools overall.

Nothing about us, without us

In the disability community, people often say “nothing about us without us.” It’s a sentiment that I find sums up what disability inclusion means. The types of barriers that people with disabilities face in society vary depending on who they are, where they live and what resources they have access to. No one’s experience is universal. That’s why it’s essential to include a wide array of people with disabilities at every stage of the development process for any of our accessibility products, initiatives or programs.

We need to work to make sure our teams at Google are reflective of the people we’re building for. To do so, last year we launched our hiring site geared toward people with disabilities — including our Autism Career Program to further grow and strengthen our autistic community. Most recently, we helped launch the Neurodiversity Career Connector along with other companies to create a job portal that connects neurodiverse candidates to companies that are committed to hiring more inclusively.

Beyond our internal communities, we also must partner with communities outside of Google so we can learn what is truly useful to different groups and parlay that understanding into the improvement of current products or the creation of new ones. Those partnerships have resulted in the creation of Project Relate, a communication tool for people with speech impairments, the development of a completely new TalkBack, Android’s built-in screen reader, and the improvement of Select-to-Speak, a Chromebook tool that lets you hear selected text on your screen spoken out loud.

Equitable experiences for everyone

Engaging and listening to these communities — inside and outside of Google — make it possible to create tools and features like the ones we’re sharing today.

The ability to add alt-text, which is a short description of an image that is read aloud by screen readers, directly to images sent through Gmail starts rolling out today. With this update, people who use screen readers will know what’s being sent to them, whether it’s a GIF celebrating the end of the week or a screenshot of an important graph.

Communication tools that are inclusive of everyone are especially important as teams have shifted to fully virtual or hybrid meetings. Again, everyone experiences these changes differently. We’ve heard from some people who are deaf or hard of hearing, that this shift has made it easier to identify who is speaking — something that is often more difficult in person. But, in the case of people who use ASL, we’ve heard that it can be difficult to be in a virtual meeting and simultaneously see their interpreter and the person speaking to them.

Multi-pin, a new feature in Google Meet, helps solve this. Now you can pin multiple video tiles at once, for example, the presenter’s screen and the interpreter’s screen. And like many accessibility features, the usefulness extends beyond people with disabilities. The next time someone is watching a panel and wants to pin multiple people to the screen, this feature makes that possible.

We've also been working to make video content more accessible to those who are blind or low-vision through audio descriptions that describe verbally what is on the screen visually. All of our English language YouTube Originals content from the past year — and moving forward — will now have English audio descriptions available globally. To turn on the audio description track, at the bottom right of the video player, click on “Settings”, select “Audio track”, and choose “English descriptive”.

For many people with speech impairments, being understood by the technology that powers tools like voice typing or virtual assistants can be difficult. In 2019, we started work to change that through Project Euphonia, a research initiative that works with community organizations and people with speech impairments to create more inclusive speech recognition models. Today, we’re expanding Project Euphonia’s research to include four more languages: French, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish. With this expansion, we can create even more helpful technology for more people — no matter where they are or what language they speak.

I’ve learned so much in my time working in this space and among the things I’ve learned is the absolute importance of building right alongside the very people who will most use these tools in the end. We’ll continue to do that as we work to create a more inclusive and accessible world, both physically and digitally.

Mental health resources you can count on

When you or someone you care for is going through a mental health situation, it can feel isolating, overwhelming and distressing. To get through those moments, access to the right resources can make all the difference.

Anxiety and depression increased by 25% across the globe during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and hospitals and doctor groups recently called mental health a national emergency for adolescents. With these issues on the rise, searches for "mental health therapist" and "mental health help" reached record highs this year in the U.S.

Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, geopolitical crises and economic concerns also hit home for many Americans. To help support mental health challenges stemming from these issues, our goal is to surface authoritative information you can trust, create access to helpful resources you need in the moment and show empathy for everyone facing mental health issues. So in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., here are tools built to support you when you need it most.

Resources for those in crisis

We know that many people turn to Search to get actionable information during a personal crisis, whether it’s related to suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse or domestic violence. In the coming weeks, we’ll update Search to use our AI model MUM to automatically and more accurately detect personal crisis searches in order to show you the most relevant information when you need it.

We’ve also made it easier to access clinically-validated mental health self-assessments from Search for conditions such as depression, anxiety, postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These self-assessments, frequently used by medical professionals, are meant to help people understand how their self-reported symptoms might map to known mental health conditions.

On YouTube, updates to our crisis response panels better connect you with timely and important resources. For years, YouTube has shown crisis resource panels on certain search queries to connect people with local organizations that can help them through a moment of critical need. Now, crisis resource panels appear on the Watch Page and in search results. The number of topics that display crisis resources in YouTube search results has also expanded to include issues like depression, sexual assault and substance abuse.

A phone screen shows a YouTube video with a panel underneath that has contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

In the past month, searches for "local drug rehab centers near me" reached an all-time high in the U.S. As part of our ongoing commitment to help people find useful and accurate information related to addiction and recovery and to support the newly instituted Fentanyl Awareness Day, our Recover Together resource has a new section. Here you can find more information about the prevalence of fentanyl in illegally-made pills and the importance of naloxone, a legal drug that can reverse overdose from opioids like fentanyl, heroin, morphine and oxycodone.

A desktop screen shows a map that can be used to search for recovery resources.

Building empathy and reducing stigma

Sharing stories about mental health can normalize the issue and reduce stigmas that deter people from getting help. Working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, YouTube created a guide for creators with tips on how to speak from personal experience, work with experts and use inclusive language.

To listen to supportive community stories and helpful information on mental health, you can watch videos in this playlist on YouTube. For younger audiences, the YouTube Kids app features mental health content on expressing emotions and building coping skills through music, art and more. For more on what YouTube is doing when it comes to mental health, check out this blog.

Personal moments of managing stress

In moments when you need a hand managing your stress levels, Fitbit can help. SelectFitbit devices include a Relax app for deep breathing or an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor so you can better understand how your body responds to stress — which is especially important as we all cope with the stress of the pandemic. From there, you can take steps to adjust your activity levels, improve your sleep or practice mindfulness to help manage the impact on your wellbeing.

A Fitbit device screen shows the Relax app.

Over the past year in the U.S., searches for “5 minute meditation for anxiety” more than doubled. Using Google Assistant, you can find and play meditations from Calm on your Google Nest display to help relax during the day or fall asleep at night. Just say, "Hey Google, show me meditations from Calm" or "Hey Google, start a meditation."

A Nest Hub screen shows the Calm app experience.

Contributing to community wellbeing

Beyond providing resources to people using our products, we’re also helping organizations and researchers that contribute to mental health.

Since 2019, we've provided $2.7 million and nearly 30 Google.org Fellows to help The Trevor Project use AI to support LGBTQ+ youth in crisis. Most recently, Trevor and a team of Fellows built the AI-powered Crisis Contact Simulator (CCS) that lets volunteer trainees practice realistic conversations with digital youth personas. The Trevor Project recently introduced a new persona to expand their counselor training.

Ask for help when you need it

It is always okay to ask for help — whether that’s going to Google or YouTube with questions you’re not comfortable asking anyone else or opening up to your friends and family or connecting with experts who can help you through the difficult moments. We need to support each other however we can.

New ways to stay connected and entertained in your car

Our work in cars has always been guided by our goal to help make your driving experience easier and safer. Today, we’re introducing several updates for cars compatible with Android Auto and cars with Google built-in to help you stay connected and entertained while enhancing your experience on the road.

A brand-new look for Android Auto

Since it first launched, Android Auto has expanded to support more than 150 million cars across nearly every car brand. And over the years, we’ve found there are three main functionalities that drivers prioritize in their cars: navigation, media and communication. This summer, Android Auto will roll out a brand new interface that will help you get directions faster, control your media more easily and have more functionality at your fingertips.

Car dashboard with display showcasing new Android Auto design in different screen sizes

Built to adapt to any screen size

With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next turn while changing your favorite commute podcast. And with the new design able to adapt to different screen sizes, it looks great across widescreen, portrait and more.

New features for Android Auto

Google Assistant is bringing contextual suggestions to help you be more productive in the car. From suggested replies, to messages, to sharing arrival times with a friend, or even playing recommended music, Google Assistant is helping you do more in the car efficiently.

In addition to using your voice, you can now quickly message and call favorite contacts with just one tap, and reply to messages by simply selecting a suggested response on the screen – helping you communicate effectively, while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. Keep an eye out for these updates to Android Auto in the coming months

Stay connected and entertained with Google built-in

Cars with Google built-in often come with large displays, and we’re continuing to build new experiences for those displays while your car is parked. We previously announced we’re bringing YouTube to cars with Google built-in and more video streaming apps will join the queue, including Tubi and Epix Now. So, when you’re parked waiting for your car to charge or at curbside pickup, you’ll be able to enjoy video directly from your car display.

As we work to add more capabilities to cars with Google built-in in the future, you’ll be able to not only browse the web directly from your car display, but also cast your own content from your phone to your car screen.

Car dashboard with display showcasing Tubi

Enjoy video content directly from your car’s screen while parked

Across Android Auto and cars with Google built-in, we’re working hard to ensure every drive is a helpful and connected experience.

Helping advertisers make the most of connected TV

Connected TV (CTV) has become the go-to spot for people to kick back and enjoy their favorite content. According to Nielsen, over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time happens on YouTube CTV for people ages 18 and up.[879425]

It’s also helped advertisers reach their audiences in smarter and more efficient ways. But we know there are challenges — like the ability to effectively plan and measure cross media, from creator shows to live TV. So we've been focused on bringing better digital ad capabilities to CTVs to allow for consistent planning and measurement across platforms, while improving the viewer experience. And today, we’re sharing some of our newest solutions.

We’re partnering with Nielsen to help advertisers understand how their YouTube CTV and YouTube TV reach delivers in comparison to other services. New tools will also help advertisers measure their total audience reached by YouTube CTV and deliver an even stronger CTV viewing experience.

Invest with confidence

Last year, we launched Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) and Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR) to help you more easily measure your YouTube CTV campaigns alongside other media. Later this year, YouTube CTV and YouTube TV will be available in Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) in the U.S. This release will include deduplication of YouTube inventory across all platforms — CTV, computer, mobile and linear TV — to better compare YouTube reach to linear TV.

Later this year, YouTube CTV and YouTube TV will be available in Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) in the U.S.

You’ll also see CTV device metrics within your media mix model (MMM) data feed, which can help measure sales outcomes and share insights on the impact of your YouTube CTV investment. To make the data analysis process faster for clients and easier for our measurement partners, we’ve launched a new data platform for MMM providers and advertisers to request data, track the status of those requests and ingest data directly.

We know MMMs provide one of the most important litmus tests for any video platform — does it actually work? On the most important metrics, YouTube is driving strong business results for customers. According to an MMM meta-analysis Google commissioned with Nielsen, on average, YouTube CTV was 3.1 times more effective than TV across U.S. consumer packaged goods (CPG) MMMs that measured YouTube CTV and TV (2021).[32b28f]

A graphic that shows a bar graph comparing YouTube CTV to linear TV effectiveness. The text reads “In an MMM meta-analysis Google commissioned with Nielsen, on average YouTube CTV was 3.1x more effective than TV across US CPG MMMs that measured YouTube CTV and YT (2021).”

Account for everyone

Just like the decades-old tradition of gathering around the TV set, people are watching YouTube with their friends and family. In a study with Nielsen, we found that 26% of the time, multiple 18+ viewers are watching YouTube together on the TV screen, compared to 22% on linear TV.[9e1744]Across the industry, this is often referred to as “co-viewing.”

Accounting for multiple people, or “co-viewers,” has been a core part of TV measurement for years. To help you measure the same behavior with YouTube CTV and get an accurate picture of the total audience you’re reaching, co-viewing will be included in Nielsen's DAR guarantees ad reporting in the U.S. Advertisers will also have access to co-viewing metrics across Google’s planning and measurement solutions globally.

To help you measure the same behavior with YouTube CTV and get an accurate picture of the total audience you’re reaching, co-viewing will be included in Nielsen's DAR guarantees ad reporting in the U.S.

Whether you’re forecasting an upcoming campaign or reviewing post-campaign reports, you’ll soon see reach, frequency and an additional impression metric that accounts for all viewers on CTV. This means more accurate reach forecasts and campaign reports with an apples-to-apples comparison between YouTube and the rest of your linear and connected TV buy — ultimately helping you make smarter investment decisions. Our methodology is designed to meet the industry standard of co-viewing measurement. Learn more about how it works.

Co-viewing metrics will roll out globally across Google Ads and Display & Video 360 planning and measurement tools by the end of Q2 2022.

Reach the right audience, at the right frequency

We know it’s not all about reach. You also want to reach the right audience at the right frequency. Last month, we announced a new CTV frequency solution that allows for a better viewer experience and more efficient use of your CTV media dollars.

For the first time with Display & Video 360, you can manage CTV ad frequency across YouTube, YouTube TV and other connected TV apps. This lowers your risk of triggering ad fatigue for viewers, while adding more reach for the same ad budget. Early results show that this new functionality also significantly improves media performance for advertisers.

For the first time with Display & Video 360, you can manage CTV ad frequency across YouTube, YouTube TV and other connected TV apps.
A visualization of a data point that reads “Brands see a 5% increase in reach per dollar on average when managing CTV ad frequency across YouTube and other CTV apps rather than separately.”

In addition to frequency management, you can use other Google audience solutions with YouTube CTV to help boost performance and reach the most relevant viewers for your brand.

Drive results with leading CTV capabilities

Top brands are taking advantage of these digital-first capabilities to grow their business.

In 2021, DoorDash, alongside its agency Kepler Group, ran a six-week CTV campaign on YouTube to reach a large audience quickly, which ultimately drove a 50% incremental uplift in DoorDash driver sign-ups.

While viewers are watching the content they love on YouTube CTV, brands are driving real results. Reach out to your Google sales team to learn about YouTube CTV ads and these new planning and measurement solutions.

The Check Up: helping people live healthier lives

My years spent caring for patients at the bedside and in the clinic inspired me to find ways to improve health for them and their communities at scale. That passion eventually brought me to Google where I could help solve the world’s most significant health challenges.

I joined the company just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. At the time, most people hadn’t heard of “flattening the curve” or “mRNA vaccines.” But what they did know was that they could turn to Google with their questions. The COVID-19 pandemic strengthened our resolve that Google could and should help everyone, everywhere live a healthier life. It also accelerated our company-wide health efforts.

We embed health into our products to meet people where they are. Our teams apply their expertise and technological strengths and harness the power of partnerships to support our 3Cs – consumers, caregivers and communities around the world.

Today, we’re hosting our second annual Google Health event, The Check Up. Teams from across the company — including Search, YouTube, Fitbit, Care Studio, Health AI, Cloud and Advanced Technologies and Projects team — will share updates about their latest efforts.

Among the areas of progress, I’m delighted at the ways our teams are working to support consumers with helpful information and tools throughout their health journeys.

Making it easier to find and book local care providers in the U.S.

When people have questions about their health, they often start with the internet to find answers. No matter what people are searching for on Google Search, it's our mission to give high-quality information, exactly when it’s needed.

The Search team recently released features to help people navigate the complex healthcare system and make more informed decisions, like finding healthcare providers who take their insurance.

At today's event, Hema Budaraju, who leads our Health and Social Impact work for Search, introduced a feature we’re rolling out that shows the appointment availability for healthcare providers so you can easily book an appointment. Whether you put off your annual check-up, recently moved and need a new doctor, or are looking for a same-day visit to a MinuteClinic at CVS, you might see available appointment dates and times for doctors in your area.

While we’re still in the early stages of rolling this feature out, we’re working with partners, including MinuteClinic at CVS and other scheduling solution providers. We hope to expand features, functionality and our network of partners so we can make it easier for people to get the care they need.

Screenshot of new appointment availability feature

Helping people in Brazil, India and Japan discover local, authoritative health content on YouTube

Of all the information channels people turn to for health information, video can be a helpful and powerful way to help people make informed healthcare decisions. People can watch and listen to experts translate complex medical terms and information into simple language and concepts they easily understand, and they can connect with communities experiencing similar conditions and health challenges.

Dr. Garth Graham talked about YouTube Health’s mission of providing equitable access to authoritative health information that is evidence-based, culturally relevant and engaging. In the past year, YouTube has focused on building partnerships with leading health organizations and public health leaders to increase the volume and visibility of authoritative health content through new features.

Starting this week in Japan, Brazil and India, YouTube is adding health source information panels on videos to provide context that helps viewers identify videos from authoritative sources, and health content shelves that more effectively highlight videos from these sources when people search for specific health topics. These context cues help people easily navigate and evaluate credible health information.

Supporting heart health with Fitbit

In addition to information needs, people use our consumer technologies and tools to support their health and wellness. Fitbit makes it easy and motivating for people to manage their holistic health, from activity and nutrition to sleep and mindfulness. Fitbit co-founder James Park shared how Fitbit believes wearables can have an even greater impact on supporting people with chronic conditions, including heart conditions like atrial fibrillation (AFib).

In 2020, the team launched the Fitbit Heart Study, with nearly half a million people who use Fitbit. The goal was to test our PPG (Photoplethysmography) AFib algorithm, which passively looks at heart rate data, to alert people to signs of an irregular heart rhythm.

We presented the study results at the most recent American Heart Association meeting, showing that the algorithm accurately identified undiagnosed AFib 98% of the time. We’ve submitted our algorithm to the FDA for review. This is one of many ways we’re continuing to make health even more accessible.

Building the future for better health

These updates are only a slice of what we covered at the event. Check out our Health AI blog post and tune into our event to hear more about ways we are advancing better, more equitable health for everyone.

YouTube is the Main Stream: Our NewFronts and Upfronts approach

The way we watch TV has changed. We increasingly stream it on our connected TVs (CTVs) and mobile phones alongside creator-driven content.

Consumers are driving this massive shift — streaming what they want, when they want.

YouTube is at the forefront of this shift as the top ad-supported streaming platform with the content people enjoy, and the creators they love. In fact, according to Nielsen, YouTube reached over 135 million people on connected TVs in the U.S. in December 2021.[0578e9]

Helping our clients succeed in the streaming age

More than ever before, our customers are asking us how they can tap into the streaming boom and continue to reach new audiences.

Our answer is simple: Today, streaming and TV are one and the same. And YouTube can help advertisers reach more of their audiences on the big screen.

YouTube accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs among people ages 18 and up.[7ebbc0]And over 35% of YouTube CTV viewers ages 18 and up can’t be reached by any other ad-supported streaming service, according to Nielsen.[e2981d]

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) NewFronts and the Upfronts — the annual marketplaces for digital video and TV ad sales — are the most important moments to reach advertisers and agencies as they plan their media strategies. We feel this is the right time to help our customers bridge the gap between linear TV and digital, which is why YouTube will have a presence at both events this year.

For the first time, we’ll host YouTube Brandcast, our annual advertiser showcase, during the week of the Upfronts. The live show — taking place on May 17 at 8 p.m. ET in New York — will feature top creators and music talent. Advertisers will be able to tune in via live stream.

We’re also proud to be the principal sponsor of the IAB NewFronts, where we’ll share insights with advertisers throughout the week. We’ll kick off with an event in partnership with MediaLink on Monday, May 2, featuring industry leaders and creators discussing the future of content and the role of the creator economy.

“As a founding member of the IAB NewFronts, YouTube has been with us on a decade-long journey to architect the streaming future,” says David Cohen, CEO, IAB. “That future is here, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them again to bring their content, creators and community to the NewFronts audience.”

According to Nielsen, YouTube reached 135+ million people on the TV screen in the US in December 2021." Source: Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings, Total Day, 12/1/21-12/31/21, Live+7 Reach of P2+ for YouTube (YouTube + YouTube TV

YouTube is the Main Stream

In today's on-demand world, where viewers — not networks — ultimately determine what's popular, our creators are building passionate fan bases that fuel viewership. YouTube creators like Emma Chamberlain, Marques Brownlee and newer creators leaning into YouTube Shorts like Katie Feeney, Jake Fellman, The Beverly Halls and Lisa Nguyen are the next generation in media brands.

YouTube is the only destination that can help creators produce all forms of content, whether it’s Shorts, live streams or videos on demand — unlocking the ultimate in creativity. YouTube is the Main Stream.

We hope to see you in New York in May!

Treats, trends and touchdowns — it’s game time

We are just days away from the biggest night in football and Google is here to help you prep. Warm-up with some trending food and stats, get ready to watch the game with Google TV, tackle football-related queries with Assistant and re-watch all your favorite commercials on AdBlitz. Start to finish, we’ve got you covered.

Gameday stats

It isn’t a gameday without delicious food. This time last year, we saw searches for wings increased more than 130% compared to a typical Sunday in 2021 on Google Maps, and around this time every year, we see search interest in buffalo wings spike. This year, we decided to take a look at what the most-searched wing flavors were across the United States.

Map of the United States showing which the most-searched wing flavors were by state.

But Sunday isn't just about food: We also checked out regional search interest in this year’s teams and quarterbacks.

Map of the United States showing which quarterback was the most-searched by state.
Map of the United States showing which football team was the most-searched by state.

And the big game isn’t complete without an epic halftime show. Take a look at this year’s performers ranked by search interest over the past year.

Most-searched 2022 halftime artists over the past year in the U.S.

  1. Eminem
  2. Snoop Dogg
  3. Dr. Dre
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Mary J. Blige

Say “Hey Google” to get your head in the game

Get into the game day spirit with Google Assistant, which is ready to answer all of your questions about football’s biggest game day. Start with some of these questions that will have you sounding like a pro:

  • “Hey Google, who’s going to win the big game?”
  • “Hey Google, help me talk like a football fan.”
  • "Hey Google, Touchdown!"
  • “Hey Google, give me facts about football.”

From endzone to AdBlitz

The commercials are (almost) just as important as the game, and you can find big game ads on the YouTube AdBlitz channel. There you can stream playlists featuring the most comedic, dramatic, action-packed and inspirational commercials and teasers. YouTube lets you decide which brands scored big with their game day ad, too — and the five ads with the most views by February 20 will be given the honor of entering the AdBlitz winners’ circle.

Catch the game with Google TV

Tune into the big game on Sunday and stream everything from kickoff to the winning play with your Google TV device, other Android TV OS device or in the Google TV app on Android devices in the U.S. Coverage begins at 12pm ET on NBC and Peacock, or on the NBC channel in your preferred live TV app with a YouTube TV or Sling TV subscription.

If you’ve recently bought a new Google TV or other Android TV OS device, you can get started by enjoying six months of Peacock Premium at no extra cost (terms apply). Just head to your Apps tab and scroll down to find your Peacock offer.

CES 2022: Making the most of your drive with Google

Editor's note: Google planned to attend CES 2022 but pulled out of having an in-person presence due to concerns over COVID-19.

Google’s vision of helpfulness on the road is to provide a safe and seamless connected experience. Today, we’re introducing several updates for cars compatible with Android Auto and cars with Google built-in.

Your Android phone as your car key

With digital car key, you can now use select Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phones to lock, unlock and start supported BMW vehicles from your phone. Starting later this year, phones with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology will allow you to unlock your compatible car without taking your phone out at all, and key sharing will allow you to securely and remotely share your digital car key to trusted friends and family. We’re working to bring these features to even more Android phones and vehicles later this year.

Gif of a phone being placed on a car door handle to unlock it.

Unlock your car with your mobile phone and a simple tap.

A more helpful drive with Android Auto

Now available on nearly 150 million cars around the world, Android Auto brings the best of Google onto your car display via your Android phone. Most of the world's top car brands are bringing wireless Android Auto to their newest models, meaning you never need a cord to connect. And with just one tap, Fast Pair makes it easier than ever to connect your phone and wireless Android Auto. It’s available today on select BMW and Ford cars, with more to come. Also, with new accessories like the Motorola MA1 wireless adapter, you can now enjoy the wireless Android Auto experience even if your car doesn't have wireless support built-in. Connected via USB, the adapter stays in your car and wirelessly projects Android Auto from your phone to your car display as soon as you step inside.

You can already enjoy thousands of media, messaging, navigation, parking and charging apps that support Android Auto. And this summer, we’re bringing you more. We’re partnering with Lyft and Kakao Mobility to integrate their driver apps into Android Auto, so drivers will be able to view and accept rides right from their car display. And with access to points of interest apps like MochiMochi, Fuelio and Prezzi Benzina, you can explore more of the world, find and pay for all types of car services, and track your mileage and costs.

Image of car dash with Lyft app driver interface shown on car display.

Lyft Driver app for rideshare drivers will be projected onto their car display (UI for illustration purposes only and may not reflect final product).

New capabilities for cars with Google built-in

Car manufacturers like Polestar, Volvo Cars, and General Motors - with more to come - are already shipping select cars with Google technology built right into their infotainment systems, allowing you to get more use out of helpful features.

With Google Play built-in, you can soon download navigation apps like Sygic and Flitsmeister, charging apps like ChargePoint and PlugShare, parking apps like SpotHero and ParkWhiz and points of interest apps. In fact, later this year, you will be able to access video entertainment in the car while parked, starting with Volvo Cars with content from providers like YouTube. Suddenly, waiting for curbside pickup or for your car to charge isn't so boring anymore.

Image of car dashboard with Youtube video "Google Year in Search 202"  playing.

Enjoy watching YouTube while parked on select Volvo Cars with Google built-in.

This deeper integration allows you to get help from Google beyond the car display. Coming this spring to Volvo Cars, you’ll be able to check on and adjust even more car settings by asking Google. From activating features like lane keeping assist to checking when your next service is due, your voice can replace looking around for the right button or scrolling through settings.

Smart home, meet smart car

With remote actions, you will soon be able to ask Google for help even before leaving the front door. Ask Google to warm up or cool down your car, lock and unlock it and check on the status of things like your battery charge, all from the comfort of your own home with the help of any Google Assistant-enabled device. This is coming first to select Volvo Cars, with more to follow.

Whether you’re getting ready for a drive or already on the road, we’re working hard to make sure Google helps make every ride a safe, smart and seamless experience.