Friday, April 23, 2010

[G] This week in search 4/23/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 4/23/10

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week we announced a number of new developments:

Search for specific TV show episodes

As more and more full-length content is going online, we're making it easier to find the content you want by providing a more structured experience when you search for TV shows. This week, we launched a way to search for specific TV show episodes as part of this effort. Now, when you search for your favorite TV show in Google Videos, check the lefthand toolbar for “Episodes”. By clicking on the links in the Search Options panel, you can browse by season to see all episodes, and drill down to see all sources for a specific episode.

Example searches: [desperate housewives] and [the simpsons]

Image support for RSS gadgets

For many of you who use iGoogle as your homepage, RSS feeds are a great way to get the latest news content, blog updates, recipes and celebrity gossip. And because pictures enhance the online experience, this week we added image support to our iGoogle feed gadgets for people in the U.S. We now support "Slideshow view" as well as "Headline and lead story view." You should notice the change now on your iGoogle page, and you will be able to edit the display setting of each feed by choosing "Edit settings" in the dropdown menu for your feeds.

Slideshow view

Headline and lead story view

Example feeds: [CNN], [the economist], [entertainment weekly], [national geographic]

Google Places

Also this week we announced that the Local Business Center is becoming Google Places. With one out of five searches on Google related to location, we wanted to better connect Place Pages (which launched last September for more than 50 million places globally) to a tool that enables businesses to manage their Google presence. With this change, business owners will benefit from several new ways to expand their online presence, while making it easier for you to make better decisions about local shopping. From real-time coupon updates to interior photos of businesses on place pages, these ongoing enhancements will make local search all the more useful to you. The launch of Google Places is just the beginning of Google becoming more local. If you're a business owner and want to learn more, check out

Example place page: [mission mountain winery]

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

Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience

[G] Measure the success of your AdWords campaigns

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Inside AdWords: Measure the success of your AdWords campaigns

Over the past few weeks, we've posted 4 videos that suggested small changes you can make to your AdWords account to help you improve your performance. This week, we'll provide you with some guidance for measuring the results of these changes.

With AdWords, you can see how successful your advertising is by monitoring the statistics in your account. Understanding these statistics allows you to assess your results and further tweak your campaigns for even better performance.

Take a look at this video to learn how to track and understand your AdWords results in order to fine tune your advertising.

Have you have found this series of videos useful for improving your advertising and growing your business? Let us know.

PostPosted by Emily Williams, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Enabling social sharing with FeedFlare

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AdSense for Feeds and FeedBurner Blog: Enabling social sharing with FeedFlare

Feed content is being constantly distributed via new channels and endpoints every day.   More and more, these new channels involve sharing your content in social networks and applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.

Recently, we launched our Socialize service to help you as the publisher distribute your feed via social networks, with the first network being Twitter.   If you use Blogger, you can already connect your feed to Buzz via the "connected sites" link in Buzz.

But it's equally important in the social world to make sure your subscribers can also share your feed content easily on these social networks.  FeedFlare helps enable this by allowing you to configure links in your feed that promote sharing.   You can do this by going to the Optimize tab FeedBurner and choosing FeedFlare, and then of course, adding some flare.

Now, we won't berate you for only doing the "bare minumum," nor do we recommend having "37 pieces of flare" in your feed - but we do think you should express yourself with at least a little flare that helps your subscribers move your content around these social networks a little easier.

To that end, just yesterday we enabled the official "Post to Google Buzz" FeedFlare in our catalog, which easily allows users to repost your content to Google Buzz, and then automatically updates the label with the number of times it was posted.

These links appear as so in your feed (though the exact presentation will vary depending on where your feed is being displayed):

Also included in our official catalog are "Share on Facebook" and others that may be relevant for your audience.  If you are an old time FeedBurner user, it may be time to revisit your FeedFlare setup and add some of these new ones.

In addition, if you don't see the FeedFlare you need, you can always develop one using the FeedFlare API which is documented in our FeedFlare Developer Guide.

Posted by Steve Olechowski, FeedBurner Team

[G] Who Took 10 When? Census participation rates over time

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Google LatLong: Who Took 10 When? Census participation rates over time

If you’re a geo-data dork like me, you’ve probably been following the Google Maps and Google Earth displays of near-real-time mail participation rates for US Census 2010 across states, counties, places, and tracts, which we announced last month with the Census Bureau.

Now that the mail-in deadline has passed, we’ve wrapped up the daily participation rate data through April 19 in a Google Earth layer, so you can see how response rates progressed over time. It’s a great example of using time stamps in a layer. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see in the layer:

To explore for yourself, check it out in your browser, or download the KML to open in Google Earth -- zoom in a bit to see the county level, and please be a bit patient as it might take a second or two to load each day’s worth of data. If you’d like to explore the most recent data in more detail, including place and tract level data, you’ll find that in our original layer.

Now that the big mail push is over, I’ll have to sit patiently and bide my time as census takers visit households that didn’t respond, and number-crunchers at the Census Bureau compile data. 2011’s going to be fascinating for geo visualization...we can’t wait to see all the great maps that folks make with the new data!

Posted by Jesse Friedman, Product Marketing Manager

[G] Enabling social sharing with FeedFlare

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AdSense for Feeds and FeedBurner Blog: Enabling social sharing with FeedFlare

Feed content is being constantly distributed via new channels and endpoints every day.   More and more, these new channels involve sharing your content in social networks and applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.

Recently, we launched our Socialize service to help you as the publisher distribute your feed via social networks, with the first network being Twitter.   If you use Blogger, you can already connect your feed to Buzz via the "connected sites" link in Buzz.

But it's equally important in the social world to make sure your subscribers can also share your feed content easily on these social networks.  FeedFlare helps enable this by allowing you to configure links in your feed that promote sharing.   You can do this by going to the Optimize tab FeedBurner and choosing FeedFlare, and then of course, adding some flare.

Now, we won't berate you for only doing the "bare minumum," nor do we recommend having "37 pieces of flare" in your feed - but we do think you should express yourself with at least a little flare that helps your subscribers move your content around these social networks a little easier.

To that end, just yesterday we enabled the official "Post to Google Buzz" FeedFlare in our catalog, which easily allows users to repost your content to Google Buzz, and then automatically updates the label with the number of times it was posted.

These links appear as so in your feed (though the exact presentation will vary depending on where your feed is being displayed):

Also included in our official catalog are "Share on Facebook" and others that may be relevant for your audience.  If you are an old time FeedBurner user, it may be time to revisit your FeedFlare setup and add some of these new ones.

In addition, if you don't see the FeedFlare you need, you can always develop one using the FeedFlare API which is documented in our FeedFlare Developer Guide.

Posted by Steve Olechowski, FeedBurner Team


[G] Learn more about Google Places, all in one place

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Google LatLong: Learn more about Google Places, all in one place

With a new name comes a fresh support experience. The Google Places team wants to make sure that, as a business owner, your experience with Google Places is a good one, so we’ve taken some steps to expand and refine our support offerings. Here’s an overview of the improvements we’ve made and our newest offerings:

Google Places Help Center: Here you can learn more about managing your business listing on Google, new features and how to report problems. This includes a revamped user guide, support channels, and more.

We’ve also made the new Help Center more interactive by adding a guided tour of the Place Page. Place Pages connect you to the best information about almost every place type of in the world. The Place Page overview is a fun and easy way to learn about all the different parts of the page and if you’re a business owner, you can find out how you can add content to your business’ Place Page.

Feedback for Google Places: Post your burning questions and awesome ideas to our new Google Moderator page. After you post, take a look at what other people are posting, and vote up the ideas you like the most. We'll keep the page open until May 21, 2010, and then our team will review the top questions and record video responses that we’ll post in our Help Center.

Google Places Help Forum: Discuss with other users how to improve your listing, newly announced features, or issues you’re encountering. We have dedicated volunteers known as “Top Contributors” who can help answer your questions and discuss your ideas. Google Employees will also be monitoring the forum to facilitate discussions in this forum and provide assistance when needed.

Google Places Webinars: Sign up for our webinars to learn about a variety of topics ranging from “Adding a Listing” up to “Enhancing a Listing”. We’re excited about providing a learning environment that allows us to interact more closely with you, the business owner who all these tools are made for! If you can’t attend the webinars, don’t worry - we’ll post the videos on our YouTube Channel at

You’ll find all these resources at

Posted by Brianna Brekke, Senior Strategist, Google Places

[G] Growing Up with Samba

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Google Open Source Blog: Growing Up with Samba

Next month Samba eXPerience 2010, the ninth international Samba conference for users and developers, will be held in Göttingen, Germany from May 3rd - 7th. Jeremy Allison, who works in the Google Open Source Programs Office, will be at the conference to hack on Samba and present his talk, “How to make a product with Samba” at 1:30 - 2:15 pm, Thursday May 6th (volcano ash permitting). His talk will cover the advantages and problems of using Samba in a storage product, and how to work with the Samba developer community.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Growing Up,” and Jeremy notes that at SambaXP 2010, “Microsoft engineers will be attending and giving a keynote at the conference for the second year running, which shows how important Microsoft now considers interoperability with Free Software projects.”

To get more of Jeremy’s thoughts on open source, you can read his columns or talk to him in Germany!

by Ellen Ko, Open Source Team

[G] Content ID and Fair Use

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Google Public Policy Blog: Content ID and Fair Use

Posted by Shenaz Zack, Product Manager

(cross-posted from the Official YouTube Blog)

Over the past decade, the evolution of the Internet has altered the landscape for both traditional media companies and the doctrine of fair use, and the media industry has tried to keep up. The new ways that consumers create and distribute content are not a niche phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people around the world now use the Web to connect and interact with content online, and a huge percentage of them go even further: they express themselves via parodies, celebrate their favorite videos with mashups, and use music in educational presentations. The people that upload these videos are typically the biggest fans, and are exactly the kinds of consumers rights holders should be embracing.

We've listened closely to our partners and we're constantly improving our content identification and management tools ("Content ID") to make sure they have choices in dealing with these different uses of their content on YouTube. Over 1,000 content owners use Content ID, and we've built it in a way that lets them account for fair uses of their content: they can easily create policies depending on the proportion of a claimed video that contains their work, or the absolute length of the clip used. For example, a record label might decide to block videos that contain over one minute of a given song, but leave up videos that contain less than one minute.

Since Content ID can't identify context (like "educational use" or "parody"), we give partners the tools to use length and match proportion as a proxy. Of course, it's not a perfect system. That's why two videos -- one of a baby dancing to one minute of a pop song, and another using the exact same audio clip in a videotaped University lecture about copyright law -- might be treated identically by Content ID and taken down by the rights holder, even though one may be fair use and the other may not. Rights holders are the only ones in a position to know what is and is not an authorized use of their content, and we require them to enforce their policies in a manner that complies with the law.

Still, to make sure that users also have choices when dealing with the content they upload to YouTube, we've made it easy for users to dispute inappropriate claims.

  • When you receive a notice in your account via Content ID, we tell you who claimed the content, and direct you to a form that lets you dispute the claim if you so choose.
  • If you believe your video is fair use, check the box that reads "This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder." If you're not sure if your video qualifies, you can learn more about fair use here.
  • Once you've filed your dispute, your video immediately goes back up on YouTube.
  • From this point, the claimant then makes a decision about whether to file a formal DMCA notification, and remove the content from the site according to the process set forth in the DMCA.

Content ID has helped create an entirely new economic model for rights holders. We are committed to supporting new forms of original creativity, protecting fair use, and providing a seamless user experience -- all while we help rights owners easily manage their content on YouTube.


[G] Helping you read and write foreign scripts with Google Transliteration and Script Converter

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Official Google Blog: Helping you read and write foreign scripts with Google Transliteration and Script Converter

(Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog)

For many Internet users, it is not always easy to write in languages that use unique character sets like Hindi, Hebrew and Arabic. Most computer keyboards only allow for the input of Roman characters (the alphabet used by most Western languages) and converting between scripts can be difficult. To make this process easier we launched an improved version of Google Transliteration at the end of last year, a service which enables you to phonetically convert Roman letters into a variety of other scripts.

Today we’re delighted to announce support for five new languages: Amharic, Tigrinya, Hebrew, Oriya and Sinhalese. This bring the total up to 22 languages spoken across Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. These new languages are currently available at

Since you can’t use Google Transliteration offline we also launched the transliteration based “Input Method Editor” (IME) earlier this year. Once you download and install the Google Transliteration IME (don’t worry, it's free), you can type a word the way it sounds using Roman characters and the software will convert the word to its native script. For example, typing "hamesha" in Google Hindi IME transliterates into Hindi as: हमेशा.

As an improvement to the IME, we’ve recently added 5 more languages (Amharic, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian and Tigrinya) as well as canonical schemes, macros and support for Windows 64-bit. You can read about all these powerful new features on the Google Transliteration IME help page.

Now what if you come across a language that you can speak but can’t read? For example, if you can speak Hindi, you may know that “namaste” is a greeting, however you may not be able to read ‘नमस्ते’ in Hindi script. Our new Script Converter tool converts a given web page or piece of text from one script to another so that you can read it phonetically. Script Converter currently supports 17 languages: Bengali, English, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

So, try out these tools and let us know what you think.

Posted by New Melchizedec Sundararaj, Software Engineer

[G] What’s that barcode in your Google Places account?

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Google LatLong: What’s that barcode in your Google Places account?

If you manage a Google Places account for your business in the U.S., you’ll now find a two-dimensional barcode - known as a QR code - on the right side of your business’ dashboard page. If you have just one business listing, this is the page you’re automatically taken to when you log in. If you have multiple listings, click “View report” to get to this page.

Your QR code is unique to your business, and it allows people with certain mobile Android-powered devices and iPhones to scan it and be taken directly to the mobile version of your Place Page. Once on the mobile Place Page, users can find any discounts that you may be offering, post Buzz about your place, instantly call your business, or get other basic information about your business. Currently, several apps on Android-powered devices and iPhones are fully supported; apps on other devices will take you directly to when you scan the code. Here are some ideas for how you can use your unique QR code as a free marketing tool:
  • Add it to the back of business cards: Lots of you are already giving away business cards to your customers. Adding a QR code lets you add a lot more information, virtually, with your Place Page, and allows you to change information like discounts & real-time updates about your business without changing the card itself.
  • Add it to marketing materials: If you’re running an ad, putting out a pamphlet, or handing out flyers, add a QR code to the corner. We’re using QR codes in a series of new testimonials about Google Places, for example. (Make sure to keep some white space around the QR code to allow for proper scanning).
  • Put it in your window: If you’ve got a poster, a menu, or anything else in your window, a QR code lets customers remember you by scanning the code and saving your business as a personal favorite. We’ve got a sample poster with your unique code already on it, which is ready to print from your dashboard page.

To download your QR code, right click to save the image from the right side of your dashboard page.

Posted by Matt Reid, Google Places Engineer

[G] The importance of geolocation services

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Google LatLong: The importance of geolocation services

Where? It might be one small word but the answer to that question can really prove decisive. ‘Quick! The volcano has erupted again and my flight’s cancelled, where is the nearest train station?’ or ‘Where’s the best place to get a decent coffee round here?’ I’m always happy to help, but nowadays these questions can often be answered by firing up your smartphone. The key to knowing where you should go is knowing where you are starting -- my recommendation for the best local cafe depends on whether you ask me when I’m at my office or across town near my house.

So it’s no surprise that geolocation services are becoming more popular with people than ever before, and that many companies are adding locations functions to respond to this demand and improve the services they offer their users. For example, Twitter allows users to geotag their tweets. Everyday, millions of users on a desktop computer or mobile phone choose to do this. Knowing that someone is posting from Bangkok as opposed to Manchester gives followers an important perspective when they read a tweet about ‘red shirts all over the city.’ On smartphones like iPhone, Palm, and Android devices, services such as Google Maps for mobile, Yelp, and Urbanspoon use location to provide relevant local search results, while apps like Foursquare and Google Latitude let you find your friends on a Friday night.

But how does this work? How do smartphones actually know where you are? Lots of people talk about GPS (the satellite-based global positioning system) but a lesser known fact is that GPS can be slow: it can take tens of seconds and sometimes much longer to “fix” your location depending on the specific hardware and your physical location. Consequently, companies have worked out other solutions. These are generally based around the idea of “listening” for nearby cell towers or Wi-Fi hotspots and using this data to quickly approximate a rough position. In fact the very first iPhone didn’t even have a GPS - it relied solely on this kind of triangulation for location information. By treating Wi-Fi access points or cell towers as “beacons,” smartphones are able to fix their general location quickly in a power-efficient way, even while they may be working on a more precise GPS-based location. This can be done without any intrusion into the privacy of a Wi-Fi network. We only use information that is publicly broadcast (for example, that list of Wi-Fi hotspots you see in the anytime you open the “join network” option on your PC). It doesn’t involve accessing the network to send or receive data.

However, a database of known network locations is required for both cellular and Wi-Fi triangulation. Companies like Skyhook Wireless compile such databases which are used by many in the industry. Intel has promoted the use of Wi-Fi for “location aware computing” through projects such as its Location Technologies SDK. Google has contributed by creating its “My Location” API, which relies on a database of locations collected by Google Maps for mobile as well as by our Street View cars, which catalog the location of Wi-Fi access points (the public “beacon” part described above) at the same time as they are collecting Street View imagery and 3D laser scans of buildings. Google has also worked to help even notebooks and tablets find out their location in Chrome and Firefox through the W3C Geolocation API.

Location is clearly going to be a big part of the web going forward. It helps bring the power of the Internet to improve the real, everyday things we need to do. With location-enhanced searches on smart phones, mobile PCs and tablets, we can just do them faster and smarter.

Posted by Raphael Leiteritz, Product Manager

Thursday, April 22, 2010

[G] Hope for the Ocean on Earth Day

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Google LatLong: Hope for the Ocean on Earth Day

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which provides us an occasion to highlight that part which covers 70% of the planet -- the Ocean. We’re releasing a second Hope Spots tour in the Ocean Showcase which features 5 more special places, compiled by the Mission Blue Foundation, which Dr. Sylvia Earle is targeting for protection as part of her 2009 TED wish.

The Hope Spots tour begins in the Gulf of Mexico deep reefs and the Flower Garden Banks. From there, you’ll find a grinning lemon shark in the Bahamas. Next, a video from National Geographic narrated by Dr. Earle, introducing the Patagonian Shelf hope spot. As you venture to the Coral Sea hope spot, you’ll meet a brightly colored, and in this case very talkative, fish known as a wrasse. The tour concludes in the Micronesian islands with a photo of explorers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in the Trieste bathyscaphe above the Marianas Trench, the deepest place on earth.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Captain Walsh’s plunge in the Trieste down nearly seven miles to the ocean's deepest point. For that remarkable achievement, he received National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal, the society’s highest honor, as well as U.S. Department of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award. Both were presented in ceremonies last week in Washington, DC. No one has ventured to "Challenger Deep" since.

There are many ways to make the ocean a part of your Earth Day: take a virtual dive with Ocean in Google Earth, read more on Mission Blue's Act page, take a look at Disneynature’s new Oceans film, or visit the Save my Oceans action site.

This photo was taken last week at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC with the Trieste in the background. Pictured from left are Dr. Don Walsh, who made the Trieste descent, Dr. Anatoly Sagalevitch, who made the first-ever descent to the bottom of the North Pole, and Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Posted by Pete Giencke, Ocean in Google Earth engineer

[G] Friend Suggestions in iGoogle chat

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Google Talkabout: Friend Suggestions in iGoogle chat

If you’re like most people, you probably have different groups of friends. Now, with Google Chat in iGoogle, you can connect these friends by suggesting people they might already know, or who share their interests.

In addition, Google Chat will automatically suggest contacts we think you’ll be interested in, based on the people you email with the most (similar to what is currently done in Gmail). Suggestions will typically appear upon sign in (if available).

If you don’t want to receive contact suggestions, you can turn them off by clicking Options, then clicking Chat Settings, and clearing the Display contact suggestion banners checkbox.

Posted by David Bennett, software engineer

[G] More options available for sales tax setup

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Official Google Checkout Blog: More options available for sales tax setup

Ed Note: This continues our series of posts about features that make running your business on Google Checkout even easier.

As the US tax season comes to an end, the Checkout team’s been doing a lot of thinking about taxes too. We’re happy to announce a new feature for sellers in the US that will allow you to simplify the way you calculate and charge sales tax.

You can find our new tax setup page under the Settings tab of your Checkout Merchant Center:

Access to the tax rate database which calculates tax rates based the buyer’s ZIP code is currently limited to US sellers. To learn more about these features, you can view the brief video tutorial below:

Posted by Igor Ginzburg and Andrew Cunningham, Software Engineers

[G] Introducing DFP Small Business

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Introducing DFP Small Business

In February, we announced the roll-out of Google’s next generation ad server, DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). Over the next few days we’ll be completing the upgrade of Google Ad Manager publishers to DFP Small Business, a streamlined version of DFP designed to meet the needs of growing publishers. If you don’t currently have an account, sign up for free today by visiting the DFP Small Business website.

DFP Small Business taps the combined insight and innovation of Google and DoubleClick to bring growing publishers many of the features they’ve been asking for such as simplified ad trafficking workflows, robust reporting options, and an open Web Services API.

We’ve also released a suite of online resources to help DFP Small Business publishers get the most out of the upgraded platform. We suggest bookmarking these sites for easy reference:
  • Help Center - Access a comprehensive collection of searchable FAQs, guides, and more.
  • Help Forum - Share any questions, comments, and best practices in an online community of DFP users.
  • Training Videos - Watch easy-to-follow training videos that walk you through DFP features and tips.
  • Twitter - Follow us on Twitter to get daily, bite-sized updates from the DFP team.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll be working to unveil even more features designed to help publishers work more efficiently and maximize revenue across all of their website inventory. We’re very excited to introduce these ad serving innovations and look forward to hearing feedback from our global publisher community.

Posted by Jonathan Bellack - Group Product Manager, Publisher Ad Platforms

[G] DoubleClick Platforms Support VAST 2.0

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: DoubleClick Platforms Support VAST 2.0

Building a Robust Video Advertising Ecosystem 

According to eMarketer, Video ad spend is expected to top 40% year-over-year growth for the next five years, becoming a $5B US Market by 2014. To help fuel this growth, we’re introducing three initiatives to streamline online video advertising for marketers, agencies and publishers. First, DoubleClick now supports the IAB’s VAST 2.0 standard for video ad serving in both DFP and DFA. Second, we've launched VAST Inspector, allowing publishers and advertisers to easily review and test ad tags for VAST compliance. And third, we’ve rolled out the Interactive Media Ads SDK, a Flash library that allows publishers to display VAST 2.0 ads.

Creating Efficiencies with a Common Language

DoubleClick has worked closely with the IAB and other industry participants over the past several years to create a universal language for video advertising, resulting in the Video Ad Serving Template, or VAST. In simple terms, VAST is to video ads as HTML is to web pages - a standardized response. Just as all browsers understand HTML, eventually all video players will understand VAST. Other companies that have recently announced VAST 2.0 compliance include ADTECH, a division of AOL Advertising, and SpotXchange.

With VAST 2.0, publishers currently using DoubleClick In-Stream to monetize video assets can now benefit from third-party ad serving, allowing them to open up more video inventory and sell it more effectively. DoubleClick for Advertisers customers can use VAST to run and measure campaigns across any publisher who accepts VAST 2.0 tags.

Compliance with the latest VAST standard reduces time-consuming, error-prone and expensive trafficking work and technical implementations, allowing ads to be easily viewable in many different video players. Additionally, all DoubleClick clients can take advantage of VAST Inspector to make sure tags have been set up correctly for smooth performance and error-free reporting metrics.

Support for a Broad Range of Development Needs

Over the years, DoubleClick has released different Software Development Kits (SDKs) to support various video ad serving needs. We have now consolidated all of these SDKs into a single Interactive Media Ads SDK (IMA SDK). The IMA SDK combines the power of previous versions, and can request and display all of the most popular video ad formats, whether they are served by DFP, AdSense or any other VAST-compliant ad source. We’ve also rebuilt the IMA SDK from scratch to display ads faster and support the latest standards.

For publishers that have basic video ad serving needs, the IMA Component requires virtually no coding. For large media companies and video distributors, the IMA SDK version allows for complete customization. We’ve also worked alongside the leading video player vendors, including Brigthcove, Ooyala and Longtail Video (which distributes the JW player), to ensure compatibility with our SDK, helping publishers get up-and-running quickly with little technology overhead.

Posted by Campbell Foster


[G] DoubleClick, Google Content Network and YouTube at OMMA Global

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: DoubleClick, Google Content Network and YouTube at OMMA Global

This week OMMA Global takes over the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, and Google will be there. Here's an overview of what's in store.

On March 17th, get a complete view of the art and science of rich media advertising from Google's resident rich media experts, Peter Crofut and Chip Scovic.

Next day listen to Neal Mohan, Vice President of Product Management, deliver his keynote presentation on opportunities in online display advertising. He'll cover changes in the display ecosystem, and how everyone can embrace these changes and achieve their goals. If you miss his keynote, be sure to catch the panel right after on Online Advertising - Rapid Recovery or Recession 2.0?, or the late morning session Connect with the Google Content Network with Jason Miller, Group Product Manager, Google Content Network.

Later in the day, Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager, Video Monetization will participate in the panel Can Online Video Reach Scale for Clients Budgets in 2010? Hear what he, and other experts, have to say about definition, scale and measurement when it comes to online video.

Our DoubleClick, YouTube and Google Content Network teams will also be at the Trade Show to let you know what's new and to answer your product questions.

Interested in attending? Register here, and if you're a MediaPost member, your full-conference pass is FREE. You can also sign up for private networking sessions here. Use the code OGSF20 for a 20% discount.

Posted by Sally Cole


[G] Better Site Traffic Data in DoubleClick Ad Planner

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Better Site Traffic Data in DoubleClick Ad Planner

The mission of DoubleClick Ad Planner, Google's free research and media planning tool formerly named Google Ad Planner, is to provide the deepest, most accurate insight into online audiences possible. This insight helps display advertisers select the best sites for their media plans and drive results for their campaigns.

One of the many data points that DoubleClick Ad Planner provides is site traffic data. In line with Ad Planner's mission, we've improved how we estimate and share this data in order to provide media planners, buyers and researchers with improved data quality and more data visualization options. This builds upon the traffic improvements we made in January of 2009 and is part of our continuous effort to provide trusted insights into online audiences.

This release includes the following two significant improvements:

  • Traffic estimates across a number of metrics are now more accurate (Unique user and reach estimates remain the same)
  • Direct measured traffic is now included for publishers who opt-ed in their Google Analytics data

Upgrading Site Traffic Estimates

To improve the quality of our site traffic estimates, we have upgraded our traffic estimation model. Our model uses a hybrid methodology that combines sample user data, from various Google products and services, with direct measured site-centric data. The model's direct measured signal is pulled from Google Analytics customer accounts that have chosen to opt-in to sharing their data with Ad Planner. This hybrid approach allows us to use direct measured data to train our traffic estimation models and produce the best estimate for any given site. For more information about how we use opt-in Google Analytics data check out our past blog posts on how Google Analytics data is used in Ad Planner and on replacing traffic estimates with direct measured Google Analytics data.

This latest upgrade improves the accuracy of our estimates by over 10%. We look at a large amount of data and metrics to evaluate our estimates and are continuously working on improving them. We believe our model to be among the more accurate sources of traffic estimation in the industry.

Publishers who would like to complement their site listing with direct measured data are welcome to do so by opt-ing in their Google Analytics data in DoubleClick Ad Planner Publisher Center. We invite publishers who are new to Ad Planner to learn more about using Publisher Center to manage their site profile.

Providing Direct Measured Site Traffic Data

In May 2009, we announced Ad Planner Publisher Center, which made it possible for publishers to opt-in their Google Analytics data to Ad Planner. We've now upgraded site profiles in Ad Planner to display this data in the worldwide charts for Daily Unique Visitors on site profile pages. For publishers who opted-in, their direct measured data is displayed as a solid line in their chart. For example, Gamezhero, a website offering free online games, opted-in their Google Analytics data in June. Here's what their worldwide chart for Daily Unique Visitors looks like now:

In the coming months, we plan to bring direct measured site traffic data to country-level profile views in addition to the worldwide profile views that are currently supported.

Understanding the Data in Ad Planner

To offer additional transparency into how Ad Planner generates its data, we've published a new help document about our methodology. The document provides more details behind how Ad Planner generates site traffic data, in addition to other data, such as demographics, ad information, categories and descriptions.

Getting Started

Give DoubleClick Ad Planner a try at We think you'll find it to be a powerful research and media planning tool that makes it easy to find audiences and create well-informed media plans.

Posted by Sally Cole


[G] Google Ad Planner is now DoubleClick Ad Planner

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Google Ad Planner is now DoubleClick Ad Planner

Over the past year we've built upon the central role of DoubleClick's technology products within Google's display advertising business. For example, we released our next generation ad serving platform for publishers, we strengthened the ties between media planning, ad serving and reporting, and we opened the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange for business.

As a next step in our ongoing effort to invest in DoubleClick's technology products, we've brought Google Ad Planner under the DoubleClick brand. This better aligns Ad Planner's media research and planning tools with our efforts to enable the end-to-end planning, buying, serving and measurement of display ads across the web. In the future, we plan to bring Ad Planner's capabilities deeper into the campaign management process in innovative and useful ways.

As always, anyone can use Ad Planner whether or not they are a DoubleClick customer. The product remains free and open for everyone. The URL to access Ad Planner remains the same:

Posted by Sally Cole


[G] Breaking Down Barriers to Revenue with the Next Generation of DFP

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Breaking Down Barriers to Revenue with the Next Generation of DFP

For more than 10 years, DoubleClick has been focused on helping publishers succeed in the often complex business of selling digital advertising. We have been working hard to provide online media sellers with worry-free ad delivery as well as the tools to grow revenue, improve business efficiency and provide the insights needed to capture new opportunities. During our frequent customer meetings and events, we also took a lot of great notes about the new innovations that publishers told us would help them break through their barriers to growth and take their businesses to the next level.

When Google acquired DoubleClick in March of 2008, we realized that we had the unique opportunity to combine our strengths and make even faster progress towards tackling the complexity of online advertising. Today we announced the release of our next generation ad serving platform, the new DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) from Google. This upgraded platform combines Google strengths -- such as UI design, algorithms, and processing power -- with DoubleClick's display advertising experience to help publishers more profitably deliver, measure, and optimize the advertising on their websites. This next generation solution also embraces Google's open ecosystem approach to better connect publishers to third-party developers, advertisers, and each other.

We believe these innovations will break down some of the most common barriers to publisher revenue and profit growth:

  1. High Costs: Errors and discrepancies, long training times and complex processes drive up the cost of sales

    Google's experienced usability research team invested thousands of hours and spoke with hundreds of end-users to develop a whole new interface designed to help publishers eliminate costly errors, reduce training time and execute campaigns more quickly. The new DFP allows most key trafficking tasks to be accomplished from a single screen and features visualization tools to simplify complex tasks like geo-targeting and rich media campaign setup.

  2. Missed Opportunities: Lack of visibility into ad competition and inventory prevents optimal decision-making and causes lost sales

    Thanks to the speed and processing power offered by Google's infrastructure, we can now provide more reporting data to help publishers understand where their revenue is coming from with a new level of granularity. Publishers can now track ad delivery down to the city level, review hourly or daily trends and analyze tens of thousands of their own custom targeting criteria. Add this all up and DoubleClick customers should have an average of 4,000 times more data at their fingertips. We have also used this unprecedented volume of data to improve the accuracy and depth of the new DFP's forecasting engine and availability forecasting reports.

  3. Manual Processes: Excessive time and resources required to monitor and optimize ad performance

    We created the first intelligent ad server to help publishers more effectively optimize campaign delivery to save time and strengthen advertiser relationships. Our ad server now receives hints directly from the forecasting engine to adjust delivery in anticipation of changes in site traffic, helping to improve on-time ad delivery with less manual intervention from ad operations teams. DFP's optimization technology gives publishers the opportunity to utilize advanced Google machine learning algorithms to deliver even greater campaign performance lift for advertisers.

  4. Limited Access: Closed systems limit customization, access to third party knowledge and effective advertiser relationships

    Publishers can now integrate our ad platform with their business systems easily, or take advantage of a broad new range of third party solutions. The new DFP features a modern and flexible web-services API that allows developers to use any programming language. This public API is supported by a dedicated developer relations team which hosts a developer forum and blog and provides client libraries in a number of programming languages to further support innovation and development. The new API documentation is available today and dozens of third party vendors have already started working on tools based on this new API.

As part of this announcement, we will also be upgrading Google Ad Manager customers to DFP Small Business, a simplified version of the DFP platform designed to meet the needs of growing publishers. This means that the DFP community will be larger than ever, helping to fuel a broader base of knowledge and innovation around our platform. Smaller publishers will also have a seamless upgrade path to the premium DFP solution, designed to meet the needs of the world's largest and most sophisticated media companies.

Lastly, the new DFP integrates with the DoubleClick Ad Exchange's "dynamic allocation" feature, which maximizes revenue by enabling publishers to open up their unsold and non-guaranteed inventory to bids from multiple ad networks. The DoubleClick Ad Exchange also features a real-time, impression by impression auction across many buyers including AdWords and the industry's leading ad networks.

Click here to learn more about some of the features and benefits of our next generation platform.

Looking Forward

The new DFP will serve as the foundation for our long-term commitment to advertising technology innovation. We will continue with the rapid release of additional features and modules for this platform throughout 2010 and beyond as we upgrade current DoubleClick publishers.

Finally, we think that an upgraded platform deserves an upgraded look. We're today making some changes to the DoubleClick logos - including typset changes, incorporating our new "by Google" theme, and retiring the "DART" brand. These changes reflect Google's continued investment in DoubleClick's products for agencies, advertisers and online publishers; and the central role of DoubleClick's technology products within Google's display advertising business.

We are very excited to embark on the roll-out of the new DFP platform and look forward to hearing more feedback from our publishers in the weeks and months to come.

Posted by Jonathan Bellack - Group Product Manager, Publisher Ad Platforms


[G] Announcing the New DoubleClick Ad Exchange

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Announcing the New DoubleClick Ad Exchange

You may have read on the Official Google Blog that the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange is open for business.

The new DoubleClick Ad Exchange helps to open the ecosystem and establish a new marketplace for buyers and sellers. For a large publisher managing multiple sales channels and ad networks, the Ad Exchange provides real-time yield management to maximize returns. Participating ad networks and agency networks get access to a large pool of inventory and the controls they need to precisely achieve their marketing goals.

We've been working for some time on rebuilding the Ad Exchange on Google technology to deliver an improved platform, with new features and functionality for our customers. Both sellers (publishers) and buyers (ad networks and agency networks) stand to benefit from the new features we've incorporated.

Key benefits for sellers include:

  • Real-time dynamic allocation to maximize yield. Publishers can automatically generate the highest return for every impression, using real-time data and bids to allocate ad space to the sales channel that pays the most at that second.
  • Access to many more advertisers. The Ad Exchange offers publishers access to new buyers, including AdWords advertisers, bringing higher quality ads and more competition for ad space on their sites.
  • Hassle-free payments managed by Google. We manage the billing and payments from networks so publishers get one monthly payment and minimize having to manage multiple relationships.
  • Greater controls. Publishers can decide what advertisers, networks, ad formats, and bid types to allow.
  • New easy to use interface with enhanced reporting. We use the simplicity of Google's user design principles to help publishers easily find out how their sites are performing, to help them make the right decisions about their ad space.

Key benefits for buyers include:

  • Access to more publishers and more ad space. Hundreds of thousands of AdSense publisher sites are now available on the Ad Exchange to Google-certified ad networks. And as more publishers join the Ad Exchange to take advantage of its yield management capabilities, more high quality inventory is being added all the time.
  • Real-time bidder. The Ad Exchange has a new real-time bidder feature that allows buyers to use their own data, optimization and ad serving technologies to bid on their desired inventory on an impression-by-impression basis, choosing only the sites, audiences, or particular type of ad space they want to reach.
  • New easy to use interface with enhanced buyer reporting capabilities. Redesigned reports are simple to use and understand, so buyers can easily see how their campaigns are performing to help them make the right decisions.
  • More control and precision. Buyers control where their ads appear and don't appear. They can use frequency capping, pacing and other features to precisely control ad delivery.
  • Centralized clearing system. Google makes all payments to publishers, reducing complexity with a single billing and payment point. Buyers benefit from managing one business relationship instead of many.
  • A new API - Ad networks and agency networks will have access to an API which enables them to integrate their own functionality and systems when working with the Ad Exchange.

We're excited about the open marketplace that the new Ad Exchange creates and believe that it will add substantial value to the display advertising ecosystem.


[G] Create and Manage Rich Media Ads More Efficiently with DoubleClick Studio

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Create and Manage Rich Media Ads More Efficiently with DoubleClick Studio

Over the last several months, we've been working hard to develop a new tool for creative teams who build rich media ads and the media agencies and publishers they work with. The result of our efforts is DoubleClick Studio, a free rich media production and web-based workflow tool designed to streamline development processes for creative teams and to provide more control over turnaround times. We've designed DoubleClick Studio to significantly improve upon the existing Ad Kit, and pave the way for future innovation in rich media.

To learn more about DoubleClick Studio or to fill out a form showing your interest, please visit As creative teams migrate to this new tool, users will also be able to log in here, download components for Flash, and access the web-based workflow.

Here are a few of the features we think creative teams will really like:

  • Improved workflow that gets preview links into client's hands faster
  • A fully searchable archive of work structured by clients, campaigns and creatives
  • Integrated QA processes that get errors identified and fixed earlier in the process
  • Full range of intuitive Flash components and full APIs in both AS2 and AS3
  • Direct upload to DART for Advertisers ensures smooth transition to traffickers for approved creatives


Josh Race of Ogilvy RedWorks, a member of the DoubleClick Studio beta program, has this to say: "DoubleClick Studio has a clean interface and you will never get lost trying to figure out where you are, which is uncommon amongst ad-serving tools. Our developers are all now self-sufficient and not depending on the one guy who knows his way around some wonky interface."

Will Campbell, also a beta member and owner of ARC Media Group, a creative agency based in Southern California, says, "DoubleClick Studio can greatly improve the workflow for any interactive studio working with Flash. From development to getting creatives ready for publishing it has increased our productivity and decreased the amount of steps we take to accomplish different tasks. It really shows that DoubleClick has given a lot of thought into not only increasing productivity on the development side, but also improving the workflow on the administrative side."

Benefits for Media Agencies

Although not direct users of the authoring tool, media agencies will also benefit from DoubleClick Studio and its integration with DART for Advertisers (DFA), enabling agencies to streamline the process for getting rich media campaigns approved and live. With DoubleClick Studio rolling out on a global basis, it is now easier than ever to manage local, regional and global campaigns on a single authoring platform. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Direct link between DoubleClick Studio and DART platforms for instant transfer of creative
  • Automated creative checks reduce approval time for campaigns to go live
  • Preview links include a view into all rich media events that can triggered by the ad for easy testing, review and sign-off

More Details

For a quick tour of DoubleClick Studio, take a look at this short video from Shamim Samadi, product manager for DoubleClick Rich Media.

For those of you who have used DoubleClick Rich Media tools in the past, we will continue to support the Ad Kit though we do not plan to make future upgrades. We also want to note that, while we intend for DoubleClick Studio to make rich media production more efficient for agencies, advertisers and publishers who would like to own the entire process themselves, we remain fully committed to the highest levels of customer service.

To learn more, visit or contact your DoubleClick representative.

Posted by Ryan Hayward


[G] Now Available: Manage Your Own Ad Network with DoubleClick Network Builder

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Now Available: Manage Your Own Ad Network with DoubleClick Network Builder

Today we're happy to announce the general availability of DoubleClick Network Builder, a complete toolkit for building and managing networks of partner sites to create new revenue opportunities, expand reach and increase efficiency.

We first introduced this initiative a little over a year ago in response to the audience fragmentation challenge facing many of our publisher clients. This challenge is even more pronounced today. The overall number of websites and blogs has continued to grow in tandem with online audiences, increasingly fragmenting consumer time and attention across more and more online destinations. In response, many publishers continue to leverage their brands to build vertical networks of partner sites to expand their overall reach and grow advertising inventory.

With the potential revenue opportunity that vertical networks offer also comes a number of operational challenges. These include efficiently managing network inventory, partner management, billing and reconciliation and reporting. In our customer surveys, publishers also expressed the need for better inventory forecasting and reporting that was more tightly integrated with the systems they were already using to sell their owned and operated content. Similarly, our ad network customers voiced the need for a better solution to manage their numerous and often complex partner relationships and inventory.

With these needs in mind, we built DoubleClick Network Builder to provide a comprehensive solution for brand-name publishers and ad networks to solve many of the challenges involved in managing networks including:

  • Integration with core ad systems - Seamless integration with our DART for Publishers (DFP) ad serving platform unifies data and workflow across both owned and operated content as well as partner sites. This streamlines and enhances key sales and operations tasks including inventory packaging, forecasting, reporting, and trafficking. Publishers also benefit from DFP's industry-leading reliability, scalability, and service.
  • Efficient network management and control - We designed DoubleClick Network Builder to help increase efficiency and visibility through intuitive partner management, automated tag generation, simplified network inventory setup, and extensive controls for revenue adjustments.
  • Managing partner relationships - DoubleClick Network Builder's partner portal allows large publishers and networks to more easily provide the service and transparency needed to retain partners, enabling more rapid and profitable network growth. The partner portal provides partners with the ability to login and view their sites' performance, access detailed reporting, pick-up tags and receive messages from the network.
  • Managing complex financial reporting and partner payments - DoubleClick Network Builder's revenue and financial reporting can help publishers drastically simplify the partner payment process and improve overall profitability. DoubleClick Network Builder gives publishers the flexibility to accommodate a number of complex partner financial terms and features a complete set of reconciliation tools including expense deductions and partner payout calculations. The product's detailed revenue reporting makes it easy to monitor the performance of site partners and provide visibility across the network and for each individual partner.

Since October 2008, we have been testing a beta version of DoubleClick Network Builder with a number of premium publishers and networks, including Real Girls Media and InvestingChannel. These publishers realized a number of immediate benefits including significant improvements in the efficiency and accuracy of their network operations, enabling more rapid growth. Today, we're excited to extend these benefits by making DoubleClick Network Builder available to all publishers using our DART for Publishers ad serving platform. If you're a publisher who is ready to start using DoubleClick Network Builder to help create and manage your network, contact your DoubleClick account manager or click here to learn more. If you aren't already a DoubleClick client, please contact us here.

Posted by Rany Ng


[G] DoubleClick Rich Media Can Support New Outsized Ad Units Now

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: DoubleClick Rich Media Can Support New Outsized Ad Units Now

Today, the Online Publishers Association (OPA) announced that over two dozen members plan to introduce larger format ads on their sites by July 2009. They've proposed the following units:

  • The Fixed Panel (recommended dimension is 336 wide x 860 tall), which looks naturally embedded into the page layout and scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls.
  • The XXL Box (recommended dimension is 468 wide x 648 tall), which has page-turn functionality with video capability.
  • The Pushdown (recommended dimension is 970 wide x 418 tall), which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.

For publishers and agencies looking to get a head start, these units can be done with DoubleClick Rich Media today and are easily implemented in either the DART for Publishers or DART for Advertisers ad serving systems.

Posted by Sally Cole


[G] Video Advertising in Silverlight 2 Players

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Video Advertising in Silverlight 2 Players

Yesterday, we announced the launch of DoubleClick In-Stream support for Microsoft's Silverlight 2 player framework. The technology will be used to serve ads for the site. This feature gives our publisher clients the ability to run ads against video on whatever framework they choose, be it Windows Media, RealMedia, Flash or Silverlight 2.

There's lots of coverage on the story. Here's a few to check out:

"Microsoft, Google Play Nice: DoubleClick to Serve Silverlight Ads" --Silicon Alley Insider

"Google's DoubleClick to Tackle Microsoft's Silverlight and the Olympics" --InformationWeek

"Google to Deliver Ads to Online Olympic Video" --CNET

More information on DoubleClick In-Stream is available here.

Posted by Sally Cole


[G] Google Acquires DoubleClick

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Google Acquires DoubleClick

I am pleased to share the news that Google has acquired DoubleClick. Please go here to read Eric Schmidt's blog post.

Posted by David Rosenblatt


[G] DoubleClick In-Stream at Mix

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: DoubleClick In-Stream at Mix

Yesterday I was excited to announce DoubleClick's support for the Silverlight 2.0 framework at the Microsoft Mix conference in Las Vegas. As I said at the conference, Microsoft and DoubleClick are competitors in many ways, but we share a commitment to enabling advertising in rich video experiences.

DoubleClick In-Stream is our framework for serving, targeting, forecasting and reporting on in-stream video advertisements. Over the past six months there's been a steady increase in publishers looking to move their legacy Windows Media video players over to Silverlight, and in the months prior to the announcement of the 2.0 framework's beta release we worked closely with Microsoft's team to port our technology to this new technology.

We expect to make Silverlight 2.0 support available to clients in Q2 2008.

Posted by Ari Paparo