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Strengthening measurement with new tagging capabilities

Sitewide tags are the building blocks of a strong measurement foundation. They help advertisers understand how customers are interacting with their website and ads. But, it’s historically been difficult to set up and manage tags without technical expertise or a tag management platform like Google Tag Manager. To address this, we recently rolled out a single, reusable Google tag so you can do more across different Google products and accounts without changing your website code. Now we’re unveiling another set of capabilities that provide more visibility into your site’s measurement coverage and simplify the setup.

Whether it’s through the Google tag or Google Tag Manager, proper sitewide tagging is essential to successfully measure and act on your data. One company that has shown measurement excellence through tagging is The North Face, a retail brand that’s advancing exploration through innovative thinking, design, and technology. Using our enterprise tag management solution, Google Tag Manager 360, the brand has been able to unlock customer insights that influence everything from future campaigns to product offerings and website design. “Tagging is the backbone of our consumer experience. Rather than forecasting by putting a finger to the wind, we can make data-driven decisions using real-time and historical data.” shares Sarah Kleinman, VP of Digital Experiences.

Increase your measurement accuracy

As your digital presence grows, it can be easy to miss pages or overlook new site sections. With the new Tag coverage summary, you can quickly determine whether your Google tag has been implemented on all of your website pages.

Use the Tag coverage summary to see which pages of your website have the Google tag installed and quickly identify pages that are not tagged

You’ll see where your tags are implemented in suggested pages, which can be added to your summary to understand your tag coverage on these pages later. And, if the suggestions don’t include all of your website pages, quickly add the URLs by entering them or uploading a CSV file. You can also click the Tag Assistant icon next to each page to investigate whether your tags are implemented properly.

Simplify setup with less code

In the coming weeks, we'll be integrating the Google tag into the account setup and conversion setup flows in Google Ads and Google Analytics — product interfaces you’re already familiar with — for a more centralized and intuitive experience. These new features will make it faster and easier to set up conversion measurement. You won’t need to add more code to your website, which often relies on technical expertise or assistance from other departments.

You’ll be directed to set up the Google tag or reuse an existing one during account setup

For customers using popular content management systems or website builders, you’ll now be able to install a new Google tag across your website without making manual changes to the site code. You can also now reuse your existing gtag.js implementation or create a new Google tag to deploy without making changes to your website code. You can do this directly in your CMS within the Ads and Analytics account setup flows. CMS instructions are shown on your installation screen for the following platforms that are integrated with the Google tag.

Advertisers using a content management system can set up a Google tag without making changes to their website code

If you’re still using Universal Analytics, we recently shared that now it’s time to make the move to Google Analytics 4. If you have gtag.js for Google Ads or Universal Analytics on your website, you will be able to do this directly in the setup assistant in Google Analytics by choosing an existing Google tag. If you don't have a Google tag on your site or are using an analytics.js tag, you’ll need to create a new tag before you can get started, which you can do within the same, simplified workflow.

Set up your Google tag directly in the Google Analytics setup assistant

With so much at stake when it comes to performance and privacy, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a strong measurement foundation. We’re with you every step of the way and these new features make it easier to set up and manage your tagging infrastructure within the product interfaces you’re already familiar with.

Continued investment in measures to help fight financial fraud in the UK

In recent years, scammers continue to deploy new fraudulent practices in order to take advantage of people. According to UK Finance’s latest figures, over £1.3 billion was stolen through fraud in 2021, up from £1.26 billion the year before.

To combat this concerning trend, Google continues to invest in teams, new policies and better enforcement capabilities. In 2021, we blocked or removed 58.9 million financial services bad ads globally to protect the advertising ecosystem.

Today, we are announcing a significant additional measure to protect both consumers and legitimate advertisers in the UK. The Google Ads Financial Products and Services policy will be updated to require that all advertisers be FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorised for debt adjusting and debt counselling in order to show debt services advertisements starting from 6 December 2022. Insolvency practitioners, including those licensed by a recognized professional body, will no longer be allowed to advertise for these services. Advertisers must successfully complete the updated verification process by the time enforcement begins on 16 January 2023. The policy update also allows advertisers that are included on the FCA Financial Services Register as ‘exempt professional firms’ or recognised investment exchanges to be verified as UK FCA-authorised advertisers.

Our financial services certification policy, launched initially in 2021, has led to a pronounced decline in reports of ads promoting financial scams, and has subsequently been rolled out across Google platforms in Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, Portugal, Brazil, France, Spain and Germany. A problem of this scale needs cross-industry effort, so we are pleased to see other tech companies now commit to introducing similar policies in the UK.

Today’s announcement builds on longstanding and robust financial products and services policies and engagement with industry in order to deliver a safer experience for users, publishers and advertisers.

Further collaborative industry progress to date

In addition to ongoing policy reviews and updates, we continue to adapt and collaborate with industry and government organisations to tackle these evolving tactics by scammers. Last year, Google was the first major technology company to join Stop Scams UK, an industry-led collaboration of responsible businesses from across the banking, telecoms and technology sectors who have come together to develop best practices to stop scams at the source.

We also pledged $5 million in advertising credits to support public awareness campaigns in the UK, helping to ensure that consumers are better informed about how to spot the tactics of scammers both online and offline. We encourage businesses and consumers to refer to industry resources from trusted sources and Google partners including Stop Scams, UK Finance’s ‘Take 5’ campaign and the Advertising Standards Authority to stay up to date with the latest solutions we can all adopt to operate safely online.

What publishers should focus on now to prepare for privacy changes

In the fourth episode of our Publisher Privacy Q&A series, we talk about what publishers should be prioritizing and focused on right now to prepare their businesses for ongoing and upcoming privacy changes.

Stay tuned for the fifth Publisher Privacy Q&A episode coming soon. In the meantime, check out episodes 1, 2, and 3 of this series.

Working with UNESCO to support Ukraine’s teachers on World Teachers' Day

“The transformation of education begins with teachers” is the theme for World Teachers' Day 2022. For Ukraine’s teachers, who have had to transform the way they work and teach over the last seven months, these words take on an entirely different meaning.

Ukrainian teachers and children continue to be impacted by the war - whether they’re refugees abroad, displaced in their own country, or trapped in areas under fire. According to the authorities, 2,292 education institutions have been damaged and 309 destroyed since the Russian offensive began in February.

This has meant that two out of three children who were living in Ukraine at the beginning of this year have had their education disrupted, with some of these children out of education completely. Given the experiences of these children, and what they have witnessed, many are also traumatized. The classroom, whether virtual or otherwise, can help children to heal by being a place of security through which normality, curiosity and play can return.

Supporting Ukraine’s teachers

To support Ukrainian teachers to keep teaching, and students to keep learning, are providing UNESCO with €1.2M to train and equip 50,000 teachers in Ukraine with psychosocial skills to support the mental health of their students. This will help Ukrainian teachers with some critical tools they need to continue teaching – including into the longer term – in these challenging circumstances. This latest support builds on the over $40 million in cash donations and $5 million of in-kind support for humanitarian relief efforts provided by and Google employees.

Providing the tools

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with organisations including the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science and UNESCO to provide Chromebooks to schools - helping teachers connect with their students, wherever they are now based.

Since then, for many teachers the challenges have escalated. This academic year started with more than 40% of Ukrainian schools giving classes online to increasing numbers of displaced and traumatized children.

To help teachers connect with their students, wherever they and their students are, we've increased our commitment to provide Chromebooks from 43,000 to 50,000. Thanks to our close collaboration with UNESCO and the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science, these Chromebooks have started to arrive. They are currently being distributed to teachers in and around the Dnipro region, and will be provided throughout the country in the weeks ahead.

Of course, university and college students have been impacted by the war in Ukraine too - with many unable to attend their classes in person or in real-time. To help support them continue in their education, we’ve now given 250 universities and colleges six months’ free access to our premium Google Workspace for Education features. These features support higher education online learning, allowing universities to host meetings for up to 250 students and record them in Drive.

Providing the resources

To help Ukraine’s teachers adapt to giving lessons purely online, Google is working with local partners to deliver training in online tools, such as Google Workspace for Education, through a series of workshops and resources. We’ve recently increased our goal from 50,000 to 200,000 teachers trained by June 2023.

We’ll continue to search for ways we can partner with Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science, and those of bordering countries, to help those impacted by the war in Ukraine - including the millions of school and university students trying to access education in this trying and difficult time.

How LiDAR tech helps preserve world heritage

There’s a ninth-century Buddhist temple at the heart of an ancient city in Myanmar that’s constructed from red brick and adorned with exquisite plaster moldings softened by weather and age. When a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the area in 2016, its walls collapsed and the plaster crumbled. And this is just one temple amongst more than 3,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries in a vast archeological site that sprawls over 65 square kilometers, so assessing the scale of the damage — and how to repair it — was a huge and complex task.

Luckily, the team at CyArk, a Google Arts and Culture partner, were in a position to help. Six months before the earthquake, they had gathered a series of detailed 3D laser scans – or “digital twins” – of Bagan’s cultural sites for a UNESCO conservation project. By creating another set of “twins” in the earthquake’s aftermath, they could compare before and after in precise detail. For the engineers and conservators tasked with repairing Bagan, the data was invaluable.

According to John Ristevski, CEO and chairman of CyArk, the project was one dramatic example of “putting data to work to solve problems.” As the Bagan Lab Experiment shows, the data also served another purpose: bringing ancient heritage to life for new audiences around the world. Google Arts and Culture sat down with John to learn more about how this kind of 3D laser scanning technology, also known as LiDAR, can help preserve cultural heritage, tell captivating stories and make history more accessible.

John, tell us a bit more about LiDAR devices and how they work.

Ben Kacyra, who founded CyArk in 2003 to preserve and celebrate cultural heritage, developed the first mobile LiDAR devices in the mid-nineties. LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and these devices use lasers to create incredibly detailed and accurate 3D representations of places that would be hard to describe using other means. Think of the inside of a submarine or an oil refinery, for instance – it would take forever to measure and map these places using traditional methods. A LiDAR device can gather many millions of data points per second.

So it’s safe to say that LiDAR beats a measuring tape and a pencil – but is it enough?

At Bagan, we also used aerial drone photography and photogrammetry, a technique that allows us to build 3D reconstructions that capture the colors and textures of the pagodas and temples in photo-realistic detail. Alongside these, we collected interviews, audio soundscapes and 360-degree video to evoke the atmosphere and history of Bagan.

Members of CyArk, Myanmar's Department of Archaeology, Carleton University and Yangon Technological University during a 3D documentation workshop at Bagan, 2016.

Google Arts and Culture lends itself to pulling all these different pieces together to present coherent, interactive experiences, pushing the boundaries of how to tell these stories online. Open Heritage or Resilience of the Redwoods are two examples of that.

What threatens world heritage sites today and how can 3D models help?

The number one threat is climate change. Rising sea levels, desertification, rainfall events and so on are affecting sites and monuments that are not designed to withstand them. The Bagan earthquake was a dramatic, one-off event. But climate change is more insidious and it’s often harder to pin down its effects. By helping us understand how heritage sites are changing, 3D data can support efforts to preserve them which we’ve been doing with Heritage on the Edge.

What does the future hold for Bagan, and for LiDAR technology?

In 2019, Bagan was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Careful restoration work is ongoing to protect and preserve its statues, soaring temples and hand-painted frescoes, and it continues to be an active site of pilgrimage and worship.

CyArk team members on a fieldwork trip to Rapa Nui, 2020.

Looking ahead, our hope for LiDAR technology is not just to document the world's cultural heritage ourselves, but to share these techniques and methods with others. A good example of this is our work in Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. Its unique moai stone statues are threatened by storms, rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Local people have now acquired their own LiDAR equipment to help preserve the island's cultural heritage for generations to come.

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