Saturday, September 17, 2011

[G] A new Stable release of Chrome, expanding the frontiers of the web

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Google Chrome Blog: A new Stable release of Chrome, expanding the frontiers of the web

Today, we’re happy to ship a new release to the Stable channel of Chrome, following up on last month’s Beta channel release. This release contains two significant technologies which allow developers to create even more powerful web apps and games:
  • The Web Audio API enables developers to add fancy audio effects such as room simulation and spatialization.
  • Native Client is an open-source technology which allows C and C++ code to be seamlessly and securely executed inside the browser. Currently, Native Client only supports applications listed in the Chrome Web Store, but we are working to remove this limitation as soon as possible.

This release also contains some changes for our Chrome users on Mac OS X Lion. For all web pages, Chrome uses Lion's overlay scrollbars, which appear only while you’re scrolling. We’ve also added initial support for Lion’s full-screen mode, triggered by a full-screen button or Ctrl+Shift+F. Finally, we’ve fixed many crash bugs, and added some all-around visual polish.

As always, if you already have Chrome installed, it will automatically update itself to the new version soon. If you haven’t taken Chrome for a spin yet, you can download it from www.google.com/chrome.

Posted by Brad Chen, Software Engineer
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-stable-release-of-chrome-expanding.html

Friday, September 16, 2011

[G] Strong authentication to protect business user accounts

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Strong authentication to protect business user accounts

Posted by Rishi Dhand, Product Manager, Google Apps

Editors note: This post is part of a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

We recently announced that more than 4 million businesses run on Google Apps and 5,000 more are signing up every day. Many of these business “go Google” for enhanced security features. One example is 2-step verification, an opt-in security feature that we added to Google Apps last year.

2-step verification adds an additional layer of protection to your account and significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. With 2-step verification, you sign into your account with both your password and a one time verification code you get on your phone. You can generate the code with a mobile app (on Android, iPhone and Blackberry), or get it in an SMS text message or a voice call.

This feature helps ensure that only you can sign in to your account. It also helps protect you if your password gets stolen via phishing attempts, keyloggers or other malicious software, or from another website where you might have used the same password. Without the verification code, hackers can’t access your Google Apps account—even if they have your password.

While two-factor authentication is not a new concept, many businesses have historically struggled with deploying it due to cost, IT complexity and usability issues associated with requiring users to carry separate token generators. Google Apps includes 2-step verification at no additional cost, using existing phones to make it simple and easy to deploy. It’s available in over 40 languages and in more than 150 countries.

We also support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based Single Sign-On (SSO) for businesses that already use separate authentication technologies and would like to continue using them. Google Apps for Business supports the SAML 2.0 specification and allows businesses to apply custom security features, password management policies, and their own two-factor authentication solution. This SSO capability is an alternative to the 2-step verification feature that is included with Google Apps.

Protecting your accounts with strong authentication mechanisms is a great way to help ensure your information remains safe online. Thousands of If you are an existing customer, you can easily configure 2-step verification, once your administrator has enabled the feature for your domain.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/09/strong-authentication-to-protect.html

[G] This week's Trends: anniversaries, webcams, and the future

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: anniversaries, webcams, and the future

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 "You're not gonna be the great breakdancer you think you are."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/cS9THivWxQ0/this-weeks-trends-anniversaries-webcams.html

[G] Hedgewars bets on Google Summer of Code

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Google Open Source Blog: Hedgewars bets on Google Summer of Code

What an exciting summer for the Hedgewars team! This was our first year to participate in the Google Summer of Code program and we managed to survive to the end!

The fun began when we were accepted as a participating organization and prepared the ideas list to be discussed with the students. As an interesting statistic, I do remember that people joining our IRC channel increased by 20% during that time. We didn't expect so much interest, and my best guess is that it was because it's always fun to code for a game, and Hedgewars in particular offered a lot of uncommon initiatives, like programming with FreePascal or experimenting with SDL-1.3.

The only negative part of our experience lies in the fact that of the 2 student slots that we were given, one project wasn't carried out at all which meant that the AI implementation had to be called off. Perhaps a more experienced organization might have noticed subtle hints from the student and avoided this situation, but what counts is that we learned our lesson and will be able to evaluate our students better in the future.

On the other hand, we've had an outstanding success in our second project, Hedgewars on Android: the student was able to fulfill the task requirements and implement a few optional features in the time allocated. He also documented his code (rarity!) and interacted with developers of our dependencies. What I particularly liked was the fact that all of our active developers helped in this project with testing and suggestions.

Overall I feel like we've all had our share of fun gathering ideas from the community, sorting out students' proposals, managing student’s work, and achieving results. Our student is sticking around to finish and maintain his project and is about to join our development team, so my guess is that he also enjoyed his time with the Hedgewars team during Google Summer of Code.

Finally, with our repo full of new code and our bag full of experience, we look forward to next year’s Google Summer of Code where we plan to have just as much fun and success (and hopefully even more).

Thanks to all the people involved, mentors, students and admins.

By Vittorio Giovara, Hedgewars Organization Administrator for Google Summer of Code

This post is cross posted from the Hedgewars blog, where you can find additional details about their experiences with the Google Summer of Code.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/UjzeR3OaGlU/hedgewars-bets-on-google-summer-of-code.html

[G] Introducing Voice Actions for Android in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Introducing Voice Actions for Android in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain

Last year in the US, we introduced Voice Actions, a series of spoken commands that let you control your Android phone or tablet with your voice. You can call businesses and contacts, send texts, browse the web and complete other common tasks, all just by speaking into your phone.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that users in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain can now use Voice Actions in British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

To use Voice Actions, tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, open the Voice Search app, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen. You can see how it works in this video.



Speak any of these commands to perform a Voice Action on your phone:
  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • go to [website]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]
And of course, you can still conduct a Google search using your voice.

Use Voice Actions to get directions, or send a text using just your voice

Voice Actions is available on phones and tablets running Android 2.2 and higher. If you don't have Voice Search on your phone yet, you can download it from Android Market - if you do have Voice Search, you can just start using Voice Actions.

We think Voice Actions helps you get things done on your phone faster and easier. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Posted by Bertrand Damiba, Product Manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/09/introducing-voice-actions-for-android.html

[G] Earn more by promoting Google Affiliate Exclusive Opportunities

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Inside AdSense: Earn more by promoting Google Affiliate Exclusive Opportunities








With the arrival of fall, the holiday shopping season begins. Give your readers an early start by posting Google
Affiliate Network Exclusive Opportunities on your site, and also earn additional revenue. Over 40 great shopping opportunities will be available exclusively to Google Affiliate Network
publishers. In addition, special opportunities will be live for one weekend only, from Friday, September 23  through September 26.




This limited time offer enables you to add a variety of great consumer opportunities to your site and earn
a performance fee from orders that originated from your links.



Here are just a few examples of exclusive opportunities that you can post: 
















$15 Off $50




Free Shipping on all orders


 Get $15 off Your Next $125 Purchase!



How do I promote these opportunities on my site?

To promote any of these exclusive opportunities, you’ll first need to be an approved publisher in Google Affiliate Network. Google Affiliate Network is available to all
AdSense publishers, and while most advertisers in the program are based in the US and Canada, many have international shipping capabilities. For more details, view all Google Affiliate Network opportunities available.




  1. Apply for Google Affiliate Network with your AdSense Publisher
    ID (or sign in if you're already a Google Affiliate Network publisher).
     


  2. Once approved, review the opportunities available (link to GAN Blog Post to be added once live) and click the "Apply Now" link for everyone that you wish to
    promote.



  3. Tracking links will be available in your Google Affiliate Network account by viewing the Home tab. You can also search for “September
    Exclusive Opportunities†links in the Links section on September 23.



Need help applying or want more information? Review the Getting Started guide today.



When can I post these opportunities on my site?

All opportunities will be available on September 23, and all will expire at midnight September 26. Please note that it won’t be possible to post any of these exclusives until
September 23.




Posted by Jamie Ross, Google Affiliate Network




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/IKWo5615aso/earn-more-by-promoting-google-affiliate.html

[G] Watch Austin City Limits Music Festival all weekend on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Watch Austin City Limits Music Festival all weekend on YouTube

This year marks Austin City Limits Music Festival’s 10th anniversary, and starting today, we're streaming the festival live on YouTube. Check out the trailer for the event:







Looking for big headliners? Rock? Rap? Indie? Electronic? Get your fill of bands including Coldplay, Social Distortion, Big Boi, TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, Cut Copy and over 30 more artists. Check out the full webcast schedule and mark your calendars—it’s going to be a great weekend of music.



The Dell and AMD-sponsored webcast kicks off today at 11:30 a.m. PT on youtube.com/aclfestival. We’ll see you there!



Sarah Bardeen, Music Community Manager, recently watched “Austin Kiddie Limits 2011.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/RH1rzpHPpUY/watch-austin-city-limits-music-festival.html

Thursday, September 15, 2011

[G] Time, technology and leaping seconds

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Official Google Blog: Time, technology and leaping seconds

Google’s Site Reliability team is responsible for keeping Google’s services and data centers up and running 24/7. In this post, you’ll hear about a project our Site Reliability Engineers took on to make sure that the fluctuations of time don’t adversely affect Google’s products and services. If you like this (detailed) glimpse at the tech behind the scenes, come back for more about this team’s work in the future. -Ed.

Have you ever had a watch that ran slow or fast, and that you’d correct every morning off your bedside clock? Computers have that same problem. Many computers, including some desktop and laptop computers, use a service called the “Network Time Protocol” (NTP), which does something very similar—it periodically checks the computers’ time against a more accurate server, which may be connected to an external source of time, such as an atomic clock. NTP also takes into account variable factors like how long the NTP server takes to reply, or the speed of the network between you and the server when setting a to-the-second or better time on the computer you’re using.

Soon after the advent of ticking clocks, scientists observed that the time told by them (and now, much more accurate clocks), and the time told by the Earth's position were rarely exactly the same. It turns out that being on a revolving imperfect sphere floating in space, being reshaped by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and being dragged around by gravitational forces makes your rotation somewhat irregular. Who knew?

These fluctuations in Earth’s rotational speed mean that even very accurate clocks, like the atomic clocks used by global timekeeping services, occasionally have to be adjusted slightly to bring them in line with “solar time.” There have been 24 such adjustments, called “leap seconds,” since they were introduced in 1972. Their effect on technology has become more and more profound as people come to rely on fast, accurate and reliable technology.

Why time matters at Google

Having accurate time is critical to everything we do at Google. Keeping replicas of data up to date, correctly reporting the order of searches and clicks, and determining which data-affecting operation came last are all examples of why accurate time is crucial to our products and to our ability to keep your data safe.

Very large-scale distributed systems, like ours, demand that time be well-synchronized and expect that time always moves forwards. Computers traditionally accommodate leap seconds by setting their clock backwards by one second at the very end of the day. But this “repeated” second can be a problem. For example, what happens to write operations that happen during that second? Does email that comes in during that second get stored correctly? What about all the unforeseen problems that may come up with the massive number of systems and servers that we run? Our systems are engineered for data integrity, and some will refuse to work if their time is sufficiently “wrong.” We saw some of our clustered systems stop accepting work on a small scale during the leap second in 2005, and while it didn’t affect the site or any of our data, we wanted to fix such issues once and for all.

This was the problem that a group of our engineers identified during 2008, with a leap second scheduled for December 31. Given our observations in 2005, we wanted to be ready this time, and in the future. How could we make sure everything at Google stays running as if nothing happened, when all our server clocks suddenly see the same second happening twice? Also, how could we make this solution scale? Would we need to audit every line of code that cares about the time? (That’s a lot of code!)

The solution we came up with came to be known as the “leap smear.” We modified our internal NTP servers to gradually add a couple of milliseconds to every update, varying over a time window before the moment when the leap second actually happens. This meant that when it became time to add an extra second at midnight, our clocks had already taken this into account, by skewing the time over the course of the day. All of our servers were then able to continue as normal with the new year, blissfully unaware that a leap second had just occurred. We plan to use this “leap smear” technique again in the future, when new leap seconds are announced by the IERS.

Here’s the science bit

Usually when a leap second is almost due, the NTP protocol says a server must indicate this to its clients by setting the “Leap Indicator” (LI) field in its response. This indicates that the last minute of that day will have 61 seconds, or 59 seconds. (Leap seconds can, in theory, be used to shorten a day too, although that hasn’t happened to date.) Rather than doing this, we applied a patch to the NTP server software on our internal Stratum 2 NTP servers to not set LI, and tell a small “lie” about the time, modulating this “lie” over a time window w before midnight:
lie(t) = (1.0 - cos(pi * t / w)) / 2.0
What this did was make sure that the “lie” we were telling our servers about the time wouldn’t trigger any undesirable behavior in the NTP clients, such as causing them to suspect the time servers to be wrong and applying local corrections themselves. It also made sure the updates were sufficiently small so that any software running on the servers that were doing synchronization actions or had Chubby locks wouldn't lose those locks or abandon any operations. It also meant this software didn’t necessarily have to be aware of or resilient to the leap second.

In an experiment, we performed two smears—one negative then one positive—and tested this setup using about 10,000 servers. We'd previously added monitoring to plot the skew between atomic time, our Stratum 2 servers and all those NTP clients, allowing us to constantly evaluate the performance of our time infrastructure. We were excited to see monitoring showing plots of those servers’ clocks tracking our model's predictions, and that we were continuing to serve users’ requests without errors.

Following the successful test, we reconfigured all our production Stratum 2 NTP servers with details of the actual leap second, ready for New Year's Eve, when they would automatically activate the smear for all production machines, without any further human intervention required. We had a “big red button” opt-out that allowed us to stop the smear in case anything went wrong.

What we learned

The leap smear is talked about internally in the Site Reliability Engineering group as one of our coolest workarounds, that took a lot of experimentation and verification, but paid off by ultimately saving us massive amounts of time and energy in inspecting and refactoring code. It meant that we didn’t have to sweep our entire (large) codebase, and Google engineers developing code don’t have to worry about leap seconds. The team involved in solving this issue was a handful of people, distributed around the world, who were able to work together without restriction in order to solve this problem.

The solution to this challenge drove a lot of thinking to develop better ways to implement locking and consistency, and synchronizing units of work between servers across the world. It also meant we thought more about the precision of our time systems, which have a knock-on effect on our ability to minimize resource wastage and run greener data centers by reducing the amount of time we must spend waiting for responses and rarely doing excess work.

By anticipating potential problems and developing solutions like these, the Site Reliability Engineering group informs and inspires the development of new technology for distributed systems—the systems that you use every day in Google’s products.

Posted by Christopher Pascoe, Site Reliability Engineer
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/time-technology-and-leaping-seconds.html

[G] Saying thanks—in person—to our Google Top Contributors

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Official Google Blog: Saying thanks—in person—to our Google Top Contributors

“Oh, you’re BlueQuoll!”

You heard a lot of enthusiastic cries of recognition at the Global Top Contributor Summit, as Googlers and members of our Top Contributor program got to leave their laptops behind and meet one another face to face. This two-day event held in and around our headquarters in Mountain View brought together some of our most prolific and knowledgeable users from the Google product forums for the first time.

Top Contributors are the folks you may know by “bkc56” in the Gmail forum, “Noisette” in the Google Earth forum and “theylmdl” in the German Webmaster forum—Google users who volunteer their time to help others with questions and troubleshooting issues. We began the program in 2005 to support this important group, and today there are more than 350 Top Contributors who are active in our forums. They also give Google teams important feedback to help shape the development of our products. In short, they’re some of Google’s most passionate users, and we wanted to take the time to share our appreciation.

TCs from the AdSense, Gmail and Webmaster forums hang out with Googlers (in red)

At the summit, more than 250 Top Contributors joined us from around the world, representing 40+ product forums in 20+ languages. To see just how global this amazing bunch is, check out the map we set up to showcase their hometowns:


At the event, our Top Contributors met with Google engineers who demo’ed upcoming features, giving them the unique opportunity to give feedback and ask questions. This was also an opportunity for our Top Contributors to meet each other, and make a new friend or two.

Bottom right: TC treebles, as he’s known in the Maps and Places for business forums, talks with the custom maps team

We hope this summit gave our Top Contributors more insight into how Google works and expressed just how much we appreciate their help and dedication. In fact, they’re such a dedicated bunch that some of the Top Contributors were even spotted during the summit answering forum questions. To see them in action, head on over to the Google product forums.

Find out about how you can become a Top Contributor in our Help Forum guide.

Posted by Brenna Robertson and Adrienne Ludwick, Global Top Contributor Summit co-organizers
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/saying-thanksin-personto-our-google-top.html

[G] Watch Jonah Hill live on YouTube this Friday at 4pm PT

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YouTube Blog: Watch Jonah Hill live on YouTube this Friday at 4pm PT

Fans of comedy star Jonah Hill, pull up a chair and join us. Jonah’s stopping by YouTube this Friday for a live streaming Q&A at 4pm PT to celebrate the release of his new movie, Moneyball.



The film tells the story of how baseball’s Oakland A’s used statistical analysis to compete against teams with much higher payrolls. As the A’s are one of two baseball teams local to YouTube HQ, we’re particularly happy to welcome Jonah as our guest.



As well as starring opposite Brad Pitt in Moneyball, Jonah appeared in some of the most popular comedies of recent years, including Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Funny People, all of which were directed by comedy auteur and mentor Judd Apatow. We’ll be asking Jonah about this and more, and he’s looking for you share your questions too:







Find out the human-interest story behind the statistics when we throw Jonah some curveballs. Fans of comedy know he’s sure to knock a few out of the park.



Mark Day, Comedy Programs Manager, recently watched “Dr Seuss Versus Shakespeare. Epic Rap Battles of History #12.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/LurbbrG9gQA/watch-jonah-hill-live-on-youtube-this.html

[G] Gmail Liberates Recorded Chat Logs Via IMAP

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Data Liberation: Gmail Liberates Recorded Chat Logs Via IMAP

Enough of these goofy videos for Google Takeout. It’s time for an instructional screencast video instead.

This week, Gmail added support for downloading your recorded chat logs via IMAP. All of the entries that you can see in your Gmail chats label will now be delivered to your local email client if it is configured to use IMAP.

We have some information about how to set up and use IMAP for Gmail liberation on our dataliberation.org site, but since chat liberation has been requested by many users in the past (both on twitter and our moderator page), here is a screencast that demonstrates this new feature in use.


If you already use IMAP to synchronize your Gmail account to a local device, enabling this new chat log export is as simple as clicking on the “Show in IMAP” checkbox for Chats in the Labels tab of your Gmail settings.

Posted by Daniel Benson, Data Liberator
URL: http://dataliberation.blogspot.com/2011/09/gmail-liberates-recorded-chat-logs-via.html

[G] Chrome Web Store expands its borders

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Google Chrome Blog: Chrome Web Store expands its borders

Nine months ago, we launched the Chrome Web Store in the United States. Since then, the store has gained a lot of momentum and is now home to an ever increasing selection of apps, extensions and themes.

Today, we’re expanding and making the store available in 24 more countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

If you are based in these initial 24 countries, you’ll find it much easier to discover and add new apps, extensions, and themes to Chrome, across a variety of categories—from games to news to productivity tools. In most countries, for apps that require a fee, you’ll now be able to complete the entire transaction in your local currency. Starting today, you’ll also be able to access a range of new applications from international developers and publishers. Enjoy viewing beautiful artwork collections from UK museums, get weather updates from Brazil or browse the latest film releases in France.



To try these new apps, as well as tens of thousands of items in the store, download Google Chrome and visit the Chrome Web Store.

Posted by Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Product Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/09/chrome-web-store-expands-its-borders.html

[G] View your top channels on the new interface homepage

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Inside AdSense: View your top channels on the new interface homepage




You’ve been asking, and today we’re excited to announce that you can now view your top 10 performing custom and URL channels directly on the homepage of the new AdSense interface. We understand that many of you log in frequently throughout the day to check in on your stats, and this latest change will allow you to get a quick snapshot directly from the new interface. 





When you log in to the new AdSense interface, you’ll see your top channels by estimated earnings along with the percentage change for the selected time period. So if you’ve chosen to view the last 7 days, you’ll see your top performing channels for that time range along with the percentage change they experienced compared to the prior 7 day period. 












Thanks for all of the feedback you provided about bringing this report to the new interface -- you can check out this update by logging in to the new AdSense interface today. As a reminder, we’re gradually moving away from the older version and focusing on building improvements like these in the new interface. We encourage you to continue familiarizing yourself with the new interface, and as always, please feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

Posted by Dan Banfield - AdSense Engineering









URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/FyjShZZ0dTo/view-your-top-channels-on-new-interface.html

[G] New tools to help publishers maximize their revenue

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: New tools to help publishers maximize their revenue

(Originally posted on the Official Google Blog)

What do a celebrity blog, a video interview on a newspaper site and a cable channel’s smartphone app have in common? They’re all supported by advertising...and they’re all examples of how the lines between media formats are blurring.

These increasingly blurry lines are not only resulting in highly engaging forms of content for users, but many new revenue opportunities for publishers. A wave of innovation and investment over the past several years has also created better performing ads, a larger pool of online advertisers, and new technologies to sell and manage ad space. Together, these trends are helping to spur increased investment in online advertising. We’ve seen this in our own Google Display Network: our publisher partners have seen spending across the Google Display Network from our largest 1,000 advertisers more than double in the last 12 months.

With all these new opportunities in mind, we’re introducing new tools for our publisher partners—in our ad serving technology (DoubleClick for Publishers) and in our ad exchange (DoubleClick Ad Exchange).

Video and mobile in DoubleClick for Publishers
Given the changes in the media landscape, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen incredible growth for both mobile and video ad formats over the past year: the number of video ads on theGoogle Display Network has increased 350 percent in the past 12 months, while AdMob, our mobile network, has grown by more than 200 percent.

Before now, it’s been difficult for publishers to manage all their video and mobile ad space from a single ad server—the platform publishers use to schedule, measure and run the ads they’ve sold on their sites. To solve this challenge, we’re rolling out new tools in our latest version of DoubleClick for Publishers that enable publishers to better manage video and mobile inventory. Publishers will be able to manage all of the ads they’re running—across all of their webpages, videos and mobile devices—from a single dashboard, and see which formats and channels are performing best for them.

A handful of publishers have already begun using the video feature and it appears to be performing well for them: we’ve seen 55 percent month-over-month growth in video ad volume in the last quarter. In other words, publishers are now able not only to produce more video content, but to make more money from it as well.

Direct Deals on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange
Another way publishers make money is to sell their advertising via online exchanges, like the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, where they can offer their ad space to a wide pool of competing ad buyers. This has already proven to generate substantially more revenue for publishers, and as a result we’ve seen significant growth in the number of trades on our exchange (158 percent year over year).

However, publishers have told us that they’d also like the option of making some of their ad space available only to certain buyers at a certain price—similar to how an art dealer might want to offer a painting first to certain clients before giving it to an auction house to sell. So we’re introducing Direct Deals on the Doubleclick Ad Exchange, which gives publishers the ability to make these “first look” offers. For example, using Direct Deals, a news publisher could set aside all of the ad space on their sports page and offer it first to a select group of buyers at a specific price, and then if those buyers pass on the offer, automatically place that inventory into the Ad Exchange’s auction.

Looking back at that blog, news site and app, we’d like them to have one more thing in common—being able to advantage of new opportunities to grow their businesses even further. These new tools, together with the other solutions we’re continuing to develop, are designed to help businesses like them—and all our publisher partners—do just that, and get the most out of today’s advertising landscape.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display Advertising
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-tools-to-help-publishers-maximize.html

[G] A search insights lesson for back-to-school

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Official Google Blog: A search insights lesson for back-to-school

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog and the Retail Blog)

Time to sharpen those pencils: now that the back-to-school season is winding down and students are back at their desks, we thought we’d take a look at some popular searches from the last few weeks. Students across the U.S. are hitting the books—although, as we found, not all their back-to-school searches are academically inclined.

Overall, search interest in [back to school] is up about 10 percent from last year.


After a three-month hiatus, everyone wants to make a great impression on the first day of school. Searches related to starting fresh—like [kids shoes], [kids haircuts] and [healthy school lunches]—jump during the back-to-school season. People are also eager to sport just the right look—searches for [first day of school outfit] have increased 20 percent since the 2010 season.

A well-stocked locker is also top of mind for many at the start of the school year. Search interest for back-to-school staples like pencils, notebooks and backpacks routinely peaks during the season, as kids compare colors, styles and designs online. But tech-savvy students are seeking new essentials for the classroom. Searches for [tablet] exceeded searches for [backpack] for the first time in a July-September period. And with [etextbook] searches up 50 percent from September 2010, look for ereaders to slip into more backpacks in the future.



Crossing items off the back-to-school list is rewarding, but it’s a lot more satisfying when there’s a bargain involved. This year is no exception with shoppers scanning for deals before heading to stores. Searches for [back to school coupons] and [back to school sales] increased 10 and 25 percent, and searches for [printable coupons] jumped 45 percent from last year’s season.


College-bound freshmen seem to be looking for ways to take charge of their finances. Searches for [bank account] and [open bank account] peak in August, and were up about 20 percent from last year’s back-to-school season. Searches for [student credit card] are also highest during this time of year, along with searches for the means to pay a credit card bill: [campus jobs]. In recent years, securing a steady source of income has trumped on-the-spot spending. While searches for [student credit card] have decreased 30 percent since 2004, searches for [campus jobs] have steadily increased, up 50 percent in the same period.


Finally, we’ll leave you with a few back-to-school essentials that might not have made your list. To avoid using the modern version of the old “my dog ate my homework” excuse, protect your computer with a [laptop lock]—searches regularly spike in in August. If you’ve been thinking about picking up an instrument, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon (pun intended), as searches for [flute], [cello], [violin] and [clarinet] jump every September. And for your mother’s sake (and your roommate’s), find a good [laundry service] on campus. Search interest peaks in September, though the clothes-washing learning curve lasts the entire year.


Posted by Julie Krueger, Industry Director, Retail
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/search-insights-lesson-for-back-to.html

[G] New tools to help publishers maximize their revenue

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Official Google Blog: New tools to help publishers maximize their revenue

What do a celebrity blog, a video interview on a newspaper site and a cable channel’s smartphone app have in common? They’re all supported by advertising...and they’re all examples of how the lines between media formats are blurring.

These increasingly blurry lines are not only resulting in highly engaging forms of content for users, but many new revenue opportunities for publishers. A wave of innovation and investment over the past several years has also created better performing ads, a larger pool of online advertisers, and new technologies to sell and manage ad space. Together, these trends are helping to spur increased investment in online advertising. We’ve seen this in our own Google Display Network: our publisher partners have seen spending across the Google Display Network from our largest 1,000 advertisers more than double in the last 12 months.

With all these new opportunities in mind, we’re introducing new tools for our publisher partners—in our ad serving technology (DoubleClick for Publishers) and in our ad exchange (DoubleClick Ad Exchange).

Video and mobile in DoubleClick for Publishers
Given the changes in the media landscape, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen incredible growth for both mobile and video ad formats over the past year: the number of video ads on the Google Display Network has increased 350 percent in the past 12 months, while AdMob, our mobile network, has grown by more than 200 percent.

Before now, it’s been difficult for publishers to manage all their video and mobile ad space from a single ad server—the platform publishers use to schedule, measure and run the ads they’ve sold on their sites. To solve this challenge, we’re rolling out new tools in our latest version of DoubleClick for Publishers that enable publishers to better manage video and mobile inventory. Publishers will be able to manage all of the ads they’re running—across all of their webpages, videos and mobile devices—from a single dashboard, and see which formats and channels are performing best for them.

A handful of publishers have already begun using the video feature and it appears to be performing well for them: we’ve seen 55 percent month-over-month growth in video ad volume in the last quarter. In other words, publishers are now able not only to produce more video content, but to make more money from it as well.

Direct Deals on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange
Another way publishers make money is to sell their advertising via online exchanges, like the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, where they can offer their ad space to a wide pool of competing ad buyers. This has already proven to generate substantially more revenue for publishers, and as a result we’ve seen significant growth in the number of trades on our exchange (158 percent year over year).

However, publishers have told us that they’d also like the option of making some of their ad space available only to certain buyers at a certain price—similar to how an art dealer might want to offer a painting first to certain clients before giving it to an auction house to sell. So we’re introducing Direct Deals on the Doubleclick Ad Exchange, which gives publishers the ability to make these “first look” offers. For example, using Direct Deals, a news publisher could set aside all of the ad space on their sports page and offer it first to a select group of buyers at a specific price, and then if those buyers pass on the offer, automatically place that inventory into the Ad Exchange’s auction.

Looking back at that blog, news site and app, we’d like them to have one more thing in common—being able to advantage of new opportunities to grow their businesses even further. These new tools, together with the other solutions we’re continuing to develop, are designed to help businesses like them—and all our publisher partners—do just that, and get the most out of today’s advertising landscape.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display Advertising
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-tools-to-help-publishers-maximize.html

[G] Introducing Ad Exchange Direct Deals

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Introducing Ad Exchange Direct Deals

The rise of Ad Exchanges has made it easier for buyers and sellers to connect, using technologies such as real-time bidding (RTB) to help unlock more value for every impression. Exchanges have also provided a number of efficiency benefits such as the elimination of Insertion Orders and trafficking headaches for every transaction and the ability for publishers to manage controls across a broad set of buyers. Increasingly, publishers have been innovating on this platform by making exclusive tiers of inventory available to select buyers via exchanges, a model typically known as a “private exchange”. Private exchanges allow publishers to better leverage their brands and sales relationships and provide buyers with enhanced access to premium inventory.

While we’ve offered the ability for sellers to list inventory privately in the DoubleClick Ad Exchange auction for more than a year, it was clear that the industry was also ready for yet another evolutionary step in exchange buying. Both buyers and sellers wanted even more flexibility, control and pricing certainty for select transactions, while continuing to manage all of their exchange deals in an integrated fashion. In response, we’ve continued to evolve DoubleClick Ad Exchange to meet these needs by rolling-out a new solution called Ad Exchange Direct Deals.

This new type of exchange deal allows publishers to offer inventory on DoubleClick Ad Exchange to specific buyers at a fixed price, instead of determining the price via auction. This inventory is also offered on a pre-auction basis, which means that publishers can give these select buyers “first look” access, while still making the ad impression available in our open exchange if it remains unsold. Publishers typically negotiate these fixed price exchange deals directly with sophisticated exchange buyers, such as large agencies or ad networks buying in real-time.

Direct Deals allows publishers to forge relationships with new, data-driven, buyers and benefit from the efficiency of an exchange transaction, such as “insertion-orderless” buying and automated clearing of payments. At the same time, publishers can use standard Ad Exchange protections from unwanted data collection, restricted advertiser categories, malware and latency. Advertisers gain more seamless access to high quality publisher inventory and pricing certainty.

Premium publishers, such as The Washington Post and About.com, have been early testers of this feature working with leading exchange buyers such as Criteo, who specializes in expanding search budgets into display. For Criteo, this feature has meant new opportunities to connect with publishers. “Working directly with publishers has always been critical for Criteo, as a way to access the best inventory and deliver the highest CPMs to publishers. We are delighted to be using Direct Deals as a new way to achieve this, with all the advantages of a real-time mechanism,” said Jonathan Wolf, Chief Buying Officer at Criteo.

Direct Deals joins a number of other sales models supported by DoubleClick Ad Exchange, including branded, anonymous and private auctions. Sellers using the DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) platform for direct sales can also benefit from dynamic integration with DoubleClick Ad Exchange to ensure that the most profitable impression is delivered for every impression. We are excited to introduce this new level of flexibility to Ad Exchange to help buyers improve the effectiveness of their campaigns and sellers profit from real-time display buying on their terms. DoubleClick Ad Exchange advertisers and publishers can contact their account manager to join the Direct Deals beta program.

Posted by Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2011/09/introducing-ad-exchange-direct-deals.html