Saturday, October 22, 2011

[G] Google Apps highlights – 10/22/2011

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 10/22/2011

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

In the spirit of helping people work better together, over the last few weeks we made big improvements to Google presentations, introduced a version of Google Docs optimized for Android tablets, and enabled more dynamic content in Google Sites. We also celebrated the fact that Silicon Valley has gone Google!

Google presentations reloaded
On Tuesday we launched a completely rebuilt version of our web-based presentations application, so you can build more beautiful presentations together with colleagues and classmates. Google presentations now lets you make great-looking slides with animated builds, advanced slide transitions and better support for drawings, tables and themes. Plus, we made it easier to create presentations with others, without the hassles of attachments. Your whole team can work together in the same version of a presentation at the same time, and you can see who’s doing what, chat with others, and see a full revision history at any moment in time.


Google Docs on Android tablets
We’ve made it faster and easier to work with Google Docs on Android tablets with a new version of the Android application that takes full advantage of larger screen real estate. The three-panel view lets you browse filters and collections, see your document list and view file thumbnails and details simultaneously. You can get the Google Docs Android app for free from the Android Market.


Charts in Google Sites
Charts are often created in spreadsheets, but sometimes you want charts to appear in other places, like your team or project sites. In Google Sites, now you can select “Chart” from the “Insert” menu, and navigate to the Google Spreadsheet where your chart or data is located. You can also choose to have your site’s chart update in real-time when someone updates the underlying spreadsheet.



New look for Google Docs and Sites
We started rolling out a new look in Google Docs a couple months ago, and now this new design is available throughout all our collaboration tools. In addition to a cleaner, simpler design, we’ve made it more clear when your files are being auto-saved and added new icons to help you see at-a-glance who your docs are shared with. You can also customize the overall “density” of screen information, a great feature if you want to fit more onto a smaller display.



Who’s gone Google?
Successful small businesses tend to stay laser-focused on improving their core businesses, without getting distracted by peripheral activities that don’t make them more competitive. For example, most small businesses don’t want to spend time or money developing in-house expertise to run email and other IT systems. Case in point: 97 percent of Business Insider’s “Silicon Valley Startups to Watch” use Google Apps.

More than 5,000 businesses and thousands of other organizations start using Google Apps every single day, and more of our customers have shared their stories recently so you can hear why. A warm welcome goes out to Philz Coffee, Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Bradford & Barthel, LLP and the City of Mesquite, Nevada.

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-apps-highlights-10222011.html

[G] Keep me posted about new books with Google Alerts

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Inside Google Books: Keep me posted about new books with Google Alerts

Posted by Xinxing Gu, Google Books Associate Product Manager

If you're an avid reader like me, you probably are always eagerly awaiting the next book by your favorite author, or new books on the topic you’re interested in. However, you might not always find out about those new books when they come out. Starting this week, you can set up a Google Alert for books and receive email notices when new books that match your interests become available.

To create an alert for books, go to Google Alerts, type in the keywords you are interested in about a book, (whether it’s title, author name, or topic) and choose “Books” from the Type drop-down button, and create. You can also preview the email you'll be sent on the right side panel. Once you create the alert, you will automatically begin receiving notification emails about new, recently published books in Google Books.

Some of my personal favorite alerts for books are:
Try setting up alerts for your own favorite books now!
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2011/10/keep-me-posted-about-new-books-with.html

[G] YouTube Creator Playbook: Build a consistent audience with frequent new videos

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Creator Playbook: Build a consistent audience with frequent new videos

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away.



There is no substitute for great content, and when you make great videos, your audience will want more. This post will teach you about frequency of new content on your channel and how you communicate when it will be coming out, to help build a loyal and consistent audience on YouTube.



Upload Frequency

Uploading frequently will help YouTube surface your videos to more potential viewers, and hopefully lead to more viewership. For subscribers, having something new for them every week will get them coming back to your channel more and more, and new viewers are more likely to become part of your recurring audience if they see that your channel is actively creating great videos.



A typical frequency we’ve seen among successful YouTubers is a video a week. But making a great video takes time, so it’s important to find ways to get more videos from the same amount of production efforts. For example, many successful YouTube channels create behind-the-scenes videos, comment response videos interact with fans, or other formats like these.







Schedule

Releasing videos on a recurring schedule helps build a structure to your show that an audience can rely on. Based on your audience and your content, decide what the right release schedule is for your channel: What’s your ‘prime-time’ of the week?



Then, make it clear to the audience when and how often episodes are released. This way your fans will know when to expect your content, and can look forward to your next piece of creative genius. Ways you can do this include saying your programming schedule in your videos, in the episode description in text and branding on your channel. Here’s a video example, and check out this banner screenshot of HISHEdotcom’s channel.







FreddieW put it best when he wrote that “A consistent audience requires consistent content.” If you want your audience to come back week after week, you’ll need to do your part and make sure they have new great videos to watch when they do.



Try out the suggestions above and maximize the potential of your content with the right upload and release schedule strategy! To learn more on this and many other tips, check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.



Bengu Atamer, Audience Development Manager, recently watched “Physics Nobel Prize 2011 - Sixty Symbols.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/KFaMMna_5nA/youtube-creator-playbook-build.html

[G] New 45° imagery available for 16 cities

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Google LatLong: New 45° imagery available for 16 cities

This month’s update to 45° imagery in Google Maps includes U.S. and international imagery.

Let’s just begin with Graz. It’s the second largest city of Austria (behind Vienna), located in Steiermark. It is a typical Austrian town with a vivid university life, a charming historic center mostly of the Gothic period and is significantly influenced by mediterranean climate which manifests being among the sunniest places in Austria due to its location at the southeastern rim of the Alps. Arnold Schwarzenegger - bodybuilding world champion, movie star and former governor of California - was born and raised nearby.


View Larger Map
During September we have launched imagery for some of the major towns in the Midwest of the U.S. like Canton OH, Grand Rapids MI, Kansas City KS/MO, Springfield MO.

Kansas City was founded in 1830 and named after the Native American tribe of the “Kansa” and since then evolved to the largest city in Missouri and the third largest city in Kansas. During the Civil War the city experienced several violent events. In the 1930s, Kansas City was the center of a creative jazz scene and today the American Jazz Museum can be found there. The Irish-American community that numbers around 250,000 includes a large number of bands.


Canton OH is home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame which opened in 1963 and where the busts of America’s greatest professional football players are enshrined.


Here is a list of updated cities:

Europe:
Caceres, Spain; Graz, Austria; Montreux, Switzerland; Zurich, Switzerland;

US:
Bakersfield, CA; Boise, ID; Canton, OH; Centennial, CO; Columbia, SC; Davenport, IA; Des Moines, IA; Enumclaw, WA; Grand Rapids, MI; Kansas City, KS/MO; Lawrence, KS; Los Angeles, CA; Merced, CA; New Orleans, LA; Omaha, NE; Payson, UT; Portland, OR; Springfield, MO; St. Louis, MO; The Woodlands, TX;

Posted by Bernd Steinert, Geo Data Specialist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-45-imagery-available-for-16-cities.html

[G] Explore the history of Mexico with Google Earth

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Google LatLong: Explore the history of Mexico with Google Earth

Nothing compares to the sensation of visiting a place where history was made. Exploring castles, pyramids and other historical landmarks in a country provokes a deeper understanding and respect for unique cultures and creates a sense of belonging. Today, technology enables us to expand our horizons in a matter of clicks, bringing foreign cultures and history to us from around the world.

Mexico is a country full of natural beauty and cultural heritage. It’s archaeological sites attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Today, we are making these historical landmarks more accessible than ever by bringing an interactive atlas from the National Institute of Anthropology to Google Earth.

Download the new KML file of this historical archive to view geo-referenced scale models (many in 3D) of monuments, archaeological sites, museums and other buildings that make up the cultural heritage of Mexico.

View the historic and cultural sites that make up Mexico’s history from anywhere in the world.

Through Google Earth, you can virtually visit 416 locations across Mexico, including 182 archaeological sites, 116 museums, 31 world heritage sites, 83 3D models and 4 schools. Many of the models presented in this interactive guide were created through the ‘Put Mexico on the map’ competition recently hosted by Google and the National Institute of Anthropology.

Learn more about this effort that helps bring Mexico’s history to life by visiting www.OneWorldManyStories.com. We hope this new resource makes it fun to both learn about Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and plan your next Mexican vacation.

Posted by Miguel Angel Alva, Marketing Director of Google Mexico
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/explore-history-of-mexico-with-google.html

[G] Street View hits the stunning Swiss Alps railways

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Google LatLong: Street View hits the stunning Swiss Alps railways

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

From the Amazon to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, Street View technology has put imagery of some of the world’s most interesting and significant sites online for everyone to enjoy. Now, for the first time in Google Maps, we’re hitting the train tracks to capture the majesty of the famous railway lines of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding scenery.


In cooperation with Rhaetian Railway, our Street View team has collected images from one of the world’s most scenic railway routes—the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland—that will soon be live on Google Maps. The picturesque route through the Swiss Alps is one of most famous in the world, winding its way through wild mountain scenery from Thusis, Switzerland; past the resort town of St. Moritz; to its final stop just over the border in Tirano, Italy.

View Albula-Bernina Line in a larger map

A complex system of tunnels, viaducts and galleries allow the railway line to pass through the narrow valleys and climb almost 2,000 meters in altitude. It’s unique to see technology and architecture like this in a natural landscape, and the route is a popular tourist destination offering amazing photography opportunities.

To capture the stunning scenery for Street View, we mounted our trike—a three-wheel pedicab with a camera system on top—to a flatbed at the front of a train. As the train travelled along the line, cameras facing nine different directions captured still photos of the surrounding areas that we’re now stitching together into 360-degree panoramic views. Soon, we’ll publish the imagery on Google Maps for people around the globe to enjoy and experience themselves. The imagery will provide admirers of this route with completely new perspectives, and also help document and preserve this UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos from imagery collection day:


To get the latest on Street View go to maps.google.com/streetview.

Posted by Ulf Spitzer, Street View Program Manager, Europe
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/street-view-hits-stunning-swiss-alps.html

[G] Follow Your World, now in 43 more languages

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Google LatLong: Follow Your World, now in 43 more languages

Ever since we launched the English version of Follow Your World earlier this year, users around the globe have been able to receive email notifications whenever imagery of locations they care about are updated in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Today we’re happy to announce the expansion of this tool. We’ve localized the software into 43 additional languages so that the application can easily be accessed by millions more people around the world.

Simply use the app to indicate areas around the world that interest you - be they your current neighborhood, college town, or dream vacation spot - and receive an email update whenever new satellite or aerial imagery for those places are added to Maps and Earth.

Follow Your World: now in Chinese and 43 other languages

Follow Your World is now available for users of the following languages:

Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (UK), Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese

We hope this handy feature helps you stay connected with your favorite locations around the world!

Posted by Jeral Poskey, Google Earth Consumer Operations
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/follow-your-world-now-in-43-more.html

[G] Google Geo Teachers Institutes bring innovative educators together

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Google LatLong: Google Geo Teachers Institutes bring innovative educators together

Educators have created many exciting lessons with Google’s tools. These tools help students learn about the world in fun ways. Recently they had the opportunity to share this work with peers from all over the US at two Google Geo Teachers Institute events, first in Washington DC at National Geographic Headquarters and then at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston, Maine.

The Institute was an intensive, two-day event where participants got hands-on experience using Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google SketchUp. Participants also learned about Google Fusion Tables and Chromebooks, and heard from a variety of guest educators. Juan Jose Valdez, head geographer at National Geographic Society, and Angus King, former governor of Maine, gave keynote addresses on the importance of geographic literacy and the state of technology in education today.

Educators had the opportunity to see and hear how Google’s tools can be integrated easily into all subjects to create a more meaningful learning experience for their students. For example, Jerome Burg of Google Lit Trips demonstrated how Google Earth can be used to teach all levels of literature. Mike Hathorn of Hartford High School and Beryl Reid of Billerica School District discussed how students are using SketchUp for historical architecture projects. Margaret Chernosky of Bangor High School showed attendees how she helps students visualize geographic data into Google Earth. Jim Sill of El Diamante High School shared his Google Maps educational tips and tricks as well.

Google Earth and SketchUp bring the world's geographic information to teachers and students in a new and unique way. Google Earth's satellite imagery and Google SketchUp models create a 3D experience of the entire planet, giving students an opportunity to explore in ways never before possible. The many layers provided in Google Earth include a plethora of information and resources for both teachers and students. From literature to science and from math to history, Google Earth, Maps, and SketchUp provide a compelling and fresh way to teach, learn, and explore.

Visit the Google for Educators website for more ideas on how to bring geographic technology into the classroom.

Posted by Allyson McDuffie, Geo Education Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-geo-teachers-institutes-bring.html

[G] More choices for purchasing Chromebooks

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: More choices for purchasing Chromebooks

Posted by Glenn Wilson, product manager, Chrome for Business & Education

Four months ago we launched Chromebooks for businesses and schools, and we’ve been inspired by our customers embracing this new way of computing. Over that time we’ve learned a lot about what they need to make this device a great fit in their organizations. One piece of feedback we’ve heard from some customers is that they work with yearly budget cycles. To meet these customers’ needs, in addition to our 3-year subscription model, today we are introducing an alternative payment option. This new option gives schools and businesses a choice to pay upfront for Chromebooks with one year of access to the web-based admin management console, phone support, and hardware warranty coverage. After the first year, customers can choose to pay a monthly fee for years two and three for management console access and support.

Education: 
  • 1-Year Upfront: $449 (Wi-Fi), $519 (3G)
  • Years 2-3: $5/month per Chromebook for management & support

  • Business:
  • 1-Year Upfront: $559 (Wi-Fi), $639 (3G)
  • Years 2-3: $13/month per Chromebook for management & support

  • We have also added a few new features to the web-based management panel to help customers better deploy, monitor and customize their Chromebooks, including group policy management, shipment tracking and asset management.

    We’d like to thank all of our early customers for their enthusiasm and for helping us make Chromebooks great for businesses and schools. If you have any questions, feedback, or are interested in purchasing Chromebooks, please contact us.
    URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/10/more-choices-for-purchasing-chromebooks.html

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    [G] This week's Trends: breaking news, music videos, and corn

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    YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: breaking news, music videos, and corn

    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:

    • We discovered a viral video trending amongst the 55+ crowd.



    • We saw a stadium stunt that spread from Iowa in popularity.



    • We looked at some of the trends around the big Col. Gadhafi news out of Libya.



    • We studied how two major music videos were gaining popularity around the planet.



    • We checked out a viral political spot from North Africa.



    • We tracked last weekend's "Occupy" protest footage from different parts of the U.S. and the world.



    • And we experienced what it would be like to kayak with blue whales:







    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 "Bobby Brown - Every Little Step."


    URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/Da-7sY6QA1g/this-weeks-trends-breaking-news-music.html

    [G] Celebrating VisiCalc's 32nd birthday with the inventors of the spreadsheet

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    Docs Blog: Celebrating VisiCalc's 32nd birthday with the inventors of the spreadsheet

    On Wednesday, VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet available for personal computers, turned 32. We invited its inventors, Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, to Hangout On Air with us to celebrate a product that’s paved the way for much of what the Google Docs team has been able to do today.

    Users around the world tuned in to our live public stream as Dan and Bob shared the history of VisiCalc, their thoughts the spreadsheets of today, and their visions for the future. Watch the full video below.



    And for you spreadsheets fanatics out there -- you can download and run a working copy of the original IBM PC VisiCalc spreadsheet program from 1981 at Dan Bricklin’s site.

    Posted by: Teresa Wu, Community Manager
    URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/10/celebrating-visicalcs-32nd-birthday.html

    [G] Tunisia Talks on YouTube

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    Official Google Blog: Tunisia Talks on YouTube

    The Arab Spring started in Tunisia, and it’s appropriate that Tunisia is now leading the way to a full democracy with their landmark free elections scheduled to take place on October 23. To help in this process, we recently partnered with startup news portal Tunisia Live to offer a training workshop in Tunis on Google tools and social media for politicians.

    The turnout was fantastic; members from more than 40 parties and independent coalitions attended. The same day, Tunisia Live launched the Tunisia Talks channel on YouTube, channeling the enthusiasm of politicians to leverage social media and engage with voters. In this project, Tunisians are encouraged to submit and vote for top questions to the candidates, and many did so—for a flavor, see this example or this one. So far, more than 400 questions have been submitted.



    This outreach is all the more exciting because YouTube was blocked for so many years in Tunisia. But when the regime collapsed last January, the site was unbanned and quickly became popular. Many Tunisian media outlets have set up channels to organize their video libraries on YouTube.

    In this weekend’s elections, Tunisians will choose a constitutional council to write a new constitution for the country. Voters will select from lists of party members and independents. The Tunisian electoral committee has set up an official site www.isie.tn and is actively using social media to encourage voter registration—check their channel YouTube.com/isietn.

    This is an exciting time in Tunisia. The media landscape—once limited and government-controlled—is now opening up to online platforms. Tunisians finally have access to a free Internet—and it’s playing a key role in building an encompassing political environment.

    Posted by Samir ElBahaie, Regional Policy and Government Affairs Manager, Middle East and Northern Africa
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/tunisia-talks-on-youtube.html

    [G] Making local online advertising easy with Google AdWords Express

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    Inside AdWords: Making local online advertising easy with Google AdWords Express

    Today, we're officially introducing AdWords Express in the UK and Germany. AdWords Express is a faster and simpler way to start advertising online in under five minutes and is designed to help local businesses that aren't already AdWords advertisers create effective campaigns. Watch the video below to see how you can create and run an online campaign from start to finish in just a few clicks:


    AdWords Express helps potential customers find your website or Place page and gives you a quick and straightforward way to connect with them and grow your business. You simply provide some basic business information, choose some wording for your text ad, select a monthly budget and your campaign is ready to go.


    After you sign up, the campaign will be automatically managed for you. AdWords Express will figure out which searches should trigger your ad to appear and displays it when these searches happen. Your ad will be shown in the Ads section of search results pages—on the top or right hand side—and in Google Maps with a distinctive blue pin. Customers can see your ad whether they’re searching on laptops or mobile phones.


    As with all our ad products, you pay only when a customer clicks on your ad. To make things even easier, AdWords Express optimizes your ads to get the most out of your advertising campaign and budget.

    Many bus
    inesses are already finding success through AdWords, but we know many of you are looking for an easier way to begin advertising online. Visit www.google.co.uk/adwords/express to sign up or learn more about how it works.

    Posted by Kiley McEvoy, Product Manager, AdWords Express
    URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-local-online-advertising-easy.html

    [G] Introducing Dynamic Search Ads (beta)

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    Inside AdWords: Introducing Dynamic Search Ads (beta)

    For many online businesses, each day you might have hundreds of new listings, items that temporarily change availability, or items that are permanently removed from stock. And at the same time, user search behavior can be a moving target -- each day, 16% of searches that occur, Google has never seen before. So even well-managed AdWords campaigns containing thousands of keywords can miss relevant searches, experience delays getting ads written for new products, or get out of sync with what's actually available on your web site. That's not great for advertisers. It's also not great for end users, who appreciate relevant ads linked to landing pages with in-stock items that perfectly match what they're searching for.

    To help with these challenges, we're launching Dynamic Search Ads, a new way to target relevant searches with dynamic ads generated right from your website. Dynamic Search Ads complement your existing keyword-targeted ads to help you sell more with less effort.

    Dynamic Targeting, Ads and Landing Pages

    With Dynamic Search Ads, we maintain a fresh index of your inventory using Google's organic web crawling technology.



    When a relevant search occurs, we dynamically generate an ad with a headline based on the query, and the text based on your most relevant landing page.




    The ad enters the auction and competes normally -- but we'll hold it back for any search where you also have an eligible keyword-targeted ad. So you get additive results from broader exposure for more of your in-stock inventory, without disrupting your existing keyword campaigns.

    User Experience & Performance

    Ads are answers. And when users see ads and landing pages that deliver exactly what they're searching for, they're more likely to click and convert. So it's not surprising that we've seen solid performance in limited testing so far. While results vary, the majority of advertisers in our pilot have seen 5-10% increase in clicks and conversions with satisfactory ROI.

    Some advertisers have the potential for better results. ApartmentHomeLiving.com, a leading U.S. apartment shopping website, is one example. Lawrence Cotter, General Manager, manages their huge online inventory of apartment listings that's constantly changing and growing. Over the past 5 years, his AdWords campaigns have topped 15 million keywords. Several weeks after implementing Dynamic Search Ads, he reported:
    "Using Dynamic Search Ads increased conversions by almost 50% with an average cost-per-conversion that's 73% less than our traditional search ads. Dynamic Search Ads are doing a really good job finding the right searches to tap into, creating good ads, and getting visitors to the most relevant page on our site."  
    You're In Control

    You can choose to target your whole site, specific categories of products on your site, pages containing certain words, or pages containing certain strings in your URL. And all controls can be used as negatives, along with traditional keyword negatives, to refine your targeting and prevent the promotion of out-of-stock items.

    Reporting and optimization work in familiar fashion. You get full reporting on searches that generated clicks, destination pages that matched ads, ad headlines that were generated, as well as average CPC, clicks, and conversions. Many popular third party tracking systems are also supported. To optimize, use familiar techniques like adjusting your max CPC bid and negatives.

    Availability & More Details

    At this time, Dynamic Search Ads are available in all countries and languages as a limited beta. You can join the interest list by contacting your Google account representative or signing up here. To learn more, please visit our Help Center FAQs.

    Posted by Baris Gultekin, Director, AdWords Product Management
    URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/introducing-dynamic-search-ads-beta.html

    [G] Think Mobile Webinar - November 2nd

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    Inside AdWords: Think Mobile Webinar - November 2nd


    Not sure how to most effectively leverage and measure your mobile marketing campaigns? Well, you’re not alone. While mobile is an incredible new way to distribute content and reach customers on the go, it also presents a unique challenge when it comes to measuring the impact of our mobile efforts (which may include applications, advertisements and/or mobile-optimized websites).

    Tune in on November 2nd for Google’s Think Mobile webinar, Mobile Advertising: Right Person, Right Time, Right Message - Finally!, led by Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist. Avinash will share tips and best practices for mobile marketing campaigns, new metrics unique to mobile, and how best to measure mobile ads and websites.

    • When: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 9-10:30am PST/ 12-1:30pm EST
    • How: Register here

    Posted by Andrew Truong, Inside AdWords crew
    URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/think-mobile-webinar-november-2nd.html

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    [G] Upcoming changes to Reader: a new look, new Google+ features, and some clean-up

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    Official Google Reader Blog: Upcoming changes to Reader: a new look, new Google+ features, and some clean-up

    Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer



    In the next week, we’ll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. First, we’re going to introduce a brand new design (like many of Google’s other products) that we hope you love. Second, we’re going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles.



    As a result of these changes, we also think it's important to clean things up a bit. Many of Reader's social features will soon be available via Google+, so in a week's time we'll be retiring things like friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Reader.



    We think the end result is better than what's available today, and you can sign up for Google+ right now to start prepping Reader-specific circles. We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That's why we will also be extending Reader's subscription export feature to include the following items. Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.


    • Your subscriptions

    • Your shared items

    • Your friends

    • Your likes

    • Your starred items


    Like always, the new Google Reader will be a great place to read and share your feeds. And in addition to Google+, you'll still be able to share to almost any service using Send To. We're looking forward to launching the new features very soon.
    URL: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2011/10/upcoming-changes-to-reader-new-look-new.html

    [G] Google Catalogs presents the coveted Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and debuts the Fantasy Gifts Retrospective--for free on your tablet

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    Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Catalogs presents the coveted Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and debuts the Fantasy Gifts Retrospective--for free on your tablet

    (Cross-posted from the Google Commerce blog)

    Neiman Marcus is known for the outrageously beautiful and unique merchandise showcased in their annual Christmas Book. Think of the most amazing gifts you can imagine -- a beautiful Chanel handbag, a Orefici watch, or perhaps your very own tailored mermaid suit or customizable cupcake car.

    For this holiday season, Google Catalogs has collaborated with Neiman Marcus to offer you a free, browsable copy of this year’s Christmas Book. We’ve also created the very first historic compilation of Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts from the past ten years. It’s called the Fantasy Gifts Retrospective and you’ll only find it on the Google Catalogs app for iPad, available for free in the App Store.

    To celebrate the Fantasy Gifts Retrospective, we’ve picked out our favorite gifts from the past 10 years! Sadly, gifts from prior years are no longer for sale, but we trust you'll enjoy the 2011 gifts and the walk down memory lane.





    Posted by Madhu Punjabi, Strategic Partner Manager Associate, Google Catalogs Team
    URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-catalogs-presents-coveted-neiman.html

    [G] YouTube Release Notes: Updated Video End-Screen, WeVideo added to YouTube.com/Create and More...

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    YouTube Blog: YouTube Release Notes: Updated Video End-Screen, WeVideo added to YouTube.com/Create and More...

    It’s been a while since we published our last Release Notes post, sharing the latest changes to YouTube however big or small. Our scrappy engineers have still been hard at work to make your experience on YouTube even better, so we decided to resurrect this series and share a bunch of our recent changes.

    Updated Video End-Screen: We’ve redesigned the end-screen that appears directly after a video finishes playing to make it even easier for you to find the next great video to watch.



    Enhanced Playlist Bar: To make the experience of watching videos in a playlist better, we’ve updated the interface for video playlists, making the individual video details more visible from within the playlist and making the next, previous, auto-play and shuffle buttons more distinct.



    Updated YouTube.com/Charts page: If you want to keep track of the latest and greatest videos on YouTube or know which videos have had true staying power, check out our updated YouTube Charts page. You can browse through the most viewed (standard and HD), most liked, and top favorited videos of today, this week, this month and of all time. Pulling from our ‘As Seen On’ feature, you’ll also be able to see what videos are being shared and discussed across the web. For those of you with truly niche interests, you can view charts by categories like “How to & Style” and “Pets & Animals,” and also see the most subscribed channels.



    WeVideo Now on YouTube: To give you even more options to edit and touch up your videos, we’ve added the cloud-based video editing platform WeVideo as a partner to YouTube.com/Create.

    YouTube Localized in More Countries and Languages: We recently added Kenya, the Philippines and Singapore to the list of countries where YouTube is localized, bringing this total number to 35. You can check out what’s popular in these countries by changing your location setting, which you can find by scrolling to the bottom of YouTube.com and clicking on Location. To further support content creators in these countries, we also launched the YouTube Partner Program here as well. Want to practice your Estonian, Icelandic, Basque, Galician, or Udu? We’ve added these new languages, making the YouTube interface available in the vernacular in 51 languages.



    Smart Subscribe button: We’ve added a "smart" subscribe button on the video watch page, that will let you know if you’re already subscribed to the channel of the video you’re watching. If you so, it’ll say "Subscribed!". If not, you’ll see the standard “Subscribe” button allowing you to do so.

    Nathalie Arbel, Product Marketing Manager, recently watched “K’Naan NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.”


    URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/6VXJF2tbn5Y/youtube-release-notes-updated-video-end.html

    [G] To pitch a perfect game, teach yourself online

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    Official Google Blog: To pitch a perfect game, teach yourself online

    (Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

    Searches can become stories. Some are inspiring, some change the way we see the world and some just put a smile on our face. This is a story of how people can use Google to do something extraordinary. If you have a story, share it. - Ed.

    My major league pitching career was anything but perfect. The closest I ever came was a seven-inning outing against Milwaukee while playing for the Cincinnati Reds, in which I gave up only four runs and earned the victory. In baseball, you can be successful without coming close to perfect. Just think about batting average: a .400 average is insanely good, but that means you strike out or get out in some other way more than half the time you're at bat. Hall of Fame pitchers give up an average of more than two runs per game. Seldom does a pitcher throw a shutout. A perfect game—in which a pitcher does not allow a single player on base—is incredibly rare.

    In the majors, setting your team up to win involves daily physical workouts, hours of practice and in-depth analysis of the opposing teams’ traits and tendencies. The idea that someone without this training and background could instead go online, gather and process the necessary information and use it to throw a perfect game is unfathomable. Yet that’s exactly what happened to Brian Kingrey.

    Brian is a high school music teacher from Hammond, La. and not much of a sports fan. As one of his students put it, “I’ve never heard him say the word baseball.” But Brian is a gamer—so naturally, he was intrigued by the $1 million prize he saw in a TV commercial for a new baseball video game called MLB 2K11. He knew nothing about baseball, had never even played the real game in his life, but encouraged by his wife, he went out, bought the game and started playing. A few weeks later, Brian won the $1 million prize for pitching the first perfect game in MLB 2K11. And he learned how to do it entirely online.



    “I had to figure out what baseball was, not just what a perfect game was,” Brian said. He found that everything he needed to know was online: he was able to search about batters, batting averages, the different kinds of pitches. He combined the information to figure out that he had the best odds in a match-up between the Phillies -- with star pitcher Roy Halladay on the mound -- and the Houston Astros. He also researched the weak spots of each player—for instance, the toughest batter Halladay would face was going to be Astro’s infielder Bill Hall. After that, Brian was ready to play.

    And play he did. On his third try, Brian pitched the perfect game and became a millionaire. “Once I got past Bill Hall, I knew I had it,” he said. “Without online search, I would’ve been in deep trouble. If I had played like it was in my head, I would’ve done it all wrong.” Perhaps if I’d known that search was the answer when I was playing in the major leagues, I might have come a little closer to perfection more often.

    Posted by Jeff Austin, Google Apps channel manager and former Major League Pitcher
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/to-pitch-perfect-game-teach-yourself.html

    [G] Street View hits the stunning Swiss Alps railways

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    Official Google Blog: Street View hits the stunning Swiss Alps railways

    (Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog)

    From the Amazon to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, Street View technology has put imagery of some of the world’s most interesting and significant sites online for everyone to enjoy. Now, for the first time in Google Maps, we’re hitting the train tracks to capture the majesty of the famous railway lines of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding scenery.



    In cooperation with Rhaetian Railway, our Street View team has collected images from one of the world’s most scenic railway routes—the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland—that will soon be live on Google Maps. The picturesque route through the Swiss Alps is one of most famous in the world, winding its way through wild mountain scenery from Thusis, Switzerland; past the resort town of St. Moritz; to its final stop just over the border in Tirano, Italy.


    View Albula-Bernina Line in a larger map

    A complex system of tunnels, viaducts and galleries allow the railway line to pass through the narrow valleys and climb almost 2,000 meters in altitude. It’s unique to see technology and architecture like this in a natural landscape, and the route is a popular tourist destination offering amazing photography opportunities.

    To capture the stunning scenery for Street View, we mounted our trike—a three-wheel pedicab with a camera system on top—to a flatbed at the front of a train. As the train travelled along the line, cameras facing nine different directions captured still photos of the surrounding areas that we’re now stitching together into 360-degree panoramic views. Soon, we’ll publish the imagery on Google Maps for people around the globe to enjoy and experience themselves. The imagery will provide admirers of this route with completely new perspectives, and also help document and preserve this UNESCO World Heritage site.

    In the meantime, enjoy these photos from imagery collection day:



    To get the latest on Street View go to maps.google.com/streetview.

    Posted by Ulf Spitzer, Street View Program Manager, Europe
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/street-view-hits-stunning-swiss-alps.html

    [G] Google Analytics User Conference in Spain - October 27

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    Google Analytics Blog: Google Analytics User Conference in Spain - October 27

    We are excited to announce our first Google Analytics User Conference in Spain, which will be held on October 27 in Madrid.



    At the conference, you’ll learn from national and international Google Analytics specialists, who will discuss their vision for maximizing Google Analytics performance for different online business areas. You’ll also have the chance to meet some of the most influential Google Analytics professionals in Spain, including Enric Quintero from Metriplica, Pere Rovira from Web Analytics, and Jaum Clotet & Andrés Flores from Watt. They are all Google Analytics Partners, and they’ve worked together closely to develop this exciting event.



    This event will be an ideal opportunity to share your own analytics knowledge and talk with other Google Analytics users, experts, and members of the Google Analytics team.



    Key benefits of attending the Google Analytics User Conference:

    • Meet members of the Google Analytics team, experts, and other users like you

    • Improve your skills with Google Analytics through hands-on workshops

    • Ask your business questions at the Google Analytics Help Desk

    • Discover new features in Google Analytics

    You can find further information, such as the agenda and speakers, on the Google Analytics User Conference Website. Please visit the site today and and buy your tickets to attend.



    We look forward to seeing you there!



    Posted by Timo Josten, Google Analytics team


    URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/itKR8C4EH74/google-analytics-user-conference-in.html

    [G] A New Approach To Video Advertising For Publishers Of All Sizes

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    DoubleClick Publisher Blog: A New Approach To Video Advertising For Publishers Of All Sizes

    Watching a funny video ad is one of the special pleasures of life. Trafficking that same video ad is considerably less amusing. In fact, it can take publishers longer to traffic a video ad than it takes to get a root canal. And that’s often the least painful part of growing a video advertising business. We decided to embark on an ambitious project: to build an entirely new video ad server that is both powerful and simple to use. We listened carefully to feedback from over a hundred video publishers and designed our solution around the complex needs of broadcasters, video portals and the world’s largest sports, entertainment and news sites. They told us about the need to traffic a variety of video ad formats, across all devices, governed by complicated syndication agreements and changing business rules.




    From the start, we focused on clean design, efficient workflow and scalability to meet the needs of large video publishers, such as YouTube. We then spent hundreds of hours carrying out usability studies with publishers as we refined the user experience, meticulously reducing clicks, eye movement and manual inputs. We also took advantage of Google’s infrastructure to offer the scalability and reliability that publishers expect. Finally, we made sure that every feature has a direct impact on revenue or cost savings, so that publishers would immediately see the impact on profitability.




    DFP Video



    Today, we’re happy to announce that DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) Video is available to publishers globally. By offering a truly video-centric approach to ad serving in DFP, publishers can now manage their entire display advertising business with video at its core through one platform. No longer do publishers need to deal with the operational complexity of splitting off their video inventory into a separate ad server. We’ve signed up dozens of beta publishers for DFP Video and our impression volume has grown 55% month-over-month for most of this year. The feedback we’ve received has been encouraging: the simplicity and power of DFP Video has reduced costs and increased revenue. For Alex Boyce, GM of The Hollywood Reporter, DFP Video has improved the efficiency of his ad operations team by 25%. Peter Slaughter, Director Advertisement Operations of the Financial Times has told us, “We expect the new system to drive significant improvements to our ad operations workflow, and believe that this may prove to be an effective tool with which to deliver incremental revenue benefit from our video offering."




    Here are some more reasons why publishers have made DFP Video the cornerstone of their video advertising business:




    Video Content at the Center


    By synching to video Content Management Systems (CMS), fresh content automatically appears in DFP for targeting, providing real-time insight into video inventory. We’ve made the process of connecting to a CMS so turn-key, that The Hollywood Reporter was able to ingest their extensive library in a matter of minutes, without any custom set-up or coding.












    Trafficking in Minutes


    We’ve made trafficking as simple as sending an email attachment: Set the targeting, drag and drop the video ad creative into the browser, and watch it get transcoded in real-time into outputs that work on iOS, Android and other platforms. All in just a few minutes. We’re also getting a hand from YouTube’s massive infrastructure for hosting and transcoding the creatives, which means that ads are delivered as fast and reliably as the billions of daily YouTube video views.



    Syndication Simplified

    The majority of videos are consumed on distribution sites, and DFP offers a comprehensive partner and financial terms module to manage syndication relationships. Whether publishers are syndicating their content to distribution sites such as YouTube or monetizing videos that belong to different content owner, DFP allows them to set revenue shares and takes care of all the accounting.



    Business Rule Flexibility

    DFP Video allows publishers to define the ad experience for any section of their inventory. For example, ad rules can set pre-rolls for clips, define pods and bumpers for long-form content, and turn off monetization entirely for subscribers - without making a single player change.



    To learn more about DFP Video, contact your account manager or drop us a note.




    DFP Small Business Video (Beta)



    We also learned a lot from publishers that are just starting off with video, and we’re thrilled to announce a set of beta video features in DFP Small Business that make it easy to get started with video ads.




    Turn-key and Free

    First, we’ve lowered the barrier to entry by partnering with the folks at Brightcove and LongTail to provide a turn-key video player and CMS integration with DFP Small Business. Publishers can get up and running with a video player, a CMS, hosting and ad serving in about 20 minutes. No SDK integration, no custom coding, no extensive testing. Best of all, ad serving is free (including hosting!) up to a certain volume of impressions, and we’ve negotiated great deals for video player and hosting packages with our partners that range from free to a low monthly fee.



    Designed Around the Essentials

    Next, DFP SB publishers get all of the reliability and scalability of DFP through an interface that exposes only the video features they need. Whether it’s booking a campaign or using AdSense to fill unsold inventory, publishers can set up line items in a matter of minutes. The path to the full-featured version of DFP Video is seamless and publishers can continue to manage their entire display advertising business in one platform.



    We think video ad serving has never been this easy. As we open up this feature to more publishers, we’ll be reaching out to those who have filled out their details here.




    Our commitment to learn from every publisher, every conversation and every use-case will continue as we develop DFP Video and add video functionality to DFP Small Business. In just a few years, video advertising spend is expected to reach $10B globally and we’re excited to partner with publishers as they make this happen. Here’s to more enjoyable video ads.



    Posted by Payam Shodjai, Lead Product Manager, Video Monetization
    URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DoubleclickPublisherBlog/~3/jmAgXIetohc/new-approach-to-video-advertising-for.html