Saturday, December 15, 2012

[G] Japan’s political candidates hang out with voters on Google+

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Official Google Blog: Japan’s political candidates hang out with voters on Google+

Yesterday, the heads of Japan’s eight most popular political parties held eight consecutive Google+ Hangouts to engage with citizens across the country ahead of Sunday’s general election—arguably the largest (and longest) series of Hangouts with politicians ever! Each of the leaders held a Hangout, including incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda from the Democratic Party Japan and Shinzo Abe from the Liberal Democratic Party.

Voters asked questions that reflected the most pressing issues on the Japanese people’s minds: the ailing economy, social security and the future of energy programs. For instance, one 21-year old student asked a politician about welfare and economic self-reliance, in response to which the politician explained his vision to create more opportunities for young people.

After announcing these Hangouts on November 29, we invited citizens to upload their questions on to Google+ using the hashtag #政治家と話そう (“talk to politicians”). Ten participants representing a cross-section of voters across Japanese society—including a college student from Tokyo, a housewife from Mie prefecture, and a businessman from Shizuoka prefecture—were chosen to join the Hangouts. People who tuned in said that it gave them a chance to witness an in-depth conversation between politicians and voters up close, which is rare in Japan’s incredibly short and intense campaign season of 12 days.


These Hangouts are part of Google Japan’s effort to help voters get information about the candidates before they head to the polls on December 16. To help voters get access to information about more than 1,000 candidates and 12 political parties, we launched our Japan elections site, called Erabou 2012 (“Choose 2012”), at google.co.jp/senkyo. This site serves as a hub for all latest elections-related information, pulling together candidate profiles and party platforms. If you missed the Hangouts live, you can also watch the recordings there and on the Japan Politics YouTube Channel.

Posted by Mak Arima, Country Managing Director, Google Japan
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/japans-political-candidates-hang-out.html

Friday, December 14, 2012

[G] Boost your journalism career with the 2013 Google Journalism Fellowship

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Official Google Blog: Boost your journalism career with the 2013 Google Journalism Fellowship

If you’re a student journalist looking to harness the power of technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways, then the first ever Google Journalism Fellowship could help make the summer of 2013 one to remember.

We recognize the value that quality journalism plays in a functioning society and would like to help the next generation of reporters gain valuable skills and experience on the path to creating great content.

This 10-week program will give eight students the opportunity to contribute to a variety of organizations—from those that are steeped in investigative journalism to those working for press freedom around the world and to those that are helping the industry figure out its future in the digital age. Throughout, fellows will gain skills and contacts to help them as they move forward with their careers.

This program will be of particular interest to students studying data journalism, online freedom of expression or new business models for the industry.

Our partners in the first Google Journalism Fellowship are:
For more information, visit our website and apply. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2013.

Posted by Maggie Shiels, former BBC journalist, Google Corporate Communications
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/boost-your-journalism-career-with-2013.html

[G] Winter cleaning

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Official Google Blog: Winter cleaning

Last January, we renewed our resolution to focus on creating beautiful, useful products that improve millions of people’s lives every day. To make the most impact, we need to make some difficult decisions. So as 2012 comes to an end, here are some additional products, features and services we’re closing:

  • On January 4, 2013, we’ll be shutting down several less popular Google Calendar features. You’ll be unable to create new reservable times on your Calendar through Appointment slots, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year. In addition, we’ll discontinue two Calendar Labs—Smart Rescheduler (we recommend Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives) and Add gadget by URL. Finally, Check your calendar via sms and Create event via sms (GVENT)—U.S.-only features for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google—will be discontinued today, as most users prefer mobile Calendar apps.
  • Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won't be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement.
  • In addition to Google Sync, we’re discontinuing Google Calendar Sync on December 14, 2012 and Google Sync for Nokia S60 on January 30, 2013. We’re also ending service for SyncML, a contacts sync service used by a small number of older mobile devices on January 30, 2013.
  • The Issue Tracker Data API allows client applications to view and update issues on Project Hosting on Google Code in the form of Google Data API feeds. We’ll shut down the Issue Tracker API on June 14, 2013.
  • Punchd is an app that keeps loyalty punch cards on your smartphone. On June 7, 2013, we will discontinue the Punchd Android and iOS apps, and merchants will no longer honor Punchd loyalty cards. Users can continue to earn punches and redeem rewards at participating businesses until June 7, 2013. We remained focused on developing products that help merchants and shoppers connect in new and useful ways.

Technology offers us a way to make a big impact on the world. In 2013, we’ll keep working hard to build a seamless, amazing Google experience for you.

Posted by Venkat Panchapakesan, VP, Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/winter-cleaning.html

[G] Modcloth and Inflection Drive Performance with Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting

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Inside AdWords: Modcloth and Inflection Drive Performance with Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting

Advertisers use contextual targeting on the Google Display Network to reach new customers as they browse content related to their products and services. In March we launched Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting, which enabled our display advertisers to manage their contextual campaigns with the same level of precision and granularity as search. In a few short months we’ve been delighted to see how it’s translated into real results for our customers, and today we’d like to shine a light on two specific examples.

Modcloth, an online retailer selling vintage inspired clothing, had been using contextual targeting on the Google Display Network as a way to scale their message across a wide variety of sites. Their challenge was figuring out which keywords were triggering which conversions across their multiple product lines. With keyword level reporting and optimization levers, Theresa Rockovich, Modcloth’s SEM Manager, was excited to finally put her SEM skills to work. “Before the ability to target and bid on keywords, we were barely making these campaigns profitable. Now that we’ve been able to adjust our bids and see which keywords are driving performance, margins are the healthiest they’ve ever been.” In nine weeks, their keyword-level optimizations helped turn three unprofitable contextual campaigns into some of their highest performers. Their jewelry lines saw a 460% increase in click-through-rates and their dresses campaign saw a 700% increase in ROI.

Andrew Wong, Marketing Director at Inflection, similarly took a search-focused approach to managing their contextual campaigns. “We took the shell of our search campaigns and copied them onto the Google Display Network” and created specific page URLs for each product line. After a few weeks of generating traffic, they turned on the Display Campaign Optimizer – the Google Display Network’s auto-optimization tool that automatically manages targeting and bidding – and the results were phenomenal. With the help of DCO, they increased conversions by 480% at a cost-per-action 10% lower than the rest of their display campaigns.



Keyword level targeting is one of the many reasons why our Display Campaign Optimizer  has improved in both accuracy and efficiency the past year. We've seen advertisers are usually able to reach their target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) in about two weeks, versus the two months it often took before these changes. Coupled with new bidding capabilities, such as real-time bidding, MaxCPC and Enhanced CPC, DCO is now available to use on ‘hybrid’ search and display campaigns.

And it gets even better
In addition to keyword targeting, bidding and reporting, today we’re announcing  new keyword status messages to assist advertisers troubleshoot for more effective and consistent keyword matching and delivery. Now you’ll know if a keyword is pointing to a suspended site, has been disapproved, or if it matches too few pages (Few Page Matches). We’ve also added a notification that alerts users with display-only campaigns when a Display Network bid - which overrides keyword bids when ads are shown on the Google Display Network - is in place. We recommend removing the Display Network Bid in display-only campaigns to take advantage of keyword level bidding. Click here to learn how.

Learn More
We look forward to seeing even more success stories as we continue to roll out these new features! To learn more about how to implement these strategies into your display campaigns, download the Google Display Network Guide here!

Posted by Katie Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager Google Display Network
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/12/modcloth-and-inflection-drive.html

Thursday, December 13, 2012

[G] The Seoul of a startup

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Official Google Blog: The Seoul of a startup

Entrepreneurship is alive in South Korea. Their tradition of outstanding math and science education has fostered a strong developer culture as well as a thriving design community.

Over the past year, the Google for Entrepreneurs team has partnered with Global K-Startup, a competition aimed at finding and supporting the next generation of international-ready startups. The competition received 246 applications, and the 30 top teams were incubated and mentored. In October, venture capitalists from around the world gathered to hear pitches from the top teams and select six to go on a trip to Silicon Valley and London. The Google for Entrepreneurs team helped select the finalists, and was thrilled to host the winners at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. and at Campus London. Check out the winners:

  • BrainGarden - vocabulary learning mobile application with social game feature
  • Whatugot - social networking mobile application for collection and sharing favorites
  • WATCHA - movie recommendation application with personal collection gallery features
  • KnowRe - innovative adaptive learning solution focused on math education
  • Alarmmon - mobile gaming alarm application with various character branding
  • Classting - web/mobile application for classroom management and inter-class connection and collaboration

2012 Global K-startup winners visiting Google campus in November

Starting in 2013, we’re growing our support of South Korean startups with the help of the technology innovation hub AppCenter, the Kstartup accelerator program, and the Korean Communications Commission. Together, we’ll bring tech entrepreneurs more community events, workshops, and contests. We’re also improving the Android and Google TV device testing library. To kick things off, Kstartup is opening applications for its new class of startups. Apply today or find out more about upcoming events and opportunities with AppCenter and Google for Entrepreneurs.

Posted by Bridgette Sexton, Global Entrepreneurship Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-seoul-of-startup.html

[G] Continuing the quest for future computer scientists with CS4HS

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Research Blog: Continuing the quest for future computer scientists with CS4HS

Erin Mindell, Program Manager, Google Education

Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) began five years ago with a simple question: How can we help create a much needed influx of CS majors into universities and the workforce? We took our questions to three of our university partners--University of Washington, Carnegie Mellon, and UCLA--and together we came up with CS4HS. The model was based on a “train the trainer” technique. By focusing our efforts on teachers and bringing them the skills they need to implement CS into their classrooms, we would be able to reach even more students. With grants from Google, our partner universities created curriculum and put together hands-on, community-based workshops for their local area teachers.

Since the initial experiment, CS4HS has exploded into a worldwide program, reaching more than 4,000 teachers and 200,000 students either directly or indirectly in more than 34 countries. These hands-on, in-person workshops are a hallmark of our program, and we will continue to fund these projects going forward. (For information on how to apply, please see our website.) The success of this popular program speaks for itself, as we receive more quality proposals each year. But success comes at a price, and we have found that the current format of the workshops is not infinitely scalable.

This is where Research at Google comes in. This year, we are experimenting with a new model for CS4HS workshops. By harnessing the success of online courses such as Power Searching with Google, and utilizing open-source platforms like the one found in Course Builder, we are hoping to put the “M” in “MOOC” and reach a broader audience of educators, eager to learn how to teach CS in their classrooms.

For this pilot, we are looking to sponsor two online workshops, one that is geared toward CS teachers, and one that is geared toward CS for non-CS teachers to go live in 2013. This is a way for a university (or several colleges working together) to create one incredible workshop that has the potential to reach thousands of enthusiastic teachers. Just as with our in-person workshops, applications will be open to college, university, and technical schools of higher learning only, as we depend on their curriculum expertise to put together the most engaging programs. For this pilot, we will be looking for MOOC proposals in the US and Canada only.

We are really excited about the possibilities of this new format, and we are looking for quality applications to fund. While applications don’t have to run on our Course Builder platform, we may be able to offer some additional support to funded projects that do. If you are interested in joining our experiment or just learning more, you can find information on how to apply on our CS4HS website (or click here).

Applications are open until February 16, 2013; we can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you have questions, please email us at cs4hs@google.com.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/12/continuing-quest-for-future-computer.html

[G] Chromebooks for student assessments and more

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Chromebooks for student assessments and more

Posted by Vidya Nagarajan, Product Manager, Chrome for Education & Business

Next February, approximately 1 million students from nearly 10,000 schools in the United States will participate in pilot tests developed by the American Institutes of Research (AIR) for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. We’re happy to share that AIR will now support Chromebooks as secure assessment devices to take these tests.

Photo Credit: American Institutes of Research

This development follows our earlier announcement that the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, as part of the U.S Department of Education Race to the Top initiative, verified that Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for online student assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

An increasing number of schools are finding Chromebooks to be cost-effective and secure devices to administer testing. According to John Jesse, Director of Assessments at Utah Department of Education, several schools in Utah used Chromebooks to securely administer their summative online state assessments this past spring.

New features and web apps
The Chromebook management console—like Chrome OS—is constantly getting better. The newest features help make Chromebooks more secure as assessment kiosks. With the latest OS release you can disable external storage (e.g., USB flash drives), screenshots, audio output sources (e.g., speakers), and audio capture sources (e.g., microphones).

Likewise, we’re adding more educational apps to the Chrome Web Store all the time. New apps available include OER Commons and CK12 for curated web content, Agilix Buzz for customized learning paths and the Hapara Teacher Dashboard for effortless maintenance of a classroom’s Google Apps activity.

We’re excited by how educators continue to find new ways to use the web and discover web resources to help them teach and engage with students. We look forward to sharing more of your stories in the new year.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/12/chromebooks-for-student-assessments-and.html

[G] Introducing Magazines on Google Play for the UK

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Official Android Blog: Introducing Magazines on Google Play for the UK

Following hot on the heels of the recent launch of music on Google Play in the UK, we’re pleased to announce that from today, you’ll also be able to buy digital versions of your favourite magazines for reading on the go.

Popular titles from some of the world’s leading publishers such as Condé Nast UK, Dennis Publishing, Future, Haymarket, Hearst UK, Immediate Media and IPC Media are now available for purchase on your Android phone or tablet.

Get in shape with Men’s Fitness, cook up a storm with olive, work off all that turkey and Christmas pudding with Slimming World, catch up on the latest must-have gadgets with T3 and read a preview of The Hobbit in this month’s edition of Total Film.

You can stay abreast of the week’s key events with Hello!, New Statesman and The Spectator and keep on top of the latest lifestyle news with Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Tatler. Petrolheads can pick out some new wheels with What Car?, while domestic goddesses can take their inspiration from Good Housekeeping.

Browse the Play Store to find your favourite magazines, discover new titles with a 30-day free trial, buy single issues or purchase a money-saving monthly or annual subscription to leading titles such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Wired. New Nexus devices even come pre-loaded with free issues of Men’s Fitness, .net and Vogue to get you started.

All your latest issues will be instantly available on your Android tablet or phone, or online, using our web reader, and organised in your collection in the cloud. You can flip through your magazine carousel to quickly decide what to read next or simply search for a specific title in your magazine collection.


Magazines are available today to enjoy on the sofa or on the go via your Android devices and on play.google.com, so please take a look.

Posted by Avi Yaar, Product Manager, Google Play
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2012/12/introducing-magazines-on-google-play.html

[G] Google Analytics in Real Life: What would your customer experience look like?

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Google Analytics Blog: Google Analytics in Real Life: What would your customer experience look like?




With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s important to ensure your website and digital marketing is running on all cylinders. Your potential customers should be able to find what they need on the digital shelf as easily as in real life. Sadly, many sites leave visitors frustrated - losing potential customers. However, the advantage of your online storefront is that you can understand where you’re losing customers and work to improve your shopping experience.



For the holiday season, our team at Google Analytics thought it would be helpful (and fun) to demonstrate how missteps on the digital shelf play out in real life.



What’s distracting your customers?

Have you accidently placed obstacles directly in the path of your customers buying what they really want on your site? Watch Nick's journey to finding what he wants. Play Video



Improvement Tip: 


Always make sure your landing pages meet your users expectations. Be sure your ad text leads visitors to a page that matches what was featured in the ad. Here is a helpful article on ways to improve the performance of your landing pages.




How can it be so challenging to find your favorite type of milk?  


Are you making it difficult for users to browse or search your site by the way you categorize your products? Watch as Oli struggles to find his breakfast essentials. Play Video 



Improvement Tip:  


A search box can be a goldmine of information because each time visitors search your site, they tell you in their own words what they are looking for. Here is an article on insights available from your Google Analytics Site Search reports to learn what your visitors want so you can improve your website to better meet those needs.



When do visitors check out from your online buying process? 


We shared this last year, but it’s too much fun not to share again. Great example of the importance of having a simple easy to use checkout process on your website. Watch for the humor, stay for the insights.  Play Video




Improvement Tip: 

Are there some product pages that consistently send higher traffic through your shopping cart than others? See if there are differences between the page designs that might be driving the difference in traffic volume. Do the better performing pages offer more information about their products, more customer reviews, explain shipping options or provide more options for visualizing the products before adding them to the shopping cart? The Google Analytics goal flow visualization can help to identify these better performing pages to repeat their success.



Ready to learn more about how to improve your online customer experiences? Check out these Google Analytics resources:

 - Article: Improve the performance of your landing pages

 - 5 questions to ask of your Site Search data

 - Understand the path or missteps visitors take to completing your goals with flow analysis



We hope this helps you to find more way to use Google Analytics to make your customers lives easier, and generate more happy and loyal customers for you - now that’s a holiday present worth giving.



Posted by Clancy Childs, Google Analytics Product Manager

& Jon Day, Google Product Marketing Manager



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/ZHO32fU744I/google-analytics-in-real-life-what.html

[G] Google Maps is now available for iPhone

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Official Google Blog: Google Maps is now available for iPhone

People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.

The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.


At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. Preview where you want to go with Street View and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. To get you there, you’ve got voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops.



The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here’s a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.

To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, we’re also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps.

The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.

Visit the App Store today and download the new Google Maps app. We believe this delightful new experience is a great starting point—and we’ll continue to improve Google Maps for you, every day.

Posted by Daniel Graf, Director, Google Maps for Mobile
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/google-maps-is-now-available-for-iphone.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[G] Google Maps is now available for iPhone

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Google Lat Long: Google Maps is now available for iPhone

(Cross posted on Official Google Blog)

People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.

The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.


At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. Preview where you want to go with Street View and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. To get you there, you’ve got voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops.



The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here’s a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.

To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, we’re also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps.

The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.

Visit the App Store today and download the new Google Maps app. We believe this delightful new experience is a great starting point—and we’ll continue to improve Google Maps for you, every day.

Posted by Daniel Graf, Director, Google Maps for Mobile
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/12/google-maps-is-now-available-for-iphone.html

[G] Helping webmasters with hacked sites

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Google Online Security Blog: Helping webmasters with hacked sites

Posted by Oliver Barrett, Search Quality Team

(Cross-posted from the Webmaster Central Blog)

Having your website hacked can be a frustrating experience and we want to do everything we can to help webmasters get their sites cleaned up and prevent compromises from happening again. With this post we wanted to outline two common types of attacks as well as provide clean-up steps and additional resources that webmasters may find helpful.

To best serve our users it’s important that the pages that we link to in our search results are safe to visit. Unfortunately, malicious third-parties may take advantage of legitimate webmasters by hacking their sites to manipulate search engine results or distribute malicious content and spam. We will alert users and webmasters alike by labeling sites we’ve detected as hacked by displaying a “This site may be compromised” warning in our search results:



We want to give webmasters the necessary information to help them clean up their sites as quickly as possible. If you’ve verified your site in Webmaster Tools we’ll also send you a message when we’ve identified your site has been hacked, and when possible give you example URLs.

Occasionally, your site may become compromised to facilitate the distribution of malware. When we recognize that, we’ll identify the site in our search results with a label of “This site may harm your computer” and browsers such as Chrome may display a warning when users attempt to visit. In some cases, we may share more specific information in the Malware section of Webmaster Tools. We also have specific tips for preventing and removing malware from your site in our Help Center.

Two common ways malicious third-parties may compromise your site are the following:

Injected Content


Hackers may attempt to influence search engines by injecting links leading to sites they own. These links are often hidden to make it difficult for a webmaster to detect this has occurred. The site may also be compromised in such a way that the content is only displayed when the site is visited by search engine crawlers.



Example of injected pharmaceutical content

If we’re able to detect this, we’ll send a message to your Webmaster Tools account with useful details. If you suspect your site has been compromised in this way, you can check the content your site returns to Google by using the Fetch as Google tool. A few good places to look for the source of such behavior of such a compromise are .php files, template files and CMS plugins.

Redirecting Users


Hackers might also try to redirect users to spammy or malicious sites. They may do it to all users or target specific users, such as those coming from search engines or those on mobile devices. If you’re able to access your site when visiting it directly but you experience unexpected redirects when coming from a search engine, it’s very likely your site has been compromised in this manner.

One of the ways hackers accomplish this is by modifying server configuration files (such as Apache’s .htaccess) to serve different content to different users, so it’s a good idea to check your server configuration files for any such modifications.



This malicious behavior can also be accomplished by injecting JavaScript into the source code of your site. The JavaScript may be designed to hide its purpose so it may help to look for terms like “eval”, “decode”, and “escape”.



Cleanup and Prevention


If your site has been compromised, it’s important to not only clean up the changes made to your site but to also address the vulnerability that allowed the compromise to occur. We have instructions for cleaning your site and preventing compromises while your hosting provider and our Malware and Hacked sites forum are great resources if you need more specific advice.

Once you’ve cleaned up your site you should submit a reconsideration request that if successful will remove the warning label in our search results.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please tell us in the Webmaster Help Forum.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2012/12/helping-webmasters-with-hacked-sites.html

[G] Unleashing creativity in Google’s CSI:Lab

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Official Google Blog: Unleashing creativity in Google’s CSI:Lab

This is the first in a series of posts profiling Googlers who facilitate classes as part of our “Googlers-to-Googlers” program (known internally as “g2g”). The g2g community consists of a group of Googlers who are passionate about teaching, sharing and learning from one another. Regardless of role, level or location, g2g's community-based approach makes it possible for all Googlers to take advantage of a variety of learning opportunities. Our philosophy is: the best teacher you've ever had could be the one in the cube next to you. - Ed

For most people, the term “CSI” evokes images of crime scene investigators solving murder mysteries, like on the popular TV series. But I hadn’t heard of the TV show when I created the CSI:Lab at Google. This program on Creative Skills for Innovation is taught through our “Googlers-to-Googlers” (g2g) program—where Googlers teach other Googlers about topics that interest them. We don’t lift fingerprints or take down criminals, but like the show, CSI:Lab is all about reaching an end goal through brainstorming, getting your hands dirty and an “ensemble” performance.

Here I am welcoming a CSI:Lab

Over the course of my travels a few years ago, I had the opportunity to observe a variety of diverse places and cultures, from Shanghai to Capetown. Experiencing dissimilar cultures allowed me to see how people from different walks of life innovate to survive and thrive, and deepened my interest in the topic of innovation. One of the reasons I was drawn to Google was its unique innovation culture. Soon after arriving here in February 2010, I began to delineate what was tangible about that aspect of the Google culture and was determined to figure out how I could immerse both myself and others in it more. This led me to think about how I could use the knowledge I gathered on innovation from my travels to teach those with different occupations and mindsets—from a salesperson to a project manager to an engineer—to think more about how to be innovative and to ignite change in a company.

In my 20 percent time, I decided to develop a class with a “lab” component to show Googlers how to “experience innovation.” I wanted to get a diverse group of people together in one room to solve challenging problems by learning from each other’s experiences, and by developing their own inner strengths. The goal was to enable Googlers to experience an approach to innovation where one learns by doing, rather than by listening.

CSI:Lab is user-centered and prototype driven. In each class, small groups are formed to answer a broad challenge that entices folks to think big—such as, “How would you change the commuting to work experience?” Participants are asked to interview potential “users” of their solutions to generate insights. After the surveys, all the ideas are posted on a white board. For example, in this case individual hi-tech jet packs or “Marty McFly” skateboards might reduce commute time and aid the environment. Ultimately, one idea is chosen and the group then develops a physical prototype (think Play-Doh and pipe cleaners) of their solution, to learn and prove how and why it is the best. Each class is intentionally made up of groups of Googlers from varying parts of the company—for example, engineering, global business, or project management—to encourage the groups to collaborate and learn from each other’s experience.

CSI:Lab brainstorm session. The prompt: Re-imagine advertising.

Googlers developing their solution’s prototype to the challenge: 
What is the learning space of the future?

Since April 2010, I’ve been humbled to run the Lab in 37 Google offices worldwide, and about 9,000 Googlers have participated. Today, we have more than 50 Googlers who act as ambassadors for the Lab, designing and facilitating more Labs as part of the g2g program. From New York to Tokyo to Sao Paulo, the different people and cultures of each lab offer a new perspective. And CSI:Lab inspires Googlers long after the sessions are over. One Googler told me that after the Lab, he used his experience to develop a prototype for a solution to one of his team’s issues. He described how good it felt to take a risk to reach a solution, and ultimately he convinced a team of other Googlers to work with him to refine and implement his idea. Ultimately, seeing these ideas absorbed by participants and put to use within the company is what CSI:Lab is all about.

Take a peek at five tips to help you embrace the CSI:Lab spirit and add more creativity and innovation to your everyday life—whether it be at home or at the office!
  1. Know and own what inspires you. Understand where your inspiration comes from and do it 10x more than you do now. For example, if your inspiration comes from museums, then go to museums 10x more often; if your inspiration comes from people, talk to 10 new people each week.
  2. Think like a child. Be open and question everything around you. Try not to pre-judge thoughts or ideas; develop them.
  3. Dive into something new. Involve yourself in areas at work where you’re unfamiliar with the content and want to learn more. People are generally happy to share their knowledge and you can often teach them something too just by bringing a fresh perspective to their work.
  4. Play with fun and unusual materials when developing an idea. We all constantly use our computers and paper and pen, so think outside the box to get your mind flowing. Want to “prototype” a solution you’ve thought of? Grab some pipe cleaners, construction paper, LEGO figures, feathers...you name it! See how the materials inspire you.
  5. Invest in your physical space. Having a supportive environment can make a big difference, so learn how what types of space inspire creativity. To create a more open, playful environment, try a flexible workplace with no offices. Or, help ideas flow more freely by making lots of whiteboard space easily accessible. For example, at Google’s Mountain View campus, we’ve created our own innovation space, called “The Garage” (a nod to the iconic Silicon Valley workspace). “The Garage” is big enough for 170 Googlers to use the area to create, collaborate and experiment.
A snapshot of the Garage

Posted by Frederik G. Pferdt, Global Program Manager for Innovation & Creativity
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/unleashing-creativity-in-googles-csilab.html

[G] Coming soon: Learn with Google for Publishers

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Inside AdSense: Coming soon: Learn with Google for Publishers


Two and a half years ago we started the AdSense in Your City program with the goal of meeting publishers face-to-face and providing tips to help you increase your earnings.  From Orlando, Florida to Tokyo, Japan, we’ve visited over 100 cities around the world and talked to thousands of publishers.  We asked you what you’ve liked and what could be improved.  Based on your feedback, we’ve made some changes.



We’re excited to announce that, in 2013, AdSense in Your City events will be evolving into Learn with Google for Publishers.  We understand that many of you are using Google products beyond AdSense to grow your business. Our transition to this Google-wide initiative is part of our effort to help publishers like you make the most from the Web.  Learn with Google for Publishers goes beyond just AdSense optimization tips.  We’ll also cover new topics such as site design, analytics and ad serving.  Below is our North America schedule for the next three months; our international schedule will be posted here on Inside AdSense shortly, so stay tuned!


  • New York, NY - January 29, 2013 

  • Los Angeles, CA - February 7, 2013

  • Toronto, Canada - February 19, 2013 

  • Chicago, IL - March 5, 2013


Phillip Martin is one publisher who went to a Google event this year; take a look at his inspiring story in this short video:










If you’d like to attend one of our upcoming events, fill out this form and we’ll send out event confirmation details two weeks before the event. Space is limited, so sign up quickly.

   

Be sure to check out our complementary Learn with Google webinar series.  And, if you’re as excited as we are about Learn with Google for Publishers, let us know on our AdSense +page.



Posted by Ian Cohan-Shapiro - Inside AdSense Team




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/taUz38KRpGY/coming-soon-learn-with-google-for.html

[G] Sound Search for Google Play widget, now available on Google Play

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Official Android Blog: Sound Search for Google Play widget, now available on Google Play

“What's this song?” Starting today, the Sound Search for Google Play widget is available to download from the Play store, so you can start identifying music and songs playing around you, directly from your Android device’s homescreen.

 

Sometimes, you hear a song you like while you’re out and about but don’t want to download it right at that moment. The Sound Search widget syncs across all of your devices, so that song you recognized with your phone in the coffee shop can be quickly purchased from your tablet at home.

For devices running Android 4.2, you can add the widget directly to your device’s lockscreen, letting you recognize songs without even unlocking your phone, making it even easier for you to catch that song at the club.

The Sound Search for Google Play widget is available on Google Play for devices in the U.S. running Android 4.0 and above. After you’ve installed it, go to the widget picker and drag the Sound Search widget onto your homescreen. You can click on the widget at any time to start recognizing music around you.

Posted by Annie Chen, Software Engineer
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2012/12/sound-search-for-google-play-widget-now.html

[G] New in Google Currents: Scan through your favorite categories, editions and breaking news

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Official Android Blog: New in Google Currents: Scan through your favorite categories, editions and breaking news

Keeping up on the news out there can be overwhelming. That's where Google Currents comes in—an app that allows you to discover, share and read your favorite news outlets, blogs and online magazines (what we together refer to as “editions”) on your smartphone or tablet—even when you’re offline. Currents is filled with great editions like The Los Angeles Times, CBS Sports, Android Central, The Guardian, Shortlist, and Forbes. Today, we’re revamping Currents to make it even easier to scan through all your favorite categories and specific editions with just the swipe of a finger. And, we’re using some of the technology behind Search to bring you breaking stories on those celebrity scandals, that fiscal cliff negotiation or hottest holiday gift.

Scan through categories 
We’re now grouping editions into categories to help you keep track of your existing subscriptions and discover new ones. Check out editions related to your interests through categories like Entertainment, Sports, Lifestyle and more. All of your content will be grouped in these categories, accessible from a sidebar. And you can organize your editions in each category with favorites on top.

We’ve also made it easy to quickly browse through top articles from all your favorite editions in a category—just swipe horizontally. If you subscribe to more than a dozen News editions like The Atlantic, ABC News and The Telegraph, you can quickly swipe through the entire category and dive into editions with articles of interest.

 

Scan through editions 
We’ve also made it easier to scan headlines in a particular edition—just swipe vertically. Want to see what’s new in Popular Science? Just swipe through through the headlines. After you view a story we’ll mark it as read, so it’s easier to see new content each time you use Currents.



Scan through breaking stories 
To help you stay up-to-date with the latest news, Google Currents now uses some of the technology behind Search to deliver the hottest breaking stories in categories such as World, Entertainment, Sports, Science and more. You’ll find new articles from hot topics that interest you, while discovering existing Currents editions you can subscribe to. Breaking stories are customized to your country and language—so we’ll only show you relevant news.


Currents optimizes editions to look great on whatever type of device you're using. Now articles shine, with larger images and layouts that are intelligently optimized for your device, whether you're on a phone or a tablet. Check out some of our newest featured partners like Cars.com, Voice of America News and New Scientist.

Back in April we expanded Google Currents internationally. Since then millions of readers around the world have downloaded Currents, reading over 700 publisher editions and tens of thousands of self-produced editions. The updated app is now available for download on Google Play and coming soon to iOS. We hope that today’s updates make keeping up with the latest news fast, easy and fun no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

Posted by Mussie Shore, Group Product Manager
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-in-google-currents-scan-through.html

[G] Pull Analytics Data Into Tableau With New Connector

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Analytics Blog: Pull Analytics Data Into Tableau With New Connector

The following is a guest post from Ellie Fields. Ellie is the Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software, responsible for new product launch, industry solutions and Tableau's community. Her data geek credentials come from time served in technology and finance companies. She works with people from all over the world who are trying to tell stories with data, from journalists to hospitals to high tech companies. 

Over at Tableau Software we’re big Google Analytics users. That’s why we got so excited for Tableau’s new Google Analytics connector, which uses the GA API to pull data right into Tableau. 
If you don’t know Tableau, consider checking it out today. It’s a useful, new way of working with data: you simply drag & drop to create sophisticated analyses. Anyone can create powerful dashboards without needing to know programming or be a specialist. Tableau was spun out of Stanford about 8 years ago, and it’s the technology developed there—a visual interface into data—that makes Tableau different. 
So what can you do with GA data and Tableau? Well, for one thing you can connect directly to GA to get your data. You can create custom dashboards. And you can extend GA data with new calculations. Here’s a video of how we used the Tableau GA connector along with some Excel data to understand our own website better:

You might have noticed one special feature in there: the ability to blend Google Analytics data with other data, like data in Excel or a database. This opens up a whole new world of insight. Your website is a great asset, and of course it doesn’t work alone. Mashing up web data with offline data, demographics and more tells you more about what’s working and what’s not. 
This is just a preview of the Google Analytics connector. It’ll be in beta very soon. If you’re a customer you can join the v8 beta when it comes out. If you’re not yet using Tableau, try it out (for free). 
Posted by Ellie Fields, Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/12/pull-analytics-data-into-tableau-with.html

[G] Zeitgeist 2012: What piqued your curiosity this year?

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Official Google Blog: Zeitgeist 2012: What piqued your curiosity this year?

As 2012 comes to a close, it's time for our 12th annual Year-End Zeitgeist—an in-depth look at the "spirit of the times" as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.

On our 2012 Zeitgeist website, you can explore the most popular and hottest trending search terms from around the world. This year’s site is our most global to date, with a total of 838 lists from 55 countries. We’ve also added a number of new features, including an interactive map that shows where and when some of the hottest terms spiked around the world, and a Google Zeitgeist Android app coming out later today (with an iOS version coming soon too).

For a round-the-globe tour through 2012, take a look at our video:



So what kinds of things were top of mind this year? While there are perennial themes—“what is love?” topped the list in 10 countries—it’s the unusual and surprising that caught our attention in 2012.

Global superstar Whitney Houston topped many countries’ lists as well as three of our overall trending lists—her unexpected death surprising fans around the world. From Korea, YouTube sensation PSY’s “Gangnam Style” signature dance took the world by storm, landing him the #1 spot in many countries and making his song the second most trending query of 2012. (PSY’s video became the #1 most watched in YouTube history—stay tuned for YouTube’s Rewind for more.)


Then there was the superhuman. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s epic free fall jump made him the #6 globally trending person of the year, while the 2012 Olympics and its various athletes made it into almost every country’s top trends. And NBA player Jeremy Lin also rose on the charts this year, making him the #1 trending athlete globally.

People researched a breadth of other topics, too. Web users took a serious interest in threats to the open Internet, with proposals like SOPA and ACTA both finding their way to the top of many countries’ lists. The U.S. elections brought attention to the candidates and issues, not least the presidential campaigns’ most notorious political gaffes. And while it might not be surprising to see that tragic natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy ranked highly (#3 on the global trending list), it is reassuring to find searches like [donate to Sandy] spiking as well.

We hope you enjoy exploring what people around the world were searching for in 2012. It’s quite a snapshot of what makes us human: a blend of guilty pleasures and higher pursuits.

Posted by Amit Singhal, SVP & Google Fellow
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/zeitgeist2012.html

[G] Google Apps offers additional compliance options for EU data protection

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps offers additional compliance options for EU data protection

Posted by Marc Crandall, Head of Global Compliance, Google Enterprise

Earlier this year, we announced our plan to offer model contract clauses as an additional means of compliance with the European Commission’s Data Protection Directive for Google Apps customers who operate within Europe.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that model contract clauses are now available for customer sign-up via the Google Apps control panel.

Google is committed to helping users of Google Apps meet their compliance needs. In addition to Safe Harbor and our ISO 27001 certification, model contract clauses will provide customers with additional compliance options and furnish European businesses and organizations with information they need to trust Google Apps.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/12/google-apps-offers-additional.html

[G] Who do YOU think is “On The Rise?” Nominate YouTube partners for the program in 2013!

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YouTube Blog: Who do YOU think is “On The Rise?” Nominate YouTube partners for the program in 2013!

By now, many of you may be familiar with the monthly On The Rise program, where we identify four YouTube partners whose subscriber numbers are growing but haven’t yet reached 100,000. You get the opportunity to vote for your favorite, each channel is evaluated on criteria such as viewer engagement and channel optimization techniques, and one of the four channels is featured on the YouTube homepage and across our social networks. In past months, featured partners like JoshSundquist, CuteGirlsHairstyles, and strskillschool have seen growth in their fan base and video engagement thanks to your support.



This month, we’re taking a brief hiatus from asking you to vote on emerging YouTube talent while the On The Rise program undergoes a bit of a face lift. We’ll be back in 2013, but in the meantime, we wanted to give YOU - the fans and viewers - more of a say about which channels really are on the rise.



We’re excited to announce that you can now nominate a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. Feel free to submit nominations for your own channel, or for channels you follow that you think deserve more attention or could be the next YouTube sensation. We’ll continue to feature promising partners who have fewer than 100,000 subscribers and produce engaging content on a regular basis.



As always, thanks for participating and helping some of YouTube’s promising content creators grow their fan base!



Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “M4SONIC - Virus (Live Launchpad Original).”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/_zl3rV4ulzg/who-do-you-think-is-on-rise-nominate.html

[G] A YouTube winner in Google’s top trending searches

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YouTube Blog: A YouTube winner in Google’s top trending searches

Each year here at YouTube, we take a look back at the videos that captured our attention and our imagination during the year. We’ll be releasing the top trending videos of 2012 next week, but today our friends over at Google are taking a look at the year through the eyes of search.



Google’s 12th annual Zeitgeist Year-In-Review, a.k.a. a “spirit of the times,” reviews the people, places, and topics that captured the world’s attention this year. YouTube favorite “Gangnam Style” came in as the #2 global trending search term this year, and topped dozens of country’s charts. PSY’s smash hit also left a lasting impression on search, with questions like “How to Gangnam” popping up in Malaysia, and “Gangnam Style costume” coming in as the #4 trending Halloween Costume search in the U.S.



For a quick ride through 2012, check out the Zeitgeist video:







Make sure to check out the Google Zeitgeist site to see the hottest trends, people, and topics that were top of mind this year.



Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, recently watched "Simon's Cat in 'Icecapade'"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/f_D9IwWBO40/a-youtube-winner-in-googles-top.html