Friday, January 4, 2008

[G] New features for 2008!

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Official Google Docs Blog: New features for 2008!



It's been two months since we launched Google Presentations and already we've got new toys! We've been listening to your feedback and working hard to get you new features as quickly as possible (so keep the suggestions coming). 2008 is going to be a feature packed year for Google Docs, and we are proud to kick it off with these cool new things you can do starting today:



But we didn't stop with these new presentation features - today we are releasing some top user-requested features that we've been working on for several months (yes, even over the holidays):

* Sub-folders, sub-folders, sub-folders...try selecting one of your folders and then choose New > Folder...et voila!
* Rename documents and folders from the Docs home toolbar (the Rename option is now between Delete and More Actions).

We'll do a follow-up post in a few days to talk more about these new features. In the meantime, please check them out & give us your feedback on the user boards.

URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-features-for-2008.html

[G] 8 AdSense resolutions for 2008

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Inside AdSense: 8 AdSense resolutions for 2008

We're a few days into the new year, so hopefully you've been making good progress on your resolutions so far. If you've only gotten as far as "don't procrastinate" on your list, here are 8 AdSense-related resolutions you might want to try:
  1. Turn my custom channels into ad placements, complete with descriptive details to attract placement-targeting advertisers.

  2. Regularly check my sites for compliance with the AdSense program policies.

  3. Keep my address and tax info up to date so that my payments are accurate and timely. (And sign up for EFT if it's available to me!)

  4. Place more of my ad units above the fold and on my homepage for increased visibility -- and advertiser appeal.

  5. Share my AdSense expertise with other publishers in the AdSense Help Forum.

  6. Opt in to text and image ads to make the most of the available ad inventory for my content.

  7. Use the Manage Ads feature to experiment with removing the borders from my ad units.

  8. View the Payments Demo and payments schedule with rapt attention so I'll always know when to expect my next payment.
And just as some resolutions always manage to make an appearance every year, why not also take a look at our oldie-but-goodie AdSense resolutions from 2006 for further inspiration? (We still like #10 a lot.) As for us here at Inside AdSense, we resolve to keep listening to your feedback and bringing you the latest AdSense updates -- complete with the occasional cheesy title, of course.


URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2008/01/8-adsense-resolutions-for-2008.html

[G] Baby steps to a new job

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Official Google Blog: Baby steps to a new job



In late 2004, Google opened an engineering office near Seattle, and my son Elliott was born. I had heard great things from my friends who worked for the company down in California, and I was eager to join their ranks in this new local office. But the timing was all wrong: I wanted to spend a few years at home with my new baby.

Elliott and I had lots of fun. We went to the park and the library together. We read nursery rhymes and played peek-a-boo. We baked muffins and did finger painting. We did not, however, debate the relative merits of our favorite cache replacement policies, or write and debug multithreaded C++ code. So by the time Elliott was ready to start preschool and I was ready to go back to work, I had to ask: Would I still be able to pass a Google interview, or had I forgotten all of my technical skills?

If I wanted to land the job, I had to get serious: I needed to brush up on my data structures and algorithms, my coding, not to mention general interview skills. For the next few months, I hired a babysitter to come and watch Elliott one afternoon a week. I split that time between studying my college computer science textbooks and participating in online coding contests. The coding contests were particularly valuable because they forced me to work through the design and coding stages quickly, just like in an interview. The details of the standard Java and C++ libraries came back to me as I scrambled to get my contest code to run before time was up. I even asked friends to do mock interviews with me so I could get used to writing code on a whiteboard again.

In the end, all of this paid off. My day of interviews went really well, and I got the job!

The Seattle-area office and Elliott turned three recently; they're both thriving. I feel very fortunate to have the two of them in my life. And I'd encourage anyone -- including new moms -- who is interested in a job at Google to go for it.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/baby-steps-to-new-job.html

Thursday, January 3, 2008

[G] Featured Gadget: Twitter

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Inside Google Desktop: Featured Gadget: Twitter

This blog periodically features a Google Desktop gadget and a quote from someone who uses it. If you'd like to recommend a gadget, send an email to desktop-gadgets AT google DOT com.

Omar Khan, who works on Google Desktop when he's not working on his PhD, says: "The Twitter gadget makes it easy for me to follow my friends and post updates while I'm working at my computer. No need to open the browser. I just click and go."

Daniel Beck, who started using the Twitter gadget when he was a summer intern here, says: "Twitter plus the Twitter gadget lets me keep track of a diverse set of information sources, like news, friends, family, presidential candidates, and writers, all from one spot on screen."

More information | Download gadget

URL: http://googledesktop.blogspot.com/2008/01/featured-gadget-twitter.html

[G] AdWords and local markets

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Official Google Blog: AdWords and local markets



According to a WebVisible-Nielsen survey from October 2007, 74% of people use search engines to find information when purchasing a product or service from a local business. Yet millions of businesses don't have websites, and even those that do, don't often engage in search marketing because they lack the time, knowledge or resources. To address this gap, our AdWords Local Markets Team has partnered with companies including Yellow Pages directories, website developers and traditional media businesses to help create search-based ad products and strategies.

We recently hosted the first annual Local Markets Symposium at our Mountain View Googleplex, which brought together more than 150 current and prospective Google AdWords Authorized Reseller partners to discuss how we can bring the power of local online advertising to small and medium-sized businesses. An array of experts spoke, including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, local advertising guru Greg Sterling, industry bloggers, a Wall Street analyst, as well as a panel of local AdWords advertisers. What became clear throughout the day is that there's a tremendous opportunity for local merchants to grow their business through online marketing.

If you're with a company seeking to promote the adoption of search engine marketing by small and medium-sized businesses, visit our Google AdWords Authorized Reseller site or get in touch via email.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/adwords-and-local-markets.html

[G] Front row for first in the nation

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Google Public Policy Blog: Front row for first in the nation



(Cross-posted at Official Google Blog)

Tonight when Iowans gather in living rooms and high school gyms to take the first step in selecting our U.S. Presidential nominees, Google and YouTube will give you a front row seat.

We're working together with local Iowan media organizations and political parties to bring you real time results and citizen-generated videos from the caucuses –- an up-close and personal perspective in the process to elect the next President.

Iowa caucus goers and out-of-state political pundits alike can upload videos of the Iowa Caucus to YouTube, giving you a direct view into this vibrant political scene. These Iowa Caucus videos can be found at the Des Moines Register's YouTube Channel and span a variety of perspectives from predictions and personal reflections to interviews and candidate analysis.

And starting tonight (approx. 8-10 pm CST), you can use Google Maps to view real-time caucus results by county. The political parties in Iowa will be working with us to publish these results to our Iowa Caucus map as soon as they come in, so that everyone can access results online when Iowans finish caucusing.

To stay on top of campaign coverage, check out the Google News Election section, where you can also find the Election 2008 Google gadget for a one-stop shop to follow the campaign trail.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2008/01/front-row-for-first-in-nation.html

[G] Looking back on 2007

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Looking back on 2007

Written by Liza Ma, Webmaster Tools Team

2007 has been a great year of change and growth for the Webmaster Central team. Without the webmaster community helping us drive our vision to create better tools we wouldn't have accomplished much. All of us with the Webmaster Central team would like to say a big thank you to everyone! Before we look ahead to 2008 and begin to incorporate your feedback from the blog posts and discussion groups, we would like to take a minute to reflect upon some of our bigger feats of the last twelve months.

Our blog has been very active since its launch in August 2006, and we hope you've found it helpful. For those who are new readers, you can find useful information about our Webmaster Tools updates here, as well as articles on how to make your sites more search engine-friendly and user-friendly. Outside of the US, we have readers from the UK, France, Canada, India and Germany, just to name a few—it just goes to show what a big and widespread community you are! In fact, we also have a dedicated group of readers for our Webmaster Central German and China blogs. For those keeping track, 47.28% of you are using Firefox to read our blog and 45.06% are using Internet Explorer, and our most popular post this past December answered your questions on meta tags and web search. Here's a snapshot of what our top search queries look like for December:



January
  • Made preparations for our big debut (see February)

February
March

April

May

June

July
August
September
    • Introduced Subscriber stats
    • Revamped the UI
    • Added support for 2 new languages: Romanian & Turkish

October
  • Went all out for Halloween in true Google fashion
  • Launched new features in Webmaster Tools—and a lot of them:
  • Improved data freshness to keep you better informed about your site's performance

November

December
  • Another Webmaster Tools update loaded with new features:
    • Improved Sitemap summary pages to help you identify issues in your Sitemaps
    • Content analysis
    • Video Sitemaps
    • Added support for 2 new languages: Czech and Hungarian

It was a busy year, but we had a lot of fun. I hope you'll stick with us as we embark on more great adventures in 2008. Remember, you can always reach out to us through our discussion group or at various search conferences throughout the year and around the globe!

URL: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/01/looking-back-on-2007.html

[G] Helping sellers integrate Checkout

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Helping sellers integrate Checkout



We've launched a new set of pages that offer more information on how to integrate Checkout into your site. Now you can more easily:

* compare our different options for integrating
* identify shopping cart platforms that have already integrated Google Checkout
* better understand the integration process with our APIs (including a handy checklist to guide you through the process)

If you've already signed up or integrated, you'll find the new content under our recently launched "Tools" tab. If you are a new merchant just signing up, you'll automatically land on the new integration options page. We'll keep you updated as we add new content to these pages over the next few months.

URL: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2008/01/helping-sellers-integrate-checkout.html

[G] Got caucus results? We do.

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Google LatLong: Got caucus results? We do.



As the first step in deciding nominees for the 2008 United States presidential elections, the Iowa caucus has always been known as a pivotal event for each White House hopeful. In fact, candidates have been targeting almost all of their campaign energy in Iowa for the past month, as results here set the precedent by which other states will make their own voting decisions.

Tonight, Iowans will gather in locations throughout the state to discuss and debate candidate support prior to making their nomination decisions.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation can follow caucus events simply by pointing their browsers to our new Iowa caucus map on Google Maps. The map displays live news and events from across the state, and beginning tonight, both the Democratic and Republican parties of Iowa will be partnering with us to present real-time caucus results by county and by party. Users across America will be able to watch a stream of results show up on Google Maps at the same time as these important decisions in Iowa are being made.

To view more caucus coverage, check out our latest post on the Official Google Blog highlighting an Iowa Caucus YouTube channel, the recently launched Elections section of Google News, and our very own Elections 2008 iGoogle gadget.


URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2008/01/got-caucus-results-we-do.html

[G] Front row for First in the Nation

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Official Google Blog: Front row for First in the Nation



Tonight when Iowans gather in living rooms and high school gyms to take the first step in selecting our U.S. Presidential nominees, Google and YouTube will give you a front row seat.

We're working together with local Iowan media organizations and political parties to bring you real time results and citizen-generated videos from the caucuses –- an up-close and personal perspective in the process to elect the next President.

Iowa caucus goers and out-of-state political pundits alike can upload videos of the Iowa Caucus to YouTube, giving you a direct view into this vibrant political scene. These Iowa Caucus videos can be found at the Des Moines Register's YouTube Channel and span a variety of perspectives from predictions and personal reflections to interviews and candidate analysis.

And starting tonight (approx. 8-10 pm CST), you can use Google Maps to view real-time caucus results by county. The political parties in Iowa will be working with us to publish these results to our Iowa Caucus map as soon as they come in, so that everyone can access results online when Iowans finish caucusing.

To stay on top of campaign coverage, check out the Google News Election section, where you can also find the Election 2008 Google gadget for a one-stop shop to follow the campaign trail.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/front-row-for-first-in-nation.html

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

[G] Our top 10 of 2007

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Inside AdWords: Our top 10 of 2007

The Time Square ball has dropped for the 100th time and the New Year is officially underway, but before we say goodbye to 2007, we'd like to continue the annual tradition of reminiscing about our top 10 favorite blog moments of 2007. Whether you're a newcomer to the blog or an old-time fan, we think you'll find at least a few posts in this list worth reviewing again:

10. Complimentary optimizations make it easy (and free!) for you to get some expert help with your campaigns.

9. We made a change to the formula that determines which ads get top placement.

8. Meet the Click Quality Team and learn all about invalid clicks.

7. Find out why some websites may merit low landing page quality scores.

6. Turkeys (lots of them!), snowpeople, and a few Inside AdWords bloggers, too... we celebrate the holidays with a touch of whimsy and fun.

5. Google's Chief Economist Hal Varian explains how the holidays may affect clicks, conversions, and CPAs.

4. The content network series takes you deeper inside the world of content ads, and how they can work for you...

3. ...while Placement Performance reports help you better understand where your ads are showing, and how they are performing on the content network.

2. The Optimization tips series offers helpful advice on how to make your ads more effective.

1. Learn more about return-on-investment and why it's important with our ROI series.

With that, we're off to work on our resolutions for 2008. We hope you had a restful holiday, and wish you all the best for a Happy New Year!


URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2008/01/our-top-10-of-2007.html

[G] GrabFS: The Screenshot File System

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Official Google Mac Blog: GrabFS: The Screenshot File System



A while ago, I wrote about procfs for Mac OS X, a MacFUSE-based file system. Subsequently, I added more cool features to my procfs implementation. Recently, I had reason to demonstrate procfs again and realized that I needed still more cool features. That need led to GrabFS.

In a nutshell, GrabFS is a file system that shows you a live view of the window contents of currently running applications. In a GrabFS volume, folders represent running applications and image files represent instant screenshots ("grabs") of the applications' windows. You simply copy a file or just open it in place, and you have a screenshot. Open it again, and you have a new screenshot!

Go here to read more about GrabFS and to download it. GrabFS requires Mac OS X Leopard and MacFUSE.


URL: http://googlemac.blogspot.com/2008/01/grabfs-screenshot-file-system.html

[G] Ring in the new year with Newbie Central

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Inside AdSense: Ring in the new year with Newbie Central

We're excited to introduce you to Newbie Central, our complete resource for new publishers, now live in our Help Center.

We know there's a lot to learn when you're just starting out with AdSense, so we boiled the program down to the basics for our beginners. In Newbie Central, you'll find a walk-through of the initial steps getting started, from familiarizing yourself with your account to placing ads on your site to receiving your very first payment. We've also included some brief guides to help you get acquainted with our various features, policies, and tools.

One highlight is the Earnings and Expectations pages, which provide insight into how much you can expect to earn and you can do to influence your earnings. Whether you're considering applying and curious about potential revenue, or you're an existing publisher and want to boost your current earnings, the Earnings and Expectations section can help.

For you AdSense veterans out there, feel free to point your friends who've been on the fence about joining to Newbie Central, or even use it as a way to brush up on the basics for yourself!


URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2008/01/ring-in-new-year-with-newbie-central.html

Monday, December 31, 2007

[G] This year of Google blogging

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Official Google Blog: This year of Google blogging



It's that time again, the end of a year - time to tote up Google's blogging activity for the last 365 days. First, a few bits of data about this particular blog:
  • Number of posts this year: 300
  • New product announcements: 15 (not counting our April 1 release)
  • News about upgrades and additions to products: 87
  • Announcing products in more languages and countries: 30
  • Acquisitions: 12
  • Unique visitors: 6,738,830 (for 8,655,830 visits)
  • Languages: 511 (preferred language configured on computers)
  • Top non-Google referrers: Yahoo, Digg, Slashdot, Fark
Beyond these basics, this year saw many more posts on privacy (9), accessibility (10), and energy and the environment (11). We blogged a good deal about Google's people and culture, our various offices around the world, and the pastimes and passions of Googlers (26, including 2 recipes). We talked about healthcare issues that challenge consumers (5). There were competitions including Google Code Jam and events for developers, educators and others (29). Through YouTube, there has been much political activity (7) in the U.S. as well as in Australia.

The posts that elicited the most reaction in terms of views and linkbacks include:

- the much-discussed "Gphone" news
- our thinking about the upcoming FCC spectrum auction
- what the OpenSocial APIs could mean
- how a black screen might not save energy
- announcing the Knol test project
- building your own Google homepage

Of course, there's more than business to write about. We celebrated National Gorilla Suit Day, deconstructed the Valentine's Day doodle, and then a snake went missing.

As for the Google family of blogs, there's been lots of growth this year: 42 new ones launched, for a total to 83 active company blogs. Increasingly, Googlers want to quickly and regularly convey product news and updates to various constituents, and blogs are a great way to do that. Among the most popular of this newest crop are the Gmail blog (nearly 1.5 million unique visitors), the Orkut blogs (in English - 3.5 million uniques; and Portuguese - 8.8 million), and Google Lat Long, with 824,000 unique visitors, which covers everything geographical. In addition, readers can now turn to new product blogs including those for Google Finance, Google News, and Mobile. Reflecting keen interest in activity outside the U.S., the YouTube blog had the greatest number of comments for its June post about the fact that YouTube is available in 9 more countries, followed by the August post announcing InVideo ads.

On the ads side: there are now 6 more non-English blogs for AdSense publishers (French, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Chinese). The AdWords team opened blogs for Brasil and the Netherlands, Japan now has its own Analytics blog, and there are now German and Chinese versions of the popular Webmaster Central. (The most popular ads-related blog is the one for Analytics, with nearly half a million unique visitors, followed by closely Inside AdSense and then Inside AdWords.)

To keep current and share their work, developers got a raft of new blogs, too, including those focused on APIs for YouTube, Checkout, Gears, Mashup, and Gadgets. Needless to say, there are now also blogs for Android and OpenSocial.

Two new country blogs, for the Czech Republic and Australia, went public, to talk about all things Google in their regions. Yet more readers congregated around the new Public Policy and Google.org blogs, as well as one dedicated to online security and malware.

Despite all this activity, and the fact that a growing number of companies also host corporate blogs, the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki (a collaborative project begun by Wired Magazine and SocialText) indicates that even today, just 46 of the Fortune 500 companies (about 9%), have active public blogs produced by company employees that focus on the company and its products. Let's hope in 2008 that number goes up. We think such blogs can serve users, journalists, critics, investors, and fans more effectively and directly than more traditional approaches. Apparently, so do 41,395,926 people around the world - the number of visitors to all of our blogs this year.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/this-year-of-google-blogging.html

Sunday, December 30, 2007

[G] A look back at 2007

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Inside AdSense: A look back at 2007

2007 is drawing to a close, but before you get out the party hats and start practicing the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, we'd like to take a moment to recap some of the biggest developments in AdSense this year.

New feature launches were abundant in 2007, and many were based on your direct feedback and requests. To help improve the performance of your ads, we revamped the look of our ad formats and introduced ad placements to let you promote your site to potential advertisers. The new Manage Ads feature gave you the ability to make changes to your ad units directly in your account and quickly experiment with optimizations. In addition, we launched such features as video units, AdSense for mobile content, and referrals 2.0 to bring in new revenue streams for your site. Still others like the Allowed Sites list and the recently announced Ad Review Center were inspired by your requests for more control over your ads and your account.

With our growing community of publishers around the world, we also continued our international expansion of products and online resources. AdSense for content was launched in languages such as Hebrew, Greek, and Bulgarian, while AdSense for search became available in a number of Southeast Asian languages. We added payment options such as Western Union Quick Cash in a few countries and EFT in Mexico. To help publishers connect with one another around the world, we introduced AdSense Help Forums in 9 new languages, including Polish, Arabic, and Russian.

And of course, we can't forget to mention the exciting things that happened right here on our blog. We welcomed 6 new languages into the Inside AdSense family (Italian, Korean, Japanese, French, Turkish, and Simplified Chinese), bringing the total number of AdSense blogs to 11. All 11 blogs combined received 2.6 million pageviews from 1.7 million visits, and global Groups subscriptions to all blogs crossed the 43,000 mark.

Finally, we'd like to close with our second annual Reader's Choice Award, which goes to the post you visited most this year: 'Introducing video units'. Accepting the award on behalf of the post is author Ryan Hayward, who had this to say: "In a world where Hollywood writers are striking and my favorite show, 'The Office,' is off-air, I hope that announcing video units helped to fill the creative void and made each of our lives just a little more entertaining. Cue the orchestra."

Here's to a very happy and prosperous 2008. Cheers!


URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/12/look-back-at-2007.html