Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New About Google - 22 February 2011

  • Making Websites Mobile Friendly
    February 21, 2011
    Webmaster level: Intermediate
    We’ve noticed a rise in the number of questions from webmasters about how best to structure a website for mobile phones and how websites can best interact with Googlebot-Mobile. In this post we’ll explain the current situation and give you specific recommendations you can implement now.

    Some Background

    Let’s start with a simple question: what do we mean by “mobile phone” when talking about mobile-friendly websites?
    A good way to answer this question is to think about the capabilities of the mobile phone’s web

  • Ad Blitz winner revealed
    February 18, 2011
    It's been about two weeks since the Super Bowl aired, but our ears are still ringing from the noise of advertisers jockeying for position in Ad Blitz, YouTube’s contest to find the best Super Bowl ad. Last Sunday, we added Super Bowl spots to the Ad Blitz gallery as they aired on gameday, and people could come to the channel (or even hop on their mobile devices) to vote for their favorites.

    We’ve tabulated the final votes, and are pleased to announce that the winner is...



    It was a great Super Bowl for mobile this year, with over

  • This Week's Trends: Britney Spears, Protests, and Videos That 'Get Passed Around'
    February 18, 2011
    Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:

  • 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer
    February 18, 2011


    Cross posted from the Google Docs blog
    The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.

    Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
    • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010

  • Google Apps highlights – 2/18/11
    February 18, 2011
    This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

    This Friday update includes improvements to the Gmail mobile web app and Google Docs interfaces, a feature long-sought-after by many Google Voice fans, a powerful account security improvement and stories from several of the companies and government agencies that have recently moved to Google Apps.

    Priority Inbox for Gmail mobile web app
    Keeping what’s most important front
  • Beyond Times and Arial - The New Web Safe Fonts
    February 18, 2011
    Webmaster level: All

    In the past, when you created a website or web app, you were largely limited to a few select “web safe” fonts such as Times and Arial. If you deviated from these fonts, you were required to use Adobe Flash or your embed text in images, which introduced a whole new set of trade offs. For example, images aren’t semantic, cannot be translated into other languages automatically, and can be much larger in file size than text. In addition, text in images cannot be copied to a user’s clipboard, read with screen-reading software or
  • Native Client: Getting ready for takeoff
    February 18, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Chromium Blog)
    Over the last few months we have been hard at work getting Native Client ready to support the new Pepper plug-in interface. Native Client is an open source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly and safely execute native compiled code inside the browser. Today, we’ve reached an important milestone in our efforts to make Native Client modules as portable and secure as JavaScript, by making available a first release of the revamped Native Client SDK.
    The SDK now includes

  • Simplifed quota management for Google Project Hosting
    February 18, 2011
    We just released a change to simplify how we manage disk space for open source projects hosted on Google Code.

    Previously, we enforced disk quota on a component-by-component basis. For example, source code used to have a 2-GB limit and downloads used to have a separate 2-GB limit. As of today, we’re announcing a single disk quota limit of 4 GB for an entire project. From now on, you can decide how to best use the unified quota across your whole project.

    Happy hacking!




  • Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map
    February 18, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Students Blog and Lat Long Blog)

    When I was in elementary school, I got two days off every February; one for George Washington and another for Abraham Lincoln. I remember classrooms were usually wallpapered with a potpourri of decorations left over from Valentine’s Day and token silhouettes of these two Presidents thumb-tacked to the bulletin board. My teachers would talk about the significance of the holiday during class but with lack of visuals to pique my interest, it was always hard to retain (and fully enjoy

  • 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer
    February 18, 2011
    Cross posted on the Official Gmail blog
    The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.

    Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
    • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
    • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
    • Adobe Illustrator

  • I Have Come From The Land Down Under....
    February 18, 2011


    Along with an unintended tan from the Brisbane sun and a serious sense of awe at how large golden silk orb-weavers are, I came home from linux.conf.au (LCA) 2011 with a bunch of new ideas from the plethora of terrific talks at the conference. You can find videos of most of the talks on the conference wiki but I have to call out some of my favorites here.

    First and foremost, Vint Cerf, Googler and co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols, gave a thoughtful and humorous keynote on where he thinks the internet is going, and what we need
  • Understanding your eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions): Part 1 of 2
    February 18, 2011
    “What is eCPM? What affects my eCPM? What can I do to earn a higher eCPM?”

    Effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM) is the amount of revenue you can expect to earn from AdSense for every 1000 impressions shown on your site. Since eCPM helps you measure how well your ads are performing, we often hear questions from publishers about the factors that impact this metric and how it relates to their earnings. If you're using the new interface, you'll see that your reports show RPM (revenue per thousand impressions); RPM is just another term
  • The U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron takes your questions on the Middle East, global affairs and British domestic policy
    February 18, 2011
    Last month, we introduced the YouTube World View program with a citizen-powered interview with U.S. President Barack Obama. Starting today, through World View, YouTube and Al Jazeera English are bringing you another chance to engage with one of the world’s preeminent leaders in a special interview: British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    In light of current events, you’re invited to submit questions to Mr Cameron about foreign policy, national security, and how he views the present situation in the Middle East. In addition, you can

  • Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map
    February 18, 2011


    (Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long Blog.)

    When I was in elementary school, I got two days off every February; one for George Washington and another for Abraham Lincoln. I remember classrooms were usually wallpapered with a potpourri of decorations left over from Valentine’s Day and token silhouettes of these two Presidents thumb-tacked to the bulletin board. My teachers would talk about the significance of the holiday during class but with lack of visuals to pique my interest
  • YouTube Highlights 2/17/2011
    February 17, 2011
    This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you regular updates on new product features, interesting programs to watch and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.

    A lot has happened since our last update, including protests in Egypt, a major U.S. sporting event, the launch of the Google Art project and the Grammy Music Awards—all portrayed in different ways by YouTube and our global community.

    Footage of
  • Designing award-winning video games with SketchUp
    February 17, 2011
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the biggest video game of 2009. It sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, was identified by Metacritic as the most critically acclaimed game of the year, racked up more than 50 Game of the Year awards and set a new bar for artistry and storytelling in a video game. I spent more Saturday nights than I care to admit playing this game, so I was pretty excited when I found out that Robh Ruppel, Art Director at Naughty Dog Studios, used Google SketchUp to help design the game’s look and feel.

    We sat down
  • The art and design of Uncharted 2
    February 17, 2011
    When I joined the SketchUp team a few months back, I did what most people do when they want to learn about something new: I plugged “SketchUp” into my favorite search engine. It wasn’t long before I found my way to this wonderful interview of concept artist Robh Ruppel done by our friends at SketchUpArtists.org.


    Robh was the Art Director on the massive PS3 hit Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. In this interview, he discusses how he used SketchUp to help conceptualize and design the video game’s look and feel. For those of you who

  • New in Building Maker: Duplication
    February 17, 2011
    Endlessly repetitive buildings might not do wonders for the urban fabric of a city (Le Corbusier's Ville Radieuse, anyone?), but they present some distinct advantages for the average geo-modeling addict. Anyone using a computer who hears the phrase "repeated forms" should immediately think “duplicate.” After all, doing the same thing over and over again is what microprocessors live for.

    Similar buildings in the The Hague, The Netherlands

    Nearly identical apartment blocks in Berlin, Germany

    In situations like the ones in the

  • An update to Google Social Search
    February 16, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Social Web Blog)

    Today we’re doing a little bit more to bring you all the goodness of Google, plus the opinions of the people you care about. As always, we want to help you find the most relevant answers among the billions of interconnected pages on the web. But relevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships. That’s why we introduced Google Social Search in 2009, and why we’ve made a number of improvements since then. Today we’re taking another step forward—enabling you to get even more information
  • Sixteen demos enter. One demo triumphs. Welcome to the Demo Slampionship.
    February 16, 2011
    Last October, we introduced Demo Slam based on one simple idea: nobody knows Google tech better than our users. So we asked all of you to submit tech demo videos that showcase our technology in fun ways.

    Four months and many tech demos later, Demo Slam has reached people all over the world. Thanks to students, musicians, filmmakers, scientists, athletes, animators and even a toddler, demoslam.com has become a hub of creativity and technology. We’ve seen voice searches 20 feet off the ground, a living replica of Mt. Rushmore
  • Updates to the Google Reader app for Android
    February 16, 2011
    Today we’re excited to announce some updates to the official Google Reader app for Android. Over the last couple of months, we’ve added some of your most-requested features:
    • Unread count widget - choose any feed, label, person, or “all items” and get the unread count on your home screen. Clicking on the widget takes you to straight to that stream.
    • News ticker widget - if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the

  • Act locally in Sudan with new imagery & maps
    February 16, 2011


    (Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long Blog.)

    After years of conflict, Southern Sudan overwhelmingly opted to secede from the country's north. Many challenges lie ahead as the newly independent state negotiates the rocky path towards independence. We believe that access to high-quality, up-to-date and locally relevant maps will assist humanitarian organizations working in the region.

    We are encouraging users to add their local knowledge to this mapping effort through a campaign
  • Visualize your own data in the Google Public Data Explorer
    February 16, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)
    Over the past two years, we’ve made public data easier to find, explore and understand in several ways, providing unemployment figures, population statistics and world development indicators in search results, and introducing the Public Data Explorer tool. Together with our data provider partners, we’ve curated 27 datasets including more than 300 data metrics. You can now use the Public Data Explorer to visualize everything from labor productivity (OECD) to Internet speed (Ookla) to

  • Visualize your own data in the Google Public Data Explorer
    February 16, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google Code Blog)

    Over the past two years, we’ve made public data easier to find, explore and understand in several ways, providing unemployment figures, population statistics and world development indicators in search results, and introducing the Public Data Explorer tool. Together with our data provider partners, we’ve curated 27 datasets including more than 300 data metrics. You can now use the Public Data Explorer to visualize everything from labor productivity (OECD) to Internet speed (Ookla) to gender
  • New Interface Wednesdays: Compare and search performance across multiple date ranges
    February 16, 2011
    Have you ever run a test on one of your ad units, and wished you could more easily compare performance from before and after the test? If you've created and saved an ad unit in your account, you'll now find an easy way to do this in your ad units report.
    • Start by visiting the Performance Reports tab and choosing the ad units report (you'll find it in the navigation bar under "Entire account by day").
    • Search for the name of an ad unit you've updated and select it.
    • Open the date range box and set a window of dates before your test -- for example

  • Welcome to the Orkut Box Office
    February 16, 2011
    A good movie, popcorn, and your best friends. This weekend, Orkut helps make your movie choice a little simpler. Presenting to you, the Orkut Box Office - Your one stop shop for movie reviews, latest updates and free tickets!


    For Orkut users in Mumbai, we are giving away tickets to the latest movie releases on the 19th and 20th of February at PVR Juhu and Mulund.

    All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
    1. Be in Mumbai on Feb 19 and Feb 20
    2. Log onto www.orkut.com/boxoffice
    3. Post a comment, a funny story

  • A simple way for publishers to manage access to digital content
    February 15, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google News Blog)

    At Humboldt University in Berlin today, Eric Schmidt announced Google One Pass, a service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.

    Readers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password. Importantly
  • Ask not what your ad campaigns can do for you, but what you can do for your ad campaigns to get the most out of President's Day
    February 15, 2011
    Think that Valentine’s Day is the only holiday for retailers in February? Think again: between January 1 and the present, searches for the term “presidents day sales” have increased by almost 100%.














    As the graph below suggests, queries for “presidents day deals” have grown over the years, and this observation is worth advertisers’ time; creating new ad text and having a coupon code for shoppers looking to score a bargain this weekend may be valuable.















    Below are a few quick tips and
  • Dutch geo-modelers gather to model The Hague
    February 15, 2011
    Cross-posted from the Dutch Google Product Blog.
    Delft, The Netherlands was the most recent location for a Your World in 3D workshop. The goal of the event was to gather members of the local community to learn Building Maker so that they could model The Hague. Design8, an established Google SketchUp distributor in The Netherlands, organized, promoted and led a very successful event. Over 60 people attended the workshop, which was held at the ultra-modern technical facilities of TU Delft, a prominent Dutch engineering school.


  • Search trends: a clue to 2011 Oscar winners?
    February 15, 2011
    Each year, as the Academy Awards bubble to the top of our collective consciousness, we see a major spike in search traffic related to the event. This year, on the day the nominees were announced, four of the top 10 trending search terms in the U.S. were Oscar-related.

    After last year’s awards ceremony, we provided an in-depth summary of search trends that played out during the broadcast. But could search trends have predicted the winners? To make it easy to explore how the actors, directors and cinematographers are trending in search—and maybe
  • Proper Animation is a very cool plugin
    February 15, 2011
    Somewhere near the top of SketchUp's all-time list of feature requests, there's a big, bold headline that reads ANIMATE THE MOVEMENT OF OBJECTS. It's something all of us have wanted to do at one time or another. Unfortunately, it's also not something we've managed to tackle just yet. And that's why Ruby script plugins for SketchUp are so darn useful.
    A while ago, I found out about a nice little plugin called Proper Animation. Watching the teaser video (below) inspired me to model and animate my very own robotic contraption. Shockingly, it

  • Use Google Apps APIs without writing a program
    February 15, 2011
    Today we are releasing the Google Apps Shell Interface (GASI), a graphical user interface for administrators working with Google Apps APIs.

    Google Apps administrators work with the APIs for a variety of reasons. First, there are a number of features that are only exposed to the administrator through the APIs. Second, the administrator may wish to save time by automating a task instead of repeating it for thousands of users. Traditionally, you’d write a program directly using the Google Apps APIs, use libraries such as gData, or write a
  • Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows
    February 15, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google.org Blog)

    In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we’ve started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we’ll focus on communicating the science on climate change.

    We’re kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated

  • Join us on YouTube for Carnival in Brazil
    February 14, 2011
    Ever been to Carnival in Brazil? If you haven’t, you now have the chance to experience Brazil’s iconic celebration on the new YouTube Carnival channel via your computer or your mobile phone, from the streets of Salvador, Bahia, one of the largest cities in Brazil and carnival-rival only to sister-city, Rio de Janeiro.

    The YouTube Carnival channel will offer live feeds to Salvador’s multi-day street fest from Thursday, March 3 to Thursday, March 8, or Fat Tuesday (literally, Mardi Gras). YouTube visitors worldwide will now be

  • Speed Thrills - Tackling the YouTube video processing challenge
    February 14, 2011
    Few things can be more frustrating than waiting for what feels like years for that amazing video you just shot to finish uploading to the site so you can publish it and share it with your friends. Whether it’s the speed a video plays back, or the speed a video uploads, at YouTube speed matters. Why do we care so much about speed? Because we know that speed can mean the difference between you having a good experience, or you leaving YouTube in search of a better, faster one.

    Today, as we look at 2011, we’d like to review our progress in improving
  • A refresh to the Documents List
    February 14, 2011
    Over the past year, many of you have been taking advantage of the ability to upload any file to Google Docs. With more files and of a variety of file types in one place, it becomes more difficult to organize and find what you need quickly. As a result, we are happy to announce that, over the next couple of days, we’ll be rolling out a refresh to the documents list, aimed to make it more useful to find, explore and share all your files stored 100% on the web.


    First, we added a number of filters in this refresh, making it easier to narrow
  • New Chrome extension: block sites from Google’s web search results
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google Chrome Blog)

    We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we're exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search
  • Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 now available
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Google Web Toolkit Blog)
    Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 are now available with several new features that we’re excited to share with you. First, Google Plugin for Eclipse 2.2 directly integrates GWT Designer, a powerful WYSIWYG Ajax user interface (UI) designer that makes it much easier to quickly build UIs. Second, developers can take advantage of the modern web with the first round of HTML5 support within the GWT SDK. Additionally, GWT’s CellTable widget now offers new functionality, such as default

  • Send virtual love this Valentine’s Day
    February 14, 2011
    Scrambling to make last-minute dinner reservations and to order a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses before your local florist is left with only withered strands of baby’s breath? You don’t even need to leave your computer to send your own personalized message of love this Valentine’s Day.

    With Unlisted videos, you can send a message to your sweetheart without anyone else knowing you’re sometimes referred to as “Honeybear”. When you upload your video, mark it as “Unlisted”. Then you can share it with only those people who have the URL.

    There
  • Pin your love on the map
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Lat Long Blog)

    This Valentine’s Day, tell your friends, family or significant other that you love them with a fun message from Google Maps.


    Location can be a powerful trigger of memories—from the Italian place in San Francisco where you went on your first date to the cabin you rented at Lake Tahoe with your roommates. For that reason, we thought it would be great to create a Valentine’s Day card that’s tied to a specific location. As long as there’s a place that means something special to you and the

  • Get Basic Search Results by Limiting Google to Specific Reading Level
    February 14, 2011
    Often we want our search results to be basic, less technical or simpler than what Google gives us. For example, when you search Google for some less popular term, Google throws business reports or technical documentations that are good but useless results. Though the result quality is high with in-depth information but they are of no use for basic and simple purpose.
    Come Google’s Reading Level, an advance search tool to limit your search results based on complexity of content. Google actually paid to teachers to classify information for simplicity parameters and devised an algorithm to find and categorize web pages. You can find this tool in Advance Search options.
    According to Google, you should use it when –
    #. A junior high school teacher looking for content for her students.
    #. Second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level.
    #. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts
    In addition, you can use it :
    #. When you just want an overview of the topic and cover some basics.
    #. When you want to dig deep into the subject
    #. When you are sick of same results and wants a different reading experience.
    You can not only limit your results for basic level, but also filter results with advance reading level if you want to have an expertise on the topic.
    How to Filter or Limit Your Google Search Results Based on Complexity of Content?
    To use this tool, follow these simple steps –
    1) Go to Advance Search Option in Google or Click on Advance Search below the search box, once the results are displayed.
    2) Under “Need more tools” section, you will see Reading level drop-down
    Google Advance Search Reading Tool
    3) Select the option based on your needs.
    4) Select “Annotate results with reading levels” if you want all results and the select between them.
    Cloose Google REading Level
    At any point of time, you can clear the filter for the results by clicking on the X on the top blue bar.
    The idea of filtering search results based on content complexity sounds good but from the results it looks like Google has yet to throw extra efforts on refining the algorithm. However, the effort that Google has made and the progress in this direction looks promising and you can expect some major changes in coming days. This can also impact on search ranking for different sites and can play a major factor in web competition. All in all, it’s a welcome step from Google because it enhances search experience by categorization of content.
    via – Google Support

  • Google Code-in Grand Prize Winners
    February 14, 2011
    Today we are pleased to announce the grand prize winners of the Google Code-in contest. We first want to thank all the participants for their work – we had over 2,000 tasks completed by more than 360 pre-university students from 48 countries! Every student who participated in the contest will be receiving a t-shirt and certificate of participation.

    We decided that 10 grand prize winners weren’t sufficient to acknowledge all the hard work put into the contest, so we’ve accepted our top 14 finalists instead. For their excellent work
  • This week in search 2/11/11
    February 11, 2011
    This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

    With features like Instant, the dynamic left-hand panel of tools, voice search and Google Goggles, search is becoming more interactive all the time. You don’t just type and query and hit enter: you can speak your search query, and whether typing or speaking, you can search in a kind of conversation, with the results and search tools updating dynamically based on just a few

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