Friday, August 24, 2012

[G] Some Changes to DoubleClick Ad Planner

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Inside AdWords: Some Changes to DoubleClick Ad Planner

We are constantly evaluating our products to make sure that we are investing in tools that create the most value for our customers. Sometimes this requires making some changes...as we will be with DoubleClick Ad Planner. Starting on September 5, 2012, DoubleClick Ad Planner will become a tool dedicated to researching placements across the 2 million sites comprising the Google Display Network. Our goal will be to make this a best-in-class planning product for the GDN. It will also get a new name: the Google Display Network Ad Planner.

In order to maintain the highest level of quality planning data and to invest in new functionality, we will also need to discontinue some existing features. You will start to see, for example, that certain filters and demographic data will no longer be available in Ad Planner.

Next Steps
  • Please visit our Ad Planner Help Center for a full list of changes. 
  • If there is any data or media plans that you will need after this change that will no longer be available, please export and save them before September 5th. 
Thanks for your support and understanding as we continue to focus on developing new monetization features for publishers and advertisers.

Posted by Vincent Lacey, Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/08/some-changes-to-doubleclick-ad-planner.html

[G] Google Books Search Blog joins the Inside Search Blog

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Inside Google Books: Google Books Search Blog joins the Inside Search Blog

Posted by Ariel Levine, Google Play Operations Specialist

Thanks to everyone who’s been a loyal reader of the Google Books Search blog over the years. As part of an effort to simplify our communications channels, we’re retiring this blog and moving on over to the official Google Inside Search Blog. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation about Google Books search there.

For those of you interested in eBooks, be sure to follow Google Play at play.google.com/+ to learn all about upcoming author Hangouts plus new content, features and releases on Google Play.

URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-books-search-blog-joins-inside_24.html

[G] Google Books Search Blog joins the Inside Search Blog

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Inside Google Books: Google Books Search Blog joins the Inside Search Blog



Posted by Ariel Levine, Google Play Operations Specialist

Thanks to everyone who’s been a loyal reader of the Google Books Search blog over the years. As part of an effort to simplify our communications channels, we’re retiring this blog and moving on over to the official Google Inside Search Blog. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation about Google Books search there.

For those of you interested in eBooks, be sure to follow Google Play at play.google.com/+ to learn all about upcoming author Hangouts plus new content, features and releases on Google Play.

URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-books-search-blog-joins-inside.html

[G] Combining a User Problem with a Desire to Learn: the Story of Quicklytics

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Google Analytics Blog: Combining a User Problem with a Desire to Learn: the Story of Quicklytics

This article is part of our Developer Spotlight Series that promotes new tools and applications built using the Google Analytics Developer platform. To see other tools, check out our App Gallery. Interested in having us showcase your story? Let us know what you’re working on!



Eduardo Scoz is a software architect and self-proclaimed, “analytics addict.” In early 2010, he grew frustrated with his daily routine of checking in on his web analytics from several sites and personal blogs. Very quickly he found himself spending an overwhelming amount of time monitoring his key metrics from across his own content kingdom: he yearned for a way to keep an eye on his KPI’s without having it feel like a full-time job.


Eduardo was determined to find an iPhone application that gave him a high-level view of all of his sites in way that was easy to digest. After a few days of searching he realized that the only way for him to get exactly what he wanted was to build it himself. He had never built an iPhone application but his “learn by doing” mentality prevailed: after a few weeks of prototyping, he had come up with something he was proud of. He showed it to a few friends and gauging their reaction, he realized he might be onto something. He incorporated their feedback, finished building it out and decided to release it publicly. In February 2010, Quicklytics was born.



Quicklytics allows users to rapidly check the status of multiple websites in a matter of seconds and visually understand how their site is performing for both current and historical timeframes. It has full support for both iPhone and iPad as well as custom filtering that allows for quick deep dives into areas of interest. While its primary views focus on top-level metrics, Quicklytics also provides detailed reports with most of the data also available through Google Analytics.










“All apps were about either showing as much data as possible, or focusing on less-useful stuff, like browsers and screen sizes, which are only really necessary when you’re doing deep analysis, not when ‘checking the weather’,” says Eduardo.


As soon as Quicklytics hit the App Store, it spread like wildfire. In the 2 ½ years since it was released, Quicklytics has received over 40,000 downloads - most of which were paid. This has translated into a significant source of side revenue for Eduardo’s business that has allowed him to continue building new features for Quicklytics while looking for new projects to learn from.  Now, Eduardo finds great joy in using Quicklytics to measure the mobile app analytics on - you guessed it - Quicklytics.



Quicklytics leverages the Analytics Core Reporting APIs Objective-C library and OAuth 2.0 for user authentication. Although this was Eduardo’s first experience with the Analytics APIs and Objective-C, he was able to take full advantage of the Developer Forums for support: “In the few cases I found issues with the tool, Google developers were actually very helpful and fixed some issues from their side. It was a great experience.”



Armed with a clear user problem and a willingness to learn, Eduardo was able to turn one of his biggest pain points into a viable side business and a solution that is enjoyed by many. According to Eduardo, “It’s great to know that a lot of people find it as useful as I do.”



To learn more about Quicklytics, check out his App Store listing.



Posted by John Milinovich, Google Analytics API team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/0InSXFYuytc/quicklytics.html

[G] SMB Hangout on Air: Special Edition

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Inside AdWords: SMB Hangout on Air: Special Edition


Have you ever wanted to hear directly from some of the Google teams driving AdWords product and customer service improvements? Well, here’s a great opportunity to do exactly that!

On Wednesday August 29, 2012 at 1pm PST (4pm EST), we will host a Hangout on Air to answer some of your questions and discuss recent updates that make AdWords products and customer service better for you. Our guests will be Francoise Brougher, Vice President of Global SMB Sales & Operations and Paul Feng, Director of Google AdWords Product Management joined by two small and medium-sized business advertisers: Kim Clinkunbroomer and Tom Sands, who will share their experiences and ask the panel a few questions. The live session will be moderated by Deepak Khandelwal, Vice President of Global Customer Services.

Follow the Google Ads Google+ page to watch this broadcast live on August 29th at 1:00 pm PST (4:00 pm EST). Submit your questions for Francoise and Paul by 1:00 pm PST Monday August 27th. Tune in on Wednesday for the next edition of SMB Hangouts on Air!

Posted by Agata Krzysztofik, Google Ads Team
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/08/smb-hangout-on-air-special-edition.html

[G] Who’s New in Google Summer of Code 2012: Part 3

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Google Open Source Blog: Who’s New in Google Summer of Code 2012: Part 3


For our third post in the summer series highlighting new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code 2012, three organization administrators describe their student projects below.
We have all watched with excitement as Google unfolded the Google Knowledge Graph, giving insight into answers for questions that we never thought to ask. Similar "knowledge graph" initiatives from researchers in academia and industry have been underway to develop a global graph of Linked Data, where structured data on the Web is directly available for programmatic access in standard ways. 
One of the most prominent Linked Data sources is DBpedia, a data set built by sharing (as structured data) facts extracted from Wikipedia. DBpedia has been serving as a nucleous for this evolving Web of Linked Data, connecting cross-domain information from numerous data sources on the Web, including Freebase.com and, by transitivity, the Google Knowledge Graph. 
DBpedia Spotlight is a tool for connecting this new Web of structured information to the good old Web of documents. It takes plain text (or HTML) as input, and looks for 3.8M things of 360 different types, interconnecting structured data in 111 different languages in DBpedia. The output is a set of links where ambiguous phrases such as "Washington" are automatically "disambiguated" to their unambiguous identifiers (URIs) Washington, D.C. or George Washington, for example
During Google Summer of Code 2012, we had the pleasure and honor to work with four students to enhance DBpedia Spotlight in time performance, accuracy and extra functionality. 
  • The core model we use for automatic disambiguation is based on a large vector space model of words. One student project by Chris Hokamp, included processing all the data on Hadoop, as well as analyzing the dimensions of this model using such techniques as Latent Semantic Analysis and Explicit Semantic Analysis. 
  • Joachim Daiber implemented a probabilistic interpretation of the disambiguation model and provided a key-value store implementation that allows for efficiency and flexibility in modifying the scoring techniques. 
  • Dirk Weissenborn spent his summer developing topical classification in our model and live updating/training of the models as Wikipedia changes (or news items are released) so that DBpedia Spotlight can be kept up to date with the world, as soon as events happen. 
  • Finally, the fourth project by Liu Zhengzhong, provided an implementation of collective disambiguation. In this approach, each of the things that are found in the input text contribute to finding the meaning of the other things in the same text through graph algorithms that benefit from the structure of our knowledge base.
Together, these four projects will greatly enhance DBpedia Spotlight towards achieving its objective of serving as a flexible tool that can cater to many different applications interested in connecting documents to structured data. By the way, through links between DBpedia and Freebase you can use DBpedia Spotlight to obtain and use links from Web  documents to the Google Knowledge Graph. How exciting is that? 
By Pablo Mendes and Max Jakob, DBpedia Spotlight co-creators and Google Summer of Code 2012 Organization Administrators 

---------- 
Sigmah is a free software project for the integrated management of humanitarian projects, run by an open group of eleven NGOs facilitated by Groupe URD. Sigmah was created following a needs assessment carried out in 2008-2009, commissioned by a group of French NGOs who, like many, were suffering from infoxication (information overload).
Sigmah has continued to grow and in 2012, through the Google Summer of Code, some of its goals are going to be met: 
  • Sigmah v1.0 released in June 2011 was solely a solution to enter and structure your data. With the highly skillful help of Google Summer of Code student Sherzod Muratov, we will have a new feature, as part of Sigmah’s core, to export data in spreadsheet format (.xls/.ods). With this increased capability to analyze all information collected in Sigmah, humanitarian workers will be able to more easily learn lessons from their experiences and improve the quality of their work. The Sigmah project is young and its community continues to grow. The website needed to be improved in many ways. Sharada Mohanty has tackled a couple of Sigmah’s immediate needs: improving tools for inner governance and deploying the means to enforce a community-driven culture for the user guide. 
  • With all of this work, our project is getting stronger by responding to the needs of our users and our community is attracting more users to take part in the project. Icing on the cake: both our students have expressed interest to continue to contribute to our young project aiming to make life easier for humanitarian project management. For Sigmah the Google Summer of Code has been the best part of 2012! 
By Olivier Sarrat, Sigmah project facilitator
---------- 
Twitter is a simple real-time information network where the unit currency is 140 character messages called Tweets. Twitter connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. To run this service, we produce and consume a lot of open source software. Last year, we established our Open Source Office (@TwitterOSS) to support a variety of open source organizations that are important to us. We’re grateful to the open source community for their contributions, and want to maintain a healthy, reciprocal relationship.
We were thrilled to have a chance to participate in Google Summer of Code this year. We had three students work on a variety of projects: 
  • Federico Brubacher spent time adding machine learning capabilities to Twitter Storm
  • Kirill Lashuk added more internationalization and localization capabilities to Ruby via the TwitterCLDR project. This should help anyone in the Ruby community that needs to provide robust internationalization support for their application. 
  • Ruben Oanta worked on adding MySQL codec support to Finagle, which is a network stack for the JVM set of protocol-independent tools. 
What was unique this year for us is that we also worked with Blake Matheny from Tumblr on mentoring the Finagle MySQL project. From my perspective, it’s great to see multiple companies helping students get involved with open source. Thanks again to Google for providing a medium to do so. 
By Chris Aniszczyk (@cra), Manager of Open Source at Twitter

Stay tuned next week for more posts from a few of this summer’s new Google Summer of Code participating organizations.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2012/08/whos-new-in-google-summer-of-code-2012_24.html

[G] Life @ YouTube: Interns Go Behind the Screen

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YouTube Blog: Life @ YouTube: Interns Go Behind the Screen











What do you think when you hear “YouTube”? I used to think of videos of panda bears sneezing, British toddlers biting each other’s fingers, and the instant stardom of seemingly everyday people. But over the past 11 weeks, I’ve had a true insider’s perspective on the company. I’ve worked with hundreds of YouTube employees who are redefining how we create, share and consume video. 





As a BOLD intern, I’ve been able to go behind the screen and leave my mark at YouTube. Google’s BOLD program began placing undergraduate interns at YouTube in 2010, beginning with a class size of just two and it continues to grow each year. This year we had nine undergraduate YouTube interns bringing fresh ideas and making a huge impact along the way. I, along with other interns, have had the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that have directly benefited YouTube users. My fellow interns and I worked on “Your Film Festival,” an independent film contest, the channel design for the 2012 Olympics page, and support of the live streaming at Lollapalooza music festival - just to name a few projects. 





As an intern in People Operations, I’ve worked with many different teams across the company, from content partners to product managers and designers, while developing leadership training programs, producing and editing videos, and interviewing Directors and VPs. And I’m only one intern! Total, there are 30 other undergraduate and graduate school interns that make up the YouTube family, all of whom are working on phenomenal projects involving software engineering, web developing and user experience design. 





The professional development opportunities afforded to interns at YouTube are unmatched. Still, it’s not all work and no play. While at YouTube I’ve been able to chat it up with Rick Ross, meet Congresswoman Jackie Speier and host over 100 Bay Area engineering interns for a night of BBQ, beer, Bluegrass music and cool product demos. YouTube is a magical place and this summer gave me a taste of the magic. If you’d like to find out more, visit our site for information about internships and jobs. 





Kayla Conti, YouTube BOLD Intern, recently watched, The Big Bang Theory - The Friendship Algorithm.



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/wCc7DqWOQWE/life-youtube-interns-go-behind-screen.html

[G] Social Fridays: Help your site stand out with the +1 button

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Inside AdSense: Social Fridays: Help your site stand out with the +1 button


As Google+ has continued to evolve and grow, we’ve released a number of features and tools to help you engage with your users in new ways. We’ve heard from publishers that they’d like to ensure they’re getting set up in the right way on Google+, and so we’re kicking off a Social Friday series right here on our blog. Our goal is to help you make the most of Google+, discover ways to reach new audiences, and use our resources to make data-driven decisions.



Even if you’ve already gotten started with Google+, we encourage you to follow along over the next few weeks to make sure you’re using our social tools optimally for your website and business. Today, we’ll start off our series with a look at the +1 button, and show you how you can track its impact with Webmaster Tools.




The +1 button helps you expand your audience by enabling users to recommend your content to their friends and contacts. When a user clicks the +1 button on your site, they’ll be able to share your site’s link with their contacts via their Google+ stream. This can help you extend your reach beyond just your existing fans, to their circles of friends. Be sure to place the +1 button on your pages so that users can endorse your content -- we recommend locations like the header and footer of your pages, and also on pages that tend to be shared frequently, like articles or product pages.



In addition, +1 recommendations will be visible to a user’s friends and contacts on relevant Google.com search results, which can help your site stand out. For example, let’s say John is a fan of your content and he clicks a +1 button on your site. When John’s friend Sue is logged in to her Google Account and performs a Google.com search that includes your site in the results, she may see an annotation below your site that tells her John has +1’d it. This annotation may help your site stand out to Sue because it’s personally relevant to her. Overall, as potential visitors see recommendations from their friends and contacts among their Google search results, you could see more, and better qualified, traffic coming from Google.



So how is the +1 button performing for you so far? You can find out using Webmaster Tools with these three reports:



  1. Activity: View the total number of times your pages have been +1’d.

  2. Audience: See anonymous, aggregate information about the people  who +1’d your pages, including the total number of unique users, their location, and their age and gender. 

  3. Search impact: Compare the clickthrough rate (CTR) of +1'd search impressions to the general clickthrough rate for all impressions to determine how +1’s are affecting your site’s performance.








Get started with the +1 button on your pages today -- just generate a short snippet of code and paste it into the HTML of your site, as you do with your AdSense ad code. You’ll also be able to customize the size and layout for your site. For help with the +1 button, visit our Google+ Webmaster FAQ.



Thanks for joining us for our first Social Fridays post. Next week, we’ll discuss Google+ pages for your business and how to get set up optimally. Do you have feedback or best practices to share with other publishers about today’s content? Feel free to leave us a comment on our AdSense +page.



Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/4_I_Md0S8XM/social-fridays-help-your-site-stand-out.html

Thursday, August 23, 2012

[G] Kaplan tests high with Google Apps for Business and Chrome devices

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Kaplan tests high with Google Apps for Business and Chrome devices

Posted by Edward Hanapole, CIO, Kaplan

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Edward Hanapole, CIO, Kaplan, one of the world’s largest education companies headquartered in New York, NY. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Kaplan, education is our business. Successful student outcomes are our yardstick for performance. We provide higher education programs, professional training courses, test preparation materials and assessment tools for K-12 students. The range of student services has grown immensely since our founding in 1938 as a test prep company that helped many young people gain access to university education. Today, Kaplan employs more than 25,000 people around the globe in over 30 locations and serves approximately one million students annually.

In our business, it’s critical that we stay up-to-speed on the latest technologies because technology based on rigorous data analysis yields the blueprint for how we can improve instruction and curriculum design, and it allows us to help our students attain their desired results in the most effective and efficient way possible. We want to give our employees the same web-based tools that our students are using at home, so we moved the majority of our employees to Google Apps in 2011. It’s not just Gmail that has changed -- Google Apps has significantly impacted our company culture. We now use Google+ Hangouts to hold a lot of our meetings. Even if I’m in the same office, I often prefer using Hangouts and a shared meeting notes document so I know people are actually paying attention.

We're starting to see great usage of Hangouts across our business. Greg Marino, CEO of the Kaplan Higher Education Group, uses Google+ Hangouts to stay regularly connected with his organization's Chief Difference Makers, employees from around the country who help drive employee engagement at various sites. He finds Hangouts convenient, simple to use and cost-effective. As time goes on, I expect usage to increase across our operations.

We are entering a beta test for a new online educational platform that will allow other schools, organizations, businesses and individuals to share information and knowledge with their audiences aligned with best instructional practices. This exciting, highly innovative solution is built on top of the Google engine.

We’ve also been working with Google partner, Genesys, to pilot new Chromebooks and Chromeboxes at our New York call centers. These new devices have replaced our PCs, helping speed up our workflows and avoid aggravating crashes. Through the pilot process, we’ve found Chrome devices to be much faster, simpler to use, and they require no set-up time and far less troubleshooting. We have the ability to leverage real-time, web-based communication, allowing us to do away with phones in our call centers entirely. This will improve our customers’ experience while saving us time, resources and money. Our long-term goal is to deploy Chrome devices across our 65 North American campuses.

The real potential is that Google Apps and Chrome OS devices give us the ability to introduce innovation to our students and employees on an ongoing basis with relative ease.

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/08/kaplan-tests-high-with-google-apps-for.html

[G] Better table search through Machine Learning and Knowledge

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Research Blog: Better table search through Machine Learning and Knowledge

Posted By Johnny Chen, Product Manager, Google Research

The Web offers a trove of structured data in the form of tables. Organizing this collection of information and helping users find the most useful tables is a key mission of Table Search from Google Research. While we are still a long way away from the perfect table search, we made a few steps forward recently by revamping how we determine which tables are "good" (one that contains meaningful structured data) and which ones are "bad" (for example, a table that hold the layout of a Web page). In particular, we switched from a rule-based system to a machine learning classifier that can tease out subtleties from the table features and enables rapid quality improvement iterations. This new classifier is a support vector machine (SVM) that makes use of multiple kernel functions which are automatically combined and optimized using training examples. Several of these kernel combining techniques were in fact studied and developed within Google Research [1,2].

We are also able to achieve a better understanding of the tables by leveraging the Knowledge Graph. In particular, we improved our algorithms for identifying the context and topics of each table, the entities represented in the table and the properties they have. This knowledge not only helps our classifier make a better decision on the quality of the table, but also enables better matching of the table to the user query.

Finally, you will notice that we added an easy way for our users to import Web tables found through Table Search into their Google Drive account as Fusion Tables. Now that we can better identify good tables, the import feature enables our users to further explore the data. Once in Fusion Tables, the data can be visualized, updated, and accessed programmatically using the Fusion Tables API.

These enhancements are just the start. We are continually updating the quality of our Table Search and adding features to it.

Stay tuned for more from Boulos Harb, Afshin Rostamizadeh, Fei Wu, Cong Yu and the rest of the Structured Data Team.


[1] Algorithms for Learning Kernels Based on Centered Alignment
[2] Generalization Bounds for Learning Kernels
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/better-table-search-through-machine.html

[G] Better mouse control for games in the latest Chrome Beta

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Google Chrome Blog: Better mouse control for games in the latest Chrome Beta

For you game lovers out there, you’ll be happy to hear that today’s Beta release includes the Pointer Lock JavaScript API (a.k.a. mouse lock). This means 3D web apps and games like first-person shooters can remove your cursor from the screen and get access to raw mouse movement data, so you can pan the screen’s view to your heart’s content. You can play with this nifty WebGL Quake 3 map viewer to see it in action. Have fun!

Posted by Vincent Scheib, Software Engineer and Mouse Locksmith
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/08/better-mouse-control-for-games-in.html

[G] Automate Google Analytics Reporting using Google Apps Script

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Google Analytics Blog: Automate Google Analytics Reporting using Google Apps Script

Many people have been asking for a simple way to put Google Analytics data into a Google Spreadsheet. Once the data is inside a Google Spreadsheet, users can easily manipulate Google Analytics data, create new visualizations, and build internal dashboards.



So today we released a new integration that dramatically reduces the work required to put Google Analytics data into any Apps Script supported product, such as Google Docs, Sites, or Spreadsheets.



Here’s an example of Google Analytics data accessed through Apps Script and displayed in a Google Spreadsheet.










Custom API Dashboards - No Code Required


We know that a popular use case of this integration will be to create dashboards that automatically update. To make this easy to do, we’ve added a script to the Spreadsheets script gallery that handles all this work - no code required. The script is called Google Analytics Report Automation (Magic).



This script is a great template for starting your own project, and we’ve had many internal Google teams save hours of time using this tool. Here’s a video demoing how to build a dashboard using this script:





You can find this script by opening or creating a Google Spreadsheet, clicking Tools -> Script Gallery and searching for “analytics magic”.


Writing Your Own Script


Of course many developers will want to write their own code. With the new Analytics – Apps Script integration, you can request the total visitors, visits, and pageviews over time and put this data into a spreadsheet with just the following code:

// Get Data.
var results = Analytics.Data.Ga.get(
tableId,
startDate,
endDate,
'ga:visitors,ga:visits,ga:pageviews',
{‘dimensions’: ‘ga:date’});

// Output to spreadsheet.
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().insertSheet();
sheet.getRange(2, 1, results.getRows().length, headerNames.length)
.setValues(results.getRows());

// Make Sandwich.

To get started now, read our Automated Access to Google Analytics Data in Google Spreadsheets tutorial. Also check out the Google Analytics Apps Script reference docs.


Solving Business Problems


Are you ready to start building solutions using Google Analytics and Google Apps Script?



We’d love to hear new ways you use this integration to help manipulate, visualize and present data to solve business problems. To encourage you to try out this integration, we are giving out Google Analytics developer t-shirts to the first 15 developers to build a solution using both APIs.



To be eligible, you must publish your solution to either the Chrome Web Store or the Spreadsheets Script Gallery and include a description of a business problem the script solves. We’ll then collect these scripts and highlight the solutions in an upcoming blog post. After you publish your script, fill out this form to share what you’ve built.



We’re looking forward to seeing what you can do with this integration.



Posted by Nick Mihailovski   profile





Nick is a Senior Developer Programs Engineer working on the Google Analytics API. In his spare time he likes to travel around the world.





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/LWD5umexyjk/automate-google-analytics-reporting.html

[G] AdWords Community: now in Traditional Chinese

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Inside AdWords: AdWords Community: now in Traditional Chinese

In February 2012, we launched the AdWords Community in six languages. Since then we have been receiving constant positive feedback from our users, who appreciate the improved site navigation and new forms of content, as well as high quality of discussions and the presence of knowledgeable AdWords professionals. This encouraged us to continue rolling out the new AdWords Community platform to more languages. In June we launched the site in Italian, and today we are glad to announce that AdWords Community is now available in Traditional Chinese.

The new Adwords 社群 caters to all AdWords advertisers who speak Traditional Chinese. This is a big step towards helping AdWords customers get the best out of AdWords and out of the web, an opportunity to learn more about online marketing and usage of AdWords by exchanging advice, ideas and best practices. Now in addition to getting professional help via email, phone, chat or Help Center, advertisers who speak Traditional Chinese can connect online with AdWords professionals, other advertisers and Google employees.


You can visit, search and browse the new AdWords 社群 without registration. If you want to ask a question, simply log in with your Google Account and choose a username.

We hope you will enjoy the social interactions and the wealth of business knowledge that will be available on this new Community!


Posted by Lina Lau, AdWords Online Help Lead for China
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/08/adwords-community-now-in-traditional.html

[G] Introducing the Links API

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Google Affiliate Network: Introducing the Links API

Since we launched our first set of API’s, we've consistently heard from publishers that they want an automated, flexible way to access and serve affiliate ads to scale their marketing efforts, create more unique advertising experiences, and better monetize their websites. Today, we've launched a beta of the new Links API, enabling publishers to query for links, banners, and even create publisher-specific links in real time.

If you're using our existing API's or are looking for more advanced ways to distribute affiliate links, try our Links API to programmatically access and show ads from Google Affiliate Network advertisers in new and creative ways. To get started, take a look at the documentation.

To start testing now, try out the Links API in Google APIs Explorer. Try running some sample requests like listing available free shipping promotions from approved advertisers (requires authentication).

Want to learn more about using Google Affiliate Network APIs to their full potential? Check out our presentation at Google I/O:


As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you have comments or suggestions on our new Links API, please visit our forum and share your feedback.

Posted by:
Ali Pasha, Product Manager
Shaun Cox, Software Engineer
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2012/08/introducing-links-api.html

[G] 5 Questions with Scott Harrison, Founder of charity:water

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YouTube Blog: 5 Questions with Scott Harrison, Founder of charity:water

charity:water is an organization dedicated to providing clean, safe drinking water to people around the globe and since exploding onto YouTube in 2008, they’ve made a name for themselves with consistent catchy, aesthetically awesome videos. charity:water is a nonprofit who isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what’s possible with video so we weren’t surprised to hear that they have big YouTube plans for their upcoming September Campaign. We sat down with charity:water founder Scott Harrison to learn more about the campaign and their approach to making videos that are both inspiring and compulsively watchable.

Q: You're launching your 6th annual September Campaign next week. Can you tell us about the campaign and how video will play a role?


A: charity: water was born in September, and each year we take that month to focus in on a particular country, tell an amazing story and challenge our community to make a big impact there. This year, we’re telling apowerful story of redemption in Rwanda (http://charitywater.org/september).

It’s been 18 years since the genocide, and the country has been rebuilding faster than most people ever thought possible. Rwanda is now attempting to achieve 100% clean water coverage by 2020 -- something no country in Africa has ever done before -- and we want to help them. By partnering with the local government, through the September Campaign, we’re going to bring clean water to 26,000 people in the Rulindo District.


At the core of this campaign are stories, stories of families who have to haul water up and down a mountain every day--water from a swamp or river that can make them sick; stories of people making a living by managing and maintaining the kind of water points we’ll fund; and stories of our fundraisers doing amazing things to help people on the other side of the world.

In addition to the trailer which launched on August 21, we’ll release four short films during the campaign, and then on September 7, we’ll film and upload a video -- live from Rwanda -- as the work begins in the field. It’s important to us to inspire our fundraisers by bringing the story to life and also to use video to help them see their impact.









Q. Your "Thank You" campaign fascinated us at YouTube because it did a few things differently. For example, it featured your whole staff and each video was targeted towards a particular donor. Was the campaign successful? Can you share any learnings?


Yes. Last year, to mark our fifth birthday, we decided to celebrate the thousands of fundraisers (http://youtube.com/charitywaterthanks) who gave up their birthdays, biked, swam, and built lemonade stands to raise money for clean water.

There was no fundraising goal for these videos, and we intentionally didn’t make them only for our top donors and fundraisers. Instead our goal was to just make 250 different supporters feel special and let them know how much we value them.

Our metrics for the campaign were soft, but dozens of people who received the videos, sent us emails to express the depth of their feelings and ‘love’ for our brand.

And our staff (everyone from our receptionist to our CTO made videos!) reported back that this ‘thank you experience’ was among their favorite moments working here.

Most importantly, we think that anyone who sees the thank you videos will understand just how much we care about our relationship with our supporters.





Q: Besides view count, how do you measure the success of a charity:water video?



A: The first goal of our video strategy is to inspire people. Inspire them to become aware of this important issue, to donate, to fundraise, and hopefully to become lifelong fans. Inspiration is difficult to measure, but the results driven by that inspiration are powerful.

For this year’s September Campaign (link: http://charitywater.org/september), we’ll release five videos throughout the campaign as key content to drive our $1.7 million fundraising target. Without the video inspiration, we wouldn’t be able to create the movement of thousands of fundraisers needed to bring clean water to 26,000 people in Rwanda.

And despite the fact that we don’t make videos to drive immediate donations, we frequently see a fundraising spike alongside our best video content. For example, last year when we launched our animated Water Changes Everything on YouTube (now viewed over 800,000 times), we saw our online donations spike for weeks.




Q: One thing that comes across in your videos is your sense of aesthetics. How does design play a role in video production and does it take a large budget to make videos that are aesthetically appealing?



A: Time, energy, and talent can be more important than budget when it comes to making great videos. Our video team is only made up of a couple people, but we invest significant time and energy in bringing excellence to everything we produce.

It’s important to us that charity: water videos always look beautiful. It shows respect for our supporters that we invest as much time as possible in the highest aesthetic appeal.




Q: What's one mistake you see nonprofits making with video? What advice do you have for organizations making this mistake?



A: The biggest mistake we see are non-profits using the power of the medium to drive feelings of guilt or sadness, instead of hope and positivity.

You can evoke strong emotions with a video, and a sad tale or a shocking image can indeed induce someone to pull out their wallet and donate. However, we believe in respecting both the subjects of our videos and the audience, and you’ll see us continue to focus on positivity, possibility and inspiration over guilt and sadness.




Ramya Raghavan, News and Politics Manager, recently watched “Unshaken.”



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/nrcOdOL4Bhw/5-questions-with-scott-harrison-founder.html

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[G] Google Maps heads north...way north

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Official Google Blog: Google Maps heads north...way north

Search for [cambridge bay] on Google Maps and you’ll fly to a tiny hamlet located deep in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic, surrounded by an intricate lacework of tundra, waterways and breaking ice. High above the Arctic circle, it’s a place reachable only by plane or boat. Zoom in on the map, and this isolated village of 1,500 people appears as only a handful of streets, with names like Omingmak (“musk ox”) Street and Tigiganiak (“fox”) Road.


View Larger Map
Cambridge Bay in Google Maps

There are 4,000 years’ worth of stories waiting to be told on this map. Today, we’re setting out on an ambitious mission to tell some of those stories and to build the most comprehensive map of the region to date. It is the furthest north the Google Maps Street View team has traveled in Canada, and our first visit to Nunavut. Using the tools of 21st century cartography, we’re empowering a community and putting Cambridge Bay on the proverbial map of tomorrow.

The hamlet of Cambridge Bay

We’re not doing it alone, but with the help of the community and residents like Chris Kalluk. We first met Chris, who works for the nonprofit Nunavut Tunngavik, last September at our Google Earth Outreach workshop in Vancouver, where he learned how to edit Google Maps data using Google Map Maker. Today Chris played host to a community Map Up event in Cambridge Bay, where village elders, local mapping experts and teenagers from the nearby high school gathered around a dozen Chromebooks and used Map Maker to add new roads, rivers and lakes to the Google Map of Cambridge Bay and Canada's North. But they didn’t stop there. Using both English and Inuktitut, one of Nunavut’s official languages, they added the hospital, daycare, a nine-hole golf course, a territorial park and, finally, the remnants of an ancient Dorset stone longhouse which pre-dates Inuit culture.

Catherine Moats, a member of the Google Map Maker Team, working with Chris Kalluk and others at the Community Map Up.

Now we’re pedaling the Street View trike around the gravel roads of the hamlet and using a tripod—the same used to capture business interiors—to collect imagery of these amazing places. We’ll train Chris and others in the community to use some of this equipment so they can travel to other communities in Nunavut and continue to build the most comprehensive and accurate map of Canada’s Arctic. As Chris put it to us, “This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history. By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut’s story to the world.”

The Street View Trike collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay.

So stay tuned, world. We look forward to sharing with you the spectacular beauty and rich culture of Canada’s Arctic—one of the most isolated places on the planet that will soon be, thanks to the people of Cambridge Bay, just a click away.

Posted by Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Google Earth Outreach team

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog and new Google Canada Blog)
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-maps-heads-northway-north.html

[G] The U.S. election, live on YouTube

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Official Google Blog: The U.S. election, live on YouTube

Today we’re introducing the YouTube Elections Hub, a one-stop channel for key political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle...they’re all happening on the Hub live.

In addition to videos from politicians and parties, a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage of the political process on the new hub. You’ll find live and on-demand reporting and analysis from ABC News, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed, Larry King, The New York Times, Phil DeFranco, Univision and the Wall Street Journal. Each will put their own stamp on the Presidential race—from the conventions to the debates to election night.



Of course, we’ll have special live coverage around the Republican National Convention from August 27 to 30, the Democratic National Convention from September 4-6, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates in October, and election night. Bookmark the Elections Hub now for a front row seat along the road to the White House.

Posted by Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-us-election-live-on-youtube.html

[G] Mapping the Motor City with Google Map Maker

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Official Google Blog: Mapping the Motor City with Google Map Maker

Hailed as the birthplace of the automotive revolution, the city of Detroit, Mich. is taking its transportation legacy down new paths. As Detroit embraces a greener, non-motorized outlook, cycling is steadily increasing in popularity. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is facilitating this transition by creating an interconnected statewide system of trails and greenways, including the development of bike paths throughout the Detroit area.

As these new bike paths change the city’s landscape, Motor City residents need a more comprehensive map showing bike friendly routes. Todd Scott, the Detroit Greenways Coordinator, discovered that he could use Google Map Maker—a free tool that allows anyone to make contributions to Google Maps—to add new information on biking paths and trails in and around Detroit. Adding new bike paths not only makes the map more accurate, it also improves biking directions, making it even easier for people to find the quickest routes through town. Anyone can also enhance existing trails by including details such as the official name, surface type and bicycle suitability. Keeping Google Maps updated with the latest information means everyone in the community is able to find and enjoy these new additions to the trail system.

Learn more about Todd Scott and his mission to improve the map for cyclists in Detroit.

Building a more comprehensive, accurate and usable map for local cyclists is just one part of Todd’s mission. From the smallest town to a rapidly evolving city like Detroit, maps reflect the heart of a community. Whether you’re improving directions, adding local businesses or mapping an entire area from scratch, your local expertise will help make life easier for not only you, but all Google Maps users. As Todd says, “It goes beyond map making. It’s a way to take back your neighborhood.”

How are you mapping your world? Join the Map Maker Community and tell us your story.

Posted by Lori Savageau, Map Maker Community Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/mapping-motor-city-with-google-map-maker.html

[G] Google Maps heads north...way north

| More

Google Lat Long: Google Maps heads north...way north


Search for [cambridge bay] on Google Maps and you’ll fly to a tiny hamlet located deep in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic, surrounded by an intricate lacework of tundra, waterways and breaking ice. High above the Arctic circle, it’s a place reachable only by plane or boat. Zoom in on the map, and this isolated village of 1,500 people appears as only a handful of streets, with names like Omingmak (“musk ox”) Street and Tigiganiak (“fox”) Road.


View Larger Map
Cambridge Bay in Google Maps

There are 4,000 years’ worth of stories waiting to be told on this map. Today, we’re setting out on an ambitious mission to tell some of those stories and to build the most comprehensive map of the region to date. It is the furthest north the Google Maps Street View team has traveled in Canada, and our first visit to Nunavut. Using the tools of 21st century cartography, we’re empowering a community and putting Cambridge Bay on the proverbial map of tomorrow.

The hamlet of Cambridge Bay

We’re not doing it alone, but with the help of the community and residents like Chris Kalluk. We first met Chris, who works for the nonprofit Nunavut Tunngavik, last September at our Google Earth Outreach workshop in Vancouver, where he learned how to edit Google Maps data using Google Map Maker. Today Chris played host to a community Map Up event in Cambridge Bay, where village elders, local mapping experts and teenagers from the nearby high school gathered around a dozen Chromebooks and used Map Maker to add new roads, rivers and lakes to the Google Map of Cambridge Bay and Canada's North. But they didn’t stop there. Using both English and Inuktitut, one of Nunavut’s official languages, they added the hospital, daycare, a nine-hole golf course, a territorial park and, finally, the remnants of an ancient Dorset stone longhouse which pre-dates Inuit culture.

Catherine Moats, a member of the Google Map Maker Team, working with Chris Kalluk and others at the Community Map Up.

Now we’re pedaling the Street View trike around the gravel roads of the hamlet and using a tripod—the same used to capture business interiors—to collect imagery of these amazing places. We’ll train Chris and others in the community to use some of this equipment so they can travel to other communities in Nunavut and continue to build the most comprehensive and accurate map of Canada’s Arctic. As Chris put it to us, “This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history. By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut’s story to the world.”

The Street View Trike collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay.

So stay tuned, world. We look forward to sharing with you the spectacular beauty and rich culture of Canada’s Arctic—one of the most isolated places on the planet that will soon be, thanks to the people of Cambridge Bay, just a click away.

Posted by Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Google Earth Outreach team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-maps-heads-northway-north.html