Saturday, April 18, 2009

[G] Aneesh Chopra as Chief Technology Officer

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Google Public Policy Blog: Aneesh Chopra as Chief Technology Officer

Posted by Alan Davidson, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

President Obama's appointment today of Aneesh Chopra as the country's first Chief Technology Officer is an important step in bringing the federal government's information systems into the 21st century. As Virginia's technology czar Aneesh has been relentless in applying technology to make government work better for citizens -- from requiring state government agencies to make their sites more crawlable, to integrating iTunes with the state's educational system.

Some have said that the appointment should have gone to someone from Silicon Valley. We disagree. Chopra's record of being unafraid to experiment and push government to better serve citizens bodes well for his performance in facing difficult challenges and great opportunities.

It's easy to forget that the appointment of a Chief Information Officer -- Vivek Kundra -- and a Chief Technology Officer in the Administration are big steps forward in the federal government's efforts to make government more responsive to citizens. Vivek and Aneesh will be a strong, forward-looking team.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/04/aneesh-chopra-as-chief-technology.html

Friday, April 17, 2009

[G] Which mobile ads are right for me?

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Which mobile ads are right for me?

In December, we launched ads for iPhone and Android devices. This feature allows advertisers to target their standard AdWords text and image ads to the iPhone, Android devices, and other mobile devices with full (HTML) Internet browsers. Before that, advertisers who wanted to reach mobile users had to create mobile-specific text and image ads that would only show on phones with mobile Internet (WAP) browsers. Now that mobile ads can be targeted for both full HTML and WAP browsers, some of you advertisers may be wondering, "which mobile ads are right for me?"



Standard mobile ads show on mobile devices with WAP browsers and usually direct users to a mobile website -- most likely written in a mobile markup language such as XHTML, WML, or CHTML. Standard mobile ads also offer a click-to-call feature, which lets you direct users to a business phone number instead of a mobile website. If you have a mobile website or want to collect leads via phone, standard mobile ads may be right for you. You can learn how to create standard mobile ads here.

High-end mobile ads show on iPhone and Android devices and don’t require a mobile website. High-end mobile ads don't have a click-to-call option, but they do allow advertisers to direct users to various other properties such Google Maps, the iPhone App Store or Android Market, or YouTube. If you specifically want your ads to show on iPhone or Android devices, these ads might be right for you. They are also a good choice for new mobile advertisers because they are easy to enable through your campaign settings.

Of course, depending on your needs, you can also use both types of mobile ads. To summarize, here's a table with information on standard and high-end mobile ads.

Posted by Alexandra Kenin, Product Marketing Manager, mobile ads
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/04/which-mobile-ads-are-right-for-me.html

[G] New in Labs: Suggest more recipients

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Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Suggest more recipients

Posted by Ari Leichtberg, Software Engineer

Have you ever realized you mistakenly left someone important out of an email, or just spent too much time trying to decide who from your long list of contacts to include? Well, some of us on the Gmail team feel your pain, so we wrote a new Gmail Labs feature called "Suggest more recipients."

Once you've enabled it from the Labs tab under Settings, you'll see suggested recipients while composing messages. Gmail will suggest people you might want to include based on the groups of people you email most often. So if you always email your mom, dad, and sister together, and you start composing a message to your mom and dad, Gmail will suggest adding your sister. Enter at least two recipients and any suggestions will show up like this:


Click on a suggested name, and they'll get added to your email.

Hopefully having lots of friends and co-workers just got a bit less onerous for you. (Oh, the burden of popularity!) Enjoy, and as usual, please let us know what you think.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-in-labs-suggest-more-recipients.html

[G] Discussion Tuesday on the Google Book Search settlement

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Google Public Policy Blog: Discussion Tuesday on the Google Book Search settlement

Posted by Adam Kovacevich, Senior Manager, Global Communications & Public Affairs

Last October, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers announced a landmark settlement involving our Google Book Search project. The settlement is expansive and complicated, and understandably some people have raised questions about what it will mean for consumers, for books, and for competition.

For those in D.C. who are interested in learning about the settlement -- and hearing the answers to those questions -- I encourage you to check out a discussion next Tuesday hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation:
Copyright, Content and Class Action Lawsuits:
A Debate on the Google Book Search Settlement

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Place: The Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building,
Room LJ 162, Washington, DC
RSVP and more information

Dan Clancy, our chief engineer responsible for Google Book Search, will talk about how the settlement works and how it will help expand readers' access to millions of books. Hope to see you there.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/04/discussion-tuesday-on-google-book.html

[G] Your introduction to Google Ad Manager (Part 2 of 2)

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Inside AdSense: Your introduction to Google Ad Manager (Part 2 of 2)

Earlier this week, we provided a basic introduction to Google Ad Manager to help you determine whether the product is right for you. If so, we hope that you've signed up for an account to help you manage your ad inventory. As you begin using Ad Manager, we'd like to give you some tips and instructions to help you on your way.

In addition to the tips below, we'll be hosting a Getting Started with Google Ad Manager Webinar on April 21st at 11:00 am PDT, where we'll give a live demo of Ad Manager, share best practices, and help you get started. Sign up at:
https://googleonline.webex.com/googleonline/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=570486361.

What terms do I need to know in my Ad Manager account?
With Ad Manager, you'll manage all of your inventory according to the following terminology:
  • Ad Slot: This is the most granular inventory component, and represents the location of an ad. It's the equivalent of an ad unit in AdSense. For instance, you can set up an ad slot for the top banner on your pages.
  • Placement: This is a publisher-defined collection of ad slots, and represents inventory to be sold. In AdSense, this is the equivalent of an ad placement . You should include at least one ad slot per placement, as campaigns are all linked to a placement. For instance, you can create a placement for all of your ad slots on your sports pages, or the top banners on all pages of your site.
Then, to create campaigns, you’ll use the following terms:
  • Order: This is a summary containing information about an ad campaign including the campaign dates, the advertiser or agency, and the contact numbers.
  • Line Item: You’ll enter all the details of an ad campaign including the flights dates, the cost, the priority level, the targeting criteria, and the delivery information.
  • Creative: This is the actual media being delivered in your ad slots.


I'm ready to start using my Ad Manager account. How do I serve my first campaign?
There are three parts to serving your first campaign: setting up your inventory, tagging your pages, and creating your campaigns. Follow our three-part guide below for instructions:

A. Setting up your inventory
There are two main steps to follow to organize your inventory. In the Inventory tab, you’ll need to:
  1. Create your ad slots: At this stage, you can choose to enable AdSense Optimization in order to fill your unsold inventory with AdSense and to make it compete with your ad networks. The baseline for the competition is the Value CPM that you set for your networks.
  2. Group your ad slots into placements: In order to allow advertisers to target their campaigns to your specific placements, you'll need to enable placement targeting.
B. Tagging your pages
Once you've set up your inventory in Ad Manager, you’ll need to tag every page on which you want to use Ad Manager to deliver your ads. For each page, you’ll need to define all the ad slots that should appear and generate html code:
  1. Go to the Inventory tab and click on “Generate HTML code”.
  2. Select the Ad Slots you want to appear on the page you’re tagging
  3. Generate the code and use it to tag your page
You can also review our tagging guide if you need help implementing the code.

C. Creating your campaigns
Once your inventory is ready and your pages are tagged, then you can start creating your campaigns. To manage your campaigns, you should always refer to the Order tab. Here are the 3 key steps to remember in order to create a campaign:
  1. Create the advertiser’s Order: Choose between the Default Order (for Directly sold inventory) and the Ad Network Order.
  2. Create the advertiser’s Line Items
    • Select a level of priority (there are 5 different levels)
    • Select a cost type: CPC, CPM, CPD
    • Specify goals and settings, such as targeting, daily and user capping, and creative rotation.
  3. Upload the creatives
    • Select the creative type (we currently support Flash, Image and Rich Media)
    • Choose to add a click macro or a cache buster
    • Test the creative in the preview tab or directly on your website
We hope that our two-part series has helped you better understand Ad Manager and get started with it on your site. If you need further information on specific topics, we encourage you to visit our Help Center and review how Ad Manager works.

Posted by Florie Arlegui - Google Ad Manager Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/04/your-introduction-to-google-ad-manager_17.html

[G] University of Michigan exploring the applications of Google Earth

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Google LatLong: University of Michigan exploring the applications of Google Earth

The University of Michigan is continuing their recent advocacy efforts by hosting an event focused on science applications of Google Earth. The conference,which will take place on Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day!) in Ann Arbor, will feature a series of presentations on active efforts in the natural resource sciences that use Google Earth and KML to visualize and communicate their work.

Additionally, two of the recent KML in Research contest winners that have Michigan ties will be on hand to discuss their work.

Student Winner - Kerry ArdProfessional Winner - Tyler Erickson


Our hope is that efforts like this will continue to spawn new work and new resources. Go Blue!

Posted by Ryan Falor, Systems Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/04/university-of-michigan-exploring.html

[G] Mark your calendar: webinars with Google partners on IT in the cloud

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Mark your calendar: webinars with Google partners on IT in the cloud

Recent commentary on channel growth around cloud computing and the emerging business scenarios for trusted IT advisors are good examples the growing momentum around the ecosystem of channel partners like consultants, resellers and developers pursuing new models for doing business in the cloud. We're excited to share details of what we're seeing and are we're pleased to offer two ways to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing:

For solutions providers, developers, and resellers. Co-hosted by Google and salesforce.com, this live discussion is aimed at helping channel partners understand the business change that cloud computing drives, and how to build the services that help customers benefit from these changes. Participants can expect to gain a fuller understanding of what cloud computing is, how it transforms the way that organizations think about IT, and how to make the most of the opportunity "in the cloud" for business growth and development.

Partner with Google and Salesforce.com

Wednesday, April 29
10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

For organizations thinking of moving to a cloud platform for business productivity. We're participating with Daston Corporation, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, to showcase Google Apps, Google's enterprise-ready communication and collaboration tools. This live webinar will feature an overview of Google Apps, and how the expertise of resellers like Daston can help organizations make the transition from traditional platforms to IT in the cloud.

Google Apps – a new way of communicating and collaborating
Wednesday, May 6
11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT

Posted by Maureen Bradford, Google Partner team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/04/mark-your-calendar-webinars-with-google.html

Thursday, April 16, 2009

[G] Socially Adjusted CAPTCHAs

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Official Google Research Blog: Socially Adjusted CAPTCHAs

Posted by Rich Gossweiler, Maryam Kamvar, Shumeet Baluja

Unfortunately, there is a war going on between humans and 'bots. Software
'bots are attempting to generate massive numbers of computer accounts
which are then sold in bulk to spammers. Spammers use these accounts to
inundate emails and discussion boards. Meanwhile humans are trying to
simply create an account and don't want to spend a lot of time proving
that they are not a program.

Typically we use CAPTCHAs -- we present an image of some distorted text
and then ask the applicant to type in the letters. As image processing gets
more sophisticated, these letter sequences tend to get longer and more
distorted, sometimes to the point where humans fail too.

So we switched the game. We show an image, say an airplane, but it
is randomly rotated and we ask the applicant to rotate it to "up." This
is generally hard for computers but easy for people. Well, for the most
part.

Since computers are good at faces, skies, text, etc. we sift
through our database of images running state-of-the-art up detectors to
remove those images. But of the images that remain, some are too hard
for people to figure out. What is up for a plate or a piece of
abstract art?

So here is where it gets interesting. We show people several images, one
of which is a "candidate" and we see how people do. If everyone rotates
it the same way, it is a keeper. If there is a lot of variation, we
discard it. As extra credit it turns out that even if the original image were
taken at an angle, it does not matter, since people, in large numbers,
socially adjust the CAPTCHA.

Read the full paper here (posted with the permission of WWW'09).
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/04/socially-adjusted-captchas.html

[G] New Interface Thursday: Using keyboard shortcuts

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Inside AdWords: New Interface Thursday: Using keyboard shortcuts

One of the primary goals of the new interface is to help you manage your campaigns more efficiently. We also wanted to offer some of the conveniences you'll find in other Google products, like keyboard shortcuts. Just like in Gmail, you can quickly navigate around your account without having to use the mouse. In the new AdWords interface you have a number of keyboard shortcuts at your fingertips:

Global navigation
g then o: Go to All Online Campaigns
g then c: Go to Campaigns tab
g then r: Go to Ad groups tab
g then k: Go to Keywords tab
g then n: Go to Networks tab
g then a: Go to Ads tab
g then s: Go to Settings tab

Table navigation and actions
j/k: Next/previous row in the primary data table
x: Select current row (Use Shift + x for multiple rows)
e: Edit
p: Pause
n: Enable
d: Delete
l: Download

Editing ad groups and keywords:
e: Edit selected rows
Ctrl + Arrows: Move between editable fields
Ctrl + s: Save changes
Esc: Cancel edit mode

If you ever forget a shortcut, you can always find them in the help widget in the bottom left of your account.


And we also have a handy reference guide that you can print out and keep at your desk.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-interface-thursday-using-keyboard.html

[G] Caption Editor Now in TestTube

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YouTube Blog: Caption Editor Now in TestTube

Last August, we launched a new captions feature allowing viewers who might not otherwise be able to understand a video's audio track to follow along, especially those who speak other languages or who are deaf or hard of hearing. We recognize, however, that the process of adding closed captions to your video -- uploading a text file -- leaves a bit to be desired, even though we support a wide range of formats from various captioning service and software. A caption editor on YouTube would surely make life easier.



And what do you know? Today said editor, CaptionTube, makes its way to TestTube, thanks to the hard work of Google user experience designer John Skidgel. John built this application in his spare time.



Please note: you'll need to have a Google account to use CaptionTube. (Read here on how to get one, or here on how to link a YouTube account to a Google one.)



Enjoy!

Hiroto Tokusei

Senior Product Manager

The YouTube Team
URL: http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=wmSu38Hob-o

[G] Universal Exports, at your service

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AdSense for Feeds: Universal Exports, at your service

As feed consumption continues to grow, many or our publishers are adding more and more feeds to their Google accounts, and wishing to analyze, publicize, and monetize those feeds through the combination of AdSense for feeds and FeedBurner. Because of this trend, one of the most frequent questions we receive is "How do I export stats for all my feeds at once?"

As of today, you can now export your subscriber, reach, hits, item click-throughs, podcast downloads, and item views directly from the FeedBurner application on the My Feeds page. You are then at your leisure to slice, dice, add, subtract, and even multiply and divide your stats however you may wish.



As always, aggregate revenue, impressions, and clicks, and eCPM can be downloaded from your AdSense account or Google Ad Manager account (if you have been enabled to sell your own direct ads in feeds through Google Ad Manager) on the Reports tabs.




Also, as a reminder - if you wish to export feed subscriber statistics in timeframes other than those provided, you can do that through the FeedBurner Awareness API.

Posted by Steve Olechowski, Google Product Managment


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BurnThisRSS2/~3/SFat2ZFv9gk/universal-exports-at-your-service.html

[G] Making Google Map Maker more accessible and useful

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Google LatLong: Making Google Map Maker more accessible and useful

Since launching Google Map Maker last June, we have heard a steady stream of users asking us to make the data created with it more available. We have recently pushed more Map Maker data on to Google Maps and Google Maps for mobile and now allow users to access the latest Map Maker tiles through the Maps API.

There are some cases, however, where this is not enough. For example, during last year's hurricane season when we opened Haiti and Cuba for editing, it would have been useful to combine Map Maker data with other data sets like flooding polygons derived from remote sensing to assess road conditions and populations affected. We've been approached by several organizations, including NGOs such as the UN's Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), scientists attending the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference, university students at Stanford, and our users on our community forum, all asking to get access to the raw data to support planning, analysis and other use cases that can not be easily supported through the Maps API.

To address those needs, we've announced recently in Kenya that we are now making Google Map Maker source data for Kenya available for download as kml and shp file. This download license is available for non-profits, government agencies, and individuals to create and enhance their own non-commercial map-related projects as long as attribution is given back to Map Maker. To download the data and see the full terms and conditions of this license, please see our download site.

The day after the launch we held a mapping party in the University of Nairobi that was well attended by a mix of amateur and expert mappers from a wide range of organizations. We met with people from Kenyan universities, local media, branches of the UN, branches of the Kenyan government, other NGOs, and are very excited to see in what ways they will use the new downloadable data so we can all collaborate on improving maps for Kenya, and the world.

Happy Mapping!




Posted by Jessica Pfund, GIS Specialist and Lior Ron, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/04/making-google-map-maker-more-accessible.html

[G] Universal Exports, at your service

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AdSense for Feeds: Universal Exports, at your service

As feed consumption continues to grow, many or our publishers are adding more and more feeds to their Google accounts, and wishing to analyze, publicize, and monetize those feeds through the combination of AdSense for feeds and FeedBurner. Because of this trend, one of the most frequent questions we receive is "How do I export stats for all my feeds at once?"

As of today, you can now export your subscriber, reach, hits, item click-throughs, podcast downloads, and item views directly from the FeedBurner application on the My Feeds page. You are then at your leisure to slice, dice, add, subtract, and even multiply and divide your stats however you may wish.



As always, aggregate revenue, impressions, and clicks, and eCPM can be downloaded from your AdSense account or Google Ad Manager account (if you have been enabled to sell your own direct ads in feeds through Google Ad Manager) on the Reports tabs.




Also, as a reminder - if you wish to export feed subscriber statistics in timeframes other than those provided, you can do that through the FeedBurner Awareness API.

Posted by Steve Olechowski, Google Product Managment
URL: http://adsenseforfeeds.blogspot.com/2009/04/universal-exports-at-your-service.html

[G] New for Google Apps Admins: an online community

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: New for Google Apps Admins: an online community

Listening to Google Apps admins talk – with us and with each other – made it clear: as IT professionals, admins wanted a way to connect online somewhere in the Google environment. We heard a clear call for a gathering place, or community – a meeting point where admins could meet one another, identify each other by business type or geography, discuss topics unique to their roles, and share learning and best practices in a way that helped in their professional roles.

We wanted to make the site relevant and easy for admins to use, and we also wanted to use Google Apps as fully as we could. So we used Google Sites, of course, and integrated the Google products that most admins already use, like Google Maps, Moderator, and Forms. A few highlights:
  • The Admin community map – allows admins to easily see where their fellow community members are located; also highlights further information with a "click" on the marker.
  • "Share your perspective " – uses Google Moderator to let admins easily add their own comments to posted topics, or vote on comments added by others. We've set this up to feature four topics at a time, so there's always something to talk about.
  • "Stay Current " – the latest product information and posts to the Admin Help forum, so that Admins can see what's being discussed in Support
We want this forum to create a sense of connectedness and community among the people who work as admins for Google Apps – a place where they can learn from each other, share what they've learned, and create a dialog that can help all of us learn. We also want it to be a place where people considering Google Apps can come in and find out more about what it offers, so we made this an "open" environment, where people can easily invite colleagues who might want to know more. There's even a way to send an email right from the forum itself.

The Google Apps team hopes that this community adds value for admins, and we hope you'll take a look today.

Posted by Monali Narayanaswami, Google Apps team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-for-google-apps-admins-online.html

[G] The Biggest Display of Democracy in the World

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YouTube Blog: The Biggest Display of Democracy in the World

Starting today, India begins general election proceedings for the 15th Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. The elections will occur over the course of one month, with final results announced on May 16th.



The Election Commission of India expects 714 million people to cast their votes this year, and in anticipation, it has uploaded a number of videos in both English and Hindi about proper election administration to its YouTube channel. For example, this video trains election officials on how to be a good presiding officer.



If you're looking for tales from the campaign trail, NDTV has been covering the Indian election season closely on YouTube for the past few months, highlighting trends like the youth vote:







And if you're still hungry for information, please visit the Google India Elections Centre for the most comprehensive information about Members of Parliament, this year's candidates, development across parliamentary constituencies, and much more.



Happy voting,

Ramya Raghavan

YouTube News & Politics
URL: http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=xr31A-e06w0

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

[G] YouTube Live Nominated for a Webby

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Live Nominated for a Webby

Did you see the news? YouTube Live was nominated for a Webby Award in the Events category and is also up for a People’s Voice Award.



We’ll indulge our competitive streak for a hot minute and say we really want to win. You can help make our dreams come true by voting for us here or, better yet, by uploading a video telling your subscribers to go to the polls on our behalf. Post the link down below and tag your video with “ytwebby” – we’ll feature the best in our Entertainment category until voting closes on April 30.



Congrats, too, to the other talented nominees, many of whom have great YouTube channels in addition to the Web sites being recognized.



Cheers,

Mia Quagliarello

Sr. Community Manager

The YouTube Team
URL: http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=RTtkTUDlAXo

[G] Analytics and AdWords tips - Part 2 of 4

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Inside AdWords: Analytics and AdWords tips - Part 2 of 4

Last week we talked about how Google Analytics can provide you with rich data about your advertising, and this week the Google Analytics Team would like to share some more specifics about how to analyze your campaigns.

Linking your accounts

Linking your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts gives you more information about your advertising because you can see how visitors from different campaigns and keywords interact with your website. If you've already linked your accounts, skip to the next section to see how you can view AdWords reports in Analytics.

You can link your Analytics and AdWords accounts by clicking the "Analytics" tab in AdWords. If you don't have a Analytics account already, you'll be asked to create one. Once you link your accounts the data from your AdWords campaigns will automatically appear inside Google Analytics (assuming that you've already installed the tracking code). You can check out this video to learn more about linking your accounts.

You'll also need to install the tracking code on every page on your website if you haven't already. Here are some resources to help you get the code installed correctly:
Once installed, your profile overview page will show that everything is good to go by displaying a status icon that looks like a green check mark. If you have a Google Analytics account, but don't know where to find your tracking code, check out this article for instructions.

Finding your ROI

The Google Analytics AdWords Campaigns report (in the Traffic Sources section) let's you drill down and find out where visitors from each of your campaigns are going and what actions they are taking on your site. After going to the Traffic Sources section, click one of the campaigns listed in this report to view the ad groups within the campaign. Within the AdWords Ad Groups report, click one of the ad groups to see the AdWords Keywords report, where you can find lists of your keywords that brought traffic to your site.


(click for larger image)

Finally, click the Clicks tab to see ROI metrics for the keywords. With the ROI information for each of your keywords you can then make more informed decisions about where to target your advertising dollars or how to change your website to better capture these visitors. We'll talk about how to find low and high performers in the next couple weeks.

Tracking your revenue

Don't skip this part just because you don't sell online. If your goals don't have values, you won't be able to measure the return on your investment, so let's explore how you can set up your goals and track your return.

If you have an e-commerce site, your return comes from your e-commerce revenue. But, even if you don't have an e-commerce site, you can probably come up with intelligent values for your goals. For example, if you know that 1 out of every 100 PDF downloads results in a $500 sale, you can assign a value of $5 to that PDF download ($500/100 downloads).

If you have an ecommerce site, you can check out this help center article to learn more about tracking your return, and if you don't sell online, read this one.

That's it for this post. Next time we'll start diving into using Analytics to analyze and improve your AdWords campaign performance.

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/04/analytics-and-adwords-tips-part-2-of-4.html

[G] "Common Sense" at Open Everything, NYC

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Google Open Source Blog: "Common Sense" at Open Everything, NYC

Google's Leslie Hawthorn is a featured speaker at the upcoming Open Everything NYC 2009 conference this Saturday. The conference is at the UNICEF House in New York, USA and she'll be talking about Common Sense.

"The talk explores some areas in which the concept of Open could be most broadly useful, where it is taking hold successfully and where we still must journey to achieve the promise of an Open world."

Although the event is free and open to the public, the organizers ask that you register ahead of time. Leslie will be taking time to hang out with Open Sourcers afterwards, so stick around after the conference!

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/04/common-sense-at-open-everything-nyc.html

[G] Your introduction to Google Ad Manager (Part 1 of 2)

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Inside AdSense: Your introduction to Google Ad Manager (Part 1 of 2)

After talking about a few Google Ad Manager features and optimization tips on this blog in the past, we've received questions from new publishers, asking what Ad Manager is and whether they should use it. In this two-part series, we'll go back to the basics to provide you with an introduction to Ad Manager.

What is Google Ad Manager?

Google Ad Manager is a hosted ad management solution for publishers with smaller direct sales teams; it can help you sell, schedule, deliver, and measure all of your directly sold and network-based inventory.

Should I use Ad Manager?

You'll probably want to use Ad Manager if:
  • You operate a website and sell your ad inventory directly to advertisers (or plan to sell directly to advertisers in the future).
  • You'd like to improve the efficiency of your sales process and feel confident in your forecasting.
  • You've been left with unsold inventory because you weren't able to forecast availability accurately.
  • You need a consistent way to serve ads that make you the most money in undersold situations.
What are the benefits of using Ad Manager?
  • A simple, intuitive user interface: you can manage your campaigns, inventory, and advertiser data quickly and efficiently.
  • Revenue optimization and AdSense integration: the system will consistently deliver the highest-paying ad for every ad impression on your site.
  • Precise inventory forecasting: you'll be able to sell more of your inventory without overbooking it.
How will I benefit from using AdSense with Ad Manager?

Using AdSense with Ad Manager on your websites can help you maximize your revenue in a number of ways. You can use AdSense to backfill all of your unsold inventory, ensuring that all of your ad spaces are filled. AdSense can also be used as a competing network against your other networks -- AdSense can compete with your remnant and house campaigns to deliver the highest value ads, and an AdSense ad will only show if it can pay you more than any alternative ads.

Moreover, since AdSense is integrated in your Ad Manager account, the only thing you need to do is to choose the Ad Slots for which you want to enable AdSense. You can modify your AdSense settings within Ad Manager, and you can manage your visibility to advertisers by using the placement targeting feature.

How do I get started with Ad Manager?

You can create an account by visiting the Ad Manager homepage and using your AdSense login. Once you've done so, don't forget to visit our Help Center for detailed instructions and video tutorials on getting started. We also recommend taking a look at how Ad Manager works.

In Part 2 of this series, we'll help you get accustomed to your new Ad Manager account and guide you through the creation of your first campaign. We're also hosting a Getting Started with Google Ad Manager Webinar on April 21st at 11:00 am PDT, where we'll give a live demo of Ad Manager, share best practices, and help you get started. Sign up at: https://googleonline.webex.com/googleonline/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=570486361.

Posted by Florie Arlegui - Google Ad Manager Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/04/your-introduction-to-google-ad-manager.html

[G] Introducing the Google Lime Scholarship

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Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Lime Scholarship

Today, we're pleased to announce the most recent addition to our scholarship programs, the Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. We're partnering with Lime to offer scholarships to students with disabilities who are pursuing university degrees in the field of computer science in Canada or the U.S. Lime is a not-for-profit organization that brings together global corporations and people with disabilities, bringing to light an untapped source of talent. Scholarships will be granted for the 2009–2010 academic year, and recipients will be invited to attend an all-expenses-paid retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View in 2010.

We hope that this program will increase opportunities for students with disabilities and encourage them to pursue careers in computer science. We also hope to foster long-lasting relationships through which these students can support each other over the course of their academic studies.

The deadline to apply for this year's Lime Scholarship is June 1, 2009. For complete details, visit www.google.com/jobs/scholarships.

Posted by Meghan O'Farrell, Talent and Outreach Programs Specialist
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/introducing-google-lime-scholarship.html

[G] Connecting Google Apps with other enterprise apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Connecting Google Apps with other enterprise apps

Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Chandar Pattabhiram, Vice President of Cast Iron Systems, as a guest blogger. Cast Iron is a market leader in SaaS and cloud integration with thousands of customer integrations connecting cloud and on-premise applications.

Cast Iron recently participated in our Campfire One event to announce Cast Iron for Google Apps, a ready-to-go solution for connecting hundreds of on-premise and SaaS apps to Google Apps in just days. Want to learn more? Register for Cast Iron's upcoming webinar on integrating Google Apps with other enterprise solutions.


Cloud computing is gaining momentum with organizations of all sizes. But many organizations work with a combination of cloud-based and on-premise applications. To leverage the many benefits of cloud computing, IT departments need to adapt to this hybrid world. That's where integration comes in. Whether building a recruiting app on Google App Engine or an enterprise gadget to create an analytics dashboard, IT has a fundamental need to exchange data with the rest of the enterprise.

Cast Iron focuses on solving this problem of connecting SaaS and Cloud to on-premise apps. For Google Apps users, we are excited to offer Cast Iron for Google Apps, which provides out-of-the-box integration with Google Secure Data Connector (SDC) and pre-configured connectivity to hundreds of applications to simplify Google integration projects.

SDC provides an encrypted connection between Google Apps and behind-the-firewall data, and Cast Iron provides connectivity as well as data transformation and process workflow capability. The net result is that Cast Iron for Google Apps is a one-stop tool to connect Google Apps with the rest of the enterprise.

Cast Iron offers a number of deployment models that all provide the same user experience and functionality:
  • Cast Iron Cloud: a multi-tenant integration-as-a-service offering
  • Cast Iron Physical appliances: ready-to-go-appliances for on-premise integration
  • Cast Iron Virtual appliances: the same ready-to-go-functionality available through virtualization that can be deployed on your hardware in your data center
Join Cast Iron and Google for a joint webinar to learn more about Cast Iron for Google Apps and Google's recent developer announcements.

Connect Google Apps with Other Enterprise Apps Today

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
11:00 a.m. PDT (GMT -07:00)

You'll also hear from Doug Menefee, CIO of the Schumacher Group, who will explain how they used Google Apps, gadgets, and Cast Iron to create a portal for their 2,500 medical providers and doctors to access emergency room data in the browser anywhere, anytime.

Want to see the latest from the app developer community? Don't forget to check out the I/O Developer Conference on May 27 & 28, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Learn more.


Posted by Jimmy Caputo, Google Enterprise Partners team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/04/connecting-google-apps-with-other.html

[G] Urchin Search Referral URL Update

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics Tips & Tricks: Urchin Search Referral URL Update

A brief update to yesterday's post about Google.com search referrals. We initially reported that Urchin Software might require a patch to handle the new URL structure, but after some additional testing, it turns out no patch is needed. Urchin can handle both the current and new URLs. The latest release (Urchin 6.5) has a bunch of new features, including the ability to tap into the AdWords API, so we suggest everyone upgrade regardless!

Posted by Bretty Crosby, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/04/urchin-search-referral-url-update.html

[G] The Grill: Google's Alfred Spector on the hot seat

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Official Google Research Blog: The Grill: Google's Alfred Spector on the hot seat

Posted by Ben Bayer, Google Research

Alfred Spector, Google's VP of Research, tells COMPUTERWORLD the ins and outs of Research at Google and where it's headed for the future. Read the complete interview here.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/04/grill-googles-alfred-spector-on-hot.html

[G] Where in the world is... (Answers)

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Google LatLong: Where in the world is... (Answers)

So, how did you do? Don't feel bad if you couldn't identify them all, terrain is much harder to identify than imagery. However, I'm very disappointed in you geologists. ;-)

1) The formal dedication of the harbor here took place on April 10th - 44 years ago:


-- Marina del Rey, CA, USA

2) Mountains of money can be made (or lost) at the popular U.S. destination.
-- Las Vegas, NV, USA

3) Wow, the tower here does look a little bit like a fire hose.
-- Telegraph Hill / Coit tower / San Francisco, CA, USA

4) This hilly city known for its beaches, sits on what the Roman's knew as Sinus Cantabrorum:

-- San Sebastian, Spain

5) If you want to get a picture of this city's Golden Triangle, you might want to try Herron Hill:

-- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

6) While this city's downtown doesn't have much in terms of elevation, the nearby Gatineau Hills have some nice hikes.
-- Ottawa, ON, Canada

7) This low lying coastal city accounts for roughly 25% of the country's population. Onnea!
-- Helsinki, Finland

8) At 87m, Mount Victoria isn't much of a mountain, but it does give you nice views of Torpedo Bay:


-- North Shore, New Zealand

9) Looking for a little elevation without leaving the city? Either Bellevue Hill Park or Jackson Hill Park seem like a good choice.
-- Cincinnati, OH, USA

10) The 5km hike to Castell de Sant Miquel from this city will give you stunning views of the country side.
-- Girona, Spain

11) Even with an elevation range of over 1300 ft (~400 m), you'll be hard pressed to find any good hikes here. :-)
-- Lake Superior / Great Lakes


Below is a list of additional areas being update in this data move.
Updated Imagery:

Americas:

- USA: Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Mobile (AL), Charleston (SC), McAllen (TX), Hannibal (MO), Warren County (IA)
- Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Port Alberni
- Brazil: Sao Paulo, Florianopolis

Europe, Middle East, & Africa:

- France: Bas-Rhin, Indre, Pyrenees-Orientales
- Spain: San Sebastian, much of the Northern Coast
- England: Slough
- Scotland: Shapinsay, Rousay, Stronsay, Turriff, Peterhead, Portpatrick, Wigtown
- Sweden: much of the country
- Switzerland: Geneva, Basle, Lausanne, Lugano, Luzern
- Austria: large chunks of Eastern Austria
- Italy: Bergamo
- Russia: Smolensk, Novgorod
- Albania: Tirana
- Algeria: Tripoli
- Egypt: Aswan
- Sudan: Khartoum

Asia & Oceania:

- China: Changsha
- New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, North Shore

New 2.5m base imagery for: Morocco, South Korea

New Terrain for: Azkoita, Girona, Charlotte, Columbus, Oakland, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Santa Monica, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Marina del Rey, North Shore, Helsinki, Ottowa, Prague, San Sebastian, Beasain, Oslo, Great Lakes, Brown Bear Seamount

Posted by Jamie Adams, Geo Data Strategist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/04/where-in-world-is-answers.html

[G] AdWords system maintenance on April 18th

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Inside AdWords: AdWords system maintenance on April 18th

On Saturday, April 18th, 2009, the AdWords system will be unavailable from approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST due to system maintenance. While you won't be able to sign in to your accounts during this time, your campaigns will continue to run as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/04/adwords-system-maintenance-on-april_15.html

[G] YouTube Symphony Orchestra: from idea to reality

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Official Google Blog: YouTube Symphony Orchestra: from idea to reality

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

Today represents the final culmination of an idea many months in the making: a first-class global orchestra brought together by YouTube. This week, over 90 musicians from around the world -- including a Spanish guitarist, a Dutch harpist and a Lithuanian birbyne player — have gathered in New York City in preparation for tonight's historic YouTube Symphony Orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall. And today on YouTube's homepage, we are proud to present the world premiere of Tan Dun's composition "Internet Symphony, Eroica," as selected and mashed up from nearly 3,000 video submissions from around the globe.

Maestro — the mash-up, please!



Along with the "Eroica" premiere, we're also posting exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the preparation leading up to tonight's performance. Learn more about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by watching candid vlogs, early rehearsals with conductor and creative director Michael Tilson Thomas, and meet-and-greets between the musicians lucky enough to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Many thanks to our "Vlog Squad" team of classical musicians (Caeli Smith, Jeremy Denk, and Eiko Sudoh), and to Harmony Films, who are currently putting together a full-length documentary on the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

And for those of you who can't make it to New York in time for the big show, don't fret. We'll be posting the full performance from Carnegie Hall on YouTube tomorrow at www.youtube.com/symphony.

Posted by Michele Flannery, YouTube Music
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/youtube-symphony-orchestra-from-idea-to.html

[G] YouTube Symphony Orchestra: From Idea to Reality

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Symphony Orchestra: From Idea to Reality

Today represents the final culmination of an idea many months in the making: a first-class global orchestra brought together by YouTube. This week, over 90 musicians from around the world -- including a Spanish guitarist, a Dutch harpist and a Lithuanian birbyne player -- have gathered in New York City in preparation for tonight's historic YouTube Symphony Orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall. And today on YouTube's home page, we are proud to present the world premiere of Tan Dun's composition "Internet Symphony, Eroica," as selected and mashed up from nearly 3,000 video submissions from around the globe.



Maestro -- the mash up, please!







Along with the "Eroica" premiere, we're also posting exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the preparation leading up to tonight's performance. Learn more about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by watching candid vlogs, early rehearsals with conductor and creative director Michael Tilson Thomas, and meet-and-greets between the musicians lucky enough to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Many thanks to our "Vlog Squad" team of classical musicians (Caeli Smith, Jeremy Denk, and Eiko Sudoh), and to Harmony Films, who are currently putting together a full-length documentary on the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.



And for those of you who can't make it to New York in time for the big show, don't fret. We'll be posting the full performance from Carnegie Hall on YouTube tomorrow at www.youtube.com/symphony.



Symphonically Yours,

Michele Flannery

YouTube Music
URL: http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=mjTQtrvsAP8

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

[G] April 13th feed stats are delayed

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The FeedBurner Status Blog: April 13th feed stats are delayed

Issue: Our regular daily summary of all feed stats for 13-April has obviously been delayed. Currently, full subscriber, reach, and item statistics for this date are not available. We’re sorry for the delay and will update all accounts with this day's statistics as soon as we resolve the issue. In the meantime, all stats features you have enabled are still recording data for your feed(s), all AdSense for feeds stats and features are working, and your feed updates should be delivered normally.

Workaround: None.
URL: http://feedburnerstatus.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-13th-feed-stats-are-delayed.html

[G] The story, as it unfolded

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Google News Blog: The story, as it unfolded

Posted by Nandini Seshadri, Software Engineer

When you visit Google News, you see the day's top news stories organized by section. You can then click through to any number of sources to read the news from different perspectives. Yet by their succinct nature, individual articles can only give partial snapshots of news stories that often develop over time, whether it's a couple of hours, days, or even weeks.

Last week, we introduced a new "Timeline of articles" feature that provides a chronological view of the chain of events that make up a story. To view the timeline for a story, click the "all news articles" link under any cluster of articles on Google News:



This will take you to a story page with relevant articles as well as a timeline on the right of page:



The story on the pirate attack of a U.S. ship in Somalia this week provides a good example of when the timeline can be helpful. The graph shows the evolution of the story from the pirate takeover of the ship on April 10th to the release of the ship's captain on the 12th. The timeline also shows the evolution of media attention and coverage of the story, with a peak of nearly 3000 indexed articles written when the standoff ended and the captain was freed.

The timeline of articles is one of several features we're bringing to Google News in the coming months. Stay tuned for these updates as they come, and until then, see how actual news stories unfold using the timeline.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/story-as-it-unfolded.html