Saturday, March 17, 2012

[G] Pwnium: great exploits, fast patches

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Google Chrome Blog: Pwnium: great exploits, fast patches

Last week we debuted Pwnium, a contest based on our Chromium Security Rewards program. Both of these initiatives reward well intentioned researchers who help make the web a safer place by reporting security vulnerabilities. Our total payout to researchers for these programs is now well over half a million dollars.

We weren’t sure what kinds of reports we would get from Pwnium, but by the end of the week we were thrilled to have awarded $120,000 for two excellent submissions. Thanks to Chrome’s rapid auto-update functionality, we were able to update Chrome twice, in both cases protecting users less than 24 hours after the respective bugs were reported. While these vulnerabilities were reported directly and privately to us, this kind of speed is especially important if bugs were ever being actively abused to harm users.

Since the full exploits were disclosed, we were able to study them and add a range of additional defensive measures based on what we saw. These measures will make Chrome more secure from any similar hacks in the future. We’ll publish write-ups to honor these two highly creative works in the coming weeks.

Also last week, a separate exploit for Chrome was demonstrated at the Pwn2Own competition. We’ve since learned that the bug exploited a vulnerability in the Flash Player plug-in -- affecting all browsers. The contest organizers have reported the vulnerability details directly and privately to Adobe, and Adobe will be providing a fix as part of its forthcoming Flash Player update. When that happens, Chrome users will enjoy the advantage of an auto-update and quick protection. Looking forward, Adobe and Google are collaborating on a version of Flash Player which will run inside the primary Chrome sandbox. Chrome OS devices already ship with this next-generation sandbox for Flash Player.

Engaging the wider security community is one of our core security principles, and Pwnium is a great example of the benefits of this type of collaboration. Our special thanks to the contestants for their exceptional contributions to security on the web.

Posted by Chris Evans and Travis McCoy, Chrome Security Team

Friday, March 16, 2012

[G] Mentoring Organizations for Google Summer of Code 2012 Announced

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Google Open Source Blog: Mentoring Organizations for Google Summer of Code 2012 Announced

We are pleased to announce the mentoring organizations that have been accepted for this year’s Google Summer of Code program. After reviewing 406 applications, we have chosen 180 open source projects, of which 41 are new to Google Summer of Code. You can visit our Google Summer of Code 2012 program website for a complete list of the accepted projects.

Students wishing to apply for Google Summer of Code will have the next 10 days to learn more about the accepted projects before student applications open on Monday, March 26, 2012 at 19:00 UTC.

Students will want to pay close attention to the Ideas Pages for the organizations they wish to work with over the summer and consider how they would like to contribute to the project. Some of the most successful proposals have been completely new ideas submitted by students, so if you don’t see a project that appeals to you, don’t be afraid to suggest something. Organizations have listed points of contact on their Ideas Page so that students can contact the organization directly to submit a new proposal. All organizations list their preferred method of communication on the organization homepage, available on the Google Summer of Code program website. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Congratulations to all of our future mentoring organizations! We look forward to working with all of you during this exciting 8th year of Google Summer of Code!

By Carol Smith, Open Source Team


[G] Google Analytics Team Descends On #SESNY

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Google Analytics Blog: Google Analytics Team Descends On #SESNY

SES New York is one of the most anticipated annual events for the online marketing industry. This year the Google Analytics team will be well-represented, sharing the latest trends, best practices and thinking on measurement and related topics. There’s a lot happening so we wanted to make things easier for Google Analytics fans who will be at SES by outlining our participation.

If you are going to be in attendance, be sure to visit our sessions summarized below:

Business Optimization in a Digital Age 
Tuesday, March 20 from 9:00-10:00am 

We were promised that Marketing one day would become rocket science. Well, we are almost there! Search continues to become more complicated, and more exciting. Then there's Social and Email and Display and Video and... so many more things. It is hard to understand how to do one thing right, much less try to do all of them right. In his exciting keynote Avinash will share his unique perspective on balancing multiple media channels, leveraging super awesome metrics, grounding your digital existence in driving economic value, and leveraging the Clear Line of Sight model to ensure you are optimizing across all four of the most important business drivers (come to the keynote to learn which four!).

Keynote Speaker:
Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google

Social Media as a Performance Channel with Google Analytics
Tuesday, March 20 from 11:00-12:00pm

Social media has changed the way we shop and interact with brands, but marketers still lack a clear way to measure how their social investments lead to more sales. According to MarketingSherpa, only 20% of CMOs think social media marketing produces measurable ROI, while 62% consider it to be a promising tactic that will eventually yield ROI.

The good news is that better measurement can help marketers make smarter decisions about their investments in social. Vanity counters, such as friend counts and reshares, can be augmented with bottom line metrics like conversions and purchases, allowing marketers to measure true social ROI of each campaign and compare the effectiveness with other channels.

Join Phil Mui, Group Product Manager and Ilya Grigorik, Lead Engineer to learn how to tie the influence of the social web to the metrics you care about using in Google Analytics.

Phil Mui, Group Product Manager, Google Analytics
Ilya Grigorik, Lead Engineer, Google Analytics

We hope to see you at the event.

For those who can't make it, be sure to follow the #SESNY hashtag on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date.

- The Google Analytics team


[G] One year of Syrian protests, Japan Earthquake anniversary, Clooney visits Sudan

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YouTube Blog: One year of Syrian protests, Japan Earthquake anniversary, Clooney visits Sudan

Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week we post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.
Come back next week to see the news unfold on YouTube.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Raw Video: Clooney Arrested at D.C. Protest"


[G] Web Analytics TV #24 - The Ninja Show

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics TV #24 - The Ninja Show

Welcome to the ninja show, aka Web Analytics TV! Web Analytics TV, as you well know by now, is powered by your amazing questions. In this awesome episode we had questions from Dubai, India, Germany, Sweden, France, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the US.
If you’re new to this show, our process is simple.

Step 1: You ask, or vote on, your favorite web analytics questions. Vote on next week’s questions using this Web Analytics TV Google Moderator site.

Step 2: From a secret undisclosed location at the Googleplex Avinash Kaushik & Nick Mihailovski answer them. :-)

In this episode we award the “Ninja of the Episode” and award it to Joe for a great question about the difference in data between the Visits to transactions report and the multi-channel funnels path length report. Joe, just email us and we’ll send you a signed copy of Web Analytics 2.0.

OK. Here is the list of last episodes questions.

In this action packed episode we discuss:

  • (0:28) Determining what caused your visitors to become return visitors

  • (2:25) Calculating click though rate on site visits

  • (3:43) Best way to report on internal user traffic to your site

  • (5:23) Does sampling use a random set of sessions

  • (6:20) Differences in visits to transactions and path length in multi-channel funnels

  • (9:20) Using events in a goal funnel

  • (9:46) Best ways to debug iOS and Android apps

  • (10:37) Calculating number of events happen per session

  • (11:40) Best practices for tracking duration in a video

  • (12:43) Differences in how JavaScript and Android libraries persist visitor info

  • (13:35) Differences in unique visitors and repeat visits

  • (14:43) Impact of setSessionCampaignTimeout on multi-channel funnels

  • (15:45) Importing conversion goals from AdWords into Google Analytics

  • (16:48) Viewing Google Analytics on an i-device

  • (17:53) Using outbound link tracking to track exit links

Here are the links to the topics we discuss:

In the fourth question we answer if sampled (fast access mode) data uses a random set of sessions. Just to recap, in most reports, Google Analytics pre-calculates report data and there is no sampling. But in some cases, like when you apply a secondary dimension, the report data needs to be calculated on the fly. In this case, Google Analytics might only process a subset of sessions so that it can return the report in a timely manner. Here’s how the subset of sessions is determined.

Currently fast-access model (sampling) can be controlled via a slider and the default is to process 250,000 sessions. This means that in the date range, only 250,000 sessions will be used in the report calculation. In Google Analytics, visits count sessions. So say a site received the following 3 days of visits.

Day 1 : 500,000

Day 2 : 250,000

Day 3 : 500,000

So, a total of 1,250,000 visits occurred in the date range. To determine which sessions are selected in the fast-access sample, Google Analytics first calculates a multiplier by dividing the total visits in the date range with the number of visits selected on the slider.

multiplier = 1,250,000 / 250,000 = 5

Then for each day, the total number of sessions is divided by the multiplier and only that number of sessions is randomly chosen from each day to be processed.

For Day 1 : 500,000 / 5 = 100,000. So 100,000 sessions are randomly chosen from day 1 to be processed to generate the report data for that day.

For Day 2: 250,000 / 5 = 50,000 sessions are used

For Day 3: 500,000 / 5 = 100,000 sessions are used

Once Google Analytics has determined which sessions to use, the sessions are all processed into a report. Then the report values are then multiplied by the multiplier to scale the final results.

Whats nice about the new fast-access mode slider feature, is that you can use the slider to change the number of sessions used in the processing. And by comparing the number of sessions used, you can see the impact of sampling on your data.

Ok great question.

As always, if you need help setting up Google Analytics or leveraging the advanced configuration options, we recommend hiring a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

If you found this post or video helpful, we'd love to hear your comments. Please share them via the comment form below.

This series would not be possible without your awesome questions. Please submit them on our public Google Moderator site, and while you’re there don’t forget to vote for your favorite questions.  Avinash and I will answer them in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video.


Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Google Analytics team


[G] Bipartisanship, new businesses and new jobs, with a little help from your friends

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Google Public Policy Blog: Bipartisanship, new businesses and new jobs, with a little help from your friends

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Director of Public Policy

As we highlighted in a recent post on Google’s Policy by the Numbers blog, entrepreneurs need access to capital to make grow their ideas into successful companies. We are excited to see members of Congress working to promote entrepreneurs’ efforts to build new companies and create new jobs.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act with nearly full bipartisan support. The JOBS Act makes it easier for startups to raise capital. The crowdfunding provisions drafted by Congressman Patrick McHenry and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are particularly exciting and we applaud the House for its focus on helping to promote innovation and economic growth.

Crowdfunding means raising small amounts of money from a large crowd. Already, thousands of new companies have been funded by crowdfunding platforms like Kiva, Kickstarter, and IndieGogo. With the growth of social networks and other online platforms, crowdfunding is a promising investment model that would allow more Americans to invest in a new company simply by using the Internet to connect with entrepreneurs.

Earlier this week senators from both sides of the aisle -- Senators Merkley, Brown, Bennet, and Landrieu -- introduced the Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2011, known as the CROWDFUND Act. President Obama has also expressed support for signing into law crowdfunding legislation.

Google was started by two graduate students in a garage with a check from one (trusting) investor. The next Google, Facebook, Apple, or Amazon could be funded thanks to crowdfunding legislation, and that would be a great thing for our economy.


[G] Upcoming webinar on March 22nd: “GoMo for publishers”

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Inside AdSense: Upcoming webinar on March 22nd: “GoMo for publishers”

Did you know: 8 in 10 consumers instantly abandon a mobile site if the experience isn’t up to par?1  Mobile consumers have high expectations from content publishers today. With Google mobile searches growing 400% in the last two years, it’s increasingly important for publishers to satisfy the needs of a mobile user by building a mobile-friendly site.  That’s why we recently launched GoMo for publishers, which brings publishers a new set of tools to help build mobile-friendly websites.  

Join Google on Thursday, March 22nd at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET, to discuss why it’s imperative to build for mobile and delight your fastest growing audience.  We’ll show you all the tools you need to get you ready to go mobile. Sign up today and learn... 

  1. Why go mobile? 

    • Your users have gone mobile in a big way, hear why you must follow suit.

  2. 10 tips for building mobile sites   

    • Mobile is different. Learn 10 practical tips for building engaging, uniquely mobile experiences.

  3. Best practices in action   

    • Hear from web publisher FindTheBest about the success they have seen from going mobile.

  4. How to get started  

    • Google is here to help. Learn about tools we’ve created to get you started on the path to delighting your users and maximizing your mobile revenue.

Sign up for the webinar today.  We look forward to seeing you on March 22th!

Posted by Joseph Corral, Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile Ads

Source (1) Limelight Networks, Inc. 2011


[G] Infographic: YouTube Ad Blitz post-game report

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YouTube Blog: Infographic: YouTube Ad Blitz post-game report

From brewskies to Bradshaw and celebs to salsa, the 2012 Super Bowl brought millions of you from across the globe to YouTube's Ad Blitz channel to vote on your favorite commercials. When the final tallies came in, Ad Blitz saw more than 89 million views worldwide, and the day after the game, 26 percent of those came from outside the US.

The Ad Blitz team was so excited by all of you that participated, so to thank you we pulled together an infographic about the activity from the big game.

If you’re as inspired as we are by some of these commercials, check out more creative campaigns on YouTube to spark some ideas of your own.

Lexi Turpack, YouTube interactive programs analyst, recently watched ‘Vitalic - Poney Part 1.’


[G] Hoop fans rejoice... the tournament is back!

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Google Lat Long: Hoop fans rejoice... the tournament is back!

Are you ready sports fans? College basketball nirvana has returned and the anticipation is building on campuses across the country. To celebrate this most wondrous time of the sporting year I've produced my fifth edition college basketball tournament map. Whether you're using Google Maps or Google Earth, we've got you covered. To kick things off, I’ve created a Custom Map to serve as an easy reference for the home bases of all participating teams.

Next, watch the video below for a bird’s eye peek at the home stadiums in 3D across the country, as seen in Google Earth.

Want to explore a little deeper? Download this KMZ file to view all home cities and stadiums as an overlay directly in Google Earth. With 3D models of many of the 14 tournament venues, you can get a sense for what it’d be like to visit the stadiums without ever leaving your dorm room, living room, or office.

While creating this year’s map, I also came across the following bits of trivia you can use to flaunt your hoops knowledge and amaze your friends:
  • This year’s field is resplendent with color: Orangemen, Crimson, Bluejays, Blue Devils, Golden Bears, and Golden Eagles
  • As usual, the field contains a cast of characters: Billikens, Commodores, Mountaineers, 49ers, Aztecs, Cavaliers, Hilltoppers, Hoosiers, Runnin’ Rebels, Musketeers, and Titans
  • Finally, the traditional adversaries of dogs and cats are well represented: Bulldogs, Greyhounds, Lobos, Huskies, Hoyas, and the Wolfpack versus Bearcats, Bobcats, Wildcats, Tigers, Catamounts, and Cougars
For even more tournament tools, visit College Hoops 2012 -- Google’s one-stop-shop providing basketball fans with everything they need to follow their favorite teams and connect with other fans. For our tournament picks, we looked back at search trends to see how Google would have fared if we used search volume to fill out our brackets. You’ll also find details on Google+ hangouts with teams around the country, a Zagat dining guide for recommendations on where to watch the game, and search tips for finding scores for the most recent buzzer beaters.

Enjoy the games and best of luck to all the competing teams!

Posted by Adam Hughes, Google Play Developer Support and college hoops fan

Thursday, March 15, 2012

[G] We’ve gone mad for college hoops

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Official Google Blog: We’ve gone mad for college hoops

It's March Madness and many basketball fans are turning to the web to research teams, coaches and players to build the perfect bracket. Being sports nerds ourselves, ever since the seeds announcement on Sunday we’ve been heads down in data, and with just a few hours left until first tip-off and brackets close, we’re attempting a buzzer beater: could search volume be a good indicator of game outcome?

We looked back at basketball search trends to see how Google would have performed if it had submitted a bracket for the past few tournaments. We've had our hits and misses over the years but in the spirit of the games and curiosity, we’ve decided to reveal our picks for the 2012 tournament based on search volume. Check back often to see how we’re doing.

Along with our official bracket, we’ve collected all the ways you can use Google to make your selections and stay connected with your teams and fellow fans throughout the tournament. Explore the full list on our College Hoops 2012 page.

Stay informed
  • Keep up with your bracket picks by searching for [march madness] or individual teams like [duke basketball] to see real-time scores and schedules for the tournament.
  • Download a complimentary copy of the Zagat guide Winning Hangouts for College Basketball Fans to find a place to watch the games and cheer on your favorite teams. The guide features trusted ratings and reviews for restaurants, sports bars and gastropubs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • Since chances are you can’t physically fly to every game around the U.S., take a virtual tour of the tournament locations via a customized map overlay in Google Earth and watch this video of 3D models of the stadiums where your favorite teams will be playing.

It's true, I only have one Pac-12 team to support, and it's not my beloved Stanford Cardinal. But, this is still my favorite time of year—buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories and an overwhelming display of pure passion and athleticism that can only be seen during a tournament like this. Good luck to all 64 teams on their journey to the National Championship, and don't forget to join the action using #GoogleHoops on Google+.

Posted by Lauren Gellman, Product Marketing Manager 

[G] 19,000+ episodes of Indian TV on YouTube Shows

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YouTube Blog: 19,000+ episodes of Indian TV on YouTube Shows

India is one of world’s largest producers of TV shows. With more than 400 terrestrial and local channels available, Indians often face the challenging question: What am I going to watch?

The good news is that we increasingly don’t have to worry about when to watch. Over the last few years, major Indian broadcasters such as Sony Entertainment Television, Colors, ImagineTV, Star India, and VikatanTV have been bringing their shows to YouTube so that you can watch them whenever you want.

Now that our Indian TV partners offer more than 19,000 full episodes of 300 programs in six different languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Punjabi), we wanted to offer our Indian viewers an updated Shows page at to help you better follow shows you love and discover new favorites. For the rest of the world, you can still find the shows through

You’ll find programs into genres like drama and comedy, as well as the latest and top watched episodes featured on the page. Missed the last episode of Bade Acche Lagte Hai? It’ll be right there in the channel waiting for you. If you’re looking for a few good places to start, check out popular shows like Balika Vadhu, Ramayan, CID, Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah and Thendral.

These 19,000+ episodes are just a start, so we hope we can keep delivering more and more content that viewers across India—and around the world—want to see.

Ajith Rao, software engineer, recently watched “Adaalat - Episode 104,” and Gowri Ramkumar, technical account manager, recently watched “Kuch toh log Kahenge - episode 118.”


[G] Helping the Hooch with water conservation at our Douglas County data center

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Official Google Blog: Helping the Hooch with water conservation at our Douglas County data center

If you’re familiar with the work of the Southern poet Sidney Lanier, you’ll know he wrote about the beauty of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. “The Hooch,” as it’s known around here, starts up in the northeastern part of the state, runs through Atlanta and down into Alabama before emptying out into the Gulf of Mexico. Those of us who work in Google’s Douglas County, Ga. data center have a special fondness for the Chattahoochee because it’s an integral part of our ability to run a highly efficient facility.

Google’s data centers use half the energy of a typical data center in part because we rely on free cooling rather than energy hungry mechanical chillers. In Douglas County, like at most of our facilities, we use evaporative cooling, which brings cold water into the data center to cool the servers, then releases it as water vapor through cooling towers.

A typical data center can use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a day. When we first built the Georgia facility in 2007, the water we used came from the local potable (drinking) water supply. But we soon realized that the water we used didn’t need to be clean enough to drink. So we talked to the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority (known locally as the WSA) about setting up a system that uses reuse water—also known as grey- or recycled water—in our cooling infrastructure. With this system in place, we’re able to use recycled water for 100 percent of our cooling needs.

This video of the system includes never-before-seen footage of our Douglas County facility:

Here’s how it works: The WSA has a water treatment facility in Douglasville, Ga. that cleans wastewater from the local communities and releases it back into the Chattahoochee. We worked with the WSA to build a side-stream plant about five miles west of our data center that diverts up to 30 percent of the water that would have gone back into the river; instead we send it through the plant for treatment and then on to the data center. Any water that doesn’t evaporate during the cooling process then goes to an Effluent Treatment Plant located on-site. There, we treat the water once again to disinfect it, remove mineral solids and send it back out to the Chattahoochee—clean, clear and safe.

The Chattahoochee provides drinking water, public greenspace and recreational activities for millions of people. In fact, just two weeks ago it was the first river to be designated a National Water Trail in a new system announced by the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar—a system that encourages community stewardship of local waterways. We’re glad to do our part in creating an environmentally sustainable economy along the shores of the Hooch.

Posted by Jim Brown, Data Center Facilities Manager

[G] Increase your earnings with Google Affiliate Network exclusive promotions

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Inside AdSense: Increase your earnings with Google Affiliate Network exclusive promotions

If you aren’t already a Google Affiliate Network publisher, now is a good time to join and earn additional revenue from your website. Over 40 promotions will be available exclusively to Google Affiliate Network publishers from Friday, March 23 through Monday, March 26. As a publisher, you’ll earn a performance fee from orders that originate from your links. You can view all exclusive promotions on this blog post.

How do I post these promotions on my site?

To access any of these exclusive promotions, you need to be an approved publisher in Google Affiliate Network.

  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 promotions available and click the "Apply Now" link for each one that you wish to promote.

  3. Tracking links will be available in your Google Affiliate Network account by viewing the Home tab on March 19th. You can also search for “March Exclusive” links in the Links tab on March 23rd.

Need help applying or want more information? Review the Publisher Beginner’s guide today.

When can I post these promotions on my site?

All promotions will be available starting midnight Central Time on March 23rd, and all will expire at midnight Central Time on March 26th. Please remember that you may not post any of these exclusive promotions until March 23rd.

For additional questions, check out the Help Center or contact us.

Posted by Jamie Ross, Google Affiliate Network Strategist


[G] Star and label messages before you send them

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The Google Apps Blog: Star and label messages before you send them

Posted by Craig Prince, Software Engineer

Have you ever sent an important email that you wanted to follow up on, but a couple days later realized you hadn’t? Starting today, you can organize your messages before sending them by starring them or adding a label, making it easy to keep track of your sent messages.

When composing a new message, you can assign labels or star it by using the labels drop-down menu. As you’d expect, recipients of messages organized this way won’t see your labels or stars.


[G] Making our ads better for everyone

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Official Google Blog: Making our ads better for everyone

We believe that ads are useful and relevant information that can help you find what you’re looking for online—whether you’re comparing digital cameras or researching new cars. We also want you to be able to use Google and click on any ads that interest you with confidence. Just as we work hard to make Gmail free of spam and the Google Play Store free of malware, we’re committed to enforcing rigorous standards for the ads that appear on Google and on our partner sites.

Like all other Internet companies, we’re fighting a war against a huge number of bad actors—from websites selling counterfeit goods and fraudulent tickets to underground international operations trying to spread malware and spyware. We must remain vigilant because scammers will always try to find new ways to abuse our systems. Given the number of searches on Google and the number of legitimate businesses who rely on this system to reach users, our work to remove bad ads must be precise and at scale.

We recently made some improvements to help ensure the ads you see comply with our strict policies, so we wanted to give you an overview of both our principles and these new technologies.

Ads that harm users are not allowed on Google
We’ve always approached our ads system with trust and safety in mind. Our policies cover a wide range of issues across the globe in every country in which we do business. For example, our ads policies don’t allow ads for illegal products such as counterfeit goods or harmful products such as handguns or cigarettes. We also don’t allow ads with misleading claims (“lose weight guaranteed!”), fraudulent work-at-home scams (“get rich quick working from home!”) or unclear billing practices.

How it all works
With billions of ads submitted to Google every year, we use a combination of sophisticated technology and manual review to detect and remove these sorts of ads. We spend millions of dollars building technical architecture and advanced machine learning models to fight this battle. These systems are designed to detect and remove ads for malicious download sites that contain malware or a virus before these ads could appear on Google. Our automated systems also scan and review landing pages—the websites that people are taken to once they click—as well as advertiser accounts. When potentially objectionable ads are flagged by our automated systems, our policy specialists review the ads, sites and accounts in detail and take action.

Improvements to detection systems
Here are some important improvements that we’ve recently made to our systems:

  • Improved “query watch” for counterfeit ads: While anyone can report counterfeit ads, we’ve widened our proactive monitoring of sensitive keywords and queries related to counterfeit goods which allows us to catch more counterfeit ads before they ever appear on Google
  • New “risk model” to detect violations: Our computer scanning depends on detailed risk models to determine whether a particular ad may violate our policies, and we recently upgraded our engineering system with a new “risk model” that is even more precise in detecting advertisers who violate our policies
  • Faster manual review process: Some ads need to be reviewed manually. To increase our response time in preventing ads from policy-violating advertisers, we sped up our internal processes and systems for manual reviews, enabling our specialists to be more precise and fast
  • Twenty-four hour response time: We aim to respond within 24 hours upon receiving a reliable complaint about an ad to ensure that we’re reviewing ads in a timely fashion

We also routinely review and update the areas which our policies cover. For example, we recently updated our policy for ads related to short-term loans in order to protect people from misleading claims. For short-term loans, we require advertisers to disclose fine-print details such as overall fees and annual percentage rate, as well as implications for late and non-payment.

Bad ads are declining
The numbers show we’re having success. In 2011, advertisers submitted billions of ads to Google, and of those, we disabled more than 130 million ads. And our systems continue to improve—in fact, in 2011 we reduced the percentage of bad ads by more than 50% compared with 2010. That means that our methods are working. We’re also catching the vast majority of these scam ads before they ever appear on Google or on any of our partner networks. For example, in 2011, we shut down approximately 150,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, and more than 95% of these accounts were discovered through our own detection efforts and risk models.

Here’s David Baker, Engineering Director, who can explain more about how we detect and remove scam ads:

What you can do to help
If you’re an advertiser, we encourage you to review our policies that aim to protect users, so you can help keep the web safe. For everyone else, our Good to Know site has lots of advice, including tips for avoiding scams anywhere on the Internet. You can also report ads you believe to be fraudulent or in violation of our policies and, if needed, file a complaint with the appropriate agency as listed in our Web Search Help Center.

Online advertising is the commercial lifeblood of the web, so it’s vital that people can trust the ads on Google and the Internet overall. We’ll keep posting more information here about our efforts, and developments, in this area.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Engineering

[G] Access custom Google Earth content on your mobile device

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Google Lat Long: Access custom Google Earth content on your mobile device

One of the most powerful features of Google Earth is the ability to view custom maps or overlays, which are also commonly known as KML files. Ever since we introduced Google Earth on mobile devices, users have requested support for custom content. Today, we are proud to announce Google Earth 6.2 for Android and iOS, which includes support for KMLs. Now anywhere you find a “Google Earth file” (KML file) while you’re browsing the mobile web, just click on the link and the Google Earth app will automatically launch and load the custom map.

With this release, the Google Earth Gallery is also now available in the mobile app, enabling you to easily explore some of the best maps from around the web directly within Google Earth. For example, not sure if that was an earthquake? Go to the Earth Gallery and click on the USGS’ real-time earthquake map to see recent earthquakes from around the world.

Maybe you’re interested in finding hiking trails on your next vacation. Check out Everytrail to find a hike wherever you might be.

If you’re a basketball fan, be sure to check out the new College Basketball Tournament map, which takes you on a virtual trip to the school and stadiums of this year’s competing teams.

For Google Earth for Android users, we’ve also added a new “Share” feature, which allows you to share a screenshot of your current view with people in your Google+ circles, via Gmail, or on other applications. Now you can share your favorite places with friends and family from your desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. And, if you follow the Google Earth +Page, you can see what others are sharing and discover new locations around the world.

The 6.2 release of Google Earth for Android and iOS also includes improvements in navigation, which make it even easier to fly to your favorite spots on the globe.

To check out the latest version of Google Earth for Android phones and tablets, download it now from Google Play. For iOS users, look for the latest version of Google Earth in the iTunes App Store soon!

Posted by Peter Birch, Google Earth Product Manager