May 29, 2015

Mobile Devices are Propelling Local Searches

By Nick K.

How often have you gone around town searching for a new local hotspot to check out? How do you decide what to do and where to go?

It wouldn’t surprise me if almost everyone answered with some variation of “I use my phone.” Most smartphone owners use Google in hopes that the search engine will provide some guidance via Maps, Search, and Google My Business.

Earlier this month, Lauren wrote about the importance of local searches and their recent surge on search engines. She made the point that if local businesses can be found quickly and easily, there is a high chance that people will buy from them.

Recently, Google has released their latest search trends, which noted that local searches are becoming increasingly more popular among users.

May 28, 2015

Quote of the Month: Larry Page

A group of hanging light bulbs, of which most are fizzled out but one remains brightly lit.























“Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.” –Larry Page, Brainy Quotes

Today’s quote comes from the co-founder of Google, Larry Page. He explains how important it is for companies to remain innovative and up-to-date on the latest trends, while not falling into the trap of complacency. Page emphasizes how Google always strives to find unique ways to brand itself as a company, and be on the forefront of new technologies.

As we know, Google has exhibited this philosophy throughout many of their projects. Some of these include the self-driving car, Cardboard, and Google Glass. These endeavors demonstrate that Google is not content just being the number one search engine; they are always striving for more. As a pioneer of the future, Google has had successes and failures, but has not ceased in surprising us.

May 27, 2015

4 Questions We Need Answered at Google I/O

The Google I/O Conference 2015 logo on a turquoise background and next to a # symbol.
Photo courtesy of Geeksays.com



















By Justin H.

Tomorrow on May 28, the 8th annual Super Bowl of software will commence in San Francisco, CA. Fandroids everywhere are rejoicing the biggest tech holiday of the year. Google I/O is here!

Last year, we were blessed with an aggressive Material Design makeover for Android. The theme this year seems to be more along the lines of general updates. In other words, don’t hold your breath for anything earth shattering.

Since there are so many different projects Google is involved with, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of them. Google I/O will feel more like a State of the Union address this time around. No complaints here, we just need some answers!

Here are the 4 biggest questions we need answered at Google I/O 2015.

May 26, 2015

Tek out Sally the Google Doodle!

Picture from Google.com















3-2-1-Blast-off! Let us take a blast from the past to a brief moment of time and history presented by today’s Google Doodles. May 26, 2015 marks the 64th birthday for Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space on June 18th, 1983.

May 22, 2015

Photos Splits From Google+ To Spread Its Wings In the Cloud

The Google Inc. Logo inside of a cartoon cloud drawn in Google's signature colors.
Google and the Cloud.  Original image from Tech Week Europe.
By Megan G.

It’s not you, Google+.  Photos just needs some time to be single.

Google+ Photos is finally ready to break up, according to a report from Bloomberg.  The new standalone Photos platform will supposedly debut next week at Google I/O, leaving Google+ and moving on to bigger, better conquests in the tech world.



The promising photo sharing and storage product brings up a couple of questions for the Tek Team.   

  1. Will the omniscient cloud of Google Drive remain the primary storage method for Photos?
  2. Can this new Photos platform succeed against behemoths like Instagram?

I suppose we will only truly know after its reveal at the Google I/O Conference.  In the meantime, let’s take a look at the factors influencing the current state of Photos and its possibilities for the future.

May 21, 2015

eGumball Helps Sponsor Celebrity Golf Tournament



























The CEO of eGumball Inc. sponsored the 13th Annual Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Classic at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA. The Albert Pujols Family Foundation gave each sponsor the opportunity to participate in the tournament alongside high-profile baseball players of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, including Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Matt Joyce. The famous ballplayers also golfed and spent time with kids in the community who are affected by Down syndrome. The competition was intense among all those participating.

The Pujols Family Foundation is a non-profit agency that helps those affected by Down syndrome and to improve the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic. They frequently work with families and hold monthly events in order to raise awareness that “every person is special in the sight of God.”

“It was great seeing the kids so excited to see their idols. They were so appreciative that they were able to participate. It’s a great cause and I was proud that my company and I were able to be a part of it,” said the CEO.

eGumball Inc. was honored to take part in the Pujols Family Foundation 13th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic and is proud to help children with Down syndrome, as well as impoverished children who live overseas. This local event was an excellent way for the Orange County community to come together for these two worthy causes and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.

May 20, 2015

Mobile Shopping Made Easy: Google Launches Buy Buttons

A magnifying glass magnifies a BUY, shopping cart button hidden on the Google logo.
Courtesy of: Inferse.com




















By Lauren C.

For years, Google+ has struggled to compete with other social media platforms, Google’s stock has plummeted, and their advertising rates continue to decline.

What’s the cause of Google’s pain? According to Search Engine Land, “most of Google’s advertisers are companies trying to sell products to users who are looking for those products via Google. When a user clicks on one of their ads, that user goes straight to the advertiser’s online store.” In other words, Google is losing advertising revenue and stock value because it can’t effectively compete as a retailer. Furthermore, other bigwigs like Facebook have been putting the pressure on Google with their Custom Audiences targeted ad platform.

As we already know, nothing can stop Google. They have recently decided to add “buy” buttons for sponsored retailers, so customers can pay for products without having to visit the website. This feature will appear only on mobile phones, and will effectively boost advertising revenue for Google.
Here’s what we know so far:

May 19, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Jen Fitzpatrick

A black and white headshot of Jen Fitzpatrick from Google Capital
Jen Fitzpatrick.  Image from Google Capital.
By Megan G.


Who is Jen Fitzpatrick?


“Passionate about bringing the real world and the online world closer together,” Jen Fitzpatrick is currently the Vice President of Engineering and Product Management at Google Inc.  
  
Jen first started working for Google in 1999 as a part of the company’s first-ever summer internship program.  Her internship at what she had called a “crazy little startup” would be her first real work experience and the beginning of 11 years working for Google, developing some of the company’s most important products.

May 18, 2015

4 Reasons Why You Need Google Reviews

A laptop opened to the Google homepage next to a full cup of coffee and a smartphone.
By Nick K.

There are many businesses who are struggling to compete for higher page ranks and obtain new customers. Since most search engines have a seemingly endless amount of page results, how are you supposed to market yourself differently from the rest of the competition?

Luckily, there’s a solution. Google reviews are a huge part of your marketing strategy. Here’s why:


Creates Credibility


How often do you search for a new restaurant or a gift shop and you select a business based on Google reviews and star ratings? Well, according to BrightLocal, over 85% of web searchers use online reviews to determine the overall quality of the business. Here is an example of what a high quality page result looks like: 


May 15, 2015

Will Search Market Competition Put Pressure on Google?

A smartphone screen depicting the Google Search main page.
Photo courtesy of Business News Daily
By Justin H.

Google is more than just the head honcho of the internet, so much so that “google,” or “googling” made it into the dictionary as a verb. That tells you all you really need to know about the company’s dominance in the search engine industry.

However, with great success often comes great vexation. The hot topic of late for Google has been the slew of antitrust lawsuits and their alleged monopolization of the industry.

On top of that, Google’s competition is still scratching and clawing like never before, hoping it can capitalize on the distracting lawsuits, which brings us to the million dollar question:

Is the competition going to outperform Google?

May 14, 2015

Check Out Our Five Most Popular Blogs of All Time
















1. Virtual Scares on the Oculus Rift by Megan G. The intriguing world of virtual reality brings you the new Oculus Rift VR device, which immerses a full blown visual and aural experience into one headset. The Oculus Rift was the first device to start the virtual reality buzz now happening throughout the tech industry.

2. Google and Twitter: Feuding, Fusing, and Why Google+ is Involved by Lauren C. There are rumors that Google is interested in purchasing Twitter, which could benefit both corporations with better targeted advertisements on both platforms.

3. Cupcakes with Character: A Small Baking Business in the Big Marketing World by Megan G. Using a delicious cupcake bakery as an analogy, this article illustrates the elements of what constitutes an excellent search engine optimization and marketing campaign.

4. Five New Google Gadgets and Apps to Spice Up Your Life by Alexis G. Google is always introducing new gadgets and gizmos into the world, with some of the newest being Tablescape, Google Cardboard, Google Glass, Primer, and Photo Sphere Camera.

5. My Adventurous Day With Pegman And Google Maps by Justin H. Google brings us the lovable Pegman, a personal guide through Google Maps Street View that can be picked up and dropped into the exact location you want to explore.


May 13, 2015

Google AdWords Makes Waves in the Wake of Mobilegeddon

Google AdWords Logo next to a positively rising 3D bar graph.
What’s new with Google AdWords?  Original image from Chicago’D.



















By Megan G. 

After the rollout of their mobile-friendly algorithm (which turned out to be not quite so devastating after all), Google marches on in their quest for full mobile optimization of their services. 

Last week, Google stated in an Inside AdWords blog post that searches on mobile have officially surpassed those on desktop.  Knowing this, the company moves to make their Google AdWords platform a force to be reckoned with in both mobile and advertising technology. 

Look out, Facebook!  Here comes a newly-equipped ad platform!

May 12, 2015

Want to Tackle Procrastination?

Have you ever struggled with completing that to-do list on your desk? Minutes and hours seem to fly by but every time you glance back at the list, it only seems to grow in length. How are we supposed to find a better way to tackle that list?

Perhaps we have found our answer. According to Forbes, Google has recently purchased a start-up company called Timeful, Inc., a time management application used to help users manage their time more efficiently and accomplish more. Users have already utilized Google Calendar and Gmail to schedule their daily activities, so it makes sense to have Google also manage your time more efficiently through this application.

May 11, 2015

On the Couch or at the Café: Google Won’t Let You Go Hungry

By Lauren C.

Love getting food delivered or avoiding waits at the newest restaurant? Google is yet again taking advantage of our desire for convenience through the launch of their new restaurant delivery and appointment booking system, which will allow users to make reservations and appointment bookings through an online dashboard.

Here’s what we know so far:

1. Options for days. Through Google Search and Google Maps, businesses can add the ability for customers to order food, reserve tables, and book appointments. Different types of businesses can be incorporated within this update, such as doctor’s offices, restaurants, and hair salons.

2. Google My Business will be involved. Though it is not yet finished, the feature will be directly placed on Google My Business, meaning My Business will become an even more important tool for local businesses. If you are a local business that wants to also offer this service, you can fill out this Google form.

May 9, 2015

[INFOGRAPHIC] Tek This Out: Mother's Day Edition!

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 10th!

This edition of Tek This Out! features a diverse package of everything you need to wow your mom this year.

Wired.com has 12 uniquely awesome places to take mom for Mother's Day.

For all your gift needs, Esquire.com has 30 fantastic ideas to blow her away.

Those are great and all, but we know why you're really here. It wouldn't be a true Tek This Out! without fun facts, and this incredible infographic via mom.me has all the great tidbits you could ever want to impress mom on Mother's Day. Show her you finally did your homework on time!

May 8, 2015

[UPDATE] 5 Things you Need to Know About Google+ Collections

A laptop opened to the Google+ Collections webpage.
Original image from Tech News Today
By Nick K.

Last week Tek Shouts! covered the exciting new Google+ platform called Collections. This new platform functions as part Pinterest and part blogger. I recommend glancing over the previous Google Collections article real quick to bring you up to speed.

Upon recent days there have been a wide range of new articles and information presented about the “Pinterest-styled” Google+ platform!  Sources like Google+, The Verge, and PC Mag have all posted newfound insights on Google Collections. I will admit that it feels gratifying to finally have some concrete information about the look and feel of the new platform.

In lieu of all this new information, The Tek Team wanted to save you some time by compiling a list of all the important details you need to know about Google Collections:

What does Collections look like and how do I use it?

For starters, Google+ was kind enough to create an introduction GIF to Google Collections. This GIF provides a basic tutorial on how to create a collection and how to navigate through the Collections platform. More importantly, this tutorial displays what the user interface looks like and much more! Here’s what it looks like on your smartphone.

May 6, 2015

Google+ Is Still Very Much Alive, and It’s Not Going Anywhere

A Google+ gravestone picturing 2011 - ?.  In the background is a misty graveyard.
Photo courtesy of b2bnn.com


















By Justin H.

If you’re not getting criticized, are you really pushing the envelope? Google+ has been the most polarizing social media platform since its inception. Pundits and analysts alike continue to find any reason to put the final nail in its coffin and throw dirt on its grave.

But it’s still kicking!

Sure, Google+ has had some big swing-and-miss features in the past. But recent additions such as Google+ Collections and other social media endeavors will continue to get people on board the Google+ train. Every new addition is just another sign of life.

May 5, 2015

Customer Question of the Month

By Megan G.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, readers!  Welcome to the next installment of eGumball Inc.’s Customer Question of the Month.  Today, we tackle a common query about companies showing up in Google Search.  

The question this week is:  “Why does my business show up with some keywords and not others?”

Keywords are words or phrases used to match your website and ads with terms that people put into Google Search.  Business owners benefit from highly relevant keywords that clearly describe what their companies can provide for potential customers.  For example, “air conditioning repair,” “Brazilian blowouts,” and “pizza delivery” are relevant keywords to HVAC contractors, hair salons, and pizza parlors, respectively.

There are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing successful batches of keywords for a business.

May 4, 2015

Tech Titans Clash in the New Age of Ad Tech
























By Megan G.

Google has recently made great strides to improve its advertising platform in the wake of its mobile-friendly algorithm.  Both of these updates are meant to help brands and websites stay relevant, but what do the thundering steps of tech giants mean for the small business owner just trying to make ends meet in this new age of mobile and ad tech?

For this edition of Tek Shouts!, we are going to piggyback off of Lauren’s article from last Friday and delve further into both mobile marketing and advertising technology.  We will discuss what Google has been up to in these industries, as well as how small business owners can use this information.  

May 1, 2015

A Convenient Truth: Google Local Search Surges

A blue pushpin sticking into a map of Washington D.C.























By Lauren C.

Quick and Easy Wins the Race


We live in an age of incredible convenience. No longer do we need to send signed documents and contracts through the mail, nor do we need to ship real photos to a loved one in another part of the country. Each of these actions can be completed within minutes by attaching files or pictures to an email and clicking send. Not only that, but you can even text those files from your smartphone or other mobile device.

Considering our modern day approach to retrieving and sending information in a way that is most convenient to us, it comes as no surprise that Google searches with the words “near me” have surged 34 times since 2011, according to a report by USA Today. Furthermore, since last year alone, local searches have actually doubled. These are stunning statistics, but what do they actually imply?

Mobilegeddon Makes Sense


According to the study, a whopping 80% of all local “near me” searches come from mobile devices. Google’s recent algorithm update that targets non-mobile friendly websites was considered harsh by many critics. However, given this statistic, Google’s targeting of non-mobile friendly entities makes perfect sense. With the overwhelming increase in local search through mobile devices, it seems likely that Google would accommodate those 80% of users.