Saturday, May 1, 2010

[G] This week in search 5/1/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 5/1/10

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 search enhancements:

Brand refinements in search results
Sometimes when searching for product information on Google, you may not know some of the brand names relevant to your particular search. For example, if you're taking on a new river-rafting hobby, it's quite likely you don't have a clue about kayak manufacturers just yet. So, we wanted to make it easier for you to find the brands other people consider useful for popular product searches. So this week we launched a search refinement that calls out brand names related to your query in a single line above the rest of the results. Determined algorithmically, these highlighted brand names may help you find what you're looking for faster, and make your research and shopping experience all the more enjoyable.

Example searches: [wedding dress], [digital camera] and [stroller]

Virtual keyboards in Google search
Typing a search query on a keyboard that is not designed for your language can be a challenging (if not impossible) process. To help overcome any difficulty you might face when using Google search in another language, starting this week you'll see a small keyboard icon next to the search field on both the Google homepage and on the search results page when using Google in one of 35 foreign languages. Check out our announcement, which includes all of the languages currently supported. We hope that this new feature will make your search experience much better!

Example keyboard search in Greek: [flowers]

"Similar" pages on results page
Here's a new feature that makes it easier to discover the variety of choices available on the web. We've offered the "Similar" link on search results for a while now as a way to find new websites similar to ones you already use and like, but it hasn't been too visible. Now, for queries where we think sites similar to the first search result might be helpful, a small block of similar sites will appear at the bottom of the results page. Clicking on the "Pages similar to" link at the start of the block will take you to the full list of similar pages.


More example searches: [american lung association], [tobacco-free kids], [earthquake info center]

New Image Search for iPhone and Android devices
When searching for images on your mobile device, speed and quantity of the images are important parts of a good experience. So we've introduced a redesigned Google Image Search for mobile, based on iPhone 3.0+ and Android 2.1 devices that makes it easier for you to see as many images as possible when searching on your mobile phone. Now, the thumbnails are square to maximize the number of images you see on the screen. In addition, you can swipe to see the next or previous page of results. And for when you want to see a larger version of an image, we've introduced a special image viewing page with black background that both emphasizes the image and includes fading buttons. We hope you enjoy!

On your iPhone or Android device, visit google.com/images and search for these examples: [mount rushmore] or [lady gaga]

Mobile Place Pages
We launched Place Pages last fall to help provide relevant and informative information about places on Google Maps. We've now optimized that same experience for Android-powered devices and iPhones in the U.S., so when you're on the go, you'll be able to quickly view location information, customer ratings, hours of operation and summarized restaurant reviews. You can also get full-screen, dynamic maps to quickly help you see where the restaurant is within the neighborhood you're in.

Stay tuned for next week's post on the latest releases, enhancements and news about search.

Posted by Jen Fitzpatrick, VP, Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/this-week-in-search-5110.html

[G] Season of KDE 2009... and 2010!

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Google Open Source Blog: Season of KDE 2009... and 2010!

At KDE, we benefit each year from new contributions and contributors thanks to Google Summer of Code™. However, we always have more great proposals from keen students than our allocation of projects from Google. Season of KDE (SoK) was set up in 2006 to provide some of the benefits of Google Summer of Code to those students whose projects did not get selected.

Season of KDE provides students with experienced mentors and a well defined project, just like Google Summer of Code. SoK does not provide payment to students, but as 2009 participant Nikhil Marathe puts it, "Open source happens because of passion and T-shirts, not money :)." Even so, even students have to eat and so SoK participants often have other jobs and can only work on their projects part time. As a result, SoK projects may have smaller scope than Google Summer of Code projects or happen over a longer period. KDE benefits from new additions to our software and our community, and students get a SoK t-shirt, a certificate, some Google goodies and a great experience. SoK can also be a springboard to future Google Summer of Code success, with several past SoK participants going on to secure Google Summer of Code acceptance. Equally, SoK has provided opportunities for students to continue a Google Summer of Code project from previous years.

In 2009 we had a lot of interest in Season of KDE and four students have successfully completed their projects. We asked them and their mentors about their experiences.

Nikhil Marathe was mentored by Google Summer of Code 2008 KDE student Martin Grässlin to bring window tiling features to the KDE window manager, KWin. An ICT student in India, Nikhil first became familiar with KDE software back in 2004. Having a dedicated mentor made becoming a contributor "a bit easier." Academic commitments slowed progress a little, but the project was a success and Nikhil believes that "If everything goes well tiling should be available by KDE Software Compilation 4.5" (due in July 2010). For Martin, flexibility is a nice feature of SoK as it allows the student to "take all the time needed to implement a great feature." He would like to see SoK style mentoring made available all year round, po barrier of entry for new contributors. Martin sees SoK as "a good chance to win a permanent developer."


Screencast of KWin window tiling

Nikhil is still contributing to KDE software and finds the community "very vibrant" and the KWin team "very friendly." He feels he gained personally from taking part: "My code reading skills improved tremendously - I understand new code much much faster due to the experience." Working as part of a team was also helpful: "The social skills experience was very valuable - I would say that the second most important reward from working on FOSS is the friends you make worldwide." Nikhil's proposal for Google Summer of Code 2010 was accepted so he will continue to work on KDE this summer.

Vera Lukman was mentored by Boudewijn Rempt on a project to develop a new pop-up palette for KDE's painting application, Krita. Having a quick selection widget for colors and brushes that pops up at the mouse position should make it easier for artists to quickly access commonly-used tools and colours. A student in Canada, Vera found out about KDE "by accident while browsing the list of organizations" for Google Summer of Code. Her first contributions to KDE came as part of SoK and working on Krita met her desire to "learn C++ and be a part of the development team of a painting application."

New popup palette providing quick access to colours and brushes in Krita

Vera's project objectives were completely realised during SoK and, from Boudewijn's point of view, Krita "gained a great contributor and a very useful feature." For Boudewijn, the flexibility provided by SoK is very useful: "We could have a break in development when school/mentor's job demanded that." It worked well for Vera who joined the other developers for a recent hacking sprint and has found that "working with great people encourages me to learn and contribute more to the project." Beyond KDE, SoK "opened a lot of opportunities," and she attributes her current internship position to taking part in the scheme.

Shaun Reich worked with Aaron Seigo and David Faure on displaying job progress in icons. As his high school never had a computer science or programming class, he explains that "everything that I know thus far is what I have learned on my own." First trying Linux around a year ago, Shaun didn't initially use KDE software but heard about it, gave it a go and was hooked. His project aimed to provide contextual information on running jobs within a file manager by modifying icons for items that are being moved, copied or deleted. This makes it less likely that the user will accidentally modify or delete a file that is in an active state.

Shaun continues to contribute: "I love coding for KDE - I dream of a day where I can have a career in it." Season of KDE gave him the chance to have a "closer relationship with developers, a lot more experience with the development process and some very useful intimacy with a lot of KDE code." Shaun's Google Summer of Code 2010 proposal was accepted so he doesn't have to worry about taking a summer job which will take time away from KDE development.

Our final participant, Gopala Krishna, is an Information Science Engineering student in India. He has been familiar with KDE software since the days of KDE 3 and has now experienced both Google Summer of Code and SoK. He made his first KDE contributions for Google Summer of Code in 2008 working on a project to draw Unified Modeling Language diagrams in KDE's Umbrello application using Qt 4's Graphics View framework. The size of the project meant he didn't complete everything, but Season of KDE 2009 gave him the perfect opportunity to finish off most of the outstanding features, mentored by KDE's Jonathan Riddell. For Gopala, taking part in SoK was "almost the same as doing the project as a part of Google Summer of Code" and he benefited from "extra attention, encouragement and motivation." While his studies have kept him busy for the last few months, he hopes to continue contributing to KDE when he has some free time.

Improved drawing in Umbrello as the result of Google Summer of Code and SoK projects

In summary, Season of KDE has proved a successful complement to our participation in Google Summer of Code. It allows us to help a greater number of new contributors take their first steps in hacking on KDE software and becoming integral parts of our team. While we cannot provide the financial support of a Google Summer of Code project, we can provide high quality mentoring and a friendly community and both students and mentors are able to arrange the projects to fit into their busy schedules.

KDE is participating in Google Summer of Code again in 2010 and we will also be launching Season of KDE 2010 to maximize the opportunities for new contributors to get closer to our community, improve our software, make friends and have a lot of fun. If you are interested in this opportunity please send an email to kde-soc-mentor@kde.org.


By Stuart Jarvis, KDE team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/04/season-of-kde-2009-and-2010.html

Friday, April 30, 2010

[G] Release notes: five new languages, email alerts, share to Buzz and Blogger

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YouTube Blog: Release notes: five new languages, email alerts, share to Buzz and Blogger

What better way to celebrate the weekend than with these recent adds and enhancements:

Language offering grows: There are five new languages in which YouTube can be experienced: Greek, Hungarian, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian. Simply scroll to the bottom of any page, find where it says "Language" and click on your current language to access the full menu of options, including our five most recent additions: 









Email alerts: We're experimenting with a new form of subscription alerts. Now, when you subscribe to a channel (or edit your subscription to an existing channel), you can elect to receive an email the instant the person you're subscribed to uploads a new video. This will appeal to people who check their email more frequently than they log in to YouTube (though we've never heard of such people *wink*) but who also want to know immediately when their favorite content creators upload new work.

Refreshed look for search results page: When you do a search, you'll see we tightened up the typography on the results page. We're using a consistent size and color to establish the basic look, and then we're adding a bit of color and bolding to bring more prominence to certain elements, such as view count. 









New sharing options: Click the "share" button underneath any video and you'll see two new platforms to effortlessly share videos to: Google Buzz and Blogger. Try it!








New upload interface: When you click on the Upload button, you may notice that things look a little different. As with our redesigned video page and as part of our larger "spring cleaning" effort, a main goal was to streamline the look and functionality of the upload page. We toned down some of the colors and moved the Webcam option to a more prominent position next to the upload button. We also made it easier to find information about how to upload directly from your mobile phone. 


Player changes: As many of you have noticed, the video player is transforming, too. We've just fully released a new player design for all videos without ads. The goal is for the player to be as subtle as possible so that the video itself shines and doesn't have to compete with the stuff around it. We'll be following this roll-out with player upgrades for videos with ads and then for embedded videos.

Improvements to YouTube-on-iPad: There's a great native YouTube app on the iPad, but we've also made some changes to how the YouTube website functions on the device. Among the improvements: we created a grid layout for the home screen, search results and other video lists, and devised a new layout for the video page, with the video playing right in the page. 


The YouTube Team




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/3y1IjSKY-Z4/release-notes-five-new-languages-email.html

[G] AdWords for mobile is fully available

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Inside AdWords: AdWords for mobile is fully available

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to AdWords for mobile, our new mobile interface for Android, iPhone, and Palm Pre devices. Now, when you log into AdWords from one of these devices, you’ll be directed to AdWords for mobile automatically (currently only available for accounts managed in US, UK or Australian English).

AdWords for mobile gives you a quick overview of how your account is performing and allows you to easily make select changes to your keywords and campaigns. You can see AdWords for mobile in action in this short video:


For more details and to send us feedback, check out the AdWords for mobile page on Google Ad Innovations.

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/04/adwords-for-mobile-is-fully-available.html

[G] Adobe Community Help and Google Site Search: Making search come alive in CS5

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Adobe Community Help and Google Site Search: Making search come alive in CS5

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Mark Nichoson, Product Manager at Adobe Community Help.

Back in 2008, Adobe began to use the power of Google Site Search to “plug the whole community brain trust right into the Creative Suite,” as we liked to say.

Now with the launch of Adobe® Creative Suite 5, we’ve taken that brain trust to a whole new level with the introduction of our new Community Help application. It’s an Adobe AIR®-based companion that’s automatically installed as part of any new Adobe CS5 product.

Launched directly from the Help menu of any CS5 product, the Community Help application enables customers to:
  • find fast answers with powerful new search options that let them focus results to just Adobe content, community content, developer resources, or even code samples
  • download core Adobe Help and language reference content for offline viewing (thanks to the Adobe AIR runtime)
  • see what the community thinks is the best, most valuable content via ratings and comments
  • share their expertise with others and find out what experts have to say about using their favorite Adobe product
Google Site Search: integration and innovation
Under the hood of the Community Help app lies our Google Site Search engine. This search engine searches across about 3000 sites – content such as product Help, language references, Tech Notes, Developer Connection articles, and Adobe TV videos as well as the best online content from the Adobe community. Content is chosen by experts at Adobe and in the design and developer communities, meaning customers find the answers they need faster.

Thanks to the robust Google Site Search APIs, the development team was not only able to easily integrate search results but also create unique innovations such as our new Code Search functionality. Formerly known as Blueprint, this new search option allows Adobe Flash® and Flex developers to search for relevant code samples so that they can write better code, faster.

A new definition of Help
By combining the best community content with the definitive reference that customers traditionally expect from Adobe, Community Help allows us to expand the definition what help means. Now users can tap into an entire ecosystem of content — one that can dynamically adjust to changing user needs and provide a much richer set of resources over the lifetime of the product.

Community Help can also be used as a standalone application. To give it a try, you can download it from adobe.com.

Mark Nichoson, Product Manager at Adobe Community Help

---

If you’d like to learn more about what Google Site Search can do for your website, join us for this upcoming webinar:

Thursday, May 13, 2010
11:00 a.m. PDT, 2:00 p.m. EDT, GMT 07:00
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/04/adobe-community-help-and-google-site.html

[G] Mapping the "No Phone Zone" movement

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Google LatLong: Mapping the "No Phone Zone" movement


Mobile communication has revolutionized the way we live, but unfortunately, irresponsible use has also made the roads more dangerous. In 2008, nearly 6000 people lost their lives in the US and more than half a million people were injured in police-reported crashes during which some form of driver distraction was reported — and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cell phone use was a major contributor to that.

To help combat distracted driving, Google Maps has worked with The Oprah Winfrey Show to power the mapping for Oprah’s No Phone Zone initiative. The simple pledge form gives you three choices for more responsible driving: no texting, no texting plus handsfree calling only, and no phone use at all while driving.

The first of two maps we’ve made shows where across the US and Canada people have electronically signed the No Phone Zone pledge. It’s nearly real-time, so as you watch the maps you can see the latest name, city, and state/province to join the hundreds of thousands of commitments. This is a nice use of our Google Maps API to allow folks from around the country to easily share their voices on a map in near real-time. Check it out!

The second map helps you educate yourself about state policymaking. Click on a state to restrictions on texting, handsfree, and handheld phone use, and then click through for more details from the Governors Highway Safety Association or to contact a state’s governor directly.

You can see these maps on Oprah.com, or click on “The Map” in the No Phone Zone Widget below. Embed it in your iGoogle page, on a blog, or pretty much anywhere else you communicate by using the “Share” button at bottom-left in the widget below. To make the map work in both the widget and on their website, the developers made use of both the Flash and JavaScript versions of our Google Maps API.



I’ve already signed the pledge but I plan on keeping an eye on the map to watch as more submissions come and see how others make use of it. To learn more about what our mobile team is doing to support safe driving practices, visit our Official Mobile Blog.

Posted by Jesse Friedman, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/mapping-no-phone-zone-movement.html

[G] Distracted driving and cell phones

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Distracted driving and cell phones

"Distracted driving" is when you drive while taking your hands off the steering wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off of driving. Whether you are eating while driving or using your cell phone while driving, distracted driving increases your chances of getting into a serious accident. Today, organizations throughout the US are collaborating to raise the awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Read more about what the Google Maps team is doing with the Oprah Winfrey Show.

With the exception of Google Maps Navigation, which is designed for hands-free use with a car dock, Google Mobile products are not intended to be used while you are driving. Hand your phone to a passenger or park your car in a safe place if you need to search for a restaurant or check your email while behind the wheel.

For more information about distracted driving and how you can help prevent it, please visit www.distracteddriving.gov. And if you're in the US and have an iPhone, Palm Pre, or Android-powered device, you can go to Google.com in your browser today to see our mobile doodle. Do not do this while you are driving, of course.

Posted by Marc Vanlerberghe, Director of Mobile Marketing
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/04/distracted-driving-and-cell-phones.html

[G] Up close and personal

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Google LatLong: Up close and personal

[Cross-posted from the SketchUp Blog]

We’re happy to announce that Nashville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Dallas are the newest additions to the family of Google Earth cities with high-quality 3D imagery. Exploring some of America’s most well-known cities from the comfort of your own computer just got even easier, and it also got more fun!

Whether exploring Nashville’s music venues along 2nd and Broadway, Indy’s Monument Circle in the heart of downtown, Charlotte’s diverse and numerous museums, or Dallas’s architecturally rich historic districts, the updated high quality 3D imagery will make you feel like you’re really there.

Give it a go in Google Earth or watch the video below for an up close tour!


Posted by Catherine Moats, 3D Modeling Specialist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/up-close-and-personal.html

Thursday, April 29, 2010

[G] Keeping Track of the World with Chrome Extensions

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Google Chrome Blog: Keeping Track of the World with Chrome Extensions

In recent weeks, we saw not only breaking news, but erupting, stunning and unveiling news! To keep myself from drowning in the news flood, I found that using a few Chrome extensions can help me keep track of it all.

If you're a media enthusiast like I am, there are many Chrome extensions that can help you stay on top of your favorite media sites. With the Financial Times extension, you can quickly browse the financial and economic headlines. At the same time, you can keep up with the latest in politics and art with the NPR extension. A neat feature is that you can also listen to episodes of "All Songs Considered" and other NPR programs. Fan of cricket, Formula 1, or rugby? ESPN has extensions that give you one-click access to top headlines and live scores while you browse the web.



For those who prefer using Google Reader to manage your news feeds, you can quickly preview subscriptions in a pop-up using the Google Reader Notifier extension. Interested in a particular story? You can open your Google Reader in a new tab or go directly to the article.

Sometimes I want to see all of my content in one, easily accessible page. Feedly organizes your content from your favorite sites and services such as Google Reader, Twitter and Flickr into a stylish, magazine-like start page.

These are just a few extensions to help you stay in the know, and you can find many more in the Chrome extensions gallery. You can also check out this video to see some other features you can add to your browser.



Posted by Koh Kim, Associate Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2010/04/keeping-track-of-world-with-chrome.html

[G] Imagery for response to Haiti earthquake and Yazoo tornado

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Google LatLong: Imagery for response to Haiti earthquake and Yazoo tornado


To help support ongoing relief efforts in Haiti, we’ve been working with our satellite partner GeoEye to capture updated imagery of Port-au-Prince. As the rainy season approaches, it’s important to have current imagery in order to help aid workers identify and monitor the numerous refugee camps that have sprung up.

You can access the new Haiti satellite imagery by using the Historic Imagery feature in Google Earth. Simply open Google Earth and click on the clock icon in the top toolbar.


The historical imagery time slider will appear just beneath the toolbar. The tick marks on the slider represent images in our database that are available for your current view.


Drag the slider with your mouse to flip between images from different dates. In the below example, you can learn about how a refugee camp has changed in the months since the earthquake.

We’ll continue adding new imagery to the database as it becomes available. We also now have new imagery of the Yazoo City, Mississippi area, where a devastating F4 tornado tore through the town over the weekend. We are making the imagery available as a Google Earth overlay, which we hope can be helpful for responders and those affected by this tragic event.


While we're not able to publish imagery after every disaster around the world, we appreciate the work of our partners and providers to help make this imagery available whenever possible.

Posted by Matt Manolides, Senior GIS Strategist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/imagery-for-response-to-haiti.html

[G] Tags: Now in 11 cities

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Google LatLong: Tags: Now in 11 cities


Last week we announced that our new ads offering, Tags, would be rolling out to additional cities. Now business owners in San Jose, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, Washington DC, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder, Chicago, San Francisco and Mountain View can sign up for Tags from their Google Places accounts.

You’ll notice that we’ve added Mountain View, CA to the list of cities participating in the trial. Because we are still tweaking the product a bit, we thought we’d make it available in our hometown so we can get quick feedback as we work on new features.

For those who are not yet familiar with Tags, for a $25/month flat fee businesses can opt to add a yellow tag to their Google Places listing that highlights a particular aspect of their business. The tag options today include coupons, photos, videos, menu, reservation, website, and driving directions. In a couple of weeks we will launch a new tag type: “post to your Place Page,” a freeform text field in which a business owner can highlight a custom message announcing a sale or an upcoming event.

Posted by Shalini Agarwal, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/tags-now-in-11-cities.html

[G] April showers bring... new imagery

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Google LatLong: April showers bring... new imagery


The Google Earth and Maps Imagery team has just finished finished pushing out large amount of updated imagery. In total, more than 35 countries are getting updates in one form or another. Some of my favorite highlights include:

Las Vegas, NV

"The Boneyard" in Tucson, AZ

The World Expo in Shanghai

For a complete picture of where we updated imagery, check out the Google Earth plug-in below (updated areas highlighted in red). Alternatively, you can download this KML for viewing in Google Earth, or you view the updates in Google Maps.

Updates are noted with a red frame

Posted by Matt Manolides, Senior Geo Data Strategist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/april-showers-bring-new-imagery.html

[G] Bringing Living Stories to Wordpress

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Google News Blog: Bringing Living Stories to Wordpress

Posted by Eric Zhang, Software Engineer

For the last few months we’ve been talking with publishers about ways to make it easier for them to use Living Stories, our experimental format for displaying news coverage, on their own websites. Today we’re releasing a Living Stories plugin and theme for Wordpress. Now anyone who publishes through Wordpress can use the plugin to organize coverage of an ongoing event on a single dynamic page.

We first showcased Living Stories in December through a two-month-long experiment with the New York Times and Washington Post. We got great feedback from both readers and publishers. Our next step was to open-source the Living Stories format, allowing publishers to build on it using Google’s AppEngine infrastructure. We then released a version of the code that runs independent of our infrastructure. Since then, a number of publications have shared their ideas for ways we can offer additional tools to help them create Living Stories.

The Wordpress plugin is a direct result of those conversations. We hope the plug-and-play solution will make it easy for you to get a Living Story up and running in almost no time at all. Head to our documentation page for detailed instructions. If you have questions or feedback, feel free to leave us a note in our help forum. We’re looking forward to reading your stories and seeing how the Living Stories format evolves on Wordpress.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/bringing-living-stories-to-wordpress.html

[G] More relevant traffic estimates now in the updated Keyword Tool

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Inside AdWords: More relevant traffic estimates now in the updated Keyword Tool

In late September, we launched a beta version of the updated Keyword Tool. This tool is a new, streamlined way for you to identify additional keywords and add them to your account. Previously, we offered two distinct tools to expand your keyword list. The Keyword Tool generated keywords based on the content of the URL, words or phrases you entered into the tool. The Search-based Keyword Tool gave you insight into keywords that you may have been missing out on by identifying actual Google searches that were relevant to your site’s landing pages. Now, with the updated Keyword Tool, you can search by words or phrases, websites, and even categories (where available) to receive the results of both the Keyword Tool and the Search-based Keyword Tool in one central location.

Our beta launch began what will eventually be a permanent transition from the previous Keyword Tool to the updated version. Over the next few months, you'll be able to switch back and forth between the two tools as needed. We'll post again on this blog when the transition period is over. At that point, the updated Keyword Tool will be the only version available in your account.

In the meantime, as you get accustomed to the updated version, we'll continually improve it and add functionality that we hope you'll find useful. Over the next few days, we're adding a new feature to the tool that will help you get more relevant search traffic estimates for your keywords.

To do this, you'll select specific keywords from the list of suggestions and click on the 'Estimate Search Traffic' button.


From there, you can choose the ad group to which you'd like to add those keywords and see the average estimated CPC, total estimated clicks, and total estimated cost for the keywords you selected on the previous screen.


This enhancement enables you to see how your keywords might perform in a specific ad group. Keyword traffic estimates in the context of an ad group can look at the interactions between keywords, and can give you a more accurate prediction of performance than you'd see from a full list of keywords.

It's important to note that due to these changes, we're removing some columns that you had previously been able to add to your Keyword Tool results: Estimated Avg. CPC, Estimated CTR, Estimated Ad Position, Estimated Impressions, Estimated Clicks, and Estimated Cost. While you won't be able to access these columns in the updated version, you'll still be able to see much of this information in the context of an ad group. If you're interested in seeing keyword-level search traffic estimates, you can do so through the standalone Traffic Estimator tool, which also has a new, more intuitive interface. To access the Traffic Estimator tool, click on the 'More Tools' link under the 'Tools' section of your Opportunities Tab.


Posted by Katrina Kurnit, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-relevant-traffic-estimates-now-in.html

[G] Additional publisher resources: Navigating DoubleClick Ad Planner

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Inside AdSense: Additional publisher resources: Navigating DoubleClick Ad Planner

In an effort to help our publishers navigate the array of Google products, we’re happy to announce the first part of our ‘Additional publisher resources’ video series. In these videos we aim to provide an introduction to other Google products that are of interest to AdSense publishers. We’ll cover topics such as how to maximize your site’s visibility to advertisers, how to ensure your site is properly indexed in Google’s search engine, how to make your site more interactive for users and how to gather information on your site’s traffic.

In the first part of our video series the AdSense team’s own Vijay Vachani will walk through the ins and outs of the DoubleClick Ad Planner. Vijay will explain how advertisers find information about your site through the Ad Planner, and how you can take advantage of the features available in the Ad Planner’s ‘Publisher Center”.



Posted by Posted by Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo - Inside AdSense team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2010/04/additional-publisher-resources.html

[G] Integrating virtual keyboards in Google search

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Official Google Blog: Integrating virtual keyboards in Google search

You’ve spilled coffee on your keyboard. The a, e, i, o, u, and r keys have stopped working. Now try to search Google for the nearest computer repair shop. The pain of typing on this broken keyboard is similar to what many people searching in non-English languages feel when trying to type today. Typing searches on keyboards not designed for your languages can be frustrating, even impossible.

Our user research has shown that many people are more comfortable formulating search queries in their own language but have difficulty typing these queries into Google. (Try typing नमस्ते on a keyboard with English letters.) To overcome the difficulty they face in typing in their local language scripts, some people have resorted to copying and pasting from other sites and from online translation tools. But there’s an easier way — a virtual, or “on-screen” keyboard, lets you type directly in your local language script in an easy and consistent manner, no matter where you are or what computer you’re using.

Virtual keyboards let people type directly in their local language script and don't require any additional software.

Last year, to make text input easy for people across the globe, we introduced a virtual keyboard API through code.google.com. This allowed developers to enable virtual keyboards on any text field or text area in their webpages. Today, we are taking this effort one step further by integrating virtual keyboards into Google search in 35 languages.

A virtual keyboard on www.google.am to input Armenian text (the query term is [armenia])

If you use Google search in one of the languages listed below, you’ll see a small keyboard icon show up next to the search field, on both the Google homepage and search results page. Clicking on that keyboard icon brings up a virtual keyboard in your language. You can input text by either clicking on the on-screen keyboard or pressing the corresponding key.

You can find out more information on how to use the virtual keyboard in our help article. If you use Google in a language not listed below and feel that your language will benefit from a virtual keyboard, let us know by voting for your language. We hope virtual keyboards help you find information more easily — especially those of you who speak/type/read in non-Latin scripts.

Languages with integrated virtual keyboards
Albanian
Arabic
Armenian
Basque
Belarusian
Bosnian
Bulgarian
Catalan
Croatian
Czech
Finnish
Galician
Georgian
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Kazakh
Kirghiz
Macedonian
Malayalam
Mongolian
Persian
Polish
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swedish
Tatar
Thai
Turkish
Ukrainian
Uzbek

Posted by Manish Bhargava, Product Manager Google Îñţérñåţîöñåļîžåţîờñ
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/integrating-virtual-keyboards-in-google.html

[G] More ways to share your photos

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Google Photos Blog: More ways to share your photos

Posted by Ping Chen, Software Engineer

Like many other things in life, photos are best when shared. I share the majority of my photos on Picasa Web Albums, but I also sometimes tweet about specific photos or share them on my blog. Today, we're making it a little simpler to share your PWA photos to whichever destination you want, with the launch of easy share buttons for Google Buzz, Blogger and Twitter.

To share a photo or album from Picasa Web Albums straight to any of these sites, just click the appropriate icon to the right of your photo, customize your message, and post it.


We also know that sometimes you don't want to share quite so publicly, but actually just want to share a link to a single unlisted photo, without revealing the whole album. We've now made this possible, by updating the "Link to this photo" URL so that the album name is hidden on the viewer's photo page (the "Share" button still works as normal).

Check out our Help Center for more information, and please let us know what you think about the new sharing options in our forum.
URL: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-ways-to-share-your-photos.html

[G] Open-sourcing Traditional Chinese IME on Android

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Google Open Source Blog: Open-sourcing Traditional Chinese IME on Android

Traditional Chinese IME on Android is a 20% IME project initiated in Google’s Taipei office and it is now open sourced on Google Code. It includes Zhuyin and Cangjie, two dominant input methods for Traditional Chinese users.
This project is based on the Android input method framework, like the open-sourced LatinIME, and its codebase is kept small, readable, and open source under an Apache license.

For people interested in building up a new input method over this project, see how ZhuyinIME and CangjieIME extend AbstractIME and create their respective Editor and WordDictionary subclasses to compose Traditional Chinese characters.

There is still much room for improvement, and we are currently working on two features:

1. How to support English suggestions without duplicating LatinIME data.
2. How to map Zhuyin’s 41 keys onto the QWERTY 26-key layout for hardware keyboard.

If you have comments or questions, please see android-traditional-chinese-ime and send them to us. Thanks!

By Yuli Huang, Software Engineering Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/04/open-sourcing-traditional-chinese-ime.html

[G] Connect with your "neigh"bors using Google Places

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Google LatLong: Connect with your "neigh"bors using Google Places

[Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]

This is the second post in our Small Business series about entrepreneurship and the various Google tools you can use to establish and improve your business presence on the Internet. Here, you’ll learn how Google Places (formerly called the Local Business Center) can help you attract and be discovered by customers in your area for free. -Ed.

As a local business owner, one of the things that sets you apart is your ability to make personal connections with your customers because of your passion for what you do. Letting people know who you are and what your business is about is a vital part of finding customers, building lasting relationships with them and helping your business succeed. Google Placeshelps business owners like you to manage your online presence and supplement your Place Page with all the information that helps people decide to visit you — from basics like hours of operation and address to helpful extras like videos, coupons and special announcements.

To give you a firsthand account of how Google Places can help a small business grow and succeed, I’ve invited Danya Wright to share her experience:
I first began riding horses at age six. Ever since then I knew that I wanted to spend my life working with horses and sharing my passion with others. I had jobs working for several barns and riding programs around Arizona, but always dreamed of having a school of my own.

Two years ago, I finally realized my dream and opened Specialized Training and Riding School — S.T.A.R.S. of Horsemanship. At S.T.A.R.S., we offer lessons to riders of all ages and skill levels, provide therapeutic horse training services for those with disabilities, and train Special Olympics riders. Our property is a 10-acre scenic environment for our students and horses. But because we’re located in a rural area ofGilbert, AZ, this also presents a big challenge: I don’t have the advantage of “window shoppers” or drive-by traffic. Without a storefront, those who do pass by may not realize that my stable is open to customers. Whenever I want to find a local business, Google Maps is my resource, so I wanted to make sure my business appears there too.

I did a little research and quickly found Google Places (which was known as Local Business Center when I first signed up). Within a few minutes, I was able to update theS.T.A.R.S. Place Page to add key details about my business, like exact location and contact information. And I could mention the special services we offer like group classes, private lessons, birthday parties, Scouting events, parent-child sessions and so on. Now when a company’s looking specifically for a team-building venue, they can find my business easily.



Since avid equestrians can be quite particular about facility details, I wanted to make sure that my Place Page included all of the specialized information that’s relevant to my target clients. Now when you search on Google, you can be taken to our Place Page to see photos that offer preview of our stables and even meet Salty, one of the horses. You can also find a coupon to help provide a little extra incentive to come try out our lessons if you’re new to horseback riding.

Since I started using Google Places six months ago, my business has grown tenfold from what it was before — I’ve gone from averaging around 10 to 15 students to now serving more than 100. To be honest, I had just figured that new customers would trickle in over time, but it’s boomed far beyond my expectations. And now I can spend more time with horses and riders, and less at the computer!



Posted by Carter Maslan, Director of Product Management, Local Search
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/connect-with-your-neighbors-using.html

[G] Connect with your "neigh"bors using Google Places

| More

Official Google Blog: Connect with your "neigh"bors using Google Places

This is the second post in our Small Business series about entrepreneurship and the various Google tools you can use to establish and improve your business presence on the Internet. Here, you’ll learn how Google Places (formerly called the Local Business Center) can help you attract and be discovered by customers in your area for free. -Ed.

As a local business owner, one of the things that sets you apart is your ability to make personal connections with your customers because of your passion for what you do. Letting people know who you are and what your business is about is a vital part of finding customers, building lasting relationships with them and helping your business succeed. Google Places helps business owners like you to manage your online presence and supplement your Place Page with all the information that helps people decide to visit you — from basics like hours of operation and address to helpful extras like videos, coupons and special announcements.

To give you a firsthand account of how Google Places can help a small business grow and succeed, I’ve invited Danya Wright to share her experience:
I first began riding horses at age six. Ever since then I knew that I wanted to spend my life working with horses and sharing my passion with others. I had jobs working for several barns and riding programs around Arizona, but always dreamed of having a school of my own.

Two years ago, I finally realized my dream and opened Specialized Training and Riding School — S.T.A.R.S. of Horsemanship. At S.T.A.R.S., we offer lessons to riders of all ages and skill levels, provide therapeutic horse training services for those with disabilities, and train Special Olympics riders. Our property is a 10-acre scenic environment for our students and horses. But because we’re located in a rural area of Gilbert, AZ, this also presents a big challenge: I don’t have the advantage of “window shoppers” or drive-by traffic. Without a storefront, those who do pass by may not realize that my stable is open to customers. Whenever I want to find a local business, Google Maps is my resource, so I wanted to make sure my business appears there too.

I did a little research and quickly found Google Places (which was known as Local Business Center when I first signed up). Within a few minutes, I was able to update the S.T.A.R.S. Place Page to add key details about my business, like exact location and contact information. And I could mention the special services we offer like group classes, private lessons, birthday parties, Scouting events, parent-child sessions and so on. Now when a company’s looking specifically for a team-building venue, they can find my business easily.


Since avid equestrians can be quite particular about facility details, I wanted to make sure that my Place Page included all of the specialized information that’s relevant to my target clients. Now when you search on Google, you can be taken to our Place Page to see photos that offer preview of our stables and even meet Salty, one of the horses. You can also find a coupon to help provide a little extra incentive to come try out our lessons if you’re new to horseback riding.

Since I started using Google Places six months ago, my business has grown tenfold from what it was before — I’ve gone from averaging around 10 to 15 students to now serving more than 100. To be honest, I had just figured that new customers would trickle in over time, but it’s boomed far beyond my expectations. And now I can spend more time with horses and riders, and less at the computer!


Posted by Carter Maslan, Director of Product Management, Local Search
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/connect-with-your-neighbors-using.html