October 30, 2015

Choose a Trending Costume with Google’s Frightgeist

Photo Courtesy of frightgeist.withgoogle.com

By Lauren C.

Trick or Tek! Last year, we analyzed the top trending searches for spooky gadgets and technology across the nation.

This year, we wanted to analyze the top costume choices nationwide, before the festivities of Halloween commence!  Luckily, Google has made it easier for us to see what the top trending costumes are across the nation.  Check out Frightgeist, an interactive tool that helps you see what costumes are trending in your area, so you can have the most original costume possible for that party or your trick-or-treat quest for candy!

October 29, 2015

Tek This Out!: Spooky Edition

By Nick K

Halloween is only a few days away! It seems like the frights and scares have made us lose track of time! From catching up on the latest scary movies to last minute planning of Halloween costumes, there is plenty to keep us busy during the Halloween season. Before the coffin closes on the season, there might be one last adventure that you might want to consider taking provided by who else but Google Maps.

October 28, 2015

YouTube Red Receives the Green Light!

Photo courtesy of boingboing.net
By Nick K.

Hurray! Festive cheers echo across the Internet community, for today marks the official date that YouTube Red goes live! What an exciting and groundbreaking moment for YouTube that could potentially change how the Internet views video streaming services.

For those who are not aware of what YouTube Red is, it is YouTube’s response to fans wanting more out of YouTube by providing them with the “ultimate YouTube experience.” YouTube Red sadly has no relation to Taylor Swift’s album, Red.

October 27, 2015

Can Computers Think For Themselves? Machine Learning at Google

A graphic of a female Android sleeping and plugged into a machine.

By Megan G.
“I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” – Stephen Hawking, Physicist

Your skin may begin to crawl at the idea of a computer having completely independent thoughts.  A fully artificially intelligent character is half of what makes films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and Ex Machina so tense and terrifying.  The other half of that terror is conjured by human characters, whose hubris has convinced them they could create such a powerful being and still manage to control it. 

October 26, 2015

4 Ways Infographics Will Help Your Business

By Justin H.

When it comes to content marketing and SEO, we’ve heard just about every method possible to help get your blog or website to the top of Google Search. The old adage holds true that “content is king” across all platforms, including social media. Not everyone can be Stephen King, so what other methods besides masterful writing can we use to improve our content?

Sadly, there isn’t a quick fix to vault you to the top of the page rankings. However, one tool will help you more than you’d ever imagine.

I’m talking about infographics.

People are attracted to photos when it comes to business marketing because images provide a glimpse into the personality of a company or website. The problem – particularly if you are more of an online-based service – is that there might not always be a ton of Kodak moments in your industry. Your office photos could be too boring. Your blog photos could be generic stock photos. You also don’t want to use too many memes to avoid coming across as too immature.

October 23, 2015

Tech Tango: Google Takes on Mobile, Facebook Takes On Search

By Megan G.

Alphabet has completely surpassed Q3 expectations thanks to Google’s most recent successes with many of its products.

During the earnings call, Wall Street first-timer Sundar Pichai highlighted a slew of Google products and their achievements, including Google Photos’ 100 million user boom, Google Play’s “thriving” atmosphere, and Android Marshmallow’s highly successful release.

October 22, 2015

Tek This Out: Throwback to the Future Thursday!

By Justin H.

Yesterday was a monumental occasion! Marty McFly of the renowned Back to the Future Trilogy finally reached his destination of October 21, 2015. In “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty ventures to 10/21/15 in order to save his children. 

In honor of Throwback Thursday, and Marty’s arrival, we will take a look back at all of the film's predictions for the future it made back in 1985. Tek this out!

Correct: Big-Screen Televisions and Video Conferences

Back to the Future nailed this one. Most American households are now blessed with affordable plasma 60-inch HDTVs, while video apps like Skype and FaceTime make communication easier than ever. No longer are we forced into impersonal phone calls!

October 21, 2015

Google Maps Saves You Gas Money with Their Latest Update

Photo Courtesy of: bidnessetc.com

By Lauren C.

Gasoline. The world still runs on it, and unless you are able to always ride a bike or take public transportation, you probably need it to survive.

Unfortunately, gas prices are often volatile. They go up and down depending on current events in the world that you can’t control, and vary depending on the state you live in. For example, some states have higher gas taxes than others, such as California, Washington, or Nevada, while other states such as Texas, Arizona and Mississippi keep gasoline more affordable.

In an age where the economy is unstable, markets are volatile, and every penny counts, finding out how to save the most money on gasoline becomes crucial. You can’t always move to different states for a more reasonably priced standard of living, but you can take certain steps to ensure that you’re paying the least amount possible for certain necessities in life, such as gasoline.

October 20, 2015

Quote of the Month: Gillian Anderson

By Lauren C.

“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.”- Gillian Anderson

Who knew that Agent Scully from the X-Files could give such great advice? As an activist and actress, Anderson has given many years of service and supports a variety of  charities. For example, she advocates for Childreach International, a London-based charity that works in developing countries to secure basic human rights for children. She is also a spokesperson for the Neurofibromatosis Network, an important cause to Anderson, as her brother died of the disease.

October 19, 2015

Google’s Waze is Rerouting their App for Better-Looking Navigation

Photo courtesy of The iOS Post.
By Nick K.
Navigation apps have been a hot topic in 2015. So far, Google Maps has implemented several new updates to their app, such as updated location accuracy, the ability to search for places around your current location, and much more. Apple Maps has also been revamped for iOS 9 and won’t settle for second place behind Google Maps anymore.

However, there is another navigation app contender who is ready to make a fresh appearance and point users in the right direction. The Waze 4.0 update has been released for Apple iOS! Venture Beat reports that being the first major update for the app since it was acquired by Google two years ago! 

October 16, 2015

Google’s Hiring Methods are Unusual, But Effective

By Justin H.

No one enjoys slogging through an endless supply of spreadsheets while being confined to a cubicle all day. Some people may think that 3.9 GPA in graduate school should have been enough to land the dream job that would whisk you around the world from business meetings in Abu Dhabi to conventions in Geneva.

Instead, said ambitious graduate is stuck listening to Frank in accounting sulk about his fantasy football team for the umpteenth time. We get it, Frank. If you’d only started Eli Manning instead of Andrew Luck, you would have won. It’s a real shame.

October 15, 2015

Google Fuses Cardboard and Street View in Their Latest Update

Photo Courtesy of: geeksnack.com
By Lauren C.

Travel junkies and tech enthusiasts be warned! Google just made a very exciting announcement in regards to Google Cardboard and Street View. Earlier this week, the Google Cardboard app was made available in 39 different languages and over 100 different languages on both the Android and iOS phones and other devices. In case you didn’t know, Google Cardboard is a low budget VR set made by Google that takes an ordinary cardboard box which can be folded to holster onto a smartphone.

But what does all of this have to do with travel? Well, as part of this update, Google is adding Street View to Google Cardboard, so you can check out scenes on your phone via 3-dimensional, virtual reality. That’s right – you can look at gorgeous, realistic 3-dimensional views of the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa simply by utilizing the Google Cardboard app.

October 14, 2015

Could Pinterest Become the Next Big Thing in Local Marketing?

A screenshot of Pinterest's map for their "place Pins."
Image from Mapping Place Pins.

By Megan G.

Yesterday, Pinterest announced the addition of location data from both Google Maps and Apple Maps to its “place Pins” feature.  According to Marketing Land, Pinterest also pulls data from the Foursquare API.  Back in November 2013, place Pins was created “for the explorer in all of us,” focusing on traveling as opposed to other popular Pinterest fares like delectable recipes and inspiring quotes. 

October 13, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Seth Godin

By Justin H.

Who is Seth Godin?

Seth Godin is an author of 17 books, a professional marketer, public speaker, entrepreneur, and a blogger who runs one of the most successful marketing blogs on the web. He launched Yoyodyne in 1995, a company that organized contests and hosted online games to market various companies to web users. Soon thereafter, Godin sold the company to Yahoo! for around $30 million and subsequently became Yahoo’s Vice President of Direct Marketing.

In 2006, he launched Squidoo, a community-based website that allowed users to create pages for different subjects of interest. The site was one of the 500 most visited sites in the world in 2008, and was acquired by HubPages in late 2014.

October 12, 2015

How Google Won the Battle over Shady SEO Tactics

Photo Courtesy of: independent.co.uk

By Lauren C.

It was only a mere decade ago when shady SEO practices flourished. Because search engine optimization was a fairly new concept, and Google was not yet dominant as the number one search engine, SEO companies had fewer clear-cut rules to follow.

Stuffing keywords into websites and using duplicate content across the web were frequent tactics used by these SEO companies. Because there were less repercussions for using questionable means to achieve higher ranking status, black hat SEO tactics, or disapproved practices that increase a website’s ranking, ruled supreme.

According to Search Engine Land, Google won the battle over SEO companies who frequently used black hat tactics. It took over a decade to smooth out the wrinkles, and Google is still perfecting the art of taming SEO companies. So how did Google fight back against these negative SEO practices and their spamming of Google’s search bots?

October 9, 2015

Mobile Search has Dethroned Desktop Search for Google Searches Worldwide!

Photo courtesy of  Dental SEO Sites.

By Nick K.

Alas! It is time to rejoice, for mobile search has officially overtaken desktop Google searches worldwide. How should you celebrate this great day? Maybe by conducting some mobile searches? Taking the afternoon off?

Alright, so maybe not. Some users feel this news about mobile search isn’t in fact “news.” 
Back in May, Search Engine Land had reported that Google mobile searches officially overtook desktop searches. It was only a matter of time until mobile search would come out on top, mainly due to the increased popularity and incredible convenience of using your mobile device to conduct a search versus a having to be in front of your computer desktop to conduct a search.

October 8, 2015

Google’s Ultimate Moonshot is the #NewSpaceRace

Original image from NASA.

By Megan G.

When the moon hits your eye like a giant cash prize… that’s a-Google.

It pains me to say that I had never heard of Google Lunar XPRIZE until yesterday, when I read “Google and Israel May Be Heading to the Moon” from TIME. 

October 7, 2015

We Still Use Google+…And We’re Not Ashamed Of It!

Photo via SearchEngineLand

By Justin H.

When Google+ was unveiled to the world back in June of 2011, no one really knew what to expect. With Facebook and Twitter already filling our social media calendars up, was there really any room for another platform? Or was Google+ planning on ending Facebook’s reign as the ultimate peer-to-peer network? There were just too many questions to be answered.

Four years later, we still have one more question: are we even sure Google+ is a social network at all?

Google+ was actually Google’s fourth dip into the social media well. Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect and Orkut all came and went before it, albeit unceremoniously. Were we to believe Google+ would be any different? Probably not.

October 6, 2015

Customer Question of the Month: The Benefits of Google My Business

By Nick K.

With so much content on the Internet, how does one become noticed? That may seem like the million dollar question, and the answer is often times much easier said than done. Luckily, you won’t actually need a million dollars to make your online marketing campaign a success. It is a new month, which means it’s time for The Tek Team to ask and answer a new Customer Question: “What are the benefits of having a Google My Business listing?”

October 5, 2015

Google Maps Out Pollution in California

A vista of Los Angeles covered by smog.
Image from Just Rent To Own.

By Megan G.

Some big changes are happening with Google, including their legal restructuring into Alphabet and its subsidiary companies:  Calico, GoogleX, Fiber, Google Ventures, Google Capital, Nest, and—of course—Google.

A graphical representation of Alphabet's structure.
Image from BGR
You may have heard the buzz surrounding this change, from the brief life of Google-created Maple Technologies to the omission of Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto from the Alphabet mantra.  

Basically, Google (now Alphabet) has been preparing for this structural shakeup since their release of the Alphabet website.  Now, specifically for their investors’ interests, it's all official.

The Alphabet restructuring has been identified as part of Google’s innovative efforts in the health, science, and technology industries.  As we have seen, Alphabet and its subsidiary companies have wasted no time trying to reach that goal. 

October 2, 2015

Walk, Bike, or Drive: Google Maps Will Show the Way!

Photo Courtesy of: pcmag.com

By Lauren C.

Are you someone who is frequently late? It seems that no matter how meticulously certain people plan their day, they just can’t get to where they need to be on time. If you’re someone who struggles to get out the door in the morning, only to find yourself ten minutes late to the final destination, you may benefit from the new update to Google Maps for the iOS phones.

Now, the Maps app for Apple smartphones compares and contrasts the fastest means of arriving at your destination, regardless of which way you go. Seem to get stuck driving in that morning traffic? You can look and see the difference between travel times for all transportation types, which includes the train, the bus, biking paths, and walking routes. The four methods of transportation will show up side by side on your screen so you can see how long each one will take to get to from your point of origin all at the same time.

October 1, 2015

4 Surprising Health Benefits of a Little Office Tea Time

By Justin H.

The Tek Team is always ecstatic about bringing you your latest updates and analysis on everything going on with the tech industry, Google, social media, marketing, and much more! But what good can our blog posts do if your neurons aren’t firing on all cylinders?

Today, we are here to remind you of a tradition that should become a part of your daily routine in order to improve brain and bodily function. Of course, we are talking about tea time!