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A big thanks to our Pubcon 2014 sponsor, LinkResearchTools, your off-page SEO toolkit and Link Detox: Recover – Protect – Build.

At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting about the future of Google Authorship.

Since Google Authorship was introduced, it has been considered an important component to content marketing. Recently, we have seen Google de-emphasizing Authorship in the SERPs with the removal of photos, as well as making a statement about not continuing with the Authorship project.

Mark is a renowned Google+ expert with a tremendous amount of insight into what’s going on with Authorship. In the video below, I pick Mark’s brain about why Google decided to pull back on Authorship and why they made their most recent statement about it.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

Mark speculates another reason for Google pulling back on Authorship was the adoption rate was very low. That means Google was working with an incomplete signal.

Another possible reason for Google pulling back on Authorship, Mark speculates, is that Google was not quite ready to say “We are sure that content from a given author is high quality.”

However, Mark admits Google was making strides towards accomplishing the above point. In December, Google introduced two classes of Authorship where some authors had their photos displayed in the SERPs and others didn’t. But Mark adds perhaps Google felt they weren’t quite ready to do that after a while.

One of the barriers to Authorship adoption was the fact that it relied on publishers to properly mark up their own content with a special code, which most didn’t do.

Going forward, Mark believes Google’s focus is going to be on semantic search where Google is trying to train its algorithm to be able to recognize entities and connect them together without humans having to intervene.

What we’re seeing now, Mark explains, is a pull back from a too-public experiment (Authorship) into something that Google can quietly work on and perfect over the next several years (semantic search).

Even with the end of Authorship, Mark contends that being able to identify influential authors is still very important to Google, which is evident by the fact that Google still returns author info when you’re signed in to Google+. When signed in to G+, relevant content from your connections will be elevated in the SERPs complete with an old-fashioned authorship photo.

Mark concludes his thoughts by saying that what Google learned with its Authorship project will be used to help its algorithms be able to use various signals to identify an author by their content. Once Google can do that, then they can determine how authoritative an author is and perhaps boost his or her content accordingly.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

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An Interview With David Harry, Sensei Of The Seo Dojo

Knowing I was a fellow martial artist, he recently invited me to take part in his latest project called the SEO Dojo , a community for “SEO Warriors” to teach, share and learn the SEO craft.  I spend a lot of time at my dojo with my karate family, so the concept of bringing SEO to a dojo felt like a match made in heaven – I had to learn more.

What was the inspiration for the Dojo analogy as an SEO community?

Well, as you well know, a Dojo is a place that has a sense of family. Sure, on the surface it is a school of learning, ultimately we’re all students AND teachers in the martial arts community. I longed to have a place to play with others in SEO that were seeking to expand their knowledge and abilities.

My main blog ‘Huo Mah’ (or Fire Horse) was nothing more than a personal site gone mad. Why stop there right? After having a past obsession with martial arts for 20 years it seemed fitting that my new obsession had some sense of my own past and evolution. Besides, the ‘Ninja’ are always getting the glory, some Chinese representation was lacking :0)

Do you consider the SEO Dojo as handing down a tradition, similar to the traditional concept behind dojos? Is it about the basics and building a foundation? Or is it where a place where the knowledge shared is only valuable today, but may not necessarily be relevant in the future?

Oh for sure, it’s not all about snippets of knowledge; there is an element of respect and responsibility to the craft. If it is how SEOs conduct themselves or the techniques used, there is more than simply techniques. We hope to develop a community of individuals that are looking to evolve SEO as search itself does.

Much like any Dojo, users will only get as much out of it as they put in. I want the interactions to be the core of the community. By combining our thoughts and ideas (not to mention research) we can all develop into better SEOs. Building a foundation is easy – we want to go beyond that.

I’ve really cultivated as many relationships with the younger SEOs as I have with old timers and it seems only natural – passing along what we learn is mandatory for the obsessed search geek, oui?

You are obviously investing a lot of time and resources into the SEO Dojo – do you have a business model in mind?

It’s funny, that part has been troublesome. I wanted it to be accessible, but not entirely open. Sure, there are a lot of associated costs along the way, but the main thing is maintaining focus. People tend to pay more attention to things when it is costing them something.

That being said, there is no way I am going to go at it with the two headed dragon that is SEOmoz and SEO Book communities. Those guys are well entrenched as they should be – they have solid offerings (talked to current and former members). For the moment we’ll likely just have a nominal monthly fee to keep it real. As long as it covers its associated costs, it can grow itself.

Do you consider SEO a moving target? If so how so?

OM-friggen-G, now you’ve gone an done it… One thing I can go on about all day is the over-stated calls for the death of SEO. It is truly unthinkable if one has read even a handful of IR research papers. As long as computer scientist and search engineers are dreaming up new ways to serve up the world’s information, search manipulators… erm.. uh..I mean ‘optimizers’ will have plenty to keep their obsessive minds busy late at night. This target is perpetually on the move!

They go hand in hand, the evolution of search IS the evolution of SEO; as long as the search engines keep changing things (3-400/ year at Google) that target will be moving. Sometimes it is more subtle ongoing shifts and other times more prominent (such as the recent ‘Vince Update’ or ‘Orion’ algo). After that you can add in personalization, localization and verticals (image, news, blog, product and video search). There is plenty to contend with.

Imagine one the behavioural nut is finally cracked? WOW… I’m getting pumped just thinking about it. Organic search is a never ending evolution and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Who in the industry do you look to and consider as a primary resource?

Who? That would be a fairly extensive list. Obviously much of my respect is for the more technical search geeks such as Bill Slawski , who’s a great guy and helped me a lot in knowing how to approach search patents.

More recently, Marie Claire Jenkins has been huge in bringing me into the world information retrieval. She was equally puzzled that ‘search optimizers’ didn’t know more about ‘search engines’. She’s one seriously obsessed search geek (and name-sake for the badge).

Beyond that I have hundreds of feeds (adding and trimming all the time) that include the usual acronyms SEJ, SEL, SEW, SER and am always looking for interesting discussions on Sphinn. Ultimately my primary resources are likely actual work where one puts the rubber to the road. Blogs posts make me go hmmmmm… testing makes me go AH HA!

How do you think the recession will impact SEO business?

Well if it’s anything like the past ones (and tech bubble bursting) we’ll certainly see some consolidation and some companies die off. The way things are looking at the moment it seems inevitable.

On the flip side, we’ve seen a spike in business in the first quarter of ’09 in all areas ( we also own a web development company). In some cases it seems that pulling out of other media buys in favour of online property investment is at play. Will that hold up for SEO? Not so sure considering the front loaded position in resources that is often required. A lot of the companies seem to think it’s a ‘quick fix’ for desperate times. We’ll see…

As for the search engines, I would have to imagine it’s ‘algo lite’ time for them as well. This means that there could be checks and balances for processing and resources and new techniques need to get buy the boardroom not just the search quality team. This could stagnate search evolution during tough times or create a leaner and meaner search engine. It will be interesting to see how that plays out the next 18 months.

Monica Wright, Organic Search Manager at HMG Search Marketing in Portland, Maine, is an experienced Internet marketer specializing SEO, search marketing, social media and analytics with 12 years of media marketing experience. You can also follow Monica on Twitter.

An Exclusive Interview With Rakesh Jayaprakash, Product Manager, Manageengine

Information technology professionals add value to their business by ensuring that its technological systems support organizational goals. At present, the IT management industry is the most applicable through its use in almost every sector. ManageEngine is such an IT company and Rakesh Jayaprakash is its product manager. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with him.  

Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization and the services that your company offers.

ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. Established and emerging enterprises—including 9 of every 10 Fortune 100 organizations—rely on our real-time IT management tools to ensure optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, and desktops. Our tools help IT teams with service management, operations management, endpoint management, IT security, and data analytics. They are available both on-premises and in the cloud. Our solutions also help our customers effectively manage their on-premises and their private and public cloud infrastructures. We cover the entire spectrum of IT management, allowing our customers to be nimble as they navigate their digital transformation.  

Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of the big data analytics in India and its future?

Analytics and big data initiatives were originally considered nice to have, especially in Asian countries like India, mainly due to the cost associated with procuring analytics tools and training employees to build expertise in this area. The onset of the pandemic accelerated analytics initiatives that complement remote work and allowed business leaders to make crucial decisions irrespective of their physical location. Big data analytics has filled the void created by the lack of direct supervision over daily activities. As business leaders taste the initial success of big data initiatives, they are expected to support and continue to employ data for business decisions well after the pandemic is behind us.  

In what ways is analytics helping organizations with business continuity?

Maintaining a line of communication and the ability to oversee operations is one of the first hurdles organizations face during a natural calamity. A well-designed operations dashboard is imperative when the normal course of business operations is disrupted. This helps top management and mid-level managers monitor organization- and team-level performance irrespective of where they are located. With hybrid work becoming the norm, organizations will see less of a need for close physical proximity to oversee operations. Many different types of companies have turned to analytics applications since remote work took precedence following the pandemic. Success stories such as

What have been the most significant challenges that companies have faced at the forefront of analytics?

Organizations that have adopted a data-driven culture use data analytics at the forefront to make strategic decisions. They do not limit themselves to using data in business decisions but also apply it to intra-organizational decisions that help improve operational efficiencies across departments. Organizations that are slow to comprehend these trends risk falling behind their competition. The biggest problem we see today is not the lack of understanding the benefits of analytics but the speed of adoption by businesses. While larger organizations have started to reap the benefits of utilising analytics, SMBs have been slow to do so, especially in India. This problem is fueled by a lack of initial capital investment and technical expertise. However, this is changing as more businesses realize the importance of deploying an analytics system early and as they recognize, from reviewing success stories, that benefits can be obtained.  

How can business analytics help Indian enterprises avoid security threats?

One of the biggest challenges faced by enterprises is detecting a security breach before it inflicts damage on them. This requires detection of anomalies in user and network behavior, which involves analyzing large volumes of machine-generated data and finding actions that don’t conform with normal behavior. Analytics solutions use machine learning algorithms to perceive user and network behavior over a period of time, establish a baseline, and look for deviations from that baseline. They can highlight abnormal patterns in the form of visualizations or trigger alerts via email or SMS. Some analytics applications also offer compliance reporting out of the box, allowing security analysts to keep an eye on the degree of compliance with industry and ISO regulations.  

What are the barriers to data democratization?

A

Please  brief  us on the recent enhancements to ManageEngine’s IT analytics solution – Analytics Plus, which addresses the need for faster actionable insights?

Analytics Plus uses AI coupled with natural language processing to quickly interpret business questions such as, “What is our SLA compliance percentage this week?” or “Which business service has the highest downtime?” and provides answers in the form of vibrant visualizations. This means business users don’t have to understand the business logic or data sets required to build analytics—they can get actionable insights directly. Since this doesn’t require administrators to expose the underlying data, organizations can turn data democratization into a reality with minimal effort. Analytics Plus provides out-of-the-box analytics for popular IT and business applications. By performing all the heavy lifting without the need for manual intervention, this solution enables people to spend more time on decision-making instead of dedicating time and effort to figuring out ways to use the data available to their organization. Analytics Plus also offers a robust forecasting engine that allows organizations to predict future trends with a higher level of accuracy, so they can anticipate and tackle business problems before they cause harm. Additionally, users can set up alerts for critical business metrics, such as service availability and ROI, and only be notified when they breach preset thresholds. Notifications can be sent to collaboration apps, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, enabling users to concentrate on business-critical functions rather than spend hours sifting through reports every day.  

What does your technology and business roadmap look for the rest of the year?

Our main focus in the near future is to strengthen our augmented analytics capabilities, which truly opens up analytics to non-technical users. This will build on the major update that we released in July this year with the following set of capabilities: AI-driven insights: Our built-in analytics assistant, Zia, now offers narrative insights from reports with zero human effort. These insights help highlight facts that are not obvious to the human eye. Zia allows users to ask follow-up questions, helping them perform deeper analysis with the least amount of effort. What-if analysis: This allows users to run simulations of possible outcomes by factoring in dependent variables. For example, help desk managers can make hiring decisions by visualizing improvements in SLA compliance as a result of including additional technicians to share the workload. Blended analytics: This enables organizations to break data silos and build unified operational dashboards. In addition to offering blended analytics for popular IT applications, Analytics Plus auto-suggests data blending options for other data sources, such as databases and non-IT applications.  

Lastly, can you throw light on the latest employment trends in big data and analytics industry?

As businesses generate more data, the need for cleansing, organizing, and analyzing data has increased. This has given rise to an increased demand for data analysts. Thanks to online courses, working professionals are able to quickly improve their skills to meet this demand.

Information technology professionals add value to their business by ensuring that its technological systems support organizational goals. At present, the IT management industry is the most applicable through its use in almost every sector. ManageEngine is such an IT company and Rakesh Jayaprakash is its product manager. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with him.ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. Established and emerging enterprises—including 9 of every 10 Fortune 100 organizations—rely on our real-time IT management tools to ensure optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, and desktops. Our tools help IT teams with service management, operations management, endpoint management, IT security, and data analytics. They are available both on-premises and in the cloud. Our solutions also help our customers effectively manage their on-premises and their private and public cloud infrastructures. We cover the entire spectrum of IT management, allowing our customers to be nimble as they navigate their digital transformation.Analytics and big data initiatives were originally considered nice to have, especially in Asian countries like India, mainly due to the cost associated with procuring analytics tools and training employees to build expertise in this area. The onset of the pandemic accelerated analytics initiatives that complement remote work and allowed business leaders to make crucial decisions irrespective of their physical location. Big data analytics has filled the void created by the lack of direct supervision over daily activities. As business leaders taste the initial success of big data initiatives, they are expected to support and continue to employ data for business decisions well after the pandemic is behind us.Maintaining a line of communication and the ability to oversee operations is one of the first hurdles organizations face during a natural calamity. A well-designed operations dashboard is imperative when the normal course of business operations is disrupted. This helps top management and mid-level managers monitor organization- and team-level performance irrespective of where they are located. With hybrid work becoming the norm, organizations will see less of a need for close physical proximity to oversee operations. Many different types of companies have turned to analytics applications since remote work took precedence following the pandemic. Success stories such as Morgan-Keller Construction’s use of analytics to support remote workers during the pandemic can inspire other companies to kick-start analytics initiatives.Organizations that have adopted a data-driven culture use data analytics at the forefront to make strategic decisions. They do not limit themselves to using data in business decisions but also apply it to intra-organizational decisions that help improve operational efficiencies across departments. Organizations that are slow to comprehend these trends risk falling behind their competition. The biggest problem we see today is not the lack of understanding the benefits of analytics but the speed of adoption by businesses. While larger organizations have started to reap the benefits of utilising analytics, SMBs have been slow to do so, especially in India. This problem is fueled by a lack of initial capital investment and technical expertise. However, this is changing as more businesses realize the importance of deploying an analytics system early and as they recognize, from reviewing success stories, that benefits can be chúng tôi of the biggest challenges faced by enterprises is detecting a security breach before it inflicts damage on them. This requires detection of anomalies in user and network behavior, which involves analyzing large volumes of machine-generated data and finding actions that don’t conform with normal behavior. Analytics solutions use machine learning algorithms to perceive user and network behavior over a period of time, establish a baseline, and look for deviations from that baseline. They can highlight abnormal patterns in the form of visualizations or trigger alerts via email or SMS. Some analytics applications also offer compliance reporting out of the box, allowing security analysts to keep an eye on the degree of compliance with industry and ISO regulations. recent global study by ManageEngine found that manufacturing, customer support, and HR departments were the least likely to increase their usage of analytics, indicating its adoption is still not widely embraced within organizations. The two biggest barriers to data democratization are concerns about the misinterpretation of data and the lack of trust fueled by the absence of strict enforcement of data security and privacy policies within a company. Organizations today worry about the possibility of non-technical users arriving at incorrect conclusions from their self-analysis of data. While it is not uncommon for non-technical users to overlook important considerations while deriving actionable insights, they often attain better insights over time as their understanding of the data in relation to the business improves. An important step in democratizing data is having a robust privacy framework across the organization and educating employees periodically regarding both its importance and the financial implication of non-compliance with privacy laws. The cost associated with educating employees and the fear associated with the risk of a data breach makes companies shy away from democratizing data for wider use. With the introduction of the GDPR and similar privacy regulations around the world, organizations have all the more reason to keep employees informed and make sure they internalize data handling best practices.Analytics Plus uses AI coupled with natural language processing to quickly interpret business questions such as, “What is our SLA compliance percentage this week?” or “Which business service has the highest downtime?” and provides answers in the form of vibrant visualizations. This means business users don’t have to understand the business logic or data sets required to build analytics—they can get actionable insights directly. Since this doesn’t require administrators to expose the underlying data, organizations can turn data democratization into a reality with minimal effort. Analytics Plus provides out-of-the-box analytics for popular IT and business applications. By performing all the heavy lifting without the need for manual intervention, this solution enables people to spend more time on decision-making instead of dedicating time and effort to figuring out ways to use the data available to their organization. Analytics Plus also offers a robust forecasting engine that allows organizations to predict future trends with a higher level of accuracy, so they can anticipate and tackle business problems before they cause harm. Additionally, users can set up alerts for critical business metrics, such as service availability and ROI, and only be notified when they breach preset thresholds. Notifications can be sent to collaboration apps, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, enabling users to concentrate on business-critical functions rather than spend hours sifting through reports every chúng tôi main focus in the near future is to strengthen our augmented analytics capabilities, which truly opens up analytics to non-technical users. This will build on the major update that we released in July this year with the following set of capabilities:Our built-in analytics assistant, Zia, now offers narrative insights from reports with zero human effort. These insights help highlight facts that are not obvious to the human eye. Zia allows users to ask follow-up questions, helping them perform deeper analysis with the least amount of chúng tôi allows users to run simulations of possible outcomes by factoring in dependent variables. For example, help desk managers can make hiring decisions by visualizing improvements in SLA compliance as a result of including additional technicians to share the chúng tôi enables organizations to break data silos and build unified operational dashboards. In addition to offering blended analytics for popular IT applications, Analytics Plus auto-suggests data blending options for other data sources, such as databases and non-IT chúng tôi businesses generate more data, the need for cleansing, organizing, and analyzing data has increased. This has given rise to an increased demand for data analysts. Thanks to online courses, working professionals are able to quickly improve their skills to meet this demand. The real challenge for data analysts in the long run is to continually build expertise to perform complex analysis. The real competition for data analysts will not come from those with more experience but from analytics solutions themselves, because analytics vendors are in a perpetual race to simplify and automate data analysis with the help of AI, ML, and natural language processing.

Google Project Vault Bakes Super

Google Project Vault bakes super-security into microSD

How much trust can you squeeze into a microSD card? If you’re Google ATAP, the search giant’s outlandish research arm, it turns out the answer is “a huge amount.” Today at I/O the ATAP team revealed Project Vault, a full security computer packed into a microSD form-factor, and which if plugged into a phone, PC, or even an Internet-of-Things device could allow for entirely encrypted communications without the host device ever seeing what’s being discussed or worked on. Best of all, Google is releasing the whole thing as an open-source project.

“There’s an inherent tension between the desire to create capability and the ability to secure the very code that drives those capabilities,” Google ATAP lead Regina Dugan explained.

“My home has windows and doors, a porous boundary which is necessary for people and things to come and go. but those windows and doors make it harder for me to protect everything in the house. so I use a vault,” she said of the motivation behind Project Vault. “It can’t store all of the content of my house but it can store my most precious possessions.”

Project Vault the card does effectively the same thing. As well as an ARM processor there’s 4GB of isolated, sealed storage inside, together with NFC and an antenna which ATAP uses to identify the correct user is nearby.

Together, they can store files securely – Vault cleverly recreates the file structure a device would expect to find when it’s slotted in, only allowing access to specific data and marking all the other blocks as bad, which effectively makes it platform-agnostic – but also offer a suite of cryptographic services.

That includes hashing, signing, bulk and streaming encryption, and a hardware random number generator. ATAP has even found space for immutable logging, a gigabyte record of any attempts to access the card so that a hacking attempt could later be pinpointed.

The project is being led by someone with a notorious passion for privacy and security. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is formerly of DARPA, just like Dugan herself, and joined ATAP in 2013. According to him, it’s about time that users had the same sort of security options that carriers and device manufacturers have made sure they engineer into the phones and other gadgets we carry.

“It turns out, you already have security elements in your phones and computers: SIM cards. They protect the things important to the carriers. Trusted Platform Modules. They’re the things that protect things important to the OEM and the content providers,” he pointed out. “Where’s the thing that protects the things that are important to you, that you have control over? So we made one.”

In Mudge’s demo, two smartphones running an instant messaging app were able to communicate via text message without the server in-between, or indeed the devices themselves, getting any inkling of what was being discussed. It needn’t be just text, though: in addition to encrypting any data stored on the card, Project Vault can secure streaming messaging, voice, and video communications, all in real-time.

It’ll be fully open-source, too, because ATAP is more than aware that it might struggle to gain the trust of the people who need to believe in Vault’s value.

“We’re doing this to be fully transparent because we want developers to be able to see how it works, understand it, and trust it,” Mudge explained.

Today, Google is deploying around 500 prototypes internally, as well as revealing the research hardware, dev-kit, and its accompanying software. It’s unclear when you might be able to buy a Project Vault card yourself, however.

“It shouldn’t matter how many doors or windows your house has,” Mudge concluded, “as long as it has a vault in it.”

MORE Project Vault

What Is Project Management Software?

Project management software is used to track assignments and the number of hours your team works on projects.

Top features include scheduling and task-management tools, plus analytics and integrations.

Project management solutions are especially useful for businesses with remote teams and freelancers because the software provides a digital space for collaboration.

This article is for business owners who want to learn more about project management software and find the right solution for their business.

For many businesses today, especially those with distributed workforces, a to-do list just isn’t enough. Project management software is a much more sophisticated digital system that allows you to manage your team’s assignments in an online space. Learn exactly what project management software is, the best features to look for when purchasing such solutions and what your business stands to gain from using these programs.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right project management software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Key Takeaway

Project management software is a great tool for businesses that employ remote workers, but any company can benefit from the improved organization and streamlined communication that project management software facilitates.

What are the best features of project management software?

As you embark on choosing the right project management software for your business, there are several factors to consider, like capabilities, pricing and customer service. When it comes to functionality, here are some of the top project management system features to look for.

Scheduling and task-management tools

Easy-to-use scheduling and task-management tools make it a breeze to tackle multiple projects at once. Project management software is supposed to streamline your operations, not make them more difficult, so these tools must be simple and direct. 

Team collaboration tools

Team collaboration tools, which allow teammates to work on projects together and communicate directly with one another, are also essential. Examples of collaboration tools include instant-messaging features and message-board feeds. You and your employees must be able to connect with one another, which is key to project planning.

Reporting options

Receiving timely information about your team’s assignments and progress is a critical component of every project. Real-time reporting options let you easily track project activity. This project management software feature shows you what’s done, stalled and completed, as well as what you need to do to keep the workflow moving.

Integrations

Integrations are a big part of workplace technology. Having software that seamlessly connects to the other critical programs you use helps to improve operations. Look for a project management system with native app integrations that will benefit your company. This makes collaboration with other software easier, faster and smoother for you and your team.

Invoicing options

Purchasing a project management program that has an invoicing feature is useful for projects that require you to create a budget or financial plan. These tools allow you to calculate costs, track hours, send quotes and bill clients. [Alternatively, see our recommendations for the best invoicing software, which could integrate with your project management solution.]

Mobile app

Having a mobile app for your project management software gives you and your employees flexibility. When you’re not chained to your desktop, you can check on your team’s progress from anywhere and team members can keep you updated while on the go.

Tip

Before you purchase project management software, be sure to assess the system’s reporting options, integrations and scheduling functions, as well as the task management and team collaboration tools. A free trial is a great way to test these features.

Did You Know?

Our overview of the best online project management software can make it quick and easy to select and purchase a project management platform.

Remove Google Search From The Google Gboard Keyboard (Android)

Google Keyboard has changed its name as well as many other things in its latest update released this month. Gboard, as it’s now called, has been available on iOS for more than 6 months, however, has only just hit Android devices this week. If you have updated to the new style or are considering doing so, this guide will show you how to remove the one feature that is driving people crazy, the “G” search icon.

How to Group Video Chat Using Facebook Messenger.

The biggest and most bragged about feature of Gboard is the built-in Google Search function, which makes searching Google available from anywhere your keyboard will display. You no longer have to open your browser to search. If you have updated from an older version or have downloaded Gboard just recently, this function is quite sporadic in its activation. On some devices, it is active from the get-go and other devices it must be turned on manually.

Some of the Interesting Functions of Google’s Gboard.

There is also a similar function available to use for GIF’s, however, the GIF function is limited to certain boards and chats such as Google Hangouts. As the trend catches it will become more widely available.

If you are a more practical person, Gboard also allows you to toggle the number of rows displayed permanently on your keyboard, maximising the display area of your screen by reducing the keyboard’s footprint. Multiple languages are also available for those users that are multilingual.

Note: The language option doesn’t work as well on Gboard as other keyboards in my opinion. Another keyboard worth trying if you switch between languages a lot is Fleksy. If you would like great multilingual support, that’s quick to switch between languages, Fleksy will serve you well.

The last cool feature is the ability to change the theme of Gboard, which isn’t all that new of a concept, as most keyboards on offer also allow this option, However! Something that you can do theme-wise, that not many, if any at all offer, is the ability to set a custom background for your keyboard.

If you are a big fan of the new style keyboard but hate the Google search option it is possible to disable it without much trouble at all. If however, you are on the other side and don’t have it enabled and wish to decide for yourself if it is worth using, you can turn it on just as easily.

Disabling or Enabling the Google Search box on Google’s Gboard Keyboard (formerly Google Keyboard)

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to enable or trying to disable the search box at the top of Gboard, it is basically the same process. To begin, open Gboard keyboard Settings, which can be done from the app drawer. Once the settings menu is open, tap Search and toggle the Show “G” Button to either On or Off. It’s that simple! You can now open your keyboard to double check the box is gone.

Whilst you are in the settings menu, it’s worth going into the Advanced box at the bottom and turning off Share usage Statistics and Share Snippets to get yourself a little extra privacy. Having the option to turn these settings on and off is probably just for show, but who knows if it does work why not use it.

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