Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media Today

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Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayGoogle Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayPosted: 17 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTGoogle's looking to enhance its simplified Smart Campaigns offering by adding a new way to quickly check on your Google Ads performance, and a new listing of keywords to target, based on your products and services.First off is the new ad check - Google's made it easier to check your ad performance in the mobile app, with a simple search on Google itself. As you can see here, search for 'Google ads' or 'My Ads' and Google will provide you with a basic overview of how your campaigns are going, while you'll also be able to see how your ads look to others.As per Google:"If you want an efficient way of checking your ad status, this feature is for you. We've made our reporting features …

“Quickbait: What We Searched for on Google During 67 Days in Lockdown - INDY Week” plus 2 more

“Quickbait: What We Searched for on Google During 67 Days in Lockdown - INDY Week” plus 2 more


Quickbait: What We Searched for on Google During 67 Days in Lockdown - INDY Week

Posted: 03 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDT

On March 17, Governor Cooper ordered North Carolina's bars and restaurants to close. On May 22, he moved the state into phase 2 of reopening, allowing restaurants to open at limited capacity and relaxing the state's stay-at-home order, which went into effect on March 27. For the 67 days in between, many of us were stuck at home, trying to figure out this strange new world of Zoom business meetings and FaceTime meet-ups. 

We wanted to get a sense of how our part of the world experienced this strange moment in time. So we looked at what people from this region were searching for online. Using Google Trends, we found the top rising search terms in Raleigh and Durham—and Fayetteville, because Google lumps them in, for some odd reason—for each of these 67 days.  


Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at jbillman@indyweek.com

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER. Support independent local journalism by joining the INDY Press Club today. Your contributions will keep our fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle, coronavirus be damned.

Google Trends On The State and Perception Of The Exoskeleton Industry - Exoskeleton Report

Posted: 27 May 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Data from Google Trends paints a neutral picture of the current state and perception of the exoskeleton industry. The data suggests that those interested in exoskeleton devices could be in an echo chamber or alternatively, the number of people who develop an interest in the topic is about the same as those who lose it. Google Trends is a free tool that shows the normalized value of searches on Google for specific terms or phrases. The tool can be used to show trends and engagement by the general public on a number of topics.

How does Google Trends Work?

Google Trends assigns a percent value to a search term or topic. When the term was most popular, it will be at 100%, and at any other time the popularity of the term is measured as a percentage of its peak. For the purposes of the exoskeleton industry, Google Trends can reveal the search behavior of the general public on the internet in two easy to perceive ways: temporary spikes in interest and permanent change in popularity of a subject. The popular Star Wars movie franchise can be used to illustrate both temporary spikes in interest on a topic and a permanent step-change:

Sudden Spikes in Interest:

Star Wars in Google Trends
Star Wars in Google Trends

What you can see from the above chart is that people all over the world searched for "Star Wars" far more than usual at the times of release of each of the new movies (with the exception of the stand-alone Han Solo movie).

Permanent Changes in Search Behavior:

Searching for Thrawn in Google Trends
Searching for Thrawn in Google Trends

The book character Grand Admiral Thrawn has been a popular staple of the Star Wars universe since the early 90s. The fictional character, however, was introduced to a new generation of fans after it was announced that he will be added to the Star Wars Rebels animated series in July 2016. The character has continued to enjoy more searches on Google since then.

A more technical example of seeing changes in internet search behavior can be made using terms like Bitcoin, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, blockchain, and smartwatch.

Additive manufacturing and 3d printing in google trends
Additive manufacturing and 3d printing in Google Trends.

In the example above we can see that "3D printing" also went through a step-function in search popularity. At the same time the more technical term "additive manufacturing" is slowly but steadily being used more often in internet searches on the Google platform.

The Exoskeleton Industry on Google Trends:

Exoskeleton on Google Trends
"Exoskeleton" on Google Trends

The term "exoskeleton" shows a single step function in the increase in popularity around 2016. After that, the number of searches for the term has remained mostly flat. The same single step function is visible for many of the similar terms (like exosuit) and companies with unique names. Some exceptions are "cobot" which is gaining popularity but is significantly less popular than "exoskeleton."  Another exception is "powered armor" which tracks perfectly with the releases of the popular Fallout computer game series which introduced the concept for players to collect parts and build their own powered armored suit.

This data offers a mixed bag representation of the exoskeleton industry. On the one hand, the term "exoskeleton" is popular and increased in popularity in 2016. On the other hand, the number of searches for the term and related terms in the United States and around the world is flat; neither growing nor shrinking. Note that this isn't necessarily a "bad" view of the exoskeleton industry as there are many examples of search terms that were popular on Google but interest has fizzled (i.e. "3D glasses"). Still, this is odd considering there are more exoskeleton developers (see our directory) and more papers on the subject than ever before (see below).

Special Issue On Exoskeletons Number of Publications
Fig 1. An Introduction to the Special Issue on Occupational Exoskeletons

Combining the facts that there are more exoskeleton companies and exoskeleton papers than ever before while the number of Google searches has remained flat over that last four years leads to two possible hypotheses. The exoskeleton industry is in an echo-chamber or the number of people interested in this technology is decreasing at the same rate as it is increasing.

Business Angle

The lack of new engagement on Google Trends can also have a negative impact on the financials of publically traded exoskeleton companies. Over the last year, publically owned exoskeleton companies would make significant announcements only to see their share value slowly erode after the initial lift. Below are some examples that were taken at random:

ReWalk Robotics [NASDAQ:RWLK] in May and June of 2019 announced that the new ReStore Exo-Suit for stroke rehabilitation received a CE Mark and FDA clearance. The ReStore could now be sold to rehabilitation facilities in both the EU and the U.S. and it could qualify for already existing insurance codes. Arguably, this was significant news. How did the stock value of ReWalk perform? In just two and a half months the stock value erased all gains from the two positive developments.

Ekso Bionics [NASDAQ:EKSO] went through something similar, with the company stock value decreasing even with a press release of a new upper body device and an upgrade to the Ekso GT.

It is possible that press releases are not reaching a wide enough audience to have the desired impact.

This is Not Anything New

The exoskeleton industry being a virtual unknown to the vast majority of the general public isn't anything new. Conferences (like WearRA, ErgoX, ExoBerlin, and WeRob), associations, standards writing bodies, webinars, books, educational materials and coordinated outreach have always been important. The data suggests, however, that more coordination and investment may be required for outreach efforts to engage a larger portion of the population.

References:

An Introduction to the Special Issue on Occupational Exoskeletons, Journal, IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. Jan 10, 2020, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24725838.2019.1709695

FDA Issues Clearance for the ReStore™ Exo-Suit, the First Soft Robotic System for Stroke Therapy, Press Release, ReWalk Robotics, Jun 4, 2019, https://rewalk.com/fda-issues-clearance-for-the-restore-exo-suit-the-first-soft-robotic-system-for-stroke-therapy/

ReWalk Robotics Receives CE Mark for ReStore™ Exo-Suit Stroke Rehabilitation Device, Press Release, ReWalk Robotics, May 29, 2019, https://rewalk.com/rewalk-robotics-receives-ce-mark-restoretm-exo-suit-stroke/

Ekso Bionics® Unveils the Next Generation Exoskeleton for Neurorehabilitation, Globe Newswire, Ekso Bionics, Aug 15, 2019, https://ir.eksobionics.com/press-releases/detail/668/ekso-bionics-unveils-the-next-generation-exoskeleton-for

Ekso Bionics® Expands Its Medical Portfolio with Upper Body Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation, Globe Newswire, July 24, 2019, https://ir.eksobionics.com/press-releases/detail/665/ekso-bionics-expands-its-medical-portfolio-with-upper

Coronavirus tracked: Could Google Search trends help predict a rise in covid-19 cases? - The Independent

Posted: 11 Jun 2020 05:47 AM PDT

Online search trends in the United States could be used to map a possible rise in coronavirus infections.

Using such data to predict infections is notoriously difficult, but a range of different kinds of aggregated data – including information from Google Maps – has been used to try and understand the outbreak.

Google searches for terms like "Covid-19 symptoms" and "Covid-19 testing near me" have spiked in recent days.

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The concerning trend comes as lockdown restrictions in the US begin to ease, despite infection rates not falling as significantly as other countries emerging from lockdown.

The surge in search terms related to the coronavirus also comes amid mass public protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

The US already has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, officially passing 2 million on Thursday.

Looking more closely at Google trends in individual US states over the last seven days reveals where most of the searches are coming from.

This could potentially signal new and emerging hotspots of Covid-19.

The search data correlates with an increase in new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in states where most of the searches were taking place.

Both Arizona and South Carolina have seen the number of new cases rise over the last seven days, having previously avoided any significant outbreak.

Nationwide searches for other terms that might indicate a new wave of infections have also risen in recent days, including the term "coronavirus symptoms".

While new coronavirus cases in the US have risen slightly since the end of May, there is yet to be a notable surge in the number of new cases. This could be due to the delay between people experiencing symptoms and people being tested for Covid-19.

Google has previously attempted to predict such trends through its "nowcast" function, which launched in 2008. A paper published in the scientific journal Nature at the time explained how people's search patterns could estimate flu prevalence two weeks before it was registered by official bodies like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As the world's most popular online search engine, the data from people's digital footprints offered potentially life-saving insights and it was the poster child of so-called 'Big Data'. But by 2015 it was shut down after it failed to foresee a massive flu outbreak in 2013.

It was described by some publications as an "epic failure" and a note on its landing page now states: "Google Flu Trends and Google Dengue Trends are no longer publishing current estimates of Flu and Dengue fever based on search patterns... It is still early days for nowcasting and similar tools for understanding the spread of diseases like flu and dengue – we're excited to see what comes next."

A blog post explaining the decision said that Google would work directly with academic institutions to make sense of the search data. More than 265 peer-reviewed papers have since drawn on aggregated data taken from Google searches, used to track epidemics like Ebola in 2014, Zika in 2016 and West Nile fever over several years in Italy.

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