Saturday, June 18, 2011

[G] Happy Birthday AdSense

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Inside AdSense: Happy Birthday AdSense

AdSense is turning eight years old tomorrow! Growing to over two million publishers worldwide since our launch in 2003, we want to thank all of you for helping us expand and thrive.

As we celebrate AdSense, we want to share our appreciation for all the AdSense publishers whose innovation has made the last eight years so successful. The Google Display Network is comprised of many AdSense publishers like you: those who offer useful and engaging content for your community and serve as an effective channel for advertisers to connect with audiences.

For the last eight years, we’ve relied on your product feedback to help us improve, your success stories to inspire us, and your content to enhance the ecosystem of the world wide web. We look forward to growing older and wiser with all of you for many more years to come!

Posted by Jamie Firkus - Inside AdSense Team


[G] Webinar: Implementing the +1 Button

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Inside AdSense: Webinar: Implementing the +1 Button

(Cross-posted on the Webmaster Central blog)

A few weeks ago, we launched the +1 button for your site, allowing visitors to recommend your content on Google search directly from your site. As people see recommendations from their friends and contacts beneath your site in search results, you may see more, better qualified traffic from Google.

But how do you make sure this experience is user friendly? Where should you position the +1 button? How do you make sure the correct URL is getting +1’d?

On Tuesday, June 21 at 3pm ET, please join Timothy Jordan, Google Developer Advocate, to learn about how to best implement the +1 button on your site. He’ll be talking through the technical implementation details as well as best practices to ensure the button has maximum impact. During the webinar, we’ll review the topics below:
  • Getting started
  • Best practices
  • Advanced options
  • Measurement
  • And, we’ll save time for Q&A
If you'd like to attend, please register here. To download the code for your site, visit our +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central.

Posted by Kari Wilson - Product Marketing Manager


[G] New Interface Wednesdays: Multi-dimension reporting

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Inside AdSense: New Interface Wednesdays: Multi-dimension reporting

We've been listening to your feedback for more reporting and better insights into your data and are pleased to share a powerful new feature called multi-dimension reporting. You can now add dimensions to your performance reports to sort and view data across multiple dimensions including ad units, ad sizes, and countries.

This new feature allows you to add up to three dimensions to your reports, including viewing a channel by date or an ad unit by targeting type. To add a dimension when you create or edit a report, click ‘Add dimension’ and select a dimension. The dimension selected is added to the table, so you will now see two dimensions. To add another dimension click ‘Add dimension’ and select again. You can also change and remove a dimension by clicking the drop-down for the dimension you want to change or remove.

Try multi-dimension reporting now to interactively explore your data and gain more performance insights. And stay tuned for more dimension combinations coming soon as we continue to improve reporting regularly.

This reporting capability is just one of many improvements we’re making to the new AdSense interface as we gradually move away from the older version. Please feel free to provide your feedback in the comments field below so we can continue to tailor the new interface to your needs! If you haven’t yet tried the new interface, learn more about getting started today.

Posted by Vincent Zanotti - AdSense Engineering


[G] Protecting users from malware hosted on bulk subdomain services

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Google Online Security Blog: Protecting users from malware hosted on bulk subdomain services

Posted by Oliver Fisher, Google Anti-Malware Team

Over the past few months, Google’s systems have detected a number of bulk subdomain providers becoming targets of abuse by malware distributors. Bulk subdomain providers register a domain name, like, and then sell subdomains of this domain name, like Subdomains are often registered by the thousands at one time and are used to distribute malware and fake anti-virus products on the web. In some cases our malware scanners have found more than 50,000 malware domains from a single bulk provider.

Google’s automated malware scanning systems detect sites that distribute malware. To help protect users we recently modified those systems to identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused. In some severe cases our systems may now flag the whole bulk domain.

We offer many services to webmasters to help them fight abuse, such as:
If you are the owner of a website that is hosted in a bulk subdomain service, please consider contacting your bulk subdomain provider if Google SafeBrowsing shows a warning for your site. The top-level bulk subdomain may be a target of abuse. Bulk subdomain service providers may use Google’s tools to help identify and disable abusive subdomains and accounts.

[G] Trying to end mixed scripting vulnerabilities

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Google Online Security Blog: Trying to end mixed scripting vulnerabilities

Posted by Chris Evans and Tom Sepez, Google Chrome Security Team

A “mixed scripting” vulnerability is caused when a page served over HTTPS loads a script, CSS, or plug-in resource over HTTP. A man-in-the-middle attacker (such as someone on the same wireless network) can typically intercept the HTTP resource load and gain full access to the website loading the resource. It’s often as bad as if the web page hadn’t used HTTPS at all.

A less severe but similar problem -- let’s call it a “mixed display” vulnerability -- is caused when a page served over HTTPS loads an image, iFrame, or font over HTTP. A man-in-the-middle attacker can again intercept the HTTP resource load but normally can only affect the appearance of the page.

Browsers have long used different indicators, modal dialogs, block options or even click-throughs to indicate these conditions to users. If a page on your website has a mixed scripting issue, Chromium will currently indicate it like this in the URL bar:

And for a mixed display issue:

If any of the HTTPS pages on your website show the cross-out red https, there are good reasons to investigate promptly:
  • Your website won’t work as well in other modern browsers (such as IE9 or FF4) due to click-throughs and ugly modal dialogs.
  • You may have a security vulnerability that could compromise the entire HTTPS connection.
As of the first Chromium 14 canary release (14.0.785.0), we are trialing blocking mixed scripting conditions by default. We’ll be carefully listening to feedback; please leave it on this Chromium bug.

We also added an infobar that shows when a script is being blocked:

As a user, you can choose to reload the website without the block applied. Ideally, in the longer term, the infobar will not have the option for the user to bypass it. Our experience shows that some subset of users will attempt to “click through” even the scariest of warnings -- despite the hazards that can follow.

Tools that can help website owners
If Chromium’s UI shows any mixed content issues on your site, you can try to use a couple of our developer tools to locate the problem. A useful message is typically logged to the JavaScript console (Menu -> Tools -> JavaScript Console):

You can also reload the page with the “Network” tab active and look for requests that were issued over the http:// protocol. It’s worth noting that the entire origin is poisoned when mixed scripting occurs in it, so you’ll want to look at the console for all tabs that reference the indicated origin. To clear the error, all tabs that reference the poisoned origin need to be closed. For particularly tough cases where it’s not clear how the origin became poisoned, you can also enable debugging to the command-line console to see the relevant warning message.

The latest Chromium 13 dev channel build (13.0.782.10) has a command line flag: --no-running-insecure-content. We recommend that website owners and advanced users run with this flag, so we can all help mop up errant sites. (We also have the flag --no-displaying-insecure-content for the less serious class of mixed content issues; there are no plans to block this by default in Chromium 14).

The Chromium 14 release will come with an inverse flag: --allow-running-insecure-content, as a convenience for users and admins who have internal applications without immediate fixes for these errors.

Thanks for helping us push website security forward as a community. Until this class of bug is stamped out, Chromium has your back.

Friday, June 17, 2011

[G] Faster than fast

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Google Chrome Blog: Faster than fast

What if a waiter handed you your meal, hot and fresh, the instant you ordered it? What if the elevator doors opened onto the eighth floor the instant you pressed the eighth floor button in the lobby? What if a web page appeared in your browser, loaded in its entirety, the instant you clicked on a search result?

Well, you might have to wait for Instant Restaurants and Instant Elevators, but Instant Pages is available today in the latest beta release of Chrome. Thanks to Chrome’s new prerendering technology, some search results will appear to load almost instantly after you click on them. You can see this feature in action in the following video:

Although is the most high-profile site to use this new prerendering technology, it can be used by other sites since it’s been designed as a web standard. Web developers interested in learning more can see our post in the Chromium blog.

We’ve added a few more features in this release that users have been eagerly awaiting for some time. First, we’ve added some awesome to the omnibox by suggesting partial matches for URLs and page titles from your browsing history. For example, say you’ve listened to the song “Zorbing” by Stornoway a few times on YouTube, but you can’t remember the full song title or band name. Now, when you type just part of one of the words, like “orb,” you should get a suggestion due to the partial match: “ - Stornoway - ‘Zorbing’ Official Video.”

Second, we’re happy to announce that issue number 173 in our public bug database, which has collected more than 900 “stars” from users around the world since it was filed in 2008, has been implemented on Windows and Linux (the Mac version is coming soon). That’s right--we’ve finally added Print Preview! Print Preview uses Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer to display the page you want to print, and it updates automatically as you adjust your print settings. You can also choose to save any web page as a PDF file, using the “Print to PDF” option that’s automatically included in the printer list. Thanks for being patient with us on this one!

Posted by Chris Bentzel, Software Engineer

[G] FORE! Golf comes to the Chrome Web Store

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Google Chrome Blog: FORE! Golf comes to the Chrome Web Store

This Thursday, the productivity of tens of millions of golf fans around the world will hit new lows as the U.S. Open, the second of the four major golf championships, kicks off at the Congressional Country Club. For those of you who are determined to keep up with what promises to be an exciting tournament, there are plenty of apps in the Chrome Web Store that can keep you from missing a single shot.

The USGA has just launched the U.S. Open Today app that provides you with the latest news, video highlights and photos from the tournament. For additional coverage, you can try the Eurosport app or catch the latest photos at Sports Illustrated.

If all this tournament coverage gets you excited to play, you can add the WGT Golf Challenge app to Chrome. This is the most realistic golf game on the web, allowing you to play a closest-to-the-hole challenge at Congressional Country Club, or a new championship course every month.

If you get inspired playing the U.S. Open in the virtual world and you want to plan your next golf expedition, the Fairways360 app will come in handy. With Fairways360, you can explore new courses as if you were standing on the tee. You can also use the app to book tee times at over 1,700 golf courses across the United States, as well as get the current weather conditions and directions to the golf course of your choice.

Finally, to take care of scheduling tee times with your friends, you can try ClubDivot. With ClubDivot, you can create leagues with your friends and instantly notify them via email when you book a tee time to let them know to sign up. You can also organize your favorite golf courses and view your monthly calendar of tee times. This way you can get back to the things that matter most, like working on your swing.

There are thousands of more apps in the Chrome Web Store. Discover them at

Posted by Brian Rakowski, Official Chrome Team Hacker

[G] Chromebooks now available for sale

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Google Chrome Blog: Chromebooks now available for sale

Last month we unveiled the first Chromebooks from our partners, Samsung and Acer. Chromebooks were built and optimized for the web to give you a faster, simpler and more secure experience without the headaches of traditional computers. In the U.S., you can now order a Chromebook from Amazon and In other launch countries, visit to find a local retailer.

If you’re interested in purchasing Chromebooks for a school or business, please contact our sales team.

Posted by Felix Lin, Director of Product Management

[G] This week in Docs and Sites: Ignore All, Ubuntu, and Site soft delete

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The Google Apps Blog: This week in Docs and Sites: Ignore All, Ubuntu, and Site soft delete

We’re releasing a small batch of features this week: In Google documents, we added an Ignore all option to hide all spelling suggestions for a specific word, and a new web font, Ubuntu. We’ve also made it easier to manage your deleted sites in Google Sites.Ignore AllIn documents, we already give you the option to add words to your dictionary so we won’t show spelling suggestions for them in the future. That feature is convenient if you’re using a surname that will be reused in many documents. But sometimes there’s a non-dictionary word that’s only used in one doc, which might make you hesitant to add that word to your dictionary for all docs. Ignore All lets you hide the spelling suggestions for a specific word, but only affects the doc that you currently have opened.UbuntuWe’re also adding a new font to Google documents: Ubuntu. Earlier this year, we made Ubuntu available in the Google Font API, and it quickly rose to become one of our most popular fonts. The font was commissioned by Canonical Ltd and designed by Dalton Maag as part of the Ubuntu operating system open source project.Ubuntu has a simple, modern style that’s both recognizable and legible. It’s designed to look great in many sizes, and we hope you’ll find it useful in anything from document text to large poster headlines to small image captions.You can learn more about Ubuntu and see how to use the font by visiting the Google Font Directory.Soft delete your sitesWe’ve received a lot of feedback that it was sometimes difficult to restore a deleted site, since you needed to remember a deleted site’s URL. Starting today, you will be able to view any sites you’ve deleted in the Deleted sites section of My Sites rather than needing to remember their URLs. In this section, you can also choose to restore your site or delete it permanently before 30 days have passed. Note that as before, after the 30-day grace period, deleted sites will be permanently deleted.Let us know what you think of these updates. If you have any ideas for new features, submit them to our Product Ideas page, open until June 16.Posted by: Kara Levy, Software Engineer

[G] How to set up Gmail to power through hundreds of messages each day

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The Google Apps Blog: How to set up Gmail to power through hundreds of messages each day

Posted by Paul McDonald, Product Manager

Gmail offers a ton of customization, and when you get hundreds of emails every day it’s crucial that you have it set up to process mail quickly and efficiently. Working on Gmail, I get asked all the time what settings and features I use to help me power through my mail. Rather than answer my friends and co-workers one by one, I thought I’d put it all into a blog post. So here goes.
  • Turn on Priority Inbox. I couldn’t live without Priority Inbox. I keep the default set-up with important and unread mail at the top of my inbox and the section for everything else at the bottom.
  • Show more than 25 conversations in your inbox. I like to see as many emails as possible per page so I can quickly scan through my mail, so I have this set to 100 (the max possible). Go to Gmail Settings and look for “Maximum page size” which you can change to 25, 50, or 100.
  • Enable keyboard shortcuts. Press the “?” key when looking at your inbox to see the list of keyword shortcuts. Make sure they are turned on, then pick one or two to start with and try to learn more as you become comfortable. I probably use ‘e’ to archive my messages and ‘j’ and ‘k’ to move through messages the most.
Many of the features I love can be found in Gmail Labs (click on the “Labs” tab from Gmail Settings). I have a ton of them on, but the combo of these four work really well for me:
  • Inbox preview: Shows a simple, static preview of your inbox while Gmail is loading. While you can’t take action on the messages until your inbox fully loads, it’s great to get a sneak peek and form a plan of attack.
  • Send and archive: Adds a button that lets you send a reply to a message and archive the conversation in a single click (keyboard shortcuts work well with this one, too).
  • Background send: Lets Gmail send your mail in the background while you move on to more important things.
  • Auto advance: Automatically shows the next conversation instead of going back to your inbox after you delete, archive, or mute a conversation. When combined with the “Send and archive” button and background send, this feature makes reading and replying to messages lightning fast.
Try out this set up and let us know what your favorite features are.

[G] Introducing the people widget

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The Google Apps Blog: Introducing the people widget

Posted by Zohair Hyder, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog)

Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you communicate about. We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we’re rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them.

Next to every email message you can now see contextual information about the people in that conversation including recent emails you received from them, relevant Buzz posts, shared documents and calendar events. You also have quick access to a variety of ways to communicate with individuals, start a group chat or schedule a meeting with groups of people.

We hope the people widget will improve your Gmail experience and we’re eager for you to try it out.

Update (6/10/11): We're still rolling out the people widget to everyone. If you don't have it yet, you should within the next couple weeks. Thanks for your patience!

[G] Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

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The Google Apps Blog: Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

Posted by Matthew Leske, Product Manager

From the beginning, we designed Google Talk using open standards so that you could connect to your friends and family using any chat product, making communication as easy as possible. A few years ago, we announced our partnership with AOL which made it possible for people to chat with AIM users right from inside Gmail. Today, we’re happy to report that AOL has now made it possible to chat with AOL contacts across a variety of Google services: not just Gmail, but also iGoogle, Orkut, and Google Talk on Android phones.

If you chat with AIM buddies in Gmail, you’ll notice a few changes. First, you’ll no longer need an AIM account to connect to your friends using AIM. Instead you’ll be able to add your AIM buddies just like you add Gmail contacts to your chat list: using their AOL screennames (for example, AIM users will now also be able to add Google contacts to their AIM chat clients.

Second, you’ll no longer be able to sign into your AIM account from within Gmail chat since you can now add AIM contacts directly. And lastly, if you previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don’t want to re-add them to your chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import your AIM buddies into your Gmail account. See their blog post for more info.

[G] Faces of Gmail: Hareesh Nagarajan

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The Google Apps Blog: Faces of Gmail: Hareesh Nagarajan

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

In this edition of “Faces of Gmail,” we’ll introduce you to Hareesh Nagarajan who balances managing datacenters with improving his golf game.

What’s your role on the Gmail team?
I am the tech lead for part of Gmail’s backend infrastructure. Gmail has lots of datacenters to support hundreds of millions of users. We try to balance out these users in a way that will ensure that a good experience and run our datacenters at maximum efficiency. You could say that we like having our cake and eating it too: the software we’ve written tries to come up with a fine balance between keeping both our users and our datacenters happy.

What did you do before joining Google?
Google is my first full-time gig. Before Google, I went to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I lived above a piano bar. Before Chicago, I went to college in Bangalore. I wrote a bunch of software that no one uses (including me!). I did give my creations memorable names though: I built a text editor called “Save Trees,” an instant chat messenger called ionicChat (after the ionic bond in chemistry), and an assembler called “miASMa.” I was also active in the local quizzing circuit. I think I raked up about 40,000 INR in prize money in those four years.

What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I’ve been playing golf for nearly two years now. I’m not very good, but I’ve been seeing improvements in my game. Since I like data and statistics, I try and collect everything that I can when I’m playing. The data I’ve collected so far says that I’ve pared or bogey one in three holes in 2010, but so far in 2011 I’ve improved to one in two holes. Hopefully there are more big improvements to come. Golf is a hard game: errors propagate. I’ve tried to analyze why tennis has fewer unique winners than golf on my blog. Apart from golf and occasional blogging, I also like writing software (in a few hours) that empowers people. For example, I built to provide high quality mentorship and advice to any student for free, and I built to track real time updates for the keyword cancer. You can follow my updates and my photos from my phone on

How do you get your workday started?
I come in at about 10:00 in the morning. I check system dashboards to make sure that Gmail users are happy, that our datacenters are running cool, and that I haven’t broken anything from the previous day. I usually do all this while eating cereal. I buy cereal boxes (Kashi Autumn Wheat) by the dozen from Amazon. Folks who enter my cubicle at the start of my cereal cycle are shocked to find 12 boxes of cereal right next to my desk and ask, “Are you going to eat all that cereal?” to which I say, “Well yes, would you like some?”.

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team

[G] Store up to 25,000 contacts

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The Google Apps Blog: Store up to 25,000 contacts

Posted by Mike Helmick, Software Engineer

Gmail used to have a limit of 10,000 contacts. For most of us, this was way more than enough, but we heard from some of you who use Gmail to communicate with more than 10,000 people. We want you to be able to store all of your contacts in a single place, so starting today, we’ve increased the limit for all Gmail users, including all those of you who use Google Apps, to 25,000 contacts.

Also, previously an individual contact could be no larger than 32KB — big enough for most people, but not always sufficient for those who like to keep a lot of notes on individual contacts. Now, each contact may be up to 128KB in size, allowing you to store more information in the notes field.

[G] Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

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The Google Apps Blog: Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

(Cross-posted to the Enterprise blog)You make Google products what they are -- and the feedback you share with us every day helps shape the future of our products. We’re always listening to your requests via blogs, Twitter, our forum, and other channels, and for the next two weeks, we’re bringing back a more structured way to get your input by opening up our Product Ideas page.On this page, you can submit your ideas, read other users’ suggestions, and vote up your favorites. We’ll use the top ideas to help us prioritize our development in the coming months. After the two-week period, we'll follow up with a blog post summarizing the results. While we may not work on all of the top ideas immediately, we’ll let you know which of the ideas we’re working on.We hope you’ll use this as an opportunity to help us prioritize the features that are important to you -- for your business, in the classroom, or at home. Start submitting your ideas, big or small -- we look forward to hearing what you have to say!Note: We’re specifically looking to hear your product ideas and suggestions. If you’re seeking help, please post your support questions to the Help Forum. Off topic submissions may be removed.Posted by: Teresa Wu, Community Manager

[G] Introducing appointment slots in Google Calendar

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The Google Apps Blog: Introducing appointment slots in Google Calendar

Posted by Irene Chung, Software Engineer

Google Calendar has become indispensable for organizing my own time and sharing my schedule with friends and coworkers. But what about letting others know about my preferred availability? Likewise, when I look at my hairdresser's online calendar, I wonder why I can't just book the open slot instead of remembering to call during regular business hours. Now, with appointment slots in Google Calendar, any individual or business can manage appointment availability online 24/7.

Creating appointment slots

To get started, set up blocks of time you’d like to offer as appointment slots. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on "Appointment slots.” From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots.

Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL directly to friends and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.

Signing up for an appointment slot

When someone visits your sign up page, their calendar is overlaid for convenience and they can sign up directly for any available appointment slot. When they sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new shared event on both of your calendars.

At Google, many people are already using appointment slots to manage their office hours or even schedule appointments with on-site fitness instructors. We’re starting to roll it out widely today, and appointment slots should be available for everyone within the next few days. I'm pretty excited to tell my hairdresser about it, and I can't wait to see all of you start to use it too.