Friday, January 8, 2010

[G] Fast Flip now available on Google News homepage

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Google News Blog: Fast Flip now available on Google News homepage

Posted by Jack Hebert, Matthew Watson and Corrie Scalisi, Software Engineers

Today you may notice a change to the Google News home page: Near the bottom, we're now displaying stories from Google Fast Flip, the article-reading service we launched in September. Fast Flip is still in Google Labs, so we'll continue to experiment with the format. But so far we've found that the speed and visual nature of the service encourages readers to look at many articles and, for the ones that catch their interest, click through to the story publishers' websites.

In December we added more than 50 newspapers, magazines, web outlets news wires and TV and radio broadcasters, bringing the total number of news sources discoverable in Fast Flip to more than 90. Encouraged by the positive feedback we've received from users and partners, we decided to expose the service to more potential readers by integrating it with the U.S. English version of Google News. As always, we welcome your thoughts.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/fast-flip-now-available-on-google-news.html

[G] This week in search 1/8/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 1/8/10

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.

In honor of the first full week of the new year, it seems the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2009. Just as with our year-end Zeitgeist in early December, it's always fascinating to glimpse the collective consciousness of Google users. Beyond search queries rising for Michael Jackson, swine flu, Twitter and Lady Gaga, what else did Google searches reveal last year?

Proportion of Google users in the United States making more than one query per day:
7 out of 10

Proportion of Google users in the United States making more than 10 queries per day:
1 out of 7

Fraction of Google queries, duplicates excluded, never seen before: More than 1/3

Fraction of Google queries, duplicates included, never seen before: More than 1/5

Country with the greatest increase in Google web search traffic in 2009 vs. 2008: Indonesia*

Approximate percentage of Internet users in Indonesia: 11.1%*

Average amount of time it takes a user to finish entering a query: 9 seconds

Average amount of time it takes Google to answer a query: Less than 1/4 second

Number of search quality improvements made by Google in 2009: 540, ~1.5 each day

Proportion of Google result pages that show a map in search results: 1 in 13

Average increase in driving distance on weekends vs. weekdays on Google Maps: 11km

Median distance from a user's location to ice skating rinks found on Google Maps: 30km

Median distance from a user's location to ski resorts found on Google Maps: 300km


Unless otherwise noted, most of these statistics are based on our U.S. weekday traffic. We hope you enjoyed this week — and year — in search, and we're looking forward to an exciting 2010!

Posted by the Google Search Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/this-week-in-search-1810.html

[G] Subscriptions Enhanced With Bulletins, Progress Bar & Ability to Remove Videos

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YouTube Blog: Subscriptions Enhanced With Bulletins, Progress Bar & Ability to Remove Videos

The subscription system delivers videos from content creators to
eager viewers and has become such an essential part of YouTube that
that "subscribe" button is clicked over 1 million times every day.
That's a lot -- which is why we're especially focused on improving the
reliability, usefulness and transparency of subscriptions.



First
off, you've told us that you want ways to message your subscribers.
Now, the bulletins you write on your channel will appear on your
subscribers' homepages, in their "Recent Activity" module. If you go to
your channel -- let's say it's celebrityplaylists -- you should see an
area to write a bulletin and attach a video:






















...which looks like this when your subscribers see it in their homepage feed:






















Note
that these bulletins will only show up for people who subscribed to you
after September 2009. If you subscribed to someone before September and
want to receive their bulletins, simply visit their channel, click the
"Edit subscription" link, and choose "Subscribe to all videos uploaded,
rated, favorited, and commented on."



We've also heard from many
of you that after you upload a video, you'd like to feel more confident
that it's actually made its way to your subscribers' homepages.
Recently, we rolled out a new indicator that shows the syndication
status of your video after it's been uploaded; once it reaches 100% you
can rest assured that all your subscribers have received your video.
Here's an example of what this looks like:















































Please keep in mind that after your upload finishes processing, it starts
getting sent out to the

people subscribed to you, though it can take up
to an hour to reach everyone. (In rare cases, it might take longer than
an hour.) This short delay helps us fight spam and preserve the overall
integrity of the system.




Finally, you can now delete
individual items from your subscription feed. Click "edit" options for
the subscriptions module and check "Exclude videos I've already
watched" (see below). Once you've done this, hover over videos in the
module to see a small "x" that will allow you to remove it from the
module, making way for more videos from the people you follow.



















We'd love to read comments below about other subscription system improvements you'd like to see.




Brian Glick, Product Manager, recently subscribed to 73368's channel.



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/RFsK_FMGHG0/subscriptions-enhanced-with-bulletins.html

[G] Vote Now: Send a YouTube Activist to Davos to Meet with World Leaders

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YouTube Blog: Vote Now: Send a YouTube Activist to Davos to Meet with World Leaders

The entries are in and the finalists have been chosen. Now it's your turn to determine who should go to this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Judges Arianna Huffington, Paolo Coehlo and Muhammed Yunus watched all of the entries in our "Your pitch to the world" contest and have chosen the five finalists who will vie for the opportunity to fly to Davos to take their issue to the world leaders at the forum. You can vote on the videos on the Davos YouTube channel. All votes must be cast by January 15, so vote early and often (you can submit one vote per video per day).



In the wake of the worst global recession in decades, the organizers of Davos have given a poignant title to this year's annual meeting: "Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild." Let's make sure those gathered in Switzerland hear your thoughts about how we can improve the world in 2010, and stay tuned for other opportunities to get involved with this important conference.

Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched "Vote in the 2010 Davos Debates"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/CHXXvFjLjcI/vote-now-send-youtube-activist-to-davos.html

[G] Find us at the National Retail Federation Big Show in NYC next week

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Google LatLong: Find us at the National Retail Federation Big Show in NYC next week


Shoppers are increasingly turning to Google.com and Google Maps to find, learn about, map, and get directions to retail locations. We offer several tools that help retail businesses connect with these shoppers, such as
Local Business Center to make sure your listings are accurate and contain many relevant details, and embeddable Google Maps to power your online store locator.

That’s why several of us from Google will be attending, presenting, and demonstrating products next week at
NRF 2010, the National Retail Federation’s annual convertion and expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. We’ll be speaking at a session on Tuesday (January 12) at 11:30am (EXPO Hall, 3D04) called Helping Shoppers Find You.

We’ll also have a booth in the Expo Hall (Booth #365) so attendees can chat with us directly about Google Maps and Local Business Center. Any question is fair game! Look for the Google logo on our booth wall and a big map of Manhattan at the floor of the booth. We hope to see you there.

Posted by Andrew Chang and Ryan Hayward, Product Marketing Managers
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/01/find-us-at-national-retail-federation.html

[G] Google Apps highlights – 1/8/2010

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 1/8/2010

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label "Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Over the holidays, clever elves left us some nice improvements to Google Apps for individuals, companies and schools using our web-based services.

Co-editor presence in presentations
When you're co-editing in real-time, knowing where collaborators are making changes helps you avoid stepping on each other's toes. We already have visual indicators for co-editor presence in documents and spreadsheets, and now presentations sports this feature, too. You can see which slides others are working on, and if you're editing the same slide together, colored indicators make it clear which text box, shape or other element they're modifying.


Easier duplicate contact merging
Over time, as friends and coworkers send you messages from different email addresses, your Gmail contact list can accumulate duplicate contacts. We recently made it easier to find and merge these duplicates. To get started, just just click the 'Find duplicates' button in the contact manager. Cleaning up your contact list is especially helpful if you sync your Gmail contacts with your phone.


Google Apps on Nexus One
Speaking of mobile phones, the new Nexus One Android device is a great way to take Google Apps with you everywhere. Nexus One not only syncs with multiple Gmail accounts, but it also syncs your contacts, with Google Calendar and with Picasa Web Albums. Nexus One lets you instant message using Google Talk and access voicemail — including handy message transcriptions — with the Google Voice app.


Automatic page translation in Google Sites
Building the same website in multiple languages is lots of work, even if you're multi-lingual. With automatic translation in Google Sites, sharing information with people who don't speak your language is much easier. Just create your site in your native language, and visitors can instantly translate your site into any one of 51 languages that they're more familiar with.


Who's gone Google?
MWV is famous the world 'round among students and parents for Five Star notebooks and Trapper Keepers, but they make a wide array of other products and packaging that you probably see every day. We're thrilled that they've migrated over 12,000 employees to Google Apps, unifying their globally distributed workforce on a single email solution to address the complexity and frustrations of running multiple instances of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. You can find more on MWV's story on the Google Enterprise Blog.

We hope these updates help you get even more from Google Apps. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/google-apps-highlights-182010.html

[G] In Case You Missed It

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Google Analytics Blog: In Case You Missed It

Before you say goodbye to the holidays, take a look at this great holiday list on the official Google blog by our very own Avinash Kaushik, called Top Ten Ways To Get Your Business Ready For The Holidays. By publishing this now in January, we're hoping you'll take these lessons into the whole year, just like Mom used to say - "Christmas should every day of the year."

Seriously, these tips are applicable moreso now, when the holiday craziness is over and you have a second to optimize your campaigns and analytics, and also take a look at some other free marketing tools from Google that you should really be using, such as Ad Planner, Insights For Search and Website Optimizer. 2010 will be much better if you take Avinash's advice early on.


Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/01/in-case-you-missed-it.html

Thursday, January 7, 2010

[G] Look who's modeling!

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Google LatLong: Look who's modeling!

[Cross-posted from the Google SketchUp Blog]

The Google Model Your Town Competition is running full-steam ahead with over 400 pins in the world map representing teams from six continents. From places like Cauquenes, Chile to Cape Town, South Africa to Suva City, Fiji to Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh, India to Aberdeen, Scotland to Tallin, Estonia and Burlington, Iowa people have taken on the challenge of representing their communities.

Folks in Iowa, Colorado, and British Columbia are motivating community members by building their own websites, garnering local press, tweeting, and soliciting help in online forums. Some are offering training on how to model to anyone interested. Iowa is asking middle and high school educators to form and advise teams of students.

There are still many people looking for team members. Visit the official group to meet folks in your area, or to post your own questions, ideas, or comments about the competition. The deadline for entering is March 1st of this year. Start the entry process by adding a pin to the map on our Get Started page and follow us on Twitter @modelyourtown.

Posted by Allyson McDuffie, Model Your Town Competition Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/01/cross-posted-from-google-sketchup-blog.html

[G] Finding places "Near me now" is easier and faster than ever on Google.com

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Finding places "Near me now" is easier and faster than ever on Google.com

Last month, Vic Gundotra, VP of Engineering, demonstrated at the Computer History Museum the ability to search by using your location as the query. Starting today, you can try this yourself by going to Google.com in your iPhone or Android browser and clicking on "Near me now" once your location has been provided by your phone.

"Near me now" was designed to address two user problems. First, we wanted to make it fast and easy to find out more about a place in your immediate vicinity, whether you're standing right in front of a business or if it's just a short walk away. For example, you may want to know what other customers think about a restaurant before you go inside (see quick video below) or what they have been raving about on the menu before you order. By selecting the "Explore right here" option, you can find out more about a place "right here" with just a few clicks.



Second, we wanted to make searching for popular categories of nearby places really simple. Imagine that you emerge from the subway station and you want to grab a coffee, but you don't see a coffee shop around you. You can simply search for all nearby coffee shops by using "Near me now". To search other categories of places not shown, "Browse more categories" provides access to our local search product with more category choices.

"Near me now" is currently available in the US for iPhone (OS 3.x) or Android-powered devices with version 2.0.1 or later. You must first enable location in order for "Near me now" to appear, and "Explore right here" works only if the phone provides location accuracy within approximately a city block.



Posted by John Eric Hoffman and Jussi Myllymaki, Google Mobile Engineering
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/01/finding-places-near-me-now-is-easier.html

[G] FCC seeks short extension to complete National Broadband Plan

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Google Public Policy Blog: FCC seeks short extension to complete National Broadband Plan

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

Today the FCC asked Congress for a one-month extension to deliver its National Broadband Plan, explaining that it needs more time to review the public record and to brief key officials. The deadline originally had been set for February 17th.

For years Google has been a vocal proponent of a national broadband strategy, and we're eager to see this plan delivered to Congress as soon as possible. That said, given the immense challenges faced by FCC staff in putting together such a comprehensive and far-reaching document, asking for an additional four weeks is not at all unreasonable. A broadband plan for our country may be too many years overdue, but with so much at stake, it's important to get this done right.

We continue to believe that the FCC should set both shorter-term "ubiquity" goals of bringing high-speed Internet access to every single American, and longer-term "stretch" goals of driving the adoption of truly high capacity broadband pipes. We hope the Commission shares this dual vision, and we look forward to seeing their final product.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/01/fcc-seeks-short-extension-to-complete.html

[G] Shaking things up

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Google LatLong: Shaking things up


At around 10:00am in Mountain View, our building shook. Really shook. Coming from the Midwest, earthquakes have always intrigued me (I wondered things like: Does it really feel like you're standing next to a freight train? Answer: Yes). So being the earthquake-phile (or earthquake-noob) I am, I immediately jumped into Google Earth to check out what had happened. Thanks to the real-time USGS Earth feed, I was able to quickly find out the details. Opening up the 'Gallery' folder and clicking on 'Earthquakes' I was able to see that it was a magnitude 4.1 earthquake, with an epicenter just accross the bay -- yikes!


The USGS also maintains their own KML file, which contains links to even more details. Here's that file embedded in the browser-based Google Earth plug-in:



Armed with this information in real-time, I was able to share the details in real time with my jealous (and some not-so-jealous) friends still in the Midwest.

Posted by Pete Giencke, GIS Data Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/01/shaking-things-up.html

[G] Site maintenance on Saturday, January 9

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Inside AdSense: Site maintenance on Saturday, January 9

This Saturday, our engineers will be performing routine site maintenance from 10am to 2pm PDT. You'll be unable to log in to your AdSense and Ad Manager accounts during this time, but we'll continue serving ads to your pages and tracking your clicks, impressions, and earnings as usual. In addition, your ad targeting won't be affected.

We've converted the maintenance start time for a few cities around the world:

Istanbul - 8pm Saturday
Sao Paolo - 4pm Saturday
Oslo - 7pm Saturday
Nairobi - 9pm Saturday
Auckland - 7am Sunday

If you'd like to learn more about what goes on during these maintenance periods, check out this Inside AdSense post.

Posted by Dia Muthana - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2010/01/site-maintenance-on-saturday-january-9.html

[G] Welcome to our "Go Mobile!" Series

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Inside AdWords: Welcome to our "Go Mobile!" Series

This is an exciting time for mobile. Over the past year, consumers have increasingly turned to their mobile devices to access the internet. They're performing searches, browsing content, watching videos, and interacting with mobile applications. Looking ahead, analysts expect internet usage on mobile devices to continue to ramp up even faster than it did on desktop computers.

Even more exciting, is our new approach to buying a mobile phone. The Nexus One is a convergence point for mobile technology, apps, and the Internet. It's a great example of how users are able to access information wherever they are, and whenever they need it -- all from a device that fits in your pocket.

For the next few months, we'll be devoting a weekly post to mobile advertising. The series will highlight insights, new features, best practices, and tips for how to optimize your mobile ad campaigns.

As you begin to think about how mobile advertising fits into your plans, we hope the Go Mobile! series will be a helpful resource to stay informed and be inspired.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/01/welcome-to-our-go-mobile-series.html

[G] Chat on Translator Toolkit

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Official Google Blog: Chat on Translator Toolkit

Collaboration is an important part of translation. Whether you work with editors to translate documents, customers to clarify terms or project managers to meet deadlines, working with other translators is key to making high-quality translations. Today, we’re making it easier to collaborate on translations with the release of chat in Translator Toolkit.


Just like chat in Gmail, you can send instant messages to colleagues, friends, family and groups directly from within Translator Toolkit. All the features and settings of chat are the same as what you're used to, including going on the record to save your translation chats in Gmail. If you don’t want to be interrupted as you work on a translation, you can simply go invisible or turn off chat through the Translator Toolkit settings.

In addition to chat, we’ve made a few other updates that should make your translation work speedier. You can now change your display language and set the toolkit tabs to open or close by default. And we’ve expanded our entries in the dictionary tab, including useful information like parts of speech and alternate definitions. For example, if you're translating the word cancer into Chinese, you will find alternate translations for cancer as a disease and cancer as a quickly-spreading danger so you can find just the right word for your translation:


Check out these improvements now in Translator Toolkit. We'd love to hear what you think.

Posted by Kartik Singh, Software Engineer, Translator Toolkit
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/chat-on-translator-toolkit.html

[G] Ones to Watch (CES Edition): Gadget Reviewers

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YouTube Blog: Ones to Watch (CES Edition): Gadget Reviewers

The Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) is in full swing right now in Las Vegas, and that means that gear
enthusiasts are getting their fill of the hottest devices coming to the
market. In anticipation of all this electronics buzz, the folks at
phonedog created a tutorial video
last month sharing everything you need to know about being a successful
gadget reviewer on YouTube. They then asked all you budding tech
reviewers out there to try your hand at making gadget review videos, with the promise that a few of you would be featured on our homepage.



Well, we've arrived at that moment: phonedog's selected the three new reviewers -- samkeem, modview and kbradnam
-- who grace our homepage today, talking about products dear to them.
(OK, kbradnam's is a spoof, but he definitely captures the passion and
attention to detail required to be a tech reviewer.) Honorable mentions
go to AlexMarckReviews, vizbug, gadgetexperts, tehkseventechHazardVideos, akatsukigaraa, elSerg3000 and BeforeandAfterTV for submitting insightful, thorough videos
reviewing phones, cameras and even an app. Of the entries, Noah from phonedog says:
"I was impressed with so many of them, and it was hard to choose. The
winners combined product know-how with eye-appealing visuals and even
humor, making for videos that kept me watching. Thanks so much for
participating and keep it up! You provide an important service by
telling people about products they may want to buy."



Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently favorited "Julian Smith - Techno Jeep (Original)."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/HMcBzEV4ZEk/ones-to-watch-ces-edition-gadget.html

[G] AdWords system maintenance on January 9th

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Inside AdWords: AdWords system maintenance on January 9th

On Saturday, January 9th, 2010 the AdWords system will be unavailable from approximately 10AM to 2PM PST, for maintenance. While you won't be able to sign in to your accounts during this time, your campaigns will continue to run as usual.

AdWords system maintenance typically occurs on the second Saturday of each month from 10AM to 2PM.

We'll continue to update you via the blog as we always have, but please make note of the January 9th date and of our scheduled maintenance further down the road.

Posted by Emily Williams, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/01/adwords-system-maintenance-on-january.html

[G] Web Analytics TV with Avinash and Nick

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics TV with Avinash and Nick

This is the fourth video in our recent Rapid Fire series which we are now calling Web Analytics TV. In this series you share your most burning questions via the Google Analytics Google Moderator site and we answer them.

Here's the list of last week's questions. We enjoy hearing from you, so please keep the questions coming. Like the hosts Click and Clack from a long-standing radio show called CarTalk, who will answer any car question that exists, we'd love to do the same for web analytics. Call us Data and Point? Hm. Click and Clack is catchier. If you can think of a name let us know. But please, ask any question related to web analytics. Tools. HiPPO's. Reporting tips. Challenges. All are fair game, so ask away.

In this episode we discuss:
  • Tracking social media referrals in Google Analytics
  • Why do I see clicks with 0 visits in Google Analytics keyword reports
  • Does sharing data with Google Analytics have an impact on Organic Search rankings?
  • How to track Google custom site search engines in Google Analytics
  • In keyword reports how to change '+' characters into whitespaces
  • How advanced profile filters work
  • Best practices for reporting user "engagement"
  • What insights can you gain from the content drilldown report
  • How can one change the cookie duration of visits
  • How does one become excellent at web analytics



Here are links to resources we discussed in the video:
We'd love to hear your comments or questions in the comments section below, and let us know if you find this helpful.

Also, if you have a question you would like us to answer, please submit a question or vote for your favorite question in our public Google Moderator site. Avinash and I will answer your latest questions in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video. Thanks!


Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/01/web-analytics-tv-with-avinash-and-nick.html

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

[G] New ways to optimize Content Network campaigns

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Inside AdWords: New ways to optimize Content Network campaigns

We're often asked, "How can I maximize the ROI from Content Network campaigns?"

As part of our new Optimization University initiative, we've developed a Getting Started Guide and a series of 6 videos to help answer this question for you. The guide and videos provide a conceptual walk-through and demo of the major steps involved in executing a Content Network campaign. These include:
Along with simple tips and tricks to improve ROI, we also go over several tools, such as the Wonder Wheel, the Keyword Tool and Conversion Tracking, that can help you be more efficient. These recommendations are based on our analysis of thousands of campaigns to understand what works and what doesn't. We hope you can start applying them to your campaigns today.

If you're starting a new Content Network campaign, watch the first video below; you may find it to be particularly valuable.


You can also always bookmark the playlist or find all the latest videos on our YouTube channel.

[Note: this post is reprinted from the Google Agency Ad Solutions Blog.]

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-ways-to-optimize-content-network.html

[G] CPG on FAST. FORWARD.

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Official Google CPG Blog: CPG on FAST. FORWARD.

Posted by Jenny Liu, Industry Marketing Manager for CPG

In Oct 2009, Google and the Wharton School partnered up to create
Fast.Forward., a YouTube brand channel that provides quick perspectives on managing change, while exploring what will define success through the continual evolution of marketing.

Through short videos, ranging in length from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, industry and academic thought leaders share their thoughts/views/insights on the marketing landscape and how it has changed, ways they feel marketers can leverage new and recent findings, best practices to make more progressive/informed marketing & advertising decisions, and other pertinent questions on the minds of marketers today.

Google CPG is excited to share the launch of CPG specific content on the channel! To find this carousel, visit
http://www.youtube.com/fastforward, scroll to CPG in the center carousel and hit play.

Today, we bring to life some thought starters about targeting Moms:

View Lisa Mann, VP of Consumer Experiences from Kraft give advice on how to reach mom marketers:




Watch Patrick Kraus, Director of Pampers for N.A. from P&G, comment around how the recession has impacted moms.



You can also listen to Tina Sharkey, chairman and global president of BabyCenter, share the future "8th" face of Moms




This year, we will be building up CPG thought leadership content on this channel. Contact us if you are interested in contributing!

URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2010/01/cpg-on-fast-forward.html

[G] Google Map Maker Ambassadors -- party on!

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Google LatLong: Google Map Maker Ambassadors -- party on!


All around the world, our Google Map Maker users have been in high-gear over the past six weeks, becoming Map Maker Ambassadors by organizing local events to spread the word about how people can map the places they know and love. Supported by Google, these dedicated mappers have secured event locations at local universities, translated presentations and brochures, publicized the events and coordinated with the local mapping community.

Power-mapper Mihai organized a Map Maker event in Bucharest, Romania in mid November:
Serbia mapper Jovica organized a Map Maker event at Novi Sad University in early December:

Ulziisaikhan & Tsengel organized several "Map Maker Fairs" in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in December:


Tilek Mamutov, a Dublin-based Googler and a top Map Maker user in Kyrgyzstan organized two Map Maker events in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Almaty, Kazakhstan in late December:

And to ring in the new year for mappers in Pakistan, super mappers Faraz and Jabran, with help from fellow mappers Omer and Khurram organized a mapping party in Lahore on January 2nd:

Here's a big shout-out and thank you to our Google Map Maker Ambassadors, and we're looking forward to similar events being organized in Kerala, India (February 5th) and elsewhere. In the meantime, check out the Google Map Maker Global Mapping Competition benefiting UNICEF that runs through January 31st.

Posted by Jennifer Mazzon, Maps Community Organizer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/01/google-map-maker-ambassadors-party-on.html

[G] Introducing the Breaking Borders Awards

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Official Google Blog: Introducing the Breaking Borders Awards

(Cross-posted from the Public Policy Blog)

Last year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. When I visited Berlin last November to participate in a conference entitled Breaking Borders, politicians, policy makers, netizens and journalists all agreed on the importance of freedom of expression for a functioning democracy. The web is providing once unimaginable possibilities for political participation, free exchange of information and democratic movements around the world.

As part of the Berlin conference, we announced a plan to work with an NGO called Global Voices and with Thomson Reuters to establish the Breaking Borders Awards.

The awards will honor outstanding web projects by individuals or groups who have shown courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression, making us aware of diverse political viewpoints and standing up to those who censor information. The winners will be those who are making a real difference. We are delighted to share further details about the awards and invite nominations.

Closing date for submissions is February 15. Details on how to apply and the opportunities to join the award committee can be found on the website.

Posted by Rachel Whetstone, Vice President Global Communications and Public Affairs
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/introducing-breaking-borders-awards.html

[G] "Check out" Google Commerce Search at NRF's BIG Show

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: "Check out" Google Commerce Search at NRF's BIG Show

The holidays may still be wrapping up, but retailers around the globe are already thinking about the coming year. While final numbers for the 2009 holiday season are being tallied, early estimates suggest growth in e-commerce sales, which grew 15.5% over the 2008 holiday season – quite a contrast compared to 3.6% growth for the overall retail industry (see MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse, reported in Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2009).

Here at Google, we're looking closely at how
Google Commerce Search, our recently-launched retail-specific website search service, can help online retailers use search to improve the online shopping experience.

Next week, visit Google Enterprise at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show, held in New York, New York from January 10 – 13. If your organization plans to attend the show, be sure to visit Google in Booth #365, and in the adjacent Cyber Lounge, to learn how tools such as Google Commerce Search, the Local Business Center, and the Google Maps API can help you build a strong 2010.

Posted by Anna Bishop, Google Enterprise Search team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/01/check-out-google-commerce-search-at.html

[G] Introducing the Breaking Borders Awards

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Google Public Policy Blog: Introducing the Breaking Borders Awards

Posted by Rachel Whetstone, Vice President Global Communications and Public Affairs

(Cross-posted from the European Public Policy Blog)

Last year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  When I visited Berlin last November to participate in a conference entitled Breaking Borders, politicians, policy makers, netizens and journalists all agreed on the importance of freedom of expression for a functioning democracy.  The web is providing once unimaginable possibilities for political participation, free exchange of information and democratic movements around the world.

As part of the Berlin conference, we announced a plan to work with an NGO called Global Voices and with Thomson Reuters to establish the Breaking Borders Awards.

The awards will honor outstanding web projects by individuals or groups who have shown courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression, making us aware of diverse political viewpoints and standing up to those who censor information. The winners will be those who are making a real difference. We are delighted to share further details about the awards and invite nominations.

Closing date for submissions is February 15. Details on how to apply and the opportunities to join the award committee can be found on the website.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/01/introducing-breaking-borders-awards.html