Saturday, January 1, 2011

[G] Another Holiday Gift For The Practitioner

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Google Analytics Blog: Another Holiday Gift For The Practitioner

We hope your holiday season is going well, and you're full of good cheer and data driven egg nog (which doesn't really exist unless you love web analytics and have imbibed too much egg nog).

For those of you who really do dig web analytics and use Google Analytics specifically - you're going to really like our next gift. It's from the Santa Claus of the web analytics industry, Avinash Kaushik, the analytics evangelist here at Google. Avinash has written a must-read post that you should curl up with next to a roaring fire while you have time to relax over the holidays. In the post, he's basically done a ton of work for you. It's called 3 Awesome, Downloadable, Custom Web Analytics Reports and it showcases the power of Google Analytics and custom reports. In Avinash's words,
I love custom reports. They allow us to step away from the oppression of standard reports (/data pukes) and bring an increased amount of relevancy, calm and focus to our day-to-day work and to our beloved data consumers.
As you may know, you can create your own reports within Google Analytics. Here's a help article from our blog explaining how. In Avinash's typical style, he makes powerful analysis techniques accessible and understandable, and the best part is that he's created the reports for you allowing you to take action right away. You can click on a link that populates the report template right within your Google Analytics profile. Thanks for the holiday gift Avinash.

To give you a sneak peak and get you salivating to read Avinash's post, the three reports are:
  • Page Efficiency Analysis Report
  • Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Report.
  • Paid Search Performance Analysis Micro-Ecosystem!
If you're doing web analytics, these reports will be of use both educationally, and practically. Enjoy, and stay tuned for one more gift from Avinash.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team

[G] 2010: Looking Back

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Blogger Buzz: 2010: Looking Back

Posted by the Blogger Team

2010 has been an exciting year for all of us on the global Blogger team, and our platform is now more powerful, reliable, and active than ever before. As we close the books on another great year, we want to take a moment to look back at some of the highlights.

The makeover. The new Template Designer, with beautiful new templates and iStockPhoto™ background images, was one of the team’s biggest accomplishments of the year. Since the launch in June, nearly half of our active users have begun using the new templates (if you haven't tried our new templates yet, why don't you give them a try?) Our efforts to make Blogger blogs look more beautiful continued with the release of web fonts, custom background images, and mobile-optimized views.

Some great new features. 2010 was also a year when we added tons of new features to Blogger. We had a busy summer adding two new admin tabs to Blogger: Comments and Stats. The comments tab introduced a comments inbox and spam filtering; real-time stats, followed by stats gadgets, were also highly requested features. We've also added static pages, new share buttons, WYSIWYG post preview, improved YouTube integration, Zemanta post editor gadget, integration with Google Apps, and many other new features.

Rock-solid infrastructure. Of course features don't mean much when the service goes down, and we've made lots of behind-the-scene improvements to keep our service up and running as reliably as possible. Auto-pagination was one of our many efforts to reduce latency. Sometimes keeping our infrastructure robust meant phasing out features that are used by only a fraction of our users, but have a heavy impact on our system, such as FTP publishing — which some bloggers called a "hard but smart decision."

Reaching out to real users. Perhaps the most exciting thing that we did this year was to get out more and meet the real users, like you. We set up booths at SXSW and BlogWorld Expo (our first ever presence there), and we held our 11th birthday party all around the world. In addition, our face-to-face meetings were accompanied by our conversations with you over virtual channels like our user forum and Twitter. We will continue meeting you, listening to you, and delivering what you want for Blogger in 2011.

It’s been a pretty busy year for us, but we hope 2011 will be an even busier year where we deliver even more exciting releases to you. Thanks again for all your support, and we wish you the best during this holiday season. See you in the new year!

Friday, December 31, 2010

[G] Google blogging in 2010

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Official Google Blog: Google blogging in 2010

On the last day of 2010, it’s time for us to reflect on the past year of Google blogging. This year, we published 454 posts (including this one) on the Official Google Blog—7 percent more than 2009. Those posts had an astonishing number of readers: 24,768,052 unique visitors stopped by this year, more than 70 percent more than last year. (The huge increase is mostly due to this year’s April Fools' post, which benefited from a link in a prominent location; more on that below.) People come to the blog from all around the world; the top countries sending visitors in 2010 were the U.S., U.K., Canada, India and Germany, but readers came from dozens of other places as well.

The top posts this year run the gamut from policy changes to product arrivals:
  1. A different kind of company name - 10,604,183 unique pageviews, more than 30 percent of the year’s total. Our April Fools' Day post about changing our company name to “Topeka” had a crazy-high number of pageviews, in large part because there was a link to our humble blog on Google’s homepage that day. That’s a lot of eyes!
  2. A new approach to China - 924,335. We post about our new approach to business in China; we will no longer censor search results on
  3. Introducing Google Chrome OS - 653,803. This post introducing our open source operating system was published in July 2009 (and was the top post of 2009), but continued to draw readers this year. (This month, we launched a pilot program for Chrome OS notebooks.)
  4. Think big with a gig: our experimental fiber network - 483,399. We announce our plan to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States.
  5. Update on Google Wave - 469,164. We share the news that we don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product.
  6. Introducing Google Places - 341,136. The Local Business Center (the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google) becomes Google Places.
  7. Announcing Google TV: TV meets web. Web meets TV - 314,991. At Google I/O, we unveil a new experience for television that combines your familiar TV with the freedom and power of the Internet.
  8. Our new search index: Caffeine - 271,393. Our new indexing system provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and is the largest collection of web content we‘ve offered.
  9. A new approach to China: an update - 228,591. In March, we stop censoring our search services on, redirecting users from there to for uncensored search in simplified Chinese. (Later, we introduce a landing page for Chinese users that links to
  10. Introducing Nexus S, with Gingerbread - 220,482. We introduce Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android platform, and Nexus S, the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products.
Other popular posts included Google’s new look, the ability to change the background image on your Google homepage, Google Instant, a playable PAC-MAN doodle, the ability to call phones from Gmail and—oh, that—cars that drive themselves.

In 2010, we kept up with our search and apps series, and introduced a few new ones: about small businesses using Google’s products, updates from YouTube, great Google stories from users and a bunch of new “Search On” videos. We also shared our thoughts on the future of display advertising. We had fun with giant photo collages and other wall art, got into the spirit of the World Cup and shared a new kind of musical experience built for the modern browser. We shared imagery of Haiti after the January earthquake and the Gulf of Mexico after the oil spill. We also talked about how Google Earth played a role in the discovery of a rare hominid ancestor in South Africa, celebrated quite a few milestones, and gave you a glimpse of the bzzz-iest Googlers on campus at the Hiveplex.

In December, we revamped our blog directory so you can more easily find the exact place to get the news you’re looking for; you can sort by category, language or region. We revamped our Twitter directory too, and added new directories for our Facebook pages and YouTube channels.

Speaking of Twitter, this was our second year of tweeting officially on @google. We crossed the 2,000-tweet mark earlier this month and now have more than 2.6 million followers. Our Twitter family grew by leaps and bounds as well—you can now follow Google on more than 100 Twitter accounts posting news of all kinds, from API updates for developers to product news in countries around the world. Twitter was also our biggest referrer to this blog in 2010 (excluding Google search, Google properties such as and Feedburner)—followed closely by Facebook.

As always, we’re grateful to all of our readers for keeping up with us over the year, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more news in 2011!

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor

Thursday, December 30, 2010

[G] Geek Time with Chris DiBona

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Google Open Source Blog: Geek Time with Chris DiBona

The end of the year is always a great time to take a moment and look back at the developments of the past twelve months. Two members of the Google Open Source Programs Office, Chris DiBona and Jeremy Allison, sat down together for a review of open source accomplishments in 2010, and the conversation is shared with you here. Chris is the Open Source Programs Manager at Google, which means he directs Google’s open source compliance, releasing, and outreach efforts. He reveals lots of insights into Google’s approach towards open source and the influence of open source on technology and business.

The video of their discussion is separated into five parts, with descriptions below.
Part 1
Chris and Jeremy discuss their favorite open source projects of 2010, including GoogleCL, Android, Chromium, Chrome OS, and WebM. Together they ponder the future of computing, debating whether or not 2011 will be “the year of the Linux desktop.”

Part 2
Chris explains how Google decides what software to open source and under which licenses. He also mentions tools such as Make Open Easy (MOE) that are used to help engineers release and maintain their code. The topic eventually turns to license defragmentation, and Chris describes his efforts to streamline the number of licenses that Google releases under. In the process he shares his theory about what makes open source projects succeed.

Part 3
Chris and Jeremy talk about Google Summer of Code, its history, and the impact it has on the open source community.

Part 4
Chris and Jeremy are old friends who met in the 90’s at a Silicon Valley Linux Users Group meeting. While reminiscing about the early days of Silicon Valley, they discuss the modern role of user groups, both here and abroad. Chris visited Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan earlier this year, and he compares the tech atmosphere in those countries to Silicon Valley in the late 90’s, with both open source and entrepreneurship developing simultaneously.

Part 5
Chris gives an overview of his career and explains how he came to be the Open Source Programs Manager at Google.
Happy New Year, and see you in 2011!

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

[G] And a happy new year!

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Inside AdSense: And a happy new year!

A merry end to the holiday season from your friends in AdSense! A few of us from our North America team are pictured below to send some additional cheer. Hope you have a great end to 2010 and a fantastic start to 2011!

Posted by Katrina Kurnit - Inside AdSense team

Monday, December 27, 2010

[G] Free transaction processing for Google Grants recipients continues through 2011

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Free transaction processing for Google Grants recipients continues through 2011

We’re thrilled to announce that as part of the Google Checkout for Non-Profits program, free transaction processing for Google Grants recipients will be extended through 2011.

So if you’re part of the Google Grants program, you’ll be able to use Google Checkout to accept donations without paying transaction processing fees in the coming year. We hope many non-profits take advantage of this benefit through the next year as they raise funds to advance their causes.

Please read more about (and join!) the Google Checkout for Non-Profits program. For more information about other Google tools for non-profits, check out for Google for Non-Profits site.

Posted by Satyajeet Salgar, Product Manager