Saturday, April 23, 2011

[G] Celebrating top Geo contributors in the Asia Pacific region

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Google LatLong: Celebrating top Geo contributors in the Asia Pacific region


In countries like India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan, a community of passionate users is helping to bring geographic content online—in many cases for the first time. Using products like Google Map Maker, Google SketchUp & Building Maker, and Panoramio, these users are adding geographic information for millions of users to explore in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Recently some of the most active Map Maker mappers, 3D modelers and Panoramio photo contributors from around the region gathered in Singapore to attend the first ever Asia Pacific regional Geo Community Summit.


Map Maker Software Engineer Robin Anil answers questions during a Q & A session.

The summit celebrated top mappers, modelers and photo contributors by asking individuals to tell their stories, brainstorm potential new product features directly with Google engineers during the unconference sessions, as well as make plans for events in the forthcoming year. We learned that India mapper CNR wakes up at 4:30am every morning to map. Pakistan mappers Faraz, Jabran and Omer worked together over the course of two years to map the roads of their country. They even turned Google Calendar into a way to track who was mapping what, and when! Thanks to the efforts of Map Maker contributors throughout the Asia Pacific region, more than a quarter of a billion people now have detailed online maps of the places they live.

Unconference session discussions

To learn more about this recent summit, you check out photos and videos or see detailed session notes and presentations on the event website page. If you’re interested in attending future events, please see the Map Maker Events Calendar, 3D Events Calendar, and Panoramio Events Calendar for upcoming activities. We look forward to celebrating more great achievements from our community of mappers, modelers, and photo contributors in the region.

Posted by Jessica Pfund, Program Manager, Google Map Maker
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/04/celebrating-top-geo-contributors-in.html

[G] Celebrating Earth Day

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Google LatLong: Celebrating Earth Day

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Today, we’re celebrating Earth Day with an animated, interactive doodle on our homepage and events at Google offices around the world. At our headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., we’re holding an environmental fair for Googlers, complete with speakers and contests to strengthen Googlers’ green acumen, and a cookout using—what else—parabolic solar cookers (don’t worry, we’ll compost the leftovers).


Our campus garden in Mountain View

We’ve been carbon neutral since 2007 and—Earth Day or not—we’re always asking ourselves what we can do to make the world greener today than it was yesterday. This week, we launched a new website with many of the questions we’ve been asking over the years that have inspired our environmental initiatives. What can we do to make renewable energy cheaper than coal? How can we run a data center using 50 percent less energy? And what does it take to green our energy supply?

It’s questions like these that led us to install solar panels on our Mountain View campus in 2007—at the time, the largest corporate solar installation in the U.S. They’re also what made us decide to donate to Googlers’ favorite charities based on how often they self-power their commute, whether by bike or by pogo stick. We hope the new website helps you start asking bold questions that lead to innovative solutions to make the world a greener place.

In addition to our new site, we’ve had a busy few weeks continuing our green streak. We doubled down on greening our energy supply with our second power purchase agreement (PPA) in less than a year and made several new investments: at a solar photovoltaic plant in Germany (our first in Europe), and others in the largest wind farm and solar project in the world, bringing our total invested in clean energy to more than $350 million. While the investments won’t supply our operations with energy, we believe they make business sense and will spur development and deployment of compelling clean energy technologies.

This Earth Day, we’ll continue to ask ourselves what else we can do to bring us closer to true sustainability. We hope that you, and companies across the world, will be doing the same.

Posted by Bill Weihl, Green Enegy Czar
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/04/celebrating-earth-day.html

[G] A new photo browsing experience in Google Earth

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Google LatLong: A new photo browsing experience in Google Earth


Google Earth users love flying around the globe and checking out beautiful photographs in the “Photos” layer. Whether you are a photography fan or simply want to check out images of a place you'd like to visit, we’re pleased to announce a new photo browsing experience in Google Earth. With the new photo cluster feature, you can browse through several photos more easily and quickly.

To start, make sure the “Photos” layer is checked in the left layers panel and zoom down to your area of interest.



As an example below, check out the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. You will see photo icons on top of the satellite images. The larger photo icons indicate larger collections or clusters of photos. Click on any photo icon to open the Photos window.


To browse through the images in a collection, click on a photo in the filmstrip and use the “left” and “right” arrow keys on your keyboard to flip through them quickly.



Whether you’re deciding between Paris, Beijing or Venice for a nice vacation or simply want to go on a quick virtual getaway after a long day, we hope this new way of viewing photos in Google Earth helps bring places around the world to your fingertips.

If you’d like to contribute to our efforts of building a virtual atlas of the real world and have amazing photos you’d like to share, you can do so by uploading them to Panoramio.com.

Happy viewing!

Posted by Wei Luo, Senior GIS Specialist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-photo-browsing-experience-in-google.html

[G] Reflecting the ever-changing world around us

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Google LatLong: Reflecting the ever-changing world around us


Yesterday we opened the map of the United States in Google Map Maker, enabling you to add your local knowledge of the U.S. to Google Maps. With this addition, the maps of 187 countries and regions—including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—are now available for editing by users to improve freshness and detail.

These edits are often visible immediately on Map Maker, but aren’t seen by most users until they’re published on Google Maps. In the past we would process edits in large groups, which meant it could take weeks before approved edits appeared on Google Maps. In preparation for yesterday’s launch, we recently added a new publishing system to reflect Map Maker user contributions on Google Maps more quickly. Once a Map Maker edit has been approved, it will now appear on Google Maps within minutes.

You often have the latest information about changes that occur in the places where you live and work. If a new coffee shop opens along your way to work, or you discover a tennis court nearby, you can add to or update the map and help other users find those spots just minutes after your edit is approved.


Map before user contributions

Map after user contributions, showing tennis courts in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

With our new publishing system and the efforts of the Map Maker community, we’re working together to make Google Maps a more detailed, up-to-date reflection of the world around us. You can see the results of these efforts through real-time edits by users around the world at mapmaker.google.com/pulse. To add your local knowledge, learn more or get started mapping at mapmaker.google.com.

Posted by Jamie Zyskowski, Software Engineer, Google Maps and Chandan Shanbhag, Software Engineer, Google Map Maker
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/04/reflecting-ever-changing-world-around.html

[G] Bringing Google’s Cloud technology to Google Earth & Maps Enterprise

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Google LatLong: Bringing Google’s Cloud technology to Google Earth & Maps Enterprise


Our vision for Google Earth and Google Maps has always been to create a digital mirror of the world where any user, anywhere, and from any device or platform can access current, authoritative, accurate, and rich information about the world around them. In order to provide fast and timely maps to our users, we’ve developed powerful geo infrastructure that lets us process and serve petabytes of imagery and basemap data to hundreds of millions of users.

We frequently hear requests from governments and businesses - some of whom use our existing Enterprise Earth & Maps products today - that they would like to have greater access to some of the infrastructure we’ve built in order to more easily store their geospatial data in the cloud and more easily build and publish maps for their users.

Today we announced Google Earth Builder, which continues the spirit of providing more access to Google’s core infrastructure, such as Google App Engine and Google Exacycle.



Google Earth Builder is an Enterprise mapping platform powered by Google’s cloud technology. We’ve built Google Earth Builder with the idea that any organization with their own mapping data - be it terabytes of imagery or just a few basemap layers - should be able to upload and manage that data in the cloud. They can use Google’s scalable infrastructure to process and securely serve it through familiar Google Earth and Maps interfaces to their users.

Our goal for Google Earth Builder is to enable Enterprises that work with geospatial data and create online maps to be able perform these tasks in the cloud. Over time we anticipate providing access to more and more of our geo infrastructure through Google Earth Builder, so businesses have more options for how to process, publish and analyze their geospatial data. We’re excited to launch Google Earth Builder in Q3, and in the meantime if you are interested in learning more then please get in touch.

Posted by Brian McClendon, Google VP of Earth and Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/04/bringing-googles-cloud-technology-to.html

[G] Two heads are better than one: introducing enhanced collaboration in Google Site Search

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Two heads are better than one: introducing enhanced collaboration in Google Site Search

Success most frequently arrives to those who collaborate. It’s been proven through time: the telephone - Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson, the Cubism art movement - Picasso and Braque, and the list goes on. So in the spirit of teamwork (and our hope that it’ll provide you tremendous success), we’re introducing a better way collaborate on your Google Site Search search engine.

With Google Site Search, we provide website owners with an easy way to add a search engine to scan the content on their website and other desired domains. To date, collaborating on a search engine has existed to the extent that we allow multiple users to add websites to their search engine index. Today we’re expanding the scope of our team-based tools by giving you the ability to add administrators with full collaborative control. With administrators, you’ll be able to collaborate on granular elements of your search engine such as refinements, promotions, and much more.

Check out our new collaboration tools by creating a site search engine (tip: enter “collaborate” in the coupon field for a special offer), or logging into your existing Google Site Search control panel. Select “Admin accounts” from the left hand navigation and add collaborators to your search engine. Please reference our post on the custom search blog for more details.

Posted by Rui Jiang, Software Engineer
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/04/two-heads-are-better-than-one.html

[G] Security First: Security and data protection in Google data centers

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Security First: Security and data protection in Google data centers

At Google, we run a network of data centers that are built for scale and reliability. They’re also designed for security and data protection. For the 3 million businesses that have gone Google and the thousands more that join them every day, these features help ensure that their data is kept safe.

Many of you have been interested in visiting our data centers to see how we work to protect your data, but access to them is tightly restricted. Since we can’t give everyone a tour, we look for other ways to provide some visibility into these buildings. Last year we published the Google Apps security white paper, earlier this year we hosted a security & privacy webcast and today we’re sharing a video that highlights some of the capabilities in our data centers, including:
  1. Physical security
  2. Data protection
  3. Reliability of operations

Of course, we’re also committed to bringing you product features that help ensure the security and protection of your data. To that end, we’re the first major cloud provider to offer 2-step verification, default https encryption, attachment viewing and mobile device management in the browser, and many other security and administrative capabilities at no additional charge.

Our data centers aren't just designed with data protection in mind, they're also some of the greenest in the world. We've reduced our energy consumption by over 50% by building highly energy efficient facilities, and just yesterday we announced a power purchase agreement for clean wind energy - our second in less than a year - with the goal of supplying our Mayes County, Oklahoma data center with renewable energy. Read more about our efficiency efforts and our approach to purchasing renewable energy.

For additional information about the security and privacy of Google Apps, please visit our Google Apps Trust site.

Posted by Adam Swidler, Sr. Manager, Google Enterprise
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/04/security-first-security-and-data.html

Friday, April 22, 2011

[G] An update on Google Video - Finding an easier way to migrate Google Video content to YouTube

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YouTube Blog: An update on Google Video - Finding an easier way to migrate Google Video content to YouTube

[Cross-posted on the Google Webmaster Blog]

Last week we sent an email to Google Video users letting them know we would be ending playbacks of Google Videos on April 29 and providing instructions on how to download videos currently hosted on the platform. Since then we’ve received feedback from you about making the migration off of Google Video easier. We work every day to make sure you have a great user experience and should have done better. Based on your feedback, here’s what we’re doing to fix things.

Google Video users can rest assured that they won't be losing any of their content and we are eliminating the April 29 deadline. We will be working to automatically migrate your Google Videos to YouTube. In the meantime, your videos hosted on Google Video will remain accessible on the web and existing links to Google Videos will remain accessible. If you want to migrate to YouTube now, here’s how you do it:
  • We’ve created an “Upload Videos to YouTube” option on the Google Video status page. To do this, you’ll need to have a YouTube account associated with your Google Video account (you can create one here). Before doing this you should read YouTube’s Terms of Use and Copyright Policies. If you choose this option, we’ll do our best to ensure your existing Google Video links continue to function.


If you’d prefer to download your videos from Google Video, that option is still available.

As we said nearly two years ago, the team is now focused on tackling the tough challenge of video search. We want to thank the millions of people around the world who have taken the time to create and share videos on Google Video. We hope today's improvements will help ease your transition to another video hosting service.

Posted by Mark Dochtermann, Engineering Manager, just watched SJRI: Stanford Juggling Research Institute, which he recently migrated from Google Video to YouTube


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/3LW9ZMdYr8I/update-on-google-video-finding-easier.html

[G] Browsing through time and space with GigaPan and Chrome

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Official Google Blog: Browsing through time and space with GigaPan and Chrome

From the presidential inauguration to the World Series to gorgeous cityscapes, for the past few years the GigaPan team at Carnegie Mellon University has been making it possible to explore breathtaking panoramic photos from around the world. GigaPan pioneered the hardware design that captures these photos and used innovative rendering techniques—similar to those of Google Maps—to create seamless transitions between photos, so people can pan and zoom through the image for an interactive and incredibly detailed photo experience.

Yesterday, the GigaPan team took their creative and technical skills to the next level with the GigaPan Time Machine, which brings this same kind of visual interactivity to video using the power of HTML5 and modern browser technology. Time Machine works particularly well on Google Chrome, thanks to its support for the latest HTML5 features and its stability architecture, which ensures it can smoothly run complex web applications without crashing. Time Machine is featured on the gallery of Chrome Experiments, a showcase of creative web applications submitted by developers around the world, and built using the latest web technologies.

The sophisticated cameras the GigaPan team uses for their photographs capture hundreds or even thousands of digital pictures and stitch them together to form an interactive panorama. With Time Machine, the cameras capture these image mosaics at regular intervals to create a video with hundreds of millions or even billions of pixels in each frame. The result is a video that viewers have the ability to zoom in on while it’s playing and see incredible detail.

With Time Machine, watching paint dry or grass grow is actually pretty cool. Take a look at a table full of potted plants grow and bloom into flowers. Zoom in to examine a specific plant or even a single leaf, or watch a caterpillar bite off a leafy green for lunch.



One of the critical elements of making Time Machine work was developing algorithms that allow the site to shift seamlessly from one portion of a video to another, to give people the experience of zooming and panning across a video of almost limitless resolution. This is particularly challenging because a seamless transition between videos requires starting a new video before the old one is finished, and then queueing it to align perfectly in time before the swap. The GigaPan researchers were able to accomplish this successfully using HTML5’s video tag feature, as well as by taking advantage of Chrome’s speed and stability to render the content smoothly as videos start and stop dynamically.

While you can’t fast-forward to the weekend (yet), head over to GigaPan’s Time Machine to zoom around in space and time with some of the samples, or create your own Time Warp by building your own animated tour through any of the sample videos.

Posted by Rachel Durfee, Google Blog team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/browsing-through-time-and-space-with.html

[G] This week in search 4/22/11

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 4/22/11

This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week, we sped up search by bringing more predictions to autocomplete and enabling Google Instant in the new Google Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer. You’ll also find more personalization for the tools you use most in this new version of Toolbar, as well as in Google News, which we updated with new features to help you find more articles on topics you’re interested in.

More predictions in autocomplete
One of the main ways autocomplete predicts searches while you type is by looking at the most popular searches on Google. This week we improved autocomplete for less common, longer and more complicated queries so that now we make predictions based on the last word or words of your search, getting you results even faster.

For example, previously you wouldn’t have gotten a prediction for [online store with underwater gadgets] since few people have searched for that exact query. But many more have searched for [underwater gadgets], so by looking at just the last part of what you’ve typed into the box, we can now generate a prediction for “gadgets.” You’ll see a dropdown box below the end of your search with predictions for just that word. This change is currently available for all google.com users in English.


Google Toolbar 7 with Toolbar Instant
We continued to bring the speed of Google Instant to more places with this week’s launch of Google Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer 8 and 9. Once you enable Instant under “Toolbar Options,” you’ll see search predictions and results appear as you type in the Toolbar search box. The new Toolbar also sports a cleaner look, and is more personalized—showing you only the tools you use the most. It’s currently available in English, but we’ll be bringing it to other supported languages over the next week. Visit www.google.com/toolbar to download the new Google Toolbar 7.



Automatic personalization and Recommended Sections in Google News
Yesterday, the U.S. English edition of Google News got two new features: automatic personalization and a recommendations gadget. When logged into your Google account, you’ll now see stories based on your news-related web history. For instance, if you click on a lot of articles about baseball, we’ll make sure you get a chance to see breaking baseball news. In the new Recommended Sections in the right-hand column, you’ll see suggested topics to follow based on stories you’ve clicked before. Learn more about personalization features in the Help Center.


Finally, before you head off for the weekend, don’t forget to test your search skills and try solving today’s A Google a Day question at www.agoogleaday.com:


Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/this-week-in-search-42211.html

[G] Celebrating Earth Day

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Official Google Blog: Celebrating Earth Day

Today, we’re celebrating Earth Day with an animated, interactive doodle on our homepage and events at Google offices around the world. At our headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., we’re holding an environmental fair for Googlers, complete with speakers and contests to strengthen Googlers’ green acumen, and a cookout using—what else—parabolic solar cookers (don’t worry, we’ll compost the leftovers).

Our campus garden in Mountain View

We’ve been carbon neutral since 2007 and—Earth Day or not—we’re always asking ourselves what we can do to make the world greener today than it was yesterday. This week, we launched a new website with many of the questions we’ve been asking over the years that have inspired our environmental initiatives. What can we do to make renewable energy cheaper than coal? How can we run a data center using 50 percent less energy? And what does it take to green our energy supply?

It’s questions like these that led us to install solar panels on our Mountain View campus in 2007—at the time, the largest corporate solar installation in the U.S. They’re also what made us decide to donate to Googlers’ favorite charities based on how often they self-power their commute, whether by bike or by pogo stick. We hope the new website helps you start asking bold questions that lead to innovative solutions to make the world a greener place.

In addition to our new site, we’ve had a busy few weeks continuing our green streak. We doubled down on greening our energy supply with our second power purchase agreement (PPA) in less than a year and made several new investments: at a solar photovoltaic plant in Germany (our first in Europe), and others in the largest wind farm and solar project in the world, bringing our total invested in clean energy to more than $350 million. While the investments won’t supply our operations with energy, we believe they make business sense and will spur development and deployment of compelling clean energy technologies.

This Earth Day, we’ll continue to ask ourselves what else we can do to bring us closer to true sustainability. We hope that you, and companies across the world, will be doing the same.

Posted by Bill Weihl, Green Enegy Czar
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/celebrating-earth-day.html

[G] This week's Trends: mobs, ads, and Passover

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: mobs, ads, and Passover

Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:







Check back every day for the latest about what's trending on YouTube at: www.YouTube.com/Trends



Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Super Mario Proposal."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/hzelEHZldkQ/this-weeks-trends-mobs-ads-and-passover.html

[G] 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your AdWords Performance

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Inside AdWords: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your AdWords Performance

With the recent international launches of the Ad Innovations site, we want to take a minute to call out a few simple things you can do to quickly improve the performance of your AdWords ads. Give the tips below a try and see how our Ad Innovations can improve your performance.
  1. Enable Ad Sitelinks

  2. Ad Sitelinks allow you to extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to specific, relevant content deeper within your site. Rather than sending all users to the same landing page, Ad Sitelinks will display up to four additional destination URLs for users to choose from. On average, advertisers see a 30% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) for the same ads with Ad Sitelinks.
  3. Optimize your ad text for longer headlines

  4. We recently made a change to top ads that allows you to display more information where it’s most likely to be noticed--in the headline. By taking information from the first description line and moving it to the headline, we found that we’re able to create a better user experience and improve advertiser performance. In fact, ads with longer headlines receive a 6% average increase in CTR compared to the same ads with a standard headline and description. To increase the chances that your ad will appear with the longer headline, make sure that description line 1 is a complete phrase or sentence and ends in punctuation (e.g., a period or question mark).
    Before: After:
  5. Link a Google Places account to a campaign to show location extensions

  6. Location extensions allow you to extend your AdWords campaigns by dynamically attaching your business address to your ads. In addition to the description lines and URL that appear in your ad text, your ad can also display your business name, address, and phone number. This helps promote your business brand, products, and services and associates your business with a specific location of interest to the user.

    By linking a Google Places account to your AdWords ads, you can quickly and easily make sure all your location information is available when it’s most relevant.
  7. Get reviewed to show Seller Rating Extensions

  8. Seller rating extensions make it easier for potential customers to identify highly-rated merchants when they're searching on Google.com by attaching your merchant star rating from Google Product Search to your AdWords ads. These star ratings, aggregated from review sites all around the web, allow people to find merchants that are highly recommended by online shoppers like them. On average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings.

    If your online store is rated in Google Product Search, you have four or more stars, and you have at least thirty reviews, you'll automatically get seller ratings with your ads. If you have high customer satisfaction, then make sure we know about it:
    • Regularly ask your users for reviews (e.g., in confirmation emails after purchases)
    • Make it easy for users to review you--include links to your site's page on the third-party review sites used by Seller Rating Extensions.
  9. Link a Merchant Center account to a campaign to show product extensions

  10. Product extensions are a way for you to enrich your existing AdWords ads with more relevant and specific information about your retail merchandise. Product extensions allow you to use your existing Google Merchant Center account to highlight your products directly in your search ads.

    With product extensions, you're charged the same cost-per-click (CPC) whether a user clicks on your main text ad or any of the offers within the product extensions plusbox.

Of course, you can always learn about the many additional AdWords innovations by visiting the Ad Innovations website and subscribing for the latest updates.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/04/5-simple-ways-to-improve-your-adwords.html

[G] Join other AdWords users as they share their tips on the Help Forum

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Inside AdWords: Join other AdWords users as they share their tips on the Help Forum

Are you a part of the Google AdWords Help Forum community yet? If not, you’re missing out! It’s a great place to get help and advice from AdWords experts, Top Contributors, and Google employees.

Recently, we held a "Share Your Best Practices Week" from March 28, 2011, to April 1, 2011, to encourage users to exchange AdWords tips and learnings that have worked well for them. Over five days, we chose five different topics on which we gathered expert knowledge from our users:
  • Tips and best practices on optimizing AdWords ad text
  • Tips on how to build an effective keyword list
  • How to deal with keywords that are "rarely shown due to low quality score"
  • Display ad optimization tips
  • Best practices for choosing managed placements

We were excited to see the level of enthusiasm from around the world. A good number of AdWords experts provided great contributions, and some spent a considerable amount of time sharing their tips via detailed posts!

We’ve selected the best of the best practices, and we're proud to share the results with all of you.

So hearty congratulations to Calin, Dave, Katie, Kim, and Shweta for their excellent contributions and knowledge of AdWords! Here are some excerpts from what they shared:
  • “If the keyword is really important, a special landing page gets built. Importance = potential for good ROI, and a high search volume.” (Calin)
  • “Use AdWords and keyword data in Google Analytics to 'weighted sort' your keywords to find the top performing keywords.” (Dave)
  • “I always find I get the highest CTR when the ad text is highly focused on the keywords in question.” (Katie)
  • “If you identify a site that has major potential, evaluate the site of interest and you may find yourself creating image ads specific to certain placements.” (Kim)
  • "Set up Conversion Tracking before you set the campaign live.” (Shweta)

Does this make you compelled to learn more about ad text optimization, keyword lists, keyword statuses, the Display Network, and managed placements? If the answer is yes, your time would be well spent on the AdWords Help Forum!

By the way, we're planning another event for May 2011, so if you want a chance to showcase your AdWords expertise, stay tuned!

Posted by Lisa Shieh, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/04/join-other-adwords-users-as-they-share.html

[G] Make your website work! Learn how to improve online conversions in a live webinar

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Inside AdWords: Make your website work! Learn how to improve online conversions in a live webinar

On Wednesday, April 20th, we’ll be holding a live and interactive webinar to discuss the top tips for improving your website's ability to convert visitors into sales. We'll highlight common areas for you to examine in order to improve website performance. We’ll also identify some free tools that can help you diagnose what causes visitors to leave your site and test changes that will drive better results.

This webinar will be presented by AdWords Specialists as part of the AdWords Online Classroom (UK) and will take place on Wednesday, April 20th from 3 pm to 4 pm (BST/GMT+1), so if you want to make your website work for you, make sure to sign up now!

Posted by Lisa Shieh, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/04/make-your-website-work-learn-how-to.html

Thursday, April 21, 2011

[G] Automatic Personalization and Recommended Sections in Google News

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Google News Blog: Automatic Personalization and Recommended Sections in Google News

Posted by Lucian Cionca, Software Engineer

Last summer we redesigned Google News with new personalization features that let you tell us which subjects and sources you’d like to see more or less often. Starting today -- if you’re logged in -- you may also find stories based on articles you’ve clicked on before.

For signed-in users in the Personalized U.S. Edition, “News for You” will now include stories based on your news-related web history. For example, if you click on a lot of articles about baseball, we'll make sure that you get a chance to see breaking baseball stories. We found in testing that more users clicked on more stories when we added this automatic personalization, sending more traffic to publishers.

Also for signed-in users, we’ve introduced “Recommended Sections” in the side column that suggests topics you can add to your news page as custom sections, based on stories you’ve clicked on before.

If you don’t want to see personalized news based on your Web History, you have a few options:
  • Click on the “Standard U.S. Edition” link at the bottom of Google News. This will not delete any of your News settings or Web History. It will switch you to an unpersonalized version of Google News for the duration of your current session. (To switch back, click on “Personalized U.S. Edition”.)
  • Delete your web history. (Google News may take some time to update.)
  • Log out of your Google Account.
To learn more, please visit our Help Center. And of course we'd love your feedback.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/automatic-personalization-and.html

[G] Beyond Telegrams: Congratulations, Pulitzer Prize winners

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Google News Blog: Beyond Telegrams: Congratulations, Pulitzer Prize winners

Posted by Dan Hirsch, Google News Support Team

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced an impressive list of 13 prize winners and 29 finalists for excellent work in journalism and storytelling. These winners represent a wide array of incredible stories, such as The Los Angeles Times's multi-part series about government corruption in the small town of Bell, California, or The New Jersey Star Ledger's gripping tale of a mysterious boat wreck. We on the Google News team have nothing but respect and admiration for their fine work. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

The winners also reflect the rapidly changing and evolving world of journalism itself. Almost all the awards went to stories accompanied by a rich presentation of content beyond just the printed words. ProPublica's series "The Wall Street Money Machine" includes detailed timelines and succinct data visualization to better illustrate the troublesome financial practices that led to the economic meltdown. To tell the story of one family's struggle to find a cure for their son's rare medical condition, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel produced numerous videos and an interactive graphics detailing the mysterious disease's physiology.

This year, prize rules explicitly encouraged the use of visual information, multimedia or databases. In fact, for the first time in the Prize’s history, jurors were mandated to bring laptops to the judging.

This isn't the first rule update in the prizes' 95 years of history. For instance, nobody has won the Pulitzer Prize for Telegraphic Reporting since 1947. One recipient of the short-lived award was James Reston of The New York Times for his reporting from the 1945 Dumbarton Oaks Conference, a meeting between Allied Forces that laid the initial groundwork for the UN. Much of his reporting came from the acquisition of leaked cables from unsuspecting diplomats. Though reporting technology certainly has changed, this incident doesn’t sound so antiquated these days.

You can read one part of Reston's series here in Google News Archives as it appeared in The Montreal Gazette.

In expanding the short-lived category of Telegraphic Reporting to National Reporting and International Reporting, the Pulitzer Board must have suspected that technology for communicating over long distances would inevitably evolve. This year's prizes better reflect our current media environment, but it makes me wonder what the best in journalism will look like fifty years from now.

[Reporting from the age of the telegram c. 1940, from Life Photo Archive]

To search for the recent work of this year's Pulitizer Prize winner, you can use the Advanced News Search feature. Enter the name of the journalist whose work you're looking for in the "Author" field of our Advanced News Search page, or use the [author:] search operator in the News search bar. For an example of an [author:] search and to see the recent work of this year's Pulitzer Prize winner for distinguished criticism, click here.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/beyond-telegrams-congratulations.html

[G] Long label names in Gmail

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Official Gmail Blog: Long label names in Gmail

Maciek Nowakowski, Associate Product Manager, Gmail Enterprise Team

Today we’re making a small change that makes it easier to handle long label names: you can now add and edit label names up to 225 characters. The old limit was 40 characters, which wasn’t enough for some people who had switched from Outlook or accessed Gmail through IMAP.



Label names can get really long, especially when you use Nested Labels. When that happens, Gmail will shorten them if necessary to avoid cluttering your view.



You can always mouse over to see the full label name and use colors to better distinguish your labels from each other.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/long-label-names-in-gmail.html

[G] Life in a Day - coming to theaters this summer

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YouTube Blog: Life in a Day - coming to theaters this summer

On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their day to YouTube to take part in Life in a Day, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth. From over 80,000 submissions, executive producer Ridley Scott and Oscar winning director Kevin Macdonald have crafted a 90-minute feature film that paints a surprising, moving and entertaining portrait of the world today.

The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and was simultaneously live streamed here on YouTube. However if you missed it, or want to see it again on the big screen, worry not. National Geographic will be bringing ‘Life in a Day’ to theaters around the US on July 24th, 2011 - the first anniversary of the day the movie was shot.

To whet your appetite, the official trailer for ‘Life in a Day’ has just gone live.



For those outside the US, stay tuned for information about international releases in the coming months, and remember, you can subscribe to the official ‘Life in a Day’ channel to be the first to hear news and updates from the team.

Tim Partridge, Marketing Manager, just watched “The ‘Life in a Day’ trailer”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/-rGjvx11BsA/life-in-day-coming-to-theaters-this.html