Friday, December 7, 2012

[G] Google Maps: You learn, we listen

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Google Lat Long: Google Maps: You learn, we listen

Whether you use Google Maps to get to work on time, explore new places, or find your way, our goal is the same: to make Google Maps the most comprehensive, accurate, and usable map for you. We are constantly working to achieve this goal by supporting you where and when you need it, and actively listening to your feedback.

Your answers and support for your Maps

There are more than one billion monthly active users of Google Maps services, and we are able to reach users in over 40 languages on our desktop maps and mobile maps Help Centers. Learn everything from searching on Google Maps to embedding a map onto your blog. In order to make sure the how-to guides and videos we post are useful to you, we provide a star rating form at the bottom of each article. Your ratings help us prioritize which articles we update - like this newly improved Help Center article for creating My Maps.

In the Google Maps Help Forum, a tight-knit community of superusers called “Top Contributors” and Googlers help you troubleshoot more technical issues, brainstorm best practices, and connect with others passionate about Google Maps. Our Google+, Twitter, and Facebook channels are also there to share product tips, and of course to listen to what you have to say.

Tell us what you think about our Maps

Your feedback is valuable when it comes to improving both the quality of support provided to you as well as the quality of the product itself. Provide comments and feedback about your Maps experience (and even help to fix the map) through the “Report a problem” feature. It can be found in multiple places on the desktop version of Maps, most prominently in the bottom-right corner of the map.

You can tell us what you think about our Maps by clicking “Report a problem” > “Other problems” > “All other comments, feedback on Google Maps.”

There are instances where feedback has caused big changes. For example, some Google Maps Android users had expressed their disappointment that viewing maps required an internet connection. The product team took that to heart and created a feature for mobile users to download maps for use offline.

Good support is about creating a connection between those of us behind the product and all of you who use the product. We want you to know your support options and feedback channels. After all, support and feedback are what drives Google Maps forward and what helps to make your experience easier than folding up a map.

Posted by Laura Paragano, Consumer Operations

[G] Gilt embraces insights from Analytics at an enterprise level

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Google Analytics Blog: Gilt embraces insights from Analytics at an enterprise level

A little over a year ago we launched Google Analytics Premium to help better meet the needs of our enterprise users. In that time we’ve been happily surprised by the warm reception and how companies have been using Google Analytics Premium to look at data in a new way. Below is a case study from Gilt, on how Google Analytics Premium has spread the love of data across their company, they leveraged the increased number of custom variables to power their predictive modeling, and used unsampled data to remove uncertainty from test results.

Gilt Groupe is an innovative online shopping destination offering its members special access to the most inspiring merchandise and experiences available. Gilt provides instant insider access to top designer brands at up to 60% off retail. Products span fashion, decor, artisanal ingredients, travel experiences, and unique activities in a growing list of cities. The bottom line for Gilt is that Google Analytics Premium has provided the ability to make better, faster data-driven decisions at every single level of the organization. Read the full case study.

“Google Analytics Premium has given everyone at Gilt quick, easy access to insights about our business. It has enabled true ‘self-service’ data across the company.”  

  - Ana Kravitz, Web Analytics Senior Manager

    Gilt Groupe

Google Analytics Premium provides enterprise level analytics with access to more data, flexibility and 24/7 support. The benefits of Premium are guaranteed SLA’s on data collection, reporting and processing times. Premium accounts also get an increase in the number of hits per month, an additional 50 custom variables, and access to unsampled data. Premium accounts also gain access to customer support including an implementation review, quality assurance, training, and a dedicated account manager.

Google Analytics Premium is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Looking towards 2013 Google Analytics Premium will continue to expand our product and services to meet the variety of Analytics enterprise customer needs. We’ll soon be popping up in 7 more countries: Japan, Brazil, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

If you would like to learn more about Google Analytics Premium and how it can help your business, contact the Google Analytics sales team or one of our Google Analytics Premium Authorized Resellers.

Clancy Childs

Google Analytics Premium Team


[G] Constantly innovate with DoubleClick for Publishers

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Constantly innovate with DoubleClick for Publishers

This week we’ve been highlighting new DFP enhancements that are helping publishers tackle the challenges of the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape. On Monday we announced recent advances in DFP Mobile and yesterday we covered how DFP Video is enabling publishers take advantage of the high-growth video advertising opportunity. Today, we’d like to highlight a bunch of great new features available on DFP and DFP Small Business.

Our engineering team constantly strives to innovate and improve our platform to make digital advertising easier for all our partners. The following updates are available now to help publishers of all sizes maximize the value of every impression. A complete list changes is always available on the DFP and DFP Small Business Help Centers.

Available in DFP

Master and companion roadblocks for creative sets: This new opt-in feature allows you to create roadblocks where a master creative is always delivered first. Also, master/companion roadblocks give you controls to manage how companion ads are delivered. Set the line item to require all creatives in the set serve together, to always deliver the master with at least one companion, or to serve as many companions as possible when the master is served. Read the full details on the DFP help center.

Available in DFP and DFP Small Business

Google AdMob SDK v6.2 updated for iOS: The new Google AdMob SDK v6.2 has been updaded for iOS and is now available for download on the site. With this release we’ve added compatibility for iOS 6 including adoption of Apple’s new Identifier for Advertising (IDFA). The full list of updates to the SDK can be reviewed on the Google AdMob Ads SDK release notes page.

New Options for Image Creatives: We’ve added two new, optional fields for image creatives.

Alt Text: You can now include Alt Text to better serve your users utilizing screen readers or to show text to users with images disabled on their browser.

3rd-Party Impression URL: Add a 3rd Party impression URL to image creatives delivered by DFP.

Orders Screen Updates: To improve the user experience and improve the load time of the orders screen we’ve made the following changes.

Default Orders screen change: The 'My Orders' filter now reflects orders which you’ve created as well as ones you’ve been assigned to as primary/secondary trafficker or primary/secondary salesperson. In the near future the default Orders screen will become the ‘My Orders’ view and a new ‘All Orders’ filter will be added to reveal all the orders you have permission to view.

Tabbed View for Orders: To increase the visibility of an order’s details, we’ve introduced tabs to the order view. Now, when you navigate to an order you’ll see two tabs: one providing an overview of the order’s line items and another displaying the order’s settings (such as trafficker and salesperson assignments).

Mobile Update: We’ve added a new targeting option for mobile line items. Now you can target mobile ads by specific mobile carrier. Read more about this targeting option on the DFP or DFP Small Business help centers.

Posted by Alex Strittmatter, DFP Product Specialist


Thursday, December 6, 2012

[G] 2's Company, 3+ is a Crowd

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Google Open Source Blog: 2's Company, 3+ is a Crowd

The Crowdsourcing Biology team at the Scripps Research Institute participated in the Google Summer of Code for the first time this year.  Five students contributed to efforts to harness the power of community intelligence to advance biomedical science.

Maximilian Ludvigsson took the first steps in the creation of Semantic BioGPS.  BioGPS is a user-extensible Web portal that provides easy access to information about genes from hundreds of different websites.  Maxmilian produced a tool that allows BioGPS users to annotate regions of gene-centric Web pages to state, computationally, what different areas of the page ‘mean’.  These semantic annotations enable scripts to extract structured content about genes from these Web pages, paving the way for a new version of BioGPS that provides integrated views across multiple data sources.

Karthik G developed an interactive network visualization for the data linking genes to diseases in the GeneWiki+.  The GeneWiki+ is a Semantic Media Wiki (SMW) installation that dynamically integrates data about human genes from Wikipedia and from SNPedia.  While SMW queries provide a great way for programmers and advanced wiki users to interact with data, the graphical network that Karthik created gives ordinary biologists a new, intuitive, and sometimes beautiful way to explore connections between genes and disease.

Clarence Leung began the development of a new version of the crowdsourcing game Dizeez.  In this new two-player game, players are challenged to get their partner to guess a particular disease by prompting them with related genes.  This game follows in the tradition of ‘games with a purpose’ such as Foldit and the ESP game by producing novel, validated gene-disease associations as a result of game play.

Shivansh Srivastava worked on migrating BioGPS’s gene report layout windowing system from ExtJS to both a jQuery windowing environment and a Yahoo User Interface-based approach.  This view in BioGPS provides biologists with a customizable environment for accessing gene-centric data from a diverse collection of sources.  Shivansh’s efforts provided BioGPS developers with insight into the technical limitations of each solution, as compared to the current BioGPS ExtJS codebase.

Kevin Wu developed a scalable and efficient system for storing and analyzing biologically meaningful sets of genes.  Accessible via a RESTful HTTP interface, the system uses MongoDB for storage and custom code for distributed computing that executes statistical comparisons across thousands of gene sets in parallel.  For any particular gene set, Kevin’s code makes it possible to rapidly identify similar gene sets and to calculate the ‘enrichment’ (a statistical measure of overlap) of that gene set with respect to any other.  This work will soon be integrated into BioGPS to allow users to save their own gene sets and to query for similar gene sets from others.

Thanks to all of our excellent students for their great contributions and to Google for sponsoring this unique program.  We are looking forward to participating in future editions of Google Summer of Code for many years to come!

By Benjamin Good and the Crowdsourcing Biology Google Summer of Code mentors


[G] Google+: Communities and photos

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Official Google Blog: Google+: Communities and photos

For our international readers, this post is also available in ChineseFrench, German, ItalianJapanese, RussianPortuguese and Spanish (Spain, Latin America). - Ed.

During the holidays we reconnect with loved ones and rediscover what makes us tick. And it's times like these that remind me why we started Google+ in the first place: to make online sharing as meaningful as the real thing. Too often our online tools miss the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions, and Google+ aims to fix this. Fortunately we've got a vibrant community to guide us.

Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1'ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search...), and 135 million are active in just the stream.

This enthusiasm, we think, stems from our building tools that build real relationships—in a live hangout, around a breathtaking photo, or with an inner circle of friends. So today we're launching two new improvements that help bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software.

Google+ Communities: for all the people you ought to know
From photography to astronomy (and everything in between), Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people. What’s been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are waaay out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions, including:
  • Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
  • Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
  • The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
  • The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web

To give it a try just click on the new "Communities" icon (rolling out today), then create or join your favorite community. It’s only a preview, and mobile’s coming soon, so we’re keen to get your feedback.

Snapseed: beautiful photos with your mobile device
Great pictures aren’t taken, they’re made—and Nik Software has been helping people make awesome photos for years. Having welcomed Nik to the Google family, we're excited to bring their Snapseed app (last year's iPad app of the year) to Android. It includes:
  • Basic adjustments like tune, straighten and crop
  • Creative filters like drama, black & white, and vintage that you can apply individually or in combination
  • Control Point technology to selectively enhance your photo—to brighten just a face, for instance, or deepen just the sky
  • The ability to share your creations via Google+ and other services
Snapseed is rolling out now to Google Play and the App Store, and starting today, both versions are free.

Sample image created with Snapseed; gallery available here

This time of year we honor the past, and imagine what’s ahead. So we want to thank you for lending your big hearts to this small project. And we invite you to a future where everyone’s cared for and comfortable in their own skin—in life and online. Let’s keep building Google+ together, and let’s be excellent to each other this holiday season.

Posted by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President

[G] Explore digital archives of buildings in Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami

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Official Google Blog: Explore digital archives of buildings in Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami

A year ago we released Street View imagery of areas in Northeastern Japan that were affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Our hope was that the 360-degree panoramas would provide a comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use way for people around the world to view the damage to the region by enabling a virtual walk through of the disaster zones.

The panoramas were only the start of our digital archiving project. Last month we took the next step—using the technology behind Business Photos to photograph the inside of buildings in Northeastern Japan that were heavily damaged but still standing. We worked with four city governments in the Tōhoku area to photograph more than 30 buildings, and today we’re bringing this imagery to Google Maps and our Memories for the Future site. The new imagery enables you to walk through the buildings and switch between floors to get a first-hand glimpse at the extent of the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

The timing of the project was critical. There has been a strong debate in these areas whether to keep the buildings up as a permanent reminder of the tragedy or to tear them down to allow emotional wounds to heal. After long consultations with their citizens, many local governments have decided to move forward with demolishing the buildings. Knowing this, we quickly moved to photograph the buildings before they started to be dismantled.

The panorama below shows an elementary school very close to the ocean. Thankfully, all the students survived the disaster as they had been well drilled to rush to escape at the sound of tsunami warnings.

Other sites include Rikuzentakata city public housing, a building that physically demonstrates the heights of the tsunami wave. Everything up to the fourth floor is completely ruined, but the fifth floor remains mostly unscathed.

Panorama of Rikuzentakata City Public Housing

We’ve also captured imagery of Ukedo Elementary School and a few other buildings in Namie Town—located in the restricted area (PDF) within 20km of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the elementary school, you can see holes in the gym floor, where a graduation banner still hangs in the gym, though the ceremony never took place.

Panorama of Ukedo Elementary School

We’ll continue to photograph more buildings in two Iwate Prefecture cities, Ōfunato and Kamaishi, over the coming weeks. By the end of the year, we also hope to complete the collection of imagery from five new cities in the Miyagi prefecture. We look forward to making this new imagery available as soon as it’s ready to pay tribute to both the tragedy of the disaster and the current efforts to rebuild. City governments in Northeastern Japan that are interested in this digital archiving project are welcome to contact us through this form.

Posted by Kei Kawai, Group Product Manager, Street View

[G] Changes to Google Apps for businesses

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Changes to Google Apps for businesses

Posted by Clay Bavor, Director of Product Management, Google Apps

Google Apps started with the simple idea that Gmail could help businesses and schools work better together without the hassles of managing software and servers. As we grew from a handful of customers to a few hundred, we expanded to offer a premium business version of Google Apps. Fast forward to today and Google Apps is used by millions of businesses. We’ve also added versions for governments, universities and schools.

When we launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn't quite right for either group. Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to make things very straightforward. Starting today for all new customers:
  • Individuals wishing to use Google’s web apps like Gmail and Google Drive should create a free personal Google Account, which provides a seamless experience across all of our web services on any device.
  • For Businesses, instead of two versions, there will be one. Companies of all sizes will sign up for our premium version, Google Apps for Business, which includes 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime. Pricing is still $50 per user, per year.

Please note this change has no impact on our existing customers, including those using the free version. And as before, Google Apps for Education will be available as a free service for schools and universities. Also, as the first cloud productivity suite with FISMA certification, we’ll continue to offer Google Apps for Government for $50 per user, per year.

With focus we’ll be able to do even more for our business customers. We’re excited about the opportunity to push Google Apps further so our customers can do what matters most to them–whether that’s scooping ice cream, changing the face of healthcare or contributing to lifelong learning.

[G] Tagging just got easier: Built-in templates for popular tags in Google Tag Manager

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Google Analytics Blog: Tagging just got easier: Built-in templates for popular tags in Google Tag Manager

One of our favorite features of Google Tag Manager is the ability to add new tags to your site using a tag template instead of copying-and-pasting code — and we’ve just made tagging even easier with several new built-in tag templates. Just add a few key details to the template, and Google Tag Manager will automatically generate the correct code.

We’ve teamed up with a variety of companies to provide our first wave of Tag Vendor templates, including:

This is just the first wave of supported tags, and you can look forward to many more coming soon. If you have specific requests, we’d love to hear them in our Google Tag Manager Forum in the Feature Requests section.

If you’re a tag vendor, and you’d like to get your tag supported in Google Tag Manager through the Tag Vendor Program, follow the instructions here to get started. And thanks to all of our partners for your support and involvement with Google Tag Manager!

Posted by Laura Holmes, Product Manager, Google Tag Manager


[G] A new look to help you to subscribe and watch channels on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: A new look to help you to subscribe and watch channels on YouTube

Those of you who use YouTube most have learned the secret to making it even better—find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Last year we began to make it easier to subscribe to the channels you care about by introducing a Guide on the home page. When you add subscriptions to your Guide, you organize YouTube around what you like, available whenever you watch YouTube. Today, we’re taking the next step by bringing your subscription-filled Guide with you across both the site and all devices, as your best source of what to watch on YouTube.

Your Guide to YouTube

Just subscribe to your favorite channels and the Guide lets you know when there are new videos waiting for you to enjoy, suggests the latest and greatest channels you might like, and shows you what your friends are sharing across the web. You’ll also find the Guide and your subscriptions on apps across hundreds of millions of devices including Android, iPhone, Playstation 3, Google TV and more.

A cleaner, simpler look

You come to YouTube to watch the videos you care about, so it’s important that the videos stand out. In this new layout, you’ll find the most crucial elements are front and center when you watch a video: the video is right at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player. Playlists are now available to the right of the video so you can browse through while you watch. You’ll also see this cleaner and simpler design across the entire site.

Your feedback matters

We’d love to get your feedback on these updates, so we’ll be hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air and a Reddit IAmA in the coming weeks--stay tuned here for details. If you’re a YouTube creator, you can learn more about these updates on our YouTube Creator Blog.

Josh Sassoon, Senior Unicorn eXperience Designer, recently watched “Hipster Thanksgiving” and

Alex Nicksay, Staff Engineer, recently watched “Crystalfilm.”


[G] YouTube NextUp: Get Collaborating

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YouTube Blog: YouTube NextUp: Get Collaborating

Alright stop, collaborate and listen.

YouTube has seen some pretty amazing collabs in its time. From exploring the possibility of a hollow earth to raging office warfare, you guys love to partner up and get creative. Collaboration, along with developing your audience and learning production best practices, has helped previous YouTube NextUp program alumni such as FinalCutKing, chescaleigh, TheCraftyGemini, and RatedRR take their channels to the next level.

Since the launch of the first YouTube NextUp program, a competition that we ran to help creators succeed back in 2011, we’ve helped turbocharge the careers of over 215 YouTube creators in 15 different countries. Today we’re re-launching YouTube NextUp for video creators in the United States: we’re looking for passionate, motivated YouTube creators who want to collaborate. To enter? Find another creator you’d like to partner with, and tell us what you’d like to film together.

If you’re selected as one of the top 30 channels, you will receive:

  • $3,000 to help you make your video dreams a reality

  • $4,000 of production equipment to up-level your skills

  • Two one week-long Creator Camps at the brand-new YouTube Space LA in January and March 2013 to film your collaboration and to learn some more tips and tricks of the trade.

You can apply through our program site: applications are due December 27, 2012.

Austin Lau, YouTube Creator Programs Manager, recently watched “Silent Disco


[G] Bring your A-game to video

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Bring your A-game to video

On Monday, we unveiled news on how mobile is evolving in DFP, enabling publishers to execute upon their multi-device strategy. Today we’re focusing on another high-growth area - video advertising - and sharing what’s possible with DFP Video advanced features. Stay tuned for more DFP and DFP Small Business announcements later this week.

Publishers everywhere are thriving upon the incredible momentum in video advertising. They’re tackling the operational challenges of delivering video campaigns to smart phones, tablets, and connected TVs, as well as pushing the creative envelope with eye-catching interactive ads. A little over a year ago we launched DFP Video, and since then we have seen month-on-month impression growth climb to 65% from non-Google publishers on the platform.

At the recent IAB Ad Operations Summit, we highlighted a few examples of how advertisers and publishers are bringing their A-Game to video. We wanted to share some news about DFP Video that will help publishers bring amazing ads to audiences anywhere.

Amazing ads unlock the value of the engaged viewer
We all know that viewers love to have a choice in what video ads they watch. We just launched a beta for publishers to traffic any video ad as a skippable ad. Why would a publisher want to make advertising skippable? We found that skippable ads on YouTube lower content abandonment rates by 40% as well as deliver more engaged viewers to advertisers.

Audiences want a better ad experience
Advanced Ad Rules and Podding Choices help publishers create a relevant ad experience for various viewer and content scenarios. For example, publishers can lower the number of ads shown to subscribers versus non-subscribers, or choose to show a bumper to promote a new miniseries to audiences watching episodes categorized as “drama”. Publishers have also used Ad Rules to match the commercial break pattern for a new online episode with the ad experience on TV for a set period of time.

Any(where) you want it, that’s the way you need it
We’re indulging in a bit of a Journey moment to share that video ads served to mobile devices in DFP Video have grown 59% month over month from September to November. In a big step towards a more seamless ad experience across all screens, we’re bringing increased sophistication to our HTML5, iOS, and Android Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDKs that show video ads in mobile web and in-app environments. These SDKs will be as comprehensive as our newest version for Flash. For publishers requiring a more plug-and-play approach, many video technology companies have partnered with us to implement these SDKs, so that publishers can work with the provider that best suits their needs.

We’re pumped to roll out our video A-game for DFP. More and more publishers are telling us what they’ve gained from managing their video, mobile, and desktop ads from DFP’s unified platform - so if there’s anything that catches your eye, contact your account representative to find out more.

Posted by
Rany Ng, Group Product Manager, Video Monetization

[G] Google Earth and Maps help save lives and protect property when disasters strike

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Earth and Maps help save lives and protect property when disasters strike

Posted by Rick Hinrichs, Director of Disaster Emergency Services, Red Cross - San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter.

Editors note:Today’s guest blogger is Rick Hinrichs from the Red Cross - San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter. We recently sat down with him to discuss how his organization stays coordinated during disasters using Google Earth and Maps. To learn more, watch this video.

In the event of a natural disaster or unexpected emergency, a quick and effective response can mean the difference between life and death. We at the Red Cross can always be counted on to assist on the front lines of these disasters and emergencies.

When the 2007 wildfires struck Southern California, 500,000 people were told to evacuate their homes in 30 minutes, but our San Diego command center wasn't fully staffed until four hours later. We scrambled to collect information and plan a strategy over the phone and through email. It was clear we needed a more efficient solution for better situational awareness and a common operating picture for the Red Cross command center, our volunteers and the citizens we serve.

In response, our San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Red Cross implemented a new response system built on Google Earth and Maps. Our map has dozens of data layers that can be used in a disaster situation to display, in real-time, everything from the location of our volunteers to shelters, food trucks, and medical supplies. This map can also be easily shared with other emergency management agencies outside of Southern California.

Now, volunteers and the public can pull up the Red Cross’ web-based emergency response map on their smartphones or tablets while out in the field. They can see safe routes to travel, hospital locations and other places to access resources during a disaster. Google Earth and Maps require no additional training; our volunteers already know how to use them.

Our chapter responds to a disaster once every 28 hours or so, from house fires and SWAT incidents to search and rescue operations. By mapping these locations on Google Earth and Maps, we can see where our assets are, determine where the most incidents occur, and better target our outreach and effectiveness.

The bottom line: the Red Cross is committed to protecting property and lives, and Google Earth and Maps help us do a much better job.


[G] How an AdWords expert uses Google Analytics data

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Inside AdWords: How an AdWords expert uses Google Analytics data

Back in October, we made it possible to import and view Google Analytics data in AdWords. We asked Jon Gritton, a Top Contributor in the AdWords Community, why he’s excited about this feature, and what it can offer advertisers.
Jon Gritton, Top Contributor,
AdWords Community
With AdWords as his primary business, as well as general Internet marketing consultancy, Jon describes his work as “a mouthful at the best of times!” He began using AdWords in 2002 while employed at a music distribution company, and has recently celebrated ten years using the program.

What were your first thoughts about this new ability to import Analytics data into AdWords?

To be honest my first thought was, “Why hasn’t this happened before?” It seems such an obvious thing to do now, but I guess that’s true of so many good ideas. The key thing that caught my eye was the Bounce Rate metric: when people on the Community say, “I get X clicks but no sales,” this figure can give them an instant insight into why their clicks aren’t turning into sales, much more quickly than mining through Analytics.

This launch brings some vital data right where you need it. It dramatically reduces the amount of cross-referencing and switching between products that you had to do in the past to analyze and apply the information presented by Analytics.

Can you talk more about the Analytics metrics that you now see inside AdWords?

All three of the metrics are telling you how your visitors engage with your website, and that’s a crucial part of the AdWords process. There’s no point sending people to a site that’s of no use.

Bounce Rate is a measure of how many of your visitors look at just one page of your site, then leave without going anywhere else. If you’re expecting your AdWords visitors to come to two or more pages for a visit, a high bounce rate is a sign of a problem. It’s like a customer opening the door to your store, walking in, then walking right back out again. You’ve got to look at why people are “bouncing.” There can be several reasons (sometimes more than one at the same time). Your site may be too slow to load and needs slimming down, or it may be that your site isn’t what the visitor expects, which might indicate you need to look at your ad copy or keywords to ensure you’re capturing the right audience.

Pages Per Visit and Average Visit Duration are other ways of looking at this visitor engagement, helping you gauge how effective your site is in supporting the AdWords campaign.  You can think of Pages Per Visit like our store visitor looking round lots of shelves and walking into several sections of the store, while the Visit Duration is obviously how long they spend in the shop.  

Anything advertisers should watch out for?

While it may seem clear that you want Pages Per Visit and Average Visit Duration to be as high as possible, bear in mind that they could also be high if the visitor can’t find what they’re looking for, or if the visitor finds your site hard to use.  Equally, a site that’s very quick and easy to use may have quite low figures here without indicating any kind of problem.  Like most things AdWords, you can’t really take one metric in isolation.

Tell us how you’re using these metrics.

For me the primary advantage is in identifying ads and keywords that aren’t “working” with my sites and the Bounce Rate is probably my favorite metric for this.  I hate high bounce rates - I hate the idea that people are coming to the site and just leaving, so I’m always trying to improve these figures.  Being able to see the rates right next to the AdWords components makes it a lot easier to start this process.

I’ve found the metrics can also act as a “defense” for keywords that might otherwise be slated for deletion.  I’ve found a number that I thought weren’t performing well because of poor clicks or conversions, but which I’ve now spotted actually do quite well for site penetration and time.  This data was always there in Analytics, of course, but it’s more “in your face” when you can see it as you work through an AdWords account.

Want to discuss the new Analytics import with other AdWords users? Take part in the discussion on the AdWords Community site. Or visit the AdWords Help Center to learn how to see Analytics data in your AdWords account.

Posted by Cindy Meyers and Virginia Roman, Editors, Online Help

[G] Analytics reporting with Google Apps Script at the UK Cabinet Office

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Google Analytics Blog: Analytics reporting with Google Apps Script at the UK Cabinet Office

Guest author Ashraf Chohan works at the Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the UK Cabinet Office. Originally posted on the Google Apps Developer Blog by Arun Nagarajan.

Recently, when we were preparing the launch of GOV.UK, my team was tasked with creating a series of high-level metrics reports which could be quickly compiled and presented to managers without technical or analytical backgrounds. These reports would be sent daily to ministers and senior civil servants of several government departments, with the data customised for each department.

We decided to use Adobe InDesign to manage the visual appearance of the reports. InDesign’s data-merge functionality, which can automatically import external data into the layout, made it easy to create custom departmental reports. The challenge was to automate the data collection using the Google Analytics API, then organize the data in an appropriate format for InDesign’s importer.

In a previous post on this blog, Nick Mihailovski introduced a tool which allows automation of Google Analytics Reporting using Google Apps Script. This seemed an ideal solution because the team only had basic developer knowledge, much of the data we needed was not accessible from the Google Analytics UI, and some of the data required specific formatting prior to being exported.

We started by building the core reports in a Google spreadsheet that pulls in all of the required raw data. Because we wanted to create daily reports, the start and end dates for our queries referenced a cell which defaulted to yesterday’s date [=(TODAY())-1].

These queries were dynamically fed into the Google Analytics API through Apps Script:

// All variables read from each of the “query” cells  
var optArgs = {
'dimensions': dimensions,
'sort': sort
'segment': segment
'filters': filters,
'start-index': '1',
'max-results': '250'

// Make a request to the API.
var results = Analytics.Data.Ga.get(
, // Table id (format ga:xxxxxx).
, // Start-date (format yyyy-MM-dd).
, // End-date (format yyyy-MM-dd).
, // Comma seperated list of metrics.

Next, we created additional worksheets that referenced the raw data so that we could apply the first stage of formatting. This is where storing the data in a spreadsheet really helps, as data formatting is not really possible in the Google Analytics UI.

For example, the final report had a 47-character limit for page titles, so we restricted the cells in the spreadsheet to 44 characters and automatically truncated long URLs by appending “...”.

Once the initial formatting was complete, we used formulas to copy the data into a summary sheet specially laid out so it could be exported as a CSV file that merges seamlessly into InDesign.

Below is an example of how a report looks on publication. Nearly everything on the page was extracted from the API tool, including the department name and the day number. Because most of the data was automated, it required minimal effort on our part to assemble these reports each morning.

We discovered that an added bonus of pulling data into a Google spreadsheet was that it also allowed us to publish the data to a Google site. This helped us display data to stakeholders without adding lots of users to our Google Analytics account.

The tools let us present Google Analytics data in deeper, more creative ways. That’s really important as we share information with more and more non-technical people, whether they’re inside GDS or beyond.

Posted by John Milinovich, Google Analytics team