Saturday, October 31, 2009

[G] This week in search 10/30/09

| More

Official Google Blog: This week in search 10/30/09

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.

The week leading up to Halloween has brought a flood of new treats for you.

Music Search
On Wednesday, we rolled out our new music search feature, fully integrated into Google's web search. Now, when you search for a band, singer, song name, or album title, Google will recognize it and return a special music result on the top of the page. These new special music results do exactly what you want - they let you listen to the full song. To provide this feature, we have partnered with Lala and MySpace (formerly iLike) to bring you full-song streaming. That's not all, however. The real "wow" in this new music feature is that you can type in phrases of lyrics, we recognize the song - and bring you the song for full play. You can listen, verify it's the one you were looking for, and then continue on to buy the song on iMeem, iLike, Lala, Pandora, or Rhapsody.

Example searches (singers): Lady GagaTaylor SwiftJay-ZJack JohnsonMichael Jackson
Example searches (band): ColdplayTV on the RadioKillersMGMTThe Rolling Stones
Example searches (song): Sample in a JarWaiting for the World to ChangeWhen Doves CryAll I Want for Christmas is YouWalking on Sunshine
Example searches (album): Dark Side of the MoonAchtung BabyAqualungEvil Urges
Example searches (lyrics): gonna be a good night tonightcan feel the hand of fatelucky we're in love in every waytake away this ball and chain

Social Search
On Monday, we introduced Social Search on Google Labs and Google Experimental. Social Search finds relevant content that your social circle has published and returns that content with your web search results. What defines your social circle? To use Social Search, you need to be logged in to your Google Account and opted in to the Social Search experiment. We then analyze your Gmail contacts (if you have a Gmail account) and the connections on your social networks (if you have a Google Profile and have listed public social networks like Twitter and FriendFeed). What kind of results do we find? Our Social Search results include blogs, photo albums, web pages, and reviews. This way, you not only seeing the most relevant content on the web globally, but you also see the content most relevant and personal to you.

To try Google Social Search, go to Google Experimental and click the "Join the experiment" button pertaining to social search. Then try searching on Google for something your friends may have written about. Example searches like 'restaurant' or 'vacation' tend to occur in people's personal writings. Social Search results always occur at the bottom of the page, so scroll to the end of the page to see these results. You can also trigger Social Search results explicitly by opening the Search Options panel and clicking on 'Social'. This will cause all of your results to be from your social circle.

Similar Images on Image Search
In addition to our new features on core web search this week, we introduced a new and revolutionary way to refine image searches to our main image search functionality this week. The feature is called "Similar Images". We've had it for a while as a separate site, but it has proved so useful and interesting that we decided to make it part of our core image search. The idea here is to find an image that you like and then click the "Find similar images" link below it. This may seem simple, but think about all the complicated things you can express. For example, if I wanted a picture of a single turtle swimming, and I wanted the turtle to be headed to the left rather than the right, it would be almost impossible to express as a keyword search. Now with "Similar Images" features, I can simply do an image search for turtles, then find an image that meets my requirements, like the seventh image on that results page, and by clicking the "Find similar images" underneath it, I get a page composed of solo turtles actively swimming.

Example search: jack-o-lanterns, then click on "Find similar images" under the fifth image to get jack-o-lanterns lit from within in night-time settings
Example search: birthday hat, then click on "Find similar images" under the second image to get multi-colored birthday hats
Example search: peacock, then select "Find similar images" on the third image to get white peacocks with their feathers displayed

Personalized Search on Mobile
This week we also introduced personalized search for the mobile phone. Personalized search has been available on our website for some time. Now, when you are logged in on your phone, you get the same personalized search results on your mobile phone as well.

Google Suggest now global
Internationally, we also rolled out Google Suggest on our search results pages. Now, the helpful suggestions that you see when you begin typing on our homepage and results page are available on 156 country domains and in 52 more languages.

And to wish you a Happy Halloween, trick-or-treat us by visiting the homepage (www.google.com) today and clicking on the Google logo.

Hope you enjoyed this week's features. Stay tuned for what's next!

Posted by VP, Search Products & User Experience
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-week-in-search-103009.html

Friday, October 30, 2009

[G] Now Playing: "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

| More

YouTube Blog: Now Playing: "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

Everywhere you look, vampires seem to be all the rage. But before the broody youngsters of "Twilight" and the Southern nightwalkers of "True Blood" took center stage, there was one Count who ruled the bloodsucking roost: Dracula.



In honor of the world's most famous monster (and everyone's go-to Halloween costume), we're pleased to bring you Bram Stoker's Dracula, courtesy of our friends at Crackle. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gary Oldman in one of his most memorable roles, it's the story of darkness's cursed prince searching for his suicidal bride in 18th-century England. With Academy Award-winning costumes, killer performances from Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, and a healthy dose of horror, this flick has something for film buffs of varying tastes.



Before you watch, there are a few things we need to note. First, this film is rated R for violence and brief nudity. This means that you'll need to verify that you're 18 years of age or older by either signing into your existing YouTube account or creating a new one. Second, this video is limited to audiences in the U.S. (apologies to our international users). And, third, the film will only be available on YouTube through November 9.



How do you think Gary Oldman ranks in the pantheon of Count Dracula actors? Cast your vote in the poll in the upper right hand corner.



Happy Halloween!



Nate Weinstein, YouTube Entertainment, just watched "Vampires: Is it Real?"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/MVjSo0qWWhM/now-playing-bram-stokers-dracula.html

[G] Ghoulish greetings

| More

Inside AdSense: Ghoulish greetings

Happy Halloween from the AdSense, DoubleClick, and Ad Manager teams!


Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/ghoulish-greetings.html

[G] New Transparent Navbar Styles

| More

Blogger Buzz: New Transparent Navbar Styles

by Talin, Software Engineer, Blogger

As a blog author, you've probably spent more than a little time getting exactly the right "look" for your blog. A blog is an outlet for creative expression, and how your blog looks says as much about you as what is written on it. And we at Blogger are committed to giving you the tools to make a great-looking blog.

The Blog*Spot navigation bar ("navbar") is one area where we realized that there was some room for improvement. Our four traditional color scheme choices — Blue, Black, Tan, and Silver — are somewhat limited, especially if your blog's background color is lime green or hot pink.

That's why we have added two new color schemes — "Transparent Light" and "Transparent Dark." These new color schemes take advantage of the ability of modern browsers to render transparency (a technique known to web designers as "alpha blending"). This allows the navbar background to blend together with your blog's background color and pattern. The "Transparent Light" color scheme has a semi-transparent white background, producing subtle pastel colors, while the background of "Transparent Dark" is a semi-transparent black that produces a shaded look.






In addition, we've simplified and slimmed down the look of all the navbars, so that they will be more likely to harmonize with the aesthetics of your blog.

To enable the Transparent Light or the Transparent Dark navbar, go to Layout | Page Elements, then click Edit next to the navbar widget:



We had a lot of fun adding this feature and hope you like it too. Try it out!
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2009/10/new-transparent-navbar-styles.html

[G] Announcing the winners for the 10 Days in Google Books contest - Part III

| More

Inside Google Books: Announcing the winners for the 10 Days in Google Books contest - Part III

Posted by Hicham Alaoui, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Books


Following our first announcement this week, here is the third and final set of winning entries for the 10 Days in Google Books contest. As a reminder, to enter the contest users had to submit a short essay describing what the experience of reading will be like in 100 years.

"Out jogging, Jim spied a news stand, its spire bright red. Looking at it, his ocular implant scrolled headlines about the stand. Seeing one that caught his fancy, a quick motion towards the stand debited his account, and brought the story scrolling over his vision as he continued."
Alexander Hollins, Phoenix, AZ

"Well the problem with reading in the year 2109 is we will at that point in time just start creating paper once again, and then its about another 1000+ years till we invent the press again. What am I talking about? 21 Dec 2012! EVERYONE RUN!"
Lowell Wann, Albuquerque, NM

"One innovation of the future will be real time novelists who craft their stories online as readers interact with the writer and each other, commenting, questioning, and pleading for their favorite characters to achieve deserved greatness or avoid gruesome death."
Jonah Hurwitz, Coral Springs, FL

"Now available in attractive spex, signet ring, wristband, or pendant! Our full-on interactive holographic projection readers connect you to a world of information. News from around the world, classic novels, instant info on any topic, presented in your personalized reading style: language, video, pictograms or symbols. No wireless fee!"
Cheryl Kuchman, Sacramento, CA

"Ah, but to have a book read to you. That will be one of the great advances. Imagine a mechanism which takes a sample of a voice, perhaps from your own memory, and extrapolates a narator's voice from the sample. Choose Grandpa or Winston Churchill to read to you."
Alan S. Gardner, Milo, IA

"Libraries will become time travel portals, and readers will become adventurers, taking a trip to the time period during which the book was written. Immersion into the time period will allow readers to have a more connected experience, and to better grasp the context wherein the book was created."
Shaina Dyson, Taylorsville, NC

"A grown man shrieks in horror! Frightened children cry throughout the museum as their teacher is carted off by paramedics. It was the first papercut this town has seen in decades. Horrible to think how just a century ago, children everywhere were being sliced daily in the pursuit of knowledge."
Kristopher Blake, Norristown, PA

"Touch the bump behind my ear, images of words readily appear. Favorite books to my delight, all within my line of sight. I am traveling today, so I command, "Autosay"! The Literary visions fade, replaced by voice narration (as I bade). Reading, a century changed, unlocked using our brilliant brain!"
Lisandra Sletton, Phoenix, AZ

"For children, the pastime of reading is challenged by other forms of communication and entertainment. In 100 years, traditional reading material (e.g., novels, etc) will be incorporated into multi-media experiences like video games allowing for both classics and new literary works to compete using the latest pop culture preferences."
Jade Harris, New York, NY

"In 100 years reading will be free. There will be no banned books and people of all ages will have access to the vast choices available. Currently taboo books will be discussed openly, and without hatred, amongst the literate."
Brittani Dayton, Mason, OH
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2009/10/announcing-winners-for-10-days-in_30.html

[G] Are you seeing red?

| More

Google Chrome Blog: Are you seeing red?

It's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the perfect time to shed some light on a few Google Chrome alerts that are designed to help protect your browsing experience on the web.

You may have run into one of Google Chrome's red alert messages when trying to visit a site and wondered why the browser did not immediately bring up the page you requested. These are messages triggered by the phishing and malware protection feature that's enabled by default in the Options menu. Here's an example:


Whenever you see this warning, Google Chrome has detected that the site you're trying to visit may contain malware. Malware is code
that attempts to steal your personal information or download harmful software onto your computer.

Besides the malware warning, Google Chrome also checks the security certificates of sites that claim to be properly encrypted (such as bank sites or shopping sites), but that may also ask you for your personal or financial information under false pretenses. If a site's certificate is suspicious, you may see one of the following messages:

  • "This is probably not the site you are looking for!"
    This message comes up when the URL listed in the site's certificate doesn't match the site's actual URL, which means that the site you're trying to visit may be pretending to be another site.

  • "The site's security certificate is not trusted!"
    Since anyone can create a certificate, Google Chrome checks to see whether a site's certificate came from a trusted organization. This message means that the certificate wasn't issued by a recognized third-party organization.

  • "The site's security certificate has expired!" or "The server's security certificate is not yet valid!"
    If you see one of these messages, that means the site's certificate is not up-to-date. Therefore, Google Chrome can't verify that the site is secure.

  • "The server's security certificate is revoked!"
    The third-party organization that issued the site's certificate has marked the certificate as invalid. Again, Google Chrome can't verify that the site is secure.

It's a good idea to heed these messages you see, even if the site you're trying to visit is owned by someone you know and trust. Hackers can take advantage of security holes on a site without the site owner's knowledge. So even though you've visited your friend's blog without any problem in the past, the warnings can still show up one day if someone exploits a vulnerability on the site. (And if you're seeing this message for a site you own, we're here to help! Just follow these instructions in the Webmaster Help Center. Also, check out this blog post we've written about detecting and removing malware.)

Google Chrome goes to great lengths to help keep you safe on the web. If you want to learn more about protecting your computer, website, and personal information, check out our security series on the Google blog or visit http://www.staysafeonline.org.

Posted by Fiona Chong, Online Editor
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2009/10/are-you-seeing-red.html

[G] Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2009

| More

Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2009


This past weekend, approximately 250 Open Source developers from around the world gathered at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA for the fourth Google Summer of Code™ Mentor Summit. These developers who mentored students in this year's Google Summer of Code program gathered "unconference" style to discuss ways to improve the program, share their experiences, and learn about each other's projects.

One of the recurring comments about what makes the Mentor Summit special was that it gathers developers from a diverse range of projects (all 150 organizations participating in this year's Google Summer of Code were invited to send two delegates). This allowed for a cross pollination of ideas that isn't usually found at conferences dedicated to one specific platform or language. In addition, the summit was an opportunity for developers who usually collaborate online to meet face to face. In fact, some of our attendees met colleagues they had been working with for several years in person for the first time at the summit!

Most of all, the summit was a great place to meet like minded Open Source developers who are passionate about bringing in new contributors to their communities. Check out photos from the event or read through the session notes to find out more about what happened at this year's summit.

by Ellen Ko, Open Source Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-summer-of-code-mentor-summit.html

[G] Google Analytics API on App Engine Treemap Visualization

| More

Google Analytics Blog: Google Analytics API on App Engine Treemap Visualization

It's Friday, time for some fun! Advanced API analytics fun :)

Here is a captivating way to look at your Google Analytics data in a Treemap visualization. You can visualize your own data with our live demo. (Note: IE currently not supported for visualization part.)

click to enlarge

And, here is a video explaining how to look at the Treemap visualization and how to use it.



The goal of this example was to teach people how to use the Google Analytics API on App Engine in Java, as well as to demonstrate how to use both OAuth and AuthSub along with the App Engine's various services. The code looked great, but the output was a boring HTML table. So we used some open source tools to transform the table into a pretty tree map visualization, which is also useful in noticing interesting metrics.

All the code has been open sourced on Google Project hosting. Also, here's an article describing how this application works making it easy for developers to use this example as a starting point for new data visualizations and other Google Data projects.

For the data retrieval part, we used the App Engine Java SDK and the Google Analytics Data Export API Java Client Library to retrieve data from Google Analytics. The example code implements both unsigned AuthSub and registered OAuth authorization methods allowing developers to get up and running quickly in their dev environment and later switch to a secure authorization method in production environments. The application also uses the Model-View-Controller pattern, making it flexible and allowing developers to extend the code for new applications (e.g. adding support for other Google Data APIs).

And lastly, for the visualization part, we used the open-sourced Protovis SVG Visualization Library to create the Treemap. This JavaScript library is maintained by the Stanford Visualization Group and excels at creating brand new visualizations from a data set (in this case a boring HTML table). To handle all of the interactions, including rollover, tooltips and slider controls, we used JQuery. Here is the JavaScript source for the visualization part of the sample.

Enjoy!

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Google Analytics API Team

p.s. If you have created any cool new visualizations using the Google Analytics Data Export API,email us so we can highlight them as well.
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-analytics-api-on-app-engine.html

[G] A ghooooulish Googleween

| More

Official Google Blog: A ghooooulish Googleween

When it comes to holidays, Halloween is one of our favorites. You get candy corn, creepy crawlies, ghosts and goblins, blustery weather and the goopy joys of pumpkin carving all crammed into one glorious fall fun-fest. It's also the one holiday where you can dress up as whatever you want — your favorite celebrity, your favorite animal or even, like one Googler last year, your favorite gadget.

As usual, we're in the process of devising brilliant last-minute costumes, and we got curious about what others around the globe have been searching for in preparation for Halloween.

We used Insights for Search to track the fastest-rising searches related to [costume] in the U.S. in 2009. The query at the top of the charts is [lady gaga costume] — no surprise, as the star wears quite a few costumes on a regular basis herself:


And many people seem to be planning a tribute to the late pop star Michael Jackson — searches for [michael jackson costume] started spiking in June of this year and have increased steadily since then:


Since Halloween is most popular in the U.S., we focused on queries there — but we did investigate searches in Canada and the U.K. for good measure. In Canada, people are overwhelmingly searching for costumes for two — variations on [couples costumes] dominate the top 10. Both in Canada and across the pond, searchers are looking for costumes based on Lewis Carroll's classic story Alice in Wonderland, with [mad hatter costume] in the top 10 in the U.K. and [alice in wonderland] in Canada.

Since [vampire costume] was one of the top 10 searches this year, we figured we'd check in with the various vampire TV shows and movies to see which is, um, making a killing in the costume race. The query [twilight costume] has the most search volume, with [true blood costume] not far behind. (Pointy teeth and body glitter — done!)


Thinking of dressing up your little ones? Popular queries in the U.S. related to [kids costume] include [ladybug], [minnie mouse] and [tinkerbell].


We also did some digging to see if people were taking inspiration from the movie Where the Wild Things Are and wearing a [max costume] this year. Based on the fastest-rising related terms [footie pajamas], [footed pajamas] and [max costume pattern], it seems like at least a few folks are choosing to make [max wolf suit] costumes at home:


As a dog-friendly company, we share the country-wide impulse to dress up our dogs for the holiday. Related searches for [taco dog costume], [dog shark costume] and [banana costume] (so cute!) all rank high.


At Google, we've been gearing up for tomorrow's real deal with festivities on our Mountain View campus, complete with Halloween crafts for visiting kids and a haunted house. Googlers are also pulling out all the stops for the costume contest:



We hope you have a happy Googleween!

Posted by Jordan Newman and Emily Wood, Editors, Google Blog team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/ghooooulish-googleween.html

[G] Reminder: Google sessions @ ad:tech NY next week

| More

Inside AdWords: Reminder: Google sessions @ ad:tech NY next week

If you're planning on attending ad:tech or Content Revenue Strategies (CRS) at the Javits Center in New York City next week, we hope you'll come and meet the Google ads team while you're there. Over November 4 and 5, we'll offer a series of sessions designed to give you practical tips for improving your search and display campaigns.

The Google Ads Factory Tour, 11/4-11/5/09

The Factory Tour will span 10 hours of live workshops designed to give you an overview of Google's latest measurement and optimization tools. Here's the full two-day agenda:

Wednesday, November 4 - Optimizing Search & Display
11:00am-12:00pm AdWords Optimization Tools: Smarter Search Management
12:00pm-1:00pm Conversion Optimizer: The Next Generation of AdWords Bidding
2:00-2:30pm Google Content Network: Matching Solutions to Advertisers
2:30-3:30pm Google Content Network: Creating Effective Campaigns
3:30-4:30pm Google Content Network: Optimizing for Results
4:30-5:00pm Automating Content Network Campaigns Through the AdWords API

Thursday, November 5 - Measurement, Ads Quality, Mobile & Local
11:00am-12:00pm Google Campaign Insights: What to Measure and When
12:00-1:00pm Google Campaign Insights: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Technology
2:00-3:00pm Google Analytics & Website Optimizer: Making the Most of Your Traffic
3:00-4:00pm Google Search Ads Quality: What It Is and How to Improve It
4:00-5:00pm Local and Mobile Ads: How to Use Location to Drive Results

You can stop by for a single session, or stay for the whole event. The Factory Tour is open to all exhibit hall and conference passholders. For more information, check the ad:tech events page.

Content Revenue Strategies, 11/5/09

Formerly known as ADSPACE, CRS is the only expo dedicated to AdSense and contextual advertising. Sessions will focus on maximizing performance on Google’s Content Network as well as emerging blog, video and social media networks.

We'll also have AdWords and AdSense optimizers available to answer any questions you have about improving your contextually-targeted campaigns. Stop by the Optimization Lounge to get customized tips and share any feedback you have for the Google ads team.

If you haven't yet signed up for ad:tech or CRS, registration is still open. You can enter the promotional code 20EXNY9 to receive 20% off an ad:tech full conference pass. If you're only attending CRS, enter the code CRSGoogle to receive $100 off the price of your CRS conference pass.

Hope to see you next week.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/reminder-google-sessions-adtech-ny-next.html

[G] Add your photos to Google Sites

| More

Google Photos Blog: Add your photos to Google Sites

Posted by Scott Johnston, Product Manager

Google Sites lets you easily create, update and collaborate on your own site - no technical know-how required. And now you can easily add photos from your Picasa Web Albums to your sites, instead of having to manually upload photos from your computer. Whether you're using Google Sites to keep friends and family updated on your life or to manage a team or project, adding photos can give your site a lift.

The 'Insert' menu in Google Sites now includes an option to insert an existing Picasa Web Albums photo or to upload new photos.


Never used Google Sites? Learn more or sign up now.
URL: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2009/10/add-your-photos-to-google-sites.html

[G] The Doha Tribeca Film Festival Hits the YouTube Screening Room

| More

YouTube Blog: The Doha Tribeca Film Festival Hits the YouTube Screening Room

Today marks the first day of the inaugural Doha Tribeca Film Festival, a partnership between the Qatar Museums Authority and the Tribeca Film Festival, to celebrate the best of Arabic and international cinema through an annual film festival and year-round workshops in Doha, Qatar's capital. The festival hopes to inspire, engage and educate a new generation of cinema appreciation in the Middle East, much in the same way that the Tribeca Film Festival has stimulated the local film community in New York.

To celebrate the festival's launch, we've turned the YouTube Screening Room over to the expert curators at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, who have put together a lineup of five films (four shorts and one feature), selected to highlight diverse filmmaking voices with a strong Middle Eastern connection. Each of these films possesses the ability to entertain and to educate, and we hope that after watching you'll feel compelled to continue the conversation by commenting on, sharing and rating those that move you. Here's a sneak peek....

"Clear Cut, Simple," directed by Vineet Dewan, is based on a true story about an American soldier in Iraq, torn between his duty to the military and his friendship with his Iraqi interpreter. "Eclipse," directed by Mark Lapwood, is a meditative visual journey featuring stunning images of Mumbai. "Itmanna: Make A Wish," directed by Cherien Dabis, explores the tensions of a politically charged environment through the prism of a young girl's quest to buy a birthday cake. "The North Road," directed by Carlos Chahine, tracks a middle-aged man's return to his home country of Lebanon to deal with his father's remains. And "Ramchand Pakistani," a feature film directed by Mehreen Jabbar, is based on a true story about a Pakistani Hindu family's accidental crossing of the Pakistani-Indian border in 2002.

Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Manager, recently watched "Easy to Assemble #1: What's In Store."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/bwEEQfIoUes/doha-tribeca-film-festival-hits-youtube.html

[G] Three contest winners making their way to television

| More

Official Google Blog: Three contest winners making their way to television

(Cross-posted from the Google TV Ads Blog)

Small businesses often think that television advertising is too expensive and cumbersome for them to use. They assume that they need a fancy, expensive commercial to use in their TV campaign. But Google TV Ads changes all of that — we make it easy and affordable for you to make a TV ad, plan a campaign and reach your customers through the power of television. We launched the TV for All contest two months ago to prove just that.

More than 200 companies submitted commercials for the opportunity to win $25,000 worth of free national advertising on cable channels such as CNBC, Hallmark and Bloomberg using Google TV Ads. Today, we're happy to announce the three winners of the TV for All contest based on votes from the YouTube community.

Amazing Gates, Owners.com and ZAGG.com received the largest number of votes among the 10 finalists. Each of these businesses will receive $25,000 in free national advertising through Google TV Ads advertising.


Check out the three winners and all entries at www.youtube.com/tvforallcontest. For more information on Google TV Ads and how it can help your small business succeed, visit our website at google.com/tvads.

Posted by Deeksha Hebbar, Associate Marketing Manager, Google TV Ads
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/three-contest-winners-making-their-way.html

Thursday, October 29, 2009

[G] AdSense for feeds now available directly in Blogger

| More

AdSense for Feeds: AdSense for feeds now available directly in Blogger

One of the things our publishers have always asked for are ways to make it even easer to configure their blogs to work with FeedBurner and AdSense for Feeds. We're happy to announce that Blogger users, with just a few clicks, are able to do both at the same time.

Yes, this year for Halloween, AdSense for feeds is putting on a Blogger costume and allowing all Blogger publishers to easily monetize your RSS and Atom feeds directly from the Blogger interface, in the same way you set up AdsSense on your blog beforehand.

To set this up, go to Blogger and select the blog you wish to monetize on your Blogger Dashboard, and select "Monetize." This will give you some basic options for configuring ads, and if you already have connected your Blogger feed to FeedBurner, will confirm that the proper feed is being configured. AdSense for feeds will automatically pick the right ad sizes for your users, content, and end medium.



After setup, you will be able to view your AdSense reports (including feed revenue) directly from the Blogger Dashboard, as well as from your AdSense account. Additional feed management options for your feed and feed analytics will be available from http://feedburner.google.com.


Posted by Steve Olechowski on behalf of the AdSense for feeds and Blogger teams

URL: http://adsenseforfeeds.blogspot.com/2009/10/adsense-for-feeds-now-available.html

[G] A price on carbon -- necessary but not sufficient

| More

Google Public Policy Blog: A price on carbon -- necessary but not sufficient

Posted by Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change & Energy Initiatives

The need to address the climate crisis provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild our energy system with vast economic, security, and environmental benefits. By putting significant limits on carbon emissions –- and adopting strong complementary energy policies -- we can create millions of new U.S. jobs, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign energy, and protect ourselves from a global climate crisis. Yesterday I testified on just this subject before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Google published a scenario last year called Clean Energy 2030, which outlines one potential path to a clean energy future. The Clean Energy 2030 proposal would reduce U.S. CO2 emissions about 50% below the baseline projection, while creating 9 million new jobs and net savings of $800 billion.

The ability of the U.S. to seize this historic economic opportunity will be influenced, to a large extent, by actions taken by government to put a significant price on carbon emissions. But a significant price on carbon, while absolutely necessary, is not sufficient to address the climate problem and will not put the U.S. in the position to seize the extraordinary opportunities that will come with rebuilding the global energy economy.

There are four complementary energy policy mechanisms that will be critical to taking advantage of these opportunities:
  • First, we must significantly increase public funding of research and development of advanced energy technologies. In 1980 ten percent of the total government R&D investment was in energy. Today, it is only two percent.
  • Second, we must increase the capital available to deploy these advanced technologies at commercial scale.
  • Third, we must build a smarter and bigger electric grid to better harness energy efficiency and renewable energy. A smarter grid will let us see and understand our energy use, measure it, price it and manage it -- to get the most out of every watt. And a bigger grid will allow us to tap our nation's vast clean energy resources and deliver them where needed.
  • Fourth, we must set national standards to accelerate the uptake of cleaner and more efficient technologies.
Check out video of my opening testimony below, or read it here. You can also view an archived webcast of the full hearing on the Committee's website.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/price-on-carbon-necessary-but-not.html

[G] AdSense for feeds now available directly in Blogger

| More

AdSense for Feeds: AdSense for feeds now available directly in Blogger

One of the things our publishers have always asked for are ways to make it even easer to configure their blogs to work with FeedBurner and AdSense for Feeds. We're happy to announce that Blogger users, with just a few clicks, are able to do both at the same time.

Yes, this year for Halloween, AdSense for feeds is putting on a Blogger costume and allowing all Blogger publishers to easily monetize your RSS and Atom feeds directly from the Blogger interface, in the same way you set up AdsSense on your blog beforehand.

To set this up, go to Blogger and select the blog you wish to monetize on your Blogger Dashboard, and select "Monetize." This will give you some basic options for configuring ads, and if you already have connected your Blogger feed to FeedBurner, will confirm that the proper feed is being configured. AdSense for feeds will automatically pick the right ad sizes for your users, content, and end medium.




After setup, you will be able to view your AdSense reports (including feed revenue) directly from the Blogger Dashboard, as well as from your AdSense account. Additional feed management options for your feed and feed analytics will be available from http://feedburner.google.com.
Posted by Steve Olechowski on behalf of the AdSense for feeds and Blogger teams






Posted by Steve Olechowski - Product Manager, AdSense for feeds


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BurnThisRSS2/~3/O1lus3EEC4Q/adsense-for-feeds-now-available.html

[G] A new and easy way to offer Google Checkout promotions to buyers

| More

Official Google Checkout Blog: A new and easy way to offer Google Checkout promotions to buyers

We're pleased to announce a new feature that will allow Google Checkout merchants based in the U.S. to create and to run their own Checkout promotions at any time.

Starting today, you can sign in to your Checkout merchant account, go to the 'Tools' tab, and click the 'Promotions' link to create a Checkout promotion in less than a minute. You'll be able to specify the date and time you'd like the promotion to run, as well as choose from a variety of dollar-off discounts to offer your buyers.

Whenever you run a Google Checkout promotion, the standard Checkout button on your website will be automatically updated to display the discount amount and cart minimum. Additionally, for AdWords advertisers, we'll change the standard Checkout badge appearing on your AdWords ads to a Checkout badge that includes the discount amount as shown below. These promotional badges have been introduced to enable shoppers who search on Google.com to easily identify and take advantage of promotional offers.



Checkout promotions are a great way to attract new buyers, and we're excited to make this functionality more widely available. Please visit our Help Center for detailed instructions on setting up your own Checkout promotion. Thanks for using Google Checkout!

Posted by Gina Del Vecchio, Google Checkout Specialist
URL: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-and-easy-way-to-offer-google.html

[G] Do machines dream of electric malware?

| More

Google Online Security Blog: Do machines dream of electric malware?

Posted by: Oliver Fisher, Anti-Malware Team

We've explored Google's anti-malware processes several times recently, as well as our efforts to work with webmasters to help protect their users. However, there's been some confusion about the objectivity of our scanning and flagging procedures.

Google uses fully automated systems to scan the Internet for potentially dangerous sites. These systems help detect sites infected with malware and then add a warning that appears in Google search results and in many web browsers. We flag sites in this way to help protect users who might visit them. The warning is a cautionary page, and we never prevent users from viewing the affected site if they choose. It's important to note that sites are often compromised without the webmaster's knowledge, so we provide affected webmasters with further information on the issues we've identified — including showing snippets of the malicious code we find. We also offer free resources in Google Webmaster Tools to help site owners clean their sites and request a re-scan.

Site owners sometimes say that we've made a mistake and that their site does not contain malware. For example, the recent appearance of a malware warning on people.com.cn sparked discussion about how Google flags websites. Our scanners — which are automated and indifferent to a site's subject matter — first found a malicious ad on the book.people.com.cn domain at approximately 3:47 a.m. PT on October 17, 2009. Over several days, the scanners detected thousands of URLs with suspicious content in other people.com.cn domains.

Malicious content can be very difficult to detect. A previous post on this blog offered tips for finding hidden malware and cleaning up websites. There are also good tips on Google's Webmaster Central Blog. If a webmaster has indeed removed the malicious content and filed a malware review request in Webmaster Tools, the warning label will be removed shortly. If it persists, however, it's very likely that dangerous content remains. Our scanners are highly accurate, and false positives are extremely rare.

When Google's automated systems detect dangerous content on a site, an email is sent to several administrative email addresses at the site, as well as to the corresponding Webmaster Tools account if one exists. We sent a notification to people.com.cn at 11:01 a.m. PT on October 17, just as any compromised site would receive. The email includes an explanation of how the site may have become compromised and unknowingly been distributing malware. It also describes the process of removing malware from the site and getting the Google warning removed from the site. A copy of the message sent to the addresses associated with infected sites is below:


We recently discovered that some of your pages can cause users to be infected with malicious software. We have begun showing a warning page to users who visit these pages by clicking a search result on Google.com.
...
We strongly encourage you to investigate this immediately to protect your visitors. Although some sites intentionally distribute malicious software, in many cases the webmaster is unaware because:
1) the site was compromised
2) the site doesn't monitor for malicious user-contributed content
3) the site displays content from an ad network that has a malicious advertiser

If your site was compromised, it's important to not only remove the malicious (and usually hidden) content from your pages, but to also identify and fix the vulnerability. We suggest contacting your hosting provider if you are unsure of how to proceed. StopBadware also has a resource page for securing compromised sites: http://www.stopbadware.org/home/security Once you've secured your site, you can request that the warning be removed by visiting http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=45432 and requesting a review. If your site is no longer harmful to users, we will remove the warning.


As the email says, the fastest way for a site to be removed from the malware list is for the webmaster to file a review request via Google Webmaster Tools. Google's automated scanners will periodically re-examine the site even if no such request is received, but the process will take longer. People.com.cn did not file a review request, but our scanners reviewed the site on October 23 and removed the malware warning after finding that the malicious ad was gone.

Malicious display ads are an increasingly common way for sites to unknowingly distribute malware. We recently wrote about the steps that Google takes to help protect our advertising networks. Also, other publishers have recently written about their experiences with deceptive display ads.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/10/do-machines-dream-of-electric-malware.html

[G] More, more, more real estate in Google Maps

| More

Google LatLong: More, more, more real estate in Google Maps


Since we announced the ability to see lots of real estate listings directly on Google Maps back in July, we've been working hard to make it even easier to use.  As we've added new features and updated Google Maps, with things like brand new high-resolution Street View imagery or detailed map data, Google Maps has become an even more useful tool for online real estate searching. Here are a couple of things you can look out for next time you visit.

First of all, we've made it easier to find real estate listings. Now, you can simply select "Real Estate" from the 'More' button on the top right of any Google Map to discover listings.  From there, it's a simple matter to refine your search using the left hand panel - price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and so on.  Of course, you can still pan the map to search for the perfect neighborhood and it'll automatically update with more listings.




We've also added the ability to search for rental listings in the US.  You can now find places for rent in New York or one bedrooms in San Francisco for rent simply by turning on the Real Estate layer via the 'More' button and selecting some refinements.

You'll also notice that Google Maps is now showing even more information about an area as you pan around and zoom in.  There are small icons on the map showing the names and location of businesses and prominent features of the neighborhood.  This means that during your property search, you'll be able to tell at a glance just exactly what shops can be found down the road from where you're looking, all without typing!

You can now find real estate in cities and towns across the US, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Of course, these aren't the only resources available for your new home search. You can use Street View on Google Maps to check out the neighborhood before driving to an open house; use driving directions to find out exactly how to get there; and transit information to work out what your new commute might be if you went ahead and moved house.
Also, if you're in the real estate industry and want to provide listings to be seen in Google Maps, it's really easy to get started.

Happy house hunting this weekend!

Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-more-more-real-estate-in-google.html