Friday, February 8, 2013

[G] Google Tag Manager: Implementation webinar video, cheat-sheet, and Q&A

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Google Analytics Blog: Google Tag Manager: Implementation webinar video, cheat-sheet, and Q&A




Last Tuesday, we held a webinar on the technical implementation of Google Tag Manager, a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags, freeing up webmaster time while providing users with more reliable data and insights. This technical session includes a more in-depth look than our introductory webinar, illustrating how the product operates in a live environment and showing how flexible Google Tag Manager is for enterprise systems.



Watch the webinar video here for:


  • Step-by-step implementation process + live product demo

  • Advanced use cases, including the Data Layer API

  • Best practices and common pitfalls











And don’t forget to download our handy implementation Cheat-Sheet, which outlines each of the steps involved in migrating onto Google Tag Manager.






Click here to download the Implementation Cheat-Sheet: http://goo.gl/5GJyA





And as usual, we like to provide a recap of some of the top questions we received during the webinar. Please note that this webinar is intended for technical audiences, so some of the Q&A below gets into the nitty-gritty technical details. If you’re less experienced technically, we invite you to check out our forum or reach out to one of our certified partners for implementation assistance.



Questions and Answers



Where can I find more detailed information about all of this stuff?

In addition to the walkthrough we provide in the webinar and our Cheat-Sheet, you can find a detailed description of the implementation process in the Google Developer docs, and helpful articles about how to use the Google Tag Manager user interface in our Help Center, including some notes about what to think about before you begin implementing. And as noted above, if you still have questions, check out our forum or reach out to one of our certified partners for implementation assistance.



Where can I place the GTM snippet? Can I put it in <head>? Does placing it in the footer have any adverse effects? Can I place the data layer in <head>?

The recommended location for the GTM snippet is just after the opening <body> tag. The only exception to this would be in the case where you want to declare page-level metadata by declaring the data layer immediately above the GTM snippet.



The GTM snippet can be deployed later in the page, like the footer, but doing so increases the time before the snippet loads. This can cause incremental amounts of data loss, since the user could navigate away before all your tags finish loading.



We do not recommend placing the GTM snippet in head, because the GTM snippet contains an <iframe> for the <noscript> case. Iframes are not officially supported by any browsers in <head> and might cause unexpected behavior.



What should I do about collecting macros and tagging events if I don’t have access to my client’s site or if IT is too busy?

If you can’t access values on the page via the data layer, there are several different Macro types to help you capture data without needing a code change. These include DOM element, DOM attribute, and JS variable macros. Simply input the ID or variable names, and the macro will pull out the data for you. NOTE: If you go this route, you may want to accompany the tag being fired with an “{{event}} equals gtm.dom” rule. This makes sure the element has loaded in the page before you request it, so you don’t get an undefined macro value.



If you're trying to add events to the page, currently this requires code changes. We're working on a solution that doesn't need code changes, but in the meantime we've heard of a couple of folks using the Custom HTML template to inject the dataLayer.push() API into relevant parts of the page. We can’t guarantee this as a solution due to the asynchronous nature of tag loading in Google Tag Manager, but we have heard some success stories.



How do I do cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager?

It's now possible to do cross-domain tracking in GA using the custom HTML template and a new track type within the Google Analytics tag template. We've got some exciting things in the works here to make cross-domain tracking even easier; stay tuned for more soon.



Do you have any account and container setup best practices? What if I’m an agency? What if I have separate sites for mobile and desktop?

In general, an account should be owned by a single advertiser or publisher. Within each account, there can be multiple containers, and containers should be split according to how the site or sites are managed. For instance, if there’s a separate marketing team managing different countries and therefore probably different tag vendors, then there should be a separate container per country. If you have a mobile site and a desktop site that use the same tags across both subdomains, then you should probably only use a single container. We have found that one container per domain is pretty standard, but there are always different situations that call for a different setup.



If you’re an agency, we strongly recommend that your client creates the initial Google Tag Manager account and container, and then have your client add you to the container. Google Tag Manager includes user permissions controls as well as multi-account access to make it easier for agencies and clients to work together.



Are all tags with document.write off limits? Are there any workarounds?

Most tags that utilize document.write are just trying to construct an image pixel with dynamic parameters using JavaScript. Luckily, our Custom Image Tag allows you to construct an image pixel with dynamic parameters. Look at the tag you’re trying to add, pick out the URL, paste it into the Image URL field, and then add any dynamic variables by using the {{macro}} syntax. See the live demo in the webinar video above for an example of how to do this.



Do not add tags that contain document.write in either the initial snippet or in any linked JavaScript. Doing so will cause undesirable effects.



How do Google Analytics events differ from Google Tag Manager events?

Events in Google Tag Manager are basically an indication that this is an event where other tags could fire. It does not collect any data. GTM events are used in tag firing rules to initiate the placement of other tags.



Google Analytics events are actually data events, and can be set up in Google Tag Manager via the Google Analytics template, tracking type “Event”. This tag sends data to Google Analytics to be reported on within the Google Analytics interface.



~~



We hope the webinar and Q&A will help you implement Google Tag Manager smoothly and easily -- many business, including GoPro, are already enjoying easier tagging. Keep watching this blog for more tips and tricks!



Posted by the Google Tag Manager team



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/54vueGwA2E4/google-tag-manager-implementation.html

[G] A summer of freedom with KDE

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Google Open Source Blog: A summer of freedom with KDE





Guest post written by Jigar Raisinghani, KDE Google Summer of Code 2012 student







KDE, a powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations, started the Google Summer of Code 2012 with 60 student projects, of which 59 were successfully completed. Great efforts made by the students along with proper guidance and assistance by the mentors resulted in this impressive result. Students coming from different countries, backgrounds and interests worked together as a community developing a variety of applications including games, Office suite, social networking, and so on.



This year Google Summer of Code again helped expand KDE both in terms of members and code produced. The outcome of the program was tremendous, resulting in the development of many applications. Lets take a quick look at the 59 projects.




  • For the music player Amarok, Zhengliang Feng integrated spotify, Lucas Lira Gomes introduced functionalities for social music, Riccardo Iaconelli helped improve the user experience, Phalgun Guduthur worked on implementing the semantics and Matěj Laitl worked with statistic synchronization of pluggable devices. 



  • Calligra, the office suite, was worked on by 9 Google Summer of Code students. Smit Patel integrated the bibliography engine along with UI to manage citations in Calligra Words. Shrikrishna Holla implemented wraparound mode, Shivaraman Aiyer added perspective drawing and Francisco Fernandes introduced a sandpainting brush in Krita. Paul Mendez modified shape animations in Calligra Stage, Nityam Vakil improved Open Formula support while Jigar Raisinghani built Pivot Tables for Calligra Sheets. Brijesh Patel improved the saving of charts to Open Document and Abhishek B S improved Formula shape. 



  • From the Accessibility team, Yash Shah helped improve the speech recognition in SIMON using computer vision and Vladislav Sitalo implemented SPHINX support in SIMON.



  • During the summer, the photo management program, digiKam, received attention from A Janardhan Reddy who developed a video slide show generator, Smit Mehta implemented an UPnP/DLNA plugin, Dominic Lyons improved integration of Photivo and Mahfuzur Rahman Mamun introduced face recognition. Islam Wazery revamped the import tool, Dodon Victor ported KIPI-Plugins and libkipi to KDE XML-GUI and Abhinav Badola built the support for video metadata. 



  • For the 2D game engine, Gluon, Vinay Rao implemented a saving/loading game engine state, Shreya Pandit introduced context action based layout and improved the UI in Gluon Creator and Ganeshprasad T P integrated Bullet. Claudio Desideri designed a website that lets game designers using Gluon collaborate on their games and he then integrated it with KDE applications.



  • The text editor, Kate’s VI’s, input was further improved by Vegard Øye, and Maximilian Löffler worked toward making scripting possibilities more user friendly. 



  • On the game development side, Viranch Mehta ported kde game to QML/Qt Quick, Roney Gomes worked towards porting games to a more modern graphics framework and Avnee Nathani ported KDiamond to Qt Quick. 



  • For the IDE, KDevelop, Miquel Sabaté improved the Ruby support and Miha Čančula added functionalities to the template system. 



  • On the education front, Percy Camilo Triveño Aucahuasi with a nearly two year effort, designed and implemented a replacement for KmPlot. Samikshan Bairagya added features to make KStars more usable to beginner astronomers and Rishab Arora improved data storage, logs and added DSO catalogs to KStars. For Marble, Bernhard Beschow introduced an OpenGL mode, Cezar Mocan improved the atlas by introducing Natural Earth Vector Map and Ander Pijoan implemented OpenStreetMap vector rendering with tiling support. Martin Küttler introduced a new interface for Cantor.



  • For the cloud storage, ownCloud, Deepak Mittal spent the summer collaborating inter ownCloud instances and Alessandro Cosentino introduced a feed aggregator. 



  • With Plasma Desktop, Sinny Kumari provided advanced features and enhancements for Plasma Media Center, Martin Klapetek integrated social services with KDE Workspaces, Luís Gabriel Lima ported Plasma widgets from C++ to QML, and Giorgos Tsiapaliwkas worked towards getting the plasmate released. Davide Bettio ported Plasma calendar to QML, Arthur Ribeiro ported the plasmoid’s user interface to QML, Antonis Tsiapaliokas integrated KWin with Plasmate SDK and Amandeep Singh introduced Focus tracking in KWin. 



  • On the social side, Pankaj Bhambhani built facebook integration for microblogging client choqok, Lasath Fernando introduced the message filtering plugin system in Telepathy, and Eli MacKenzie introduced modularized, server aware IRC protocol handling for Konversation.



  • Lisa Vitolo extended Solid API for partitioning and built a Dolphin plugin for using it, Anant Kamath improved hard disk health monitoring and ISO file management features in KDE, Felix Rohrbach wrote the OCS specific JSON parser in Attica and Mailson D. Lira Menezes introduced tile based rendering in Okular page view. In a project continuation from last year’s program, Cyril Oblikov implemented asynchronous errors handling during file transfer.




The first time students see Google Summer of Code as an opportunity to gain experience and contribute to the open source community while the sophomores (second timers) clearly demonstrate the success of the program in retaining students. Students have the opportunity to interact with experienced mentors and mentors get to interact with enthusiastic students, a relationship resulting in a lot of code being written and a beautiful summer for all. Most of the code generated as part of the program is either integrated, under review or being worked upon. The students, as they write themselves, are satisfied by the outcomes of the program in terms of fun, experience and the hefty paychecks. I hope the students stay with the community, keep contributing in the future and, if possible, participate again in the Google Summer of Code program.



By Jigar Raisinghani, Google Summer of Code 2012 Student



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/hjU_OMrHbLQ/a-summer-of-freedom-with-kde.html

Thursday, February 7, 2013

[G] Turning potential customers into real ones: NIVEA rolls out Google Search Appliance

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Turning potential customers into real ones: NIVEA rolls out Google Search Appliance

Posted by Felix Müller, International Digital Marketing Manager, Beiersdorf AG

Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Felix Müller, International Digital Marketing Manager at Beiersdorf AG, a global leader in skin care with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.



Skin care has been our core expertise for 130 years. From our headquarters in Germany, we at Beiersdorf AG market one of the world’s most successful skin care brands: NIVEA. In order to move forward in an industry that we've been in for a long time, it’s important for us to have a finger on the pulse of the market and focus on the ever-changing needs of our customers. Today, more of our customers are using the Internet to find our products and we wanted to make that an easy experience for them.

Google Search Appliance offers visitors to our websites a significantly enhanced experience. It is a scalable hardware solution that offers a Google-like search experience for our public NIVEA websites worldwide. For our users, it offers the same kind of easy, fast and relevant search experience that they know from Google.com, while our company benefits from complete flexibility and control over the online user search experience. That is a great help to us, particularly when it comes to turning potential customers into real ones. We have now rolled out the Google Search Appliance globally for a total of 74 conventional and 12 mobile, country-specific websites of the NIVEA brand.

Google Search Appliance has personalized and improved the visitors’ experience on NIVEA websites: when searching for products, they receive country-specific suggestions and results that also adapt based on patterns in the respective market. For example, if a site visitor in Germany starts his or her search with "de", the first suggestion he or she will see is “deo ohne aluminium”, while the same query in France will suggest “devenir testeuse nivea”. So that the search process actually yields successful results, searches in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Dutch and Arabic are supported by extensive features such as integrated thesaurus and an automatic, self-learning spellcheck function. The upshot is that the Google technology now makes it a whole lot easier for our customers to search for content that is relevant to them.

See what other companies that use Google Search Appliance have to say.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/02/turning-potential-customers-into-real.html

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

[G] Introducing Our New Input Tools

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Google Translate Blog: Introducing Our New Input Tools

Considering the vast number of ways that users type in our 65 supported languages, we are pleased to announce the integration of Google’s new input tools in Google Translate. We have always allowed you to choose among alternative input methods, but your choice was limited. For example, only one of four popular input methods for Chinese was previously available. Our new input tools greatly expand the set of available input methods for many languages.


A Cyrllic letter-printing telegraph keyboard

We believe that your choice of input tools is important, because the best way to input text with a keyboard varies from language to language, and even from person to person. Every language has its own set of popular input methods, each familiar to its own subset of users. For example, the Portuguese keyboard has two common layouts, one popular in Brazil and another in Portugal. In addition, given the popularity of Latin-alphabet keyboards, a transliteration input tool is often the preferred input method for many languages, allowing users to convert Latin-alphabet input into the proper written script. (Chinese has over 80,000 characters. Try fitting them all on a keyboard.) With the right transliteration input tools turned on, you can simply type “privet” to input привет, “tieng chao” for tiếng chào, and “nihao” for 你好.

It’s easy to start using our new input tools. Once you have chosen your input language, you will see the input tools icon at the bottom of the text area. Click the icon to turn on the input tool or switch to another input tool in the drop-down menu.




The new input tools are now also available in other Google products, including Gmail and Drive, and in Chrome, Android and Windows. We hope our new input tools will make your translation experience easier than ever!

- The Google Translate Team
URL: http://googletranslate.blogspot.com/2013/02/introducing-our-new-input-tools.html

[G] Enhancing AdWords for a constantly connected world

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Inside AdWords: Enhancing AdWords for a constantly connected world

Today we’re upgrading AdWords, by rolling out enhanced campaigns. This is a first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world.

Why enhanced campaigns?
People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, a recent study of multi-device consumers found that 90% move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task. There’s also a proliferation of new devices — PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, hybrid devices, mini-tablets, televisions, and more. And there are many more digital screens and devices to come, with the lines between them continuing to blur. For example, as devices converge, consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar.

This creates great opportunities for businesses, but can also make marketing more complex and time-consuming. For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 1pm on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 8pm on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator). Signals like location, time of day, and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad.

With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place. Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.



Key features
Here’s an overview of some key features.
  1. Powerful marketing tools for the multi-device world
    People want search results that are relevant for the context they are in — their device, location and the time of day. Enhanced campaigns help you better manage your campaigns and budgets for this multi-device world. With bid adjustments, you can manage bids for your ads across devices, locations, time of day and more — all from a single campaign.

    Example: A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for "coffee" or "breakfast" on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.

  2. Smarter ads optimized for varying user contexts
    People on the go or near your store may be looking for different things than someone sitting at their desk. With enhanced campaigns, you’ll show ads across devices with the right ad text, sitelink, app or extension, without having to edit each campaign for every possible combination of devices, location and time of day.

    Example: A national retailer with both physical locations and a website can show ads with click-to-call and location extensions for people searching on their smartphones, while showing an ad for their e-commerce website to people searching on a PC — all within a single campaign.

  3. Advanced reports to measure new conversion types
    Technology is enabling people to take action on your ads in new ways. Potential customers may see your ad and download your app, or they may call you. It’s been hard for marketers to easily measure and compare these interactions. To help you measure the full value of your campaigns, enhanced campaigns enables you to easily count calls and app downloads as conversions in your AdWords reports.

    Example: You can count phone calls of 60 seconds or longer that result from a click-to-call ad as a conversion in your AdWords reports, and compare them to other conversions like leads, sales and downloads.
Upgrading to enhanced campaigns
Enhanced campaigns will roll out to advertisers as an option over the next few weeks, and we plan to upgrade all campaigns in mid-2013.

Enhanced campaigns are designed to help you succeed in a multi-screen world, but we know that transitioning may involve some initial changes. Here are some resources to help you:
Over the coming weeks we’ll dive into the new features with tips and best practices on the Inside AdWords blog and on our Google+ page. We’d love your feedback.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Engineering
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/02/introducing-enhanced-campaigns.html

[G] eFlorist grew their affiliate revenue by 40% after partnering with Google Affiliate Network

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Google Affiliate Network: eFlorist grew their affiliate revenue by 40% after partnering with Google Affiliate Network

Over the past few years, Google Affiliate Network has helped advertisers and publishers grow their businesses with the right mix of technology and data insights. We’re pleased to share these stories with you on our blog.

eFlorist operates a robust network of 1,800 florists across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Consumers across the globe have an affinity for the Romsey, UK-based retailer, thanks to their e-commerce site and same-day delivery in 135 countries. With goals focused toward further capitalizing market position and affiliate program growth, eFlorist’s Marketing Manager Paul Isaia turned to Google Affiliate Network in 2012.

Paul had three key reasons in mind when transitioning the eFlorist affiliate program to Google. He wanted to grow affiliate-generated sales by 10% within one year, improve the quality of their publisher base, and leverage reporting insights to uncover new growth opportunities.

After first launching the eFlorist program with Google Affiliate Network, Paul noted that he "was very impressed with the reporting as well as the tools to recruit new affiliates." Paul focused on building publisher relationships, using the Recommendation engine to identify new affiliates, and partnering closely with the Google Affiliate Network team to make sure his program had a strong network of high-value publishers. Within a few months, eFlorist also began to use their Google Merchant Center product feed to scale their product catalog to affiliates.

While executing these initial measures, eFlorist started to see a notable sales impact in their program. Within six months, the results spoke for themselves: eFlorist’s affiliate channel revenue grew 40%, well above their initial 10% benchmark. In turn, affiliate marketing’s share of total online sales grew from 15% to 20%, satisfying Isaia and his team.

To learn more about Paul Isaia and eFlorist, read the full case study.

Posted by Will Heidrich, Account Executive
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2013/02/eflorist-grew-their-affiliate-revenue.html

[G] Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico & the Dominican Republic find their groove with Google Apps

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The Google Apps Blog: Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico & the Dominican Republic find their groove with Google Apps

Posted by Jaime Garcia, IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection

(Cross-posted on the Google Latin America Blog)

Editor's note: We are excited to have guest blogger Jaime Garcia, IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection with over 5,000 employees at Hard Rock hotels in the Mayan Riviera, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, and Punta Cana. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Hard Rock hotels, we don’t want to be a normal hotel; we want our guests to feel like rock stars from the moment they walk in the door. But, with 1,200 employees that use our IT platform across four locations, it can be challenging to create a consistent guest experience. We need tools that help us make decisions in the moment -- the party doesn’t stop at the Hard Rock!

As the IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection (which runs all of the Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic), I’m responsible for providing tools to our employees that will let them to work together effectively and focus on our customers. On our old system, Microsoft® Exchange, we had a large datacenter for the hotels to maintain. Our communication tools weren’t flexible enough to make decisions on the go and we couldn’t guarantee that we were running the same promotions at the same time. We worried about the effect on our guests’ experience. I decided that we needed to move to Google Apps and get off of our on-premise infrastructure. Google Apps was fast, safe, and agile and met all of the security standards I was looking for, so I knew that all of our customers’ information would be protected, too!

Since moving to Google Apps, we've improved internal communication and are now spending half as much time on things as we were previously. While our hotels are in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, our sales teams are located all over the globe—North America, Europe, Asia, and here in Latin America—and they’re moving all the time. With Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts, we rarely use the phone anymore, it’s easier to jump on a Hangout from any device and from any of our locations. When our sales team in Miami make an important reservation for a wedding or a big group, they chat via Google Talk with the hotel in Cancun, providing immediate assurance and confirmation that everything will run smoothly.

Having so many guests across our hotels, problems can arise at anytime day or night, so we can’t have downtime. Rather than worrying about keeping our servers and email running, we spend our time managing tools through a browser. We've saved thousands of dollars in IT infrastructure and telecommunication costs, and my IT headaches are gone. I used to have a team of guys helping me manage servers and keep our email up and running. Now, only two of us manage all of the tools.

Google Sites and Google Calendar have been fundamental in organizing our promotions and standardizing our guest experience by allowing us to share across hotel locations. We just had a promotion across all our branches for Christmas and the holidays. We made a site with all of the dates, rates, and details of the deal and we could easily monitor how it was rolled out across each hotel. This process used to take weeks, and fixing discrepancies between the locations was messy. Now, it’s simple, consistent, and happens in real time.

On Google Apps, we really feel like a team, working together despite being countries apart. We are able to provide the same level of rockstar service in all of our hotels and create great experiences for our guests. All while improving our customer experience – rock on!
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/8furVGzaaco/hard-rock-hotels-in-mexico-dominican.html

[G] Keep track of account changes with reporting notes

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Inside AdSense: Keep track of account changes with reporting notes


Your performance reports provide insights into how much you're earning and the factors that impact those earnings. As you may remember, we recently added the ability to view changes to your account in more detail using the “Show events” checkbox or a separate event report. Change events are automatically generated and are shown as small flags on your reporting graphs. Those annotations help you keep track of the actions you’ve taken in your account, like adding a new ad unit or blocking an additional category, and help you determine the impact of your changes.



Based on your feedback, we’ve made further improvements to this reporting functionality. In addition to these automatically generated events, you can now also manually add notes you want to keep track of. This will allow you to find out whether actions which aren’t directly related to your AdSense account, like a website redesign or an advertising campaign for your site, may have had an impact on your earnings. Every user can see all the notes which have been added to an account by other users and can add, edit, and delete their own customized notes.



To add a personalized annotation, visit the ‘Performance reports’ tab in your account. You can either view the changes as an overlay or open a separate event report. Click on ‘Add note’ directly below the graph to add a new annotation to your report. For more information and detailed instructions, please visit our Help Center.



We hope you’ll find this update helpful, and we look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions on our AdSense +page.



Posted by Matt Goodridge - AdSense Product Manager



 Was this blog post useful? Share your feedback with us.



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/PY9jcsc0ClM/keep-track-of-account-changes-with.html

[G] Ski Resorts now on Google Maps

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Google Lat Long: Ski Resorts now on Google Maps


You just stepped out of the gondola into a strong wind at the peak. It’s cold and you’re weighing whether to drop into that powdery black diamond chute you’ve always dreamt of...or sliding down the nearest blue for hot cider at the base.

With 38 new run and lift maps for some of the most popular mountains across the US and Canada, Google Maps is your “go to” mountain guide. Whether you’re shredding Squaw Valley, Big Sky, or Okemo, Google Maps are a comprehensive, accurate and easy way to find the best route down the hill.

Power up Google Maps on your Android device or iPhone, and the mountain information you need is right there. Blue, green and black runs are shown as solid colored lines and ski lifts are red dotted lines.


Ski resorts in Google Maps can also be helpful when you’re gearing up for a trip. You can check out the maps on your laptop browser to plot your course, and even get a Street View preview of a few select slopes before you head up the mountain.


Map of Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe in California

The growing list of mountain maps now available in Google Maps is here:






We hope you’ll use these maps to discover new trails and find your way around the mountain more quickly and easily. We’ve got more ski resort maps on the way, so be sure to check Google Maps before your next trip. See you out there!

Posted by Ryan Poscharsky, Strategic Partner Manager, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/02/ski-resorts-now-on-google-maps.html

[G] Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico & the Dominican Republic find their groove with Google Apps

| More

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico & the Dominican Republic find their groove with Google Apps

Posted by Jaime Garcia, IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection

(Cross-posted on the Google Latin America Blog)

Editor's note: We are excited to have guest blogger Jaime Garcia, IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection with over 5,000 employees at Hard Rock hotels in the Mayan Riviera, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, and Punta Cana. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Hard Rock hotels, we don’t want to be a normal hotel; we want our guests to feel like rock stars from the moment they walk in the door. But, with 1,200 employees that use our IT platform across four locations, it can be challenging to create a consistent guest experience. We need tools that help us make decisions in the moment -- the party doesn’t stop at the Hard Rock!

As the IT Corporate Director of the All Inclusive Collection (which runs all of the Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic), I’m responsible for providing tools to our employees that will let them to work together effectively and focus on our customers. On our old system, Microsoft® Exchange, we had a large datacenter for the hotels to maintain. Our communication tools weren’t flexible enough to make decisions on the go and we couldn’t guarantee that we were running the same promotions at the same time. We worried about the effect on our guests’ experience. I decided that we needed to move to Google Apps and get off of our on-premise infrastructure. Google Apps was fast, safe, and agile and met all of the security standards I was looking for, so I knew that all of our customers’ information would be protected, too!

Since moving to Google Apps, we've improved internal communication and are now spending half as much time on things as we were previously. While our hotels are in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, our sales teams are located all over the globe—North America, Europe, Asia, and here in Latin America—and they’re moving all the time. With Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts, we rarely use the phone anymore, it’s easier to jump on a Hangout from any device and from any of our locations. When our sales team in Miami make an important reservation for a wedding or a big group, they chat via Google Talk with the hotel in Cancun, providing immediate assurance and confirmation that everything will run smoothly.

Having so many guests across our hotels, problems can arise at anytime day or night, so we can’t have downtime. Rather than worrying about keeping our servers and email running, we spend our time managing tools through a browser. We've saved thousands of dollars in IT infrastructure and telecommunication costs, and my IT headaches are gone. I used to have a team of guys helping me manage servers and keep our email up and running. Now, only two of us manage all of the tools.

Google Sites and Google Calendar have been fundamental in organizing our promotions and standardizing our guest experience by allowing us to share across hotel locations. We just had a promotion across all our branches for Christmas and the holidays. We made a site with all of the dates, rates, and details of the deal and we could easily monitor how it was rolled out across each hotel. This process used to take weeks, and fixing discrepancies between the locations was messy. Now, it’s simple, consistent, and happens in real time.

On Google Apps, we really feel like a team, working together despite being countries apart. We are able to provide the same level of rockstar service in all of our hotels and create great experiences for our guests. All while improving our customer experience – rock on!
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/02/hard-rock-hotels-in-mexico-dominican.html

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[G] *Safer Internet Day Tips From YouTube* Community is important

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YouTube Blog: *Safer Internet Day Tips From YouTube*

Community is important

Safer Internet Day Tips From YouTube



Community is important to us at YouTube. And we want to see the YouTube community continue to flourish. To ensure that everyone has a safe, positive experience on YouTube, we rely on each of you to act responsibly and to respect others on the site. In honor of Safer Internet Day, please take a moment to make yourself familiar with some of the resources and tools available on YouTube.








Also be sure to check out how our colleagues at Google are celebrating Safer Internet Day!



Amanda Conway and Claire Rush, YouTube Policy Strategists, recently watched ”Born This Way Foundation Launch Event.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/z5Xp_7cHGZI/safer-internet-day-tips-from-youtube.html

[G] A Chrome Experiment made with some friends from Oz

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Official Google Blog: A Chrome Experiment made with some friends from Oz

You won’t need magical powers to take a journey down the yellow brick road; just point your favorite browser to the latest Chrome Experiment, “Find Your Way to Oz.” Developed in collaboration with Disney and UNIT9 in anticipation of the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful, this experiment takes you through a dusty Kansas circus and leads to a vibrant land, following in the footsteps of the Wizard himself.



Like any good circus, there’s plenty to keep you entertained: compose your own music, play with a fun photo booth and create your own movie with a zoetrope. The path to Oz also involves confronting an ominous tornado; surviving it completes the journey, enabling fans of the movie to watch an exclusive unreleased clip from the film.

Chrome Experiments like “Find Your Way to Oz” would have been impossible a few years ago. Since that time, the web has evolved and allowed developers and designers to create immersive beautiful experiences. For “Find Your Way to Oz” the 3D environment was built entirely with new technologies such as WebGL and CSS3. It’s enhanced by rich audio effects thanks to the Web Audio API. The photo booth and zoetrope were built using the getUserMedia feature of WebRTC, which grants webpages access to your computer’s camera and microphone (with your permission).

For the best experience, you’ll need to use an up-to-date computer built to handle intense graphics. It also works best with a webcam and a modern browser that supports WebGL and WebRTC, like Chrome. For tablet or smartphone users, we have a smaller scale yet equally enjoyable experience that you can try with the latest Chrome browser on your Android device, iPhone or iPad.

If you want to learn more, or run away and join the developer circus, you can get an explanation of the technologies used on the Chromium blog or in our technical case study.

Start your journey towards the yellow brick road at www.findyourwaytooz.com.

Posted by Christos Apartoglou, Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-chrome-experiment-made-with-some.html

[G] Safer Internet Day: How we help you stay secure online

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Google Public Policy Blog: Safer Internet Day: How we help you stay secure online

Posted by Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering

Technology can sometimes be complicated, but you shouldn’t have to be a computer scientist or security expert to stay safe online. Protecting our users is one of our top priorities at Google. Whether it’s creating easy-to-use tools to help you manage your information online or fighting the bad guys behind the scenes, we’re constantly investing to make Google the best service you can rely on, with security and privacy features that are on 24-7 and working for you.

Last year, we launched Good to Know, our biggest-ever consumer education campaign focused on making the web a safer, more comfortable place. Today, on Safer Internet Day, we’re updating Good to Know to include more tips and advice to help you protect yourself and your family from identity theft, scams and online fraud. You can also learn how to make your computer or mobile device more secure, and get more out of the web—from searching more effectively to making calls from your computer. And you can find out more about how Google works to make you, your device and the whole web safer. 




For example, we encrypt the Gmail and Google Search traffic between your computer and Google—this protects your Google activity from being snooped on by others. We also make this protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, the default when you’re signed into Google Drive. Because outdated software makes your computer more vulnerable to security problems, we built the Chrome browser to auto-update to the latest version every time you start it. It gives you up-to-date security protection without making you do any extra work.


Even if you don’t use Google, we work hard to make the web safer for you. Every day we identify more than 10,000 unsafe websites—and we inform users and other web companies what we’ve found. We show warnings on up to 14 million Google Search results and 300,000 downloads, telling our users that there might be something suspicious going on behind a particular website or link. We share that data with other online companies so they can warn their users.

We know staying safe online is important to you—and it is important to us too. To emphasize the importance of American’s online safety, Google will join the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Project to Get Older Adults onLine (GOAL), and the National PTA at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to discuss the importance of Safer Internet Day, how people’s commitment to keeping themselves and the Internet safer doesn’t stop after 24 hours, and resources that can help families stay safe on February 5th and every day. Watch live at 11am EST.

Please take some time today to make your passwords stronger and turn on 2-step verification to protect your Google Account. Talk with friends and family about Internet safety. And visit our new Good to Know site to find more tips and resources to help you stay safe online.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/02/safer-internet-day-how-we-help-you-stay.html

[G] Programmatic in the Future: What’s Google betting on?

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Programmatic in the Future: What’s Google betting on?


In our next edition of Programmatic in the Future, join us on Thursday, February 7 at 1:30 PM ET/10:30 AM ET as Steve Sullivan, Vice President of Ad Technology at IAB speaks with Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management at Google, about why Google is investing in programmatic buying and selling technologies.  Log into your Google+ account and look for the Hangout on Air in the Think with Google +page stream. Hit the play button to tune in.



Previously, we spoke with Joel Aranson, Vice President of Media Operations & Technology and AOD Liaison for Digitas, and David Chiang, Vice President of Monetization at CBS Interactive on how they’re working together via programmatic channels. In case you missed it, this is what they had to say:











Or, you could watch the hangout:







Posted by Yamini Gupta, Product Marketing Team

URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DoubleclickPublisherBlog/~3/7HHXSV62W1A/programmatic-in-future-whats-google.html

[G] A Chrome Experiment made with some friends from Oz

| More

Google Chrome Blog: A Chrome Experiment made with some friends from Oz

You won’t need magical powers to take a journey down the yellow brick road; just point your favorite browser to the latest Chrome Experiment, “Find Your Way to Oz.” Developed in collaboration with Disney and UNIT9 in anticipation of the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful, this experiment takes you through a dusty Kansas circus and leads to a vibrant land, following in the footsteps of the Wizard himself.



Like any good circus, there’s plenty to keep you entertained: compose your own music, play with a fun photo booth and create your own movie with a zoetrope. The path to Oz also involves confronting an ominous tornado; surviving it completes the journey, enabling fans of the movie to watch an exclusive unreleased clip from the film.

Chrome Experiments like “Find Your Way to Oz” would have been impossible a few years ago. Since that time, the web has evolved and allowed developers and designers to create immersive beautiful experiences. For “Find Your Way to Oz” the 3D environment was built entirely with new technologies such as WebGL and CSS3. It’s enhanced by rich audio effects thanks to the Web Audio API. The photo booth and zoetrope were built using the getUserMedia feature of WebRTC, which grants webpages access to your computer’s camera and microphone (with your permission).

For the best experience, you’ll need to use an up-to-date computer built to handle intense graphics. It also works best with a webcam and a modern browser that supports WebGL and WebRTC, like Chrome. For tablet or smartphone users, we have a smaller scale yet equally enjoyable experience that you can try with the latest Chrome browser on your Android device, iPhone or iPad.

If you want to learn more, or run away and join the developer circus, you can get an explanation of the technologies used on the Chromium blog or in our technical case study.

Start your journey towards the yellow brick road at www.findyourwaytooz.com.

Posted by Christos Apartoglou, Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-chrome-experiment-made-with-some.html

[G] Dashboards, Advanced Segments, And Custom Reports For Your Business Needs

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Inside AdWords: Dashboards, Advanced Segments, And Custom Reports For Your Business Needs

A version of this post originally appeared on the Google Analytics Blog.

We’ve heard you loud and clear that getting started on Google Analytics can be challenging. It’s such a robust tool with a variety of reports, filters, and customizations that for a new user it can be overwhelming to figure out where to look first for the data and insights that will enable you to make better decisions. For more advanced users it can be time consuming to build out different variations of reports and dashboards to get the clearest snapshot of your performance. That is why we’ve created the Google Analytics Solution Gallery.

The Google Analytics Solution Gallery hosts the top Dashboards, Advanced Segments and Custom Reports which you can quickly and easily import into your own account to see how your website is performing on key metrics. It helps you to filter through the noise to see the metrics that matter for your type of business: Ecommerce, Brand, Content Publishers. If you're not familiar with Dashboards, Advanced Segments and Custom Reports, check out these links to our help center for detailed descriptions on how they work and the insights they can help provide.

Examples

Here are a few examples of the solutions that can be downloaded into your Google Analytics account to see how the analysis works with your data.

Note: You should already have an Analytics account with data to have these solutions be effective for you.
  • AdWords (Google CPC) Performance - Use this segment to analyze the performance of AdWords traffic. You can also create segments to compare your CPC traffic from other sources and compare performance between them.
  • 6+ Keywords - Learn which long-tail keywords with more than six words your visitors are using to find your site. Then refine your pay-per-click ads and SEO to drive more qualified visitors to your site.
  • Paid vs. Organic Search Performance - Do you know the behavioral differences between users who click on your paid ads and those who click on your organic search results? Use this report to understand the different ways they interact with your site and how to improve performance based on these findings.

How do I add these to my account?

We’ve designed it so it’s easy to get started. Simply go to the Google Analytics Solution Gallery, pick from the drop drown menu the solutions that will be most helpful for your business. Select from Publisher, Ecommerce, Social, Mobile, Brand, etc.. . Hit “Download” for the solution you want to see in your account. If you are not already logged into Google Analytics we’ll ask you to sign in. Then you’ll be asked if you want to accept this solution into your account and what Web Profile do you want to apply it to. After you select that it will be in your account and your own data will populate the report.

We’re planning on expanding on this list of top solutions throughout the year so be sure to check back and see what we’ve added. A big thank you to Justin Cutroni & Avinash Kaushik for supplying many of the solutions currently available.

Ian Myszenski, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics Team 
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/02/dashboards-advanced-segments-and-custom.html

[G] Safer Internet Day: How we help you stay secure online

| More

Official Google Blog: Safer Internet Day: How we help you stay secure online

Technology can sometimes be complicated, but you shouldn’t have to be a computer scientist or security expert to stay safe online. Protecting our users is one of our top priorities at Google. Whether it’s creating easy-to-use tools to help you manage your information online or fighting the bad guys behind the scenes, we’re constantly investing to make Google the best service you can rely on, with security and privacy features that are on 24-7 and working for you.

Last year, we launched Good to Know, our biggest-ever consumer education campaign focused on making the web a safer, more comfortable place. Today, on Safer Internet Day, we’re updating Good to Know to include more tips and advice to help you protect yourself and your family from identity theft, scams and online fraud. You can also learn how to make your computer or mobile device more secure, and get more out of the web—from searching more effectively to making calls from your computer. And you can find out more about how Google works to make you, your device and the whole web safer.


For example, we encrypt the Gmail and Google Search traffic between your computer and Google—this protects your Google activity from being snooped on by others. We also make this protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, the default when you’re signed into Google Drive. Because outdated software makes your computer more vulnerable to security problems, we built the Chrome browser to auto-update to the latest version every time you start it. It gives you up-to-date security protection without making you do any extra work.

Even if you don’t use Google, we work hard to make the web safer for you. Every day we identify more than 10,000 unsafe websites—and we inform users and other web companies what we’ve found. We show warnings on up to 14 million Google Search results and 300,000 downloads, telling our users that there might be something suspicious going on behind a particular website or link. We share that data with other online companies so they can warn their users.

We know staying safe online is important to you—and it is important to us too. Please take some time today to make your passwords stronger and turn on 2-step verification to protect your Google Account. Talk with friends and family about Internet safety. And visit our new Good to Know site to find more tips and resources to help you stay safe online.

Posted by Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/safer-internet-day-how-we-help-you-stay.html