Friday, March 8, 2013

[G] Expanding Street View in Europe

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Google Lat Long: Expanding Street View in Europe


Today we’re announcing a major expansion of Street View to make our maps of Europe more comprehensive and usable. For the first time, people all over the world can see Street View imagery of Bulgaria. They’ll also have access to panoramas of almost 200 new towns and cities in Russia, and thousands of miles of refreshed imagery of the UK.

Bulgaria: from the mountains to the beaches
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Europe, Bulgaria is the 48th country for which immersive, street-level imagery is now available on Google Maps. This Bulgarian launch covers not only major economic centers such as Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, but also historical and beloved towns like Veliko Turnovo and Koprvishtitsa.


Nessebar is an ancient town and one of the most attractive seaside tourist destinations in Bulgaria

Users around the world can also virtually experience the beautiful ski resorts of Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo, and the stunning Architectural and Museum Reserve Tsarevets that sits on Tsarevets Hill in the old part of of Veliko Tarnovo. And of course, people can check out the Black Sea coast line, which is the heart of summer tourism in the country.


The Architectural and Museum Reserve Tsarevets is a popular tourist site in Bulgaria

From Russia with love
Last February, the first Street View images of Moscow and Saint Petersburg – the major cultural and economic centers in Russia – became available on Google Maps. Now we’re thrilled to add Street View images of nearly 200 more Russian cities to Google Maps. Get familiar with Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, or learn more about Buddhist culture by visiting the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, the largest Buddhist temple in the Republic of Kalmykia.


The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni is a popular Russian Buddhist destination


Sochi: Enjoy the sea and the mountains in one place

Mind the gap
In the UK we’re refreshing some imagery in major cities like London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, as well as filling in some of the gaps where we had no Street View coverage. For example, we’ve added brand new images to parts of the Scottish coastline, in pockets of East Anglia and parts of South Wales.

We hope this new and updated imagery makes it easier than ever to explore Europe, and we look forward to more additions in the future. And you can also check out Street View on your mobile device with the Google Maps app for Android and iPhone.

Post content Posted by Ulf Spitzer, Street View Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/expanding-street-view-in-europe.html

[G] Public Alerts for Google Search, Google Now and Google Maps available in Japan

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Google Lat Long: Public Alerts for Google Search, Google Now and Google Maps available in Japan


With nearly 5,000 earthquakes a year, it’s important for people in Japan to have crisis preparedness and response information available at their fingertips. And from our own research, we know that when a disaster strikes, people turn to the Internet for more information about what is happening.

With this in mind, we’re launching Google Public Alerts today in Japan—the first international expansion of a service we debuted last year in the United States. Google Public Alerts is a platform designed to provide accurate and relevant emergency alerts when and where you’re searching for them online.

Relevant earthquake and tsunami warnings for Japan will now appear on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now when you search online during a time of crisis. If a major earthquake alert is issued in Kanagawa Prefecture, for example, the alert information will appear on your desktop and mobile screens when you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps.


Example of a Google Search result on a tablet showing a tsunami warning


Example of a tsunami warning on Google Maps

If you click “詳細” (More info) right under the alert, you’ll see more details about the announcement, including the full description from the Japan Meteorological Agency, a link to their site, and other useful information like observed arrival times and wave heights for tsunamis.


Example of how a tsunami alert would work in Fukushima

And when you open Google Now on your Android device, recommended actions and information will be tailored to where you are. For example, if you happen to be in Tokyo at a time when a tsunami alert is issued, Google Now will show you a card containing information about the tsunami alert, as well as any available evacuation instructions:


Example of a tsunami warning card on Google Now

We’re able to provide Public Alerts in Japan thanks to the Japan Meteorological Agency, whose publication of data enables Google and others to make critical and life-saving information more widely available.

We hope our technology, including Public Alerts, will help people better prepare for future crises and create more far-reaching support for crisis recovery. This is why in Japan, Google has newly partnered with 14 Japanese prefectures and cities, including seven from the Tōhoku region, to make their government data available online and more easily accessible to users, both during a time of crisis and after. The devastating Tōhoku Earthquake struck Japan only two years ago, and the region is still slowly recovering from the tragedy.

We look forward to expanding Google Public Alerts to more countries and working with more warning providers soon. We also encourage potential partners to read our FAQ and to consider putting data in an open format, such as the Common Alerting Protocol. To learn more about Public Alerts, visit our Public Alerts homepage.

Post content Posted by Yu Chen, Partner Technology Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/public-alerts-for-google-search-google.html

[G] Learning from Big Data: 40 Million Entities in Context

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Research Blog: Learning from Big Data: 40 Million Entities in Context

Posted by Dave Orr, Amar Subramanya, and Fernando Pereira, Google Research

When someone mentions Mercury, are they talking about the planet, the god, the car, the element, Freddie, or one of some 89 other possibilities? This problem is called disambiguation (a word that is itself ambiguous), and while it’s necessary for communication, and humans are amazingly good at it (when was the last time you confused a fruit with a giant tech company?), computers need help.

To provide that help, we are releasing the Wikilinks Corpus: 40 million total disambiguated mentions within over 10 million web pages -- over 100 times bigger than the next largest corpus (about 100,000 documents, see the table below for mention and entity counts). The mentions are found by looking for links to Wikipedia pages where the anchor text of the link closely matches the title of the target Wikipedia page. If we think of each page on Wikipedia as an entity (an idea we’ve discussed before), then the anchor text can be thought of as a mention of the corresponding entity.

Dataset Number of Mentions Number of Entities
Bentivogli et al. (data) (2008) 43,704 709
Day et al. (2008) less than 55,0003,660
Artiles et al. (data) (2010) 57,357 300
Wikilinks Corpus 40,323,863 2,933,659

What might you do with this data? Well, we’ve already written one ACL paper on cross-document co-reference (and received lots of requests for the underlying data, which partly motivates this release). And really, we look forward to seeing what you are going to do with it! But here are a few ideas:
  • Look into coreference -- when different mentions mention the same entity -- or entity resolution -- matching a mention to the underlying entity
  • Work on the bigger problem of cross-document coreference, which is how to find out if different web pages are talking about the same person or other entity
  • Learn things about entities by aggregating information across all the documents they’re mentioned in
  • Type tagging tries to assign types (they could be broad, like person, location, or specific, like amusement park ride) to entities. To the extent that the Wikipedia pages contain the type information you’re interested in, it would be easy to construct a training set that annotates the Wikilinks entities with types from Wikipedia.
  • Work on any of the above, or more, on subsets of the data. With existing datasets, it wasn’t possible to work on just musicians or chefs or train stations, because the sample sizes would be too small. But with 10 million Web pages, you can find a decent sampling of almost anything.

Gory Details

How do you actually get the data? It’s right here: Google’s Wikilinks Corpus. Tools and data with extra context can be found on our partners’ page: UMass Wiki-links. Understanding the corpus, however, is a little bit involved.

For copyright reasons, we cannot distribute actual annotated web pages. Instead, we’re providing an index of URLs, and the tools to create the dataset, or whichever slice of it you care about, yourself. Specifically, we’re providing:
  • The URLs of all the pages that contain labeled mentions, which are links to English Wikipedia
  • The anchor text of the link (the mention string), the Wikipedia link target, and the byte offset of the link for every page in the set
  • The byte offset of the 10 least frequent words on the page, to act as a signature to ensure that the underlying text hasn’t changed -- think of this as a version, or fingerprint, of the page
  • Software tools (on the UMass site) to: download the web pages; extract the mentions, with ways to recover if the byte offsets don’t match; select the text around the mentions as local context; and compute evaluation metrics over predicted entities.
The format looks like this:

URL http://1967mercurycougar.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
MENTION Lincoln Continental Mark IV 40110 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Continental_Mark_IV
MENTION 1975 MGB roadster 41481 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_MGB
MENTION Buick Riviera 43316 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Riviera
MENTION Oldsmobile Toronado 43397 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Toronado
TOKEN seen 58190
TOKEN crush 63118
TOKEN owners 69290
TOKEN desk 59772
TOKEN relocate 70683
TOKEN promote 35016
TOKEN between 70846
TOKEN re 52821
TOKEN getting 68968
TOKEN felt 41508


We’d love to hear what you’re working on, and look forward to what you can do with 40 million mentions across over 10 million web pages!

Thanks to our collaborators at UMass Amherst: Sameer Singh and Andrew McCallum.

URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2013/03/learning-from-big-data-40-million.html

Thursday, March 7, 2013

[G] Remembering the 7 factors for better bid optimization

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Inside AdWords: Remembering the 7 factors for better bid optimization

(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog)

We at DoubleClick Search know that search marketing has expanded dramatically in scale and complexity over the years, and today, large search campaigns are practically impossible to manage using manual methods alone. As such, marketers are relying more and more on automated bid optimization platforms to run larger campaigns -- enabling them to scale up and streamline their operations at the same time.

In our blog series, we’ve explored key factors to consider when evaluating a search bid optimization platform, including flexible expression of goals, fresh data, smart algorithms, fast operations, regular software updates, sufficient controls, and dedicated, consultative services. As a wrap up to our bid optimization series, we want to recap the importance of these factors with an infographic:


Click here to view the full infographic

Using the 7 factors as a guideline, you can choose the platform that’s best for your business, to help you save time, get the best results, and make better decisions in your digital marketing efforts.

Stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog to learn more about enhancements, updates, and launches around the Performance Bidding Suite. To learn more about the 7 factors to consider when choosing a bid optimization tool, download our white paper here.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/03/remembering-7-factors-for-better-bid.html

[G] Voices of women in technology

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Official Blog: Voices of women in technology

A diverse workforce is critical in helping us build products that can help people change the world. That includes diversity of all life experiences, including gender.

Women were some of the first programmers and continue to make a major impact on the programming world today. We think it’s important to highlight the great work women are doing in computer science, to help provide role models for young women thinking about careers in computing.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and as one of our contributions to the celebration, we’re proud to support Voices Global Conference, presented by Global Tech Women. As part of this 24-hour live streamed event, Google will provide more than a dozen hours of free talks featuring women working in computer science, beginning today. To access the full schedule and our ongoing broadcasts, see our section on the Voices website, which will be updated throughout the day.

The Voices Global Conference is the brainchild of Global Tech Women’s founder Deanna Kosaraju, who also started India’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2010 with grant support from Google. The India conferences, which provide a forum for women to share their professional and research work in computing, have grown rapidly, with more than 800 attendees in 2012. So when Deanna proposed this global, 24-hour streamed conference, we knew it was a great opportunity to help women and other audiences around the world learn more and get inspired about the contributions women are making to technology and computer science.

Our sessions will feature a range of material, from new episodes of the Women Techmakers series and interviews with women leaders like the head of Lexity India Mani Abrol, to discussions focusing on technologies like Google Compute Engine. For a sneak peek of the type of content we’ll be providing, check out Pavni’s story below, produced in conjunction with PBS’ MAKERS series. I’ve provided advice to many young people in India interested in studying computer science and pursuing their own dreams—so Pavni’s tenacity, coupled with the encouragement and support she received from her father, resonated with me. We’re excited to share her story and others like it alongside technical conversations and discussions on women in technology as part of this conference.



I hope you’ll join us for our sessions—and in the meantime, you can learn more about our efforts to support women at Google and beyond.

Posted by Beryl Nelson, Software Engineering Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/voices-of-women-in-technology.html

[G] Art, Copy & Code: a series of experiments to re-imagine advertising

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Official Blog: Art, Copy & Code: a series of experiments to re-imagine advertising

Last year, we started a program to partner with advertisers and agencies to re-imagine how brands tell stories in a connected world. Project Re: Brief set out to recreate some of the advertising industry’s most iconic, classic campaigns using the latest technology tools. This year we’re expanding that program to work with some of today’s most iconic brands and innovative marketers, in our new project: Art, Copy & Code.

Art, Copy & Code is a series of projects and experiments to show how creativity and technology can work hand in hand. Some of these will include familiar brands like Volkswagen, Burberry and adidas—projects developed in partnership with their creative teams and agencies. Others will be creative experiments with innovative filmmakers, creative directors and technologists to explore how brands can connect with consumers through a whole range of digital tools—including ads, mobile apps and social experiences. Our first partner project is a new social driving experience—Volkswagen Smileage.

Building off their 2012 campaign, “It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them,” Volkswagen Smileage is a mobile app and web service that aims to add a little bit of fun to every drive, from your daily commutes to holiday road trips. The app measures the fun factor of each trip using a metric called “smileage,” based on signals like weather, traffic, location, time and social interactions (e.g., a long drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon might accumulate more smileage than a morning commute in the snow). You can use it with any car, not just Volkswagens.

Powered by the new Google+ sign-in, you can choose to share Smileage experience with friends and family. For example, during a road trip, photos and videos taken by you and your co-passengers can be automatically added to a live interactive map. The inspiration for the service came from a recent study showing that every day, 144 million Americans on average spend 52 minutes in a car—76 percent of them alone. We wanted to make that time a more shareable experience. Volkswagen Smileage will be available soon in beta—you can sign up on this webpage for early access.


We’ll have many more experiments to share in the Art, Copy & Code project soon—subscribe for updates at ArtCopyCode.com. We’re committed to investing in technology and tools over the long term to help brands and their agencies succeed not just today, but in a digital future that will look very different.

If you’re planning on attending SXSW, stop by the Google Playground on March 9 to see demos of these experiments, or attend our talk on March 10.

Posted by Aman Govil, Art, Copy & Code Project Lead
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/art-copy-code-series-of-experiments-to.html

[G] VP8 and MPEG LA

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The WebM Open Media Project Blog: VP8 and MPEG LA

Today Google Inc. and MPEG LA, LLC announced agreements that will result in MPEG LA ending its efforts to form a VP8 patent pool.

The arrangement with MPEG LA and 11 patent owners grants a license to Google and allows Google to sublicense any techniques that may be essential to VP8 and are owned by the patent owners; we may sublicense those techniques to any VP8 user on a royalty-free basis. The
URL: http://blog.webmproject.org/2013/03/vp8-and-mpeg-la.html

[G] Announcing the Notifications tab for advertisers

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Google Affiliate Network: Announcing the Notifications tab for advertisers

A few months ago, we launched our Notifications system for publishers. Today, we’re pleased to announce the Notifications tab for advertisers. This notifications system makes it easier for advertisers to stay informed about important program changes to make the most of their affiliate marketing efforts.

Types of notifications
If you're an advertiser, starting today you’ll receive a notification whenever you have pending publishers in your account. For example, if you have over 10 pending publishers, a message will appear in your notifications reminding you to take action. You’ll also get a notification if publishers report an order that may not have tracked in your account. Other examples of the notifications you’ll receive include errors pertaining to any offline files you may have uploaded.

Accessing notifications
From the Advertiser Home, you’ll see a notification alert in the upper right corner of the interface that shows the number of pending messages. When you click the alert, you can see more information along with a link to see all notifications.

When you click the Notifications tab, you'll see a basic summary and detailed view for each communication. You can search across notifications so you can more easily review and act on these alerts while you’re working in your account.


This launch is a continuation of a series of enhancements to communications in the Google Affiliate Network interface. We've listened to feedback from both advertisers and publishers that a central communication hub could increase efficiency and reduce the need to rely on email for important communications. As we mentioned last year, our vision is to move more communications into a central location in the interface so you can better track and maintain your affiliate relationships and activities.

Send your feedback
We welcome your feedback. If you have any suggestions, let us know what you think by posting a comment here or in our forum. Advertisers, sign in to your account today to access the Notifications tab.

Posted by:
Joel Ingram, Software Engineer
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2013/03/announcing-notifications-tab-for.html

[G] Building for the Future: an update on DFP and the end of DART

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Building for the Future: an update on DFP and the end of DART

In 2010, in order to help publishers maximize the value of every impression, we introduced the new version of DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

In the years since, we’ve continued to invest in this platform, including new features that we heard were most important to our publisher partners - like the ability to manage desktop, mobile and video on a single ad server, and tools that help publishers better optimize campaign performance and save time. Today, thousands of publishers, such as The Weather Company, Gawker Media, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and YouTube, are all leveraging DFP. And over two-thirds of our overall publisher ad impressions run through this new platform, up from one-third last year.

As far as we’ve come, we are just getting started with innovation to help publishers build for the future. To preview just a few of our 2013 plans, we’ll be helping publishers grow with new data-driven revenue models by enabling Audience Extension from directly within DFP. We’re increasing their ability to tap into the accelerating brand opportunity with new ways to measure such as Active View reporting for viewable impressions. We’re investing to make it easier for publishers to manage advertising across devices with tools like the Google Publisher Tag, which automatically selects the appropriate ad for the screen size (aka “responsive design”). And we’ll also be making it faster to access online content: since the new DFP is roughly twice as fast at serving as DART, when we’re done upgrading we’ll be saving Internet users 63 years a day in waiting for ads to serve.

This year our team is shifting all of our effort and investment to DFP to deliver even greater innovations for our partners. With this in mind, we’ll be ending support for our DART for Publishers legacy ad serving platform on September 1, 2013. To ensure continuity of ad serving, support and training, publishers who haven't upgraded to DFP by that date will be automatically scheduled for an upgrade date between September 1 and December 31, 2013 when ad serving on the DART for Publishers legacy platform will cease. Note that publishers using the DFP Small Business platform do not need to take any action and are already supported on the new DFP.

We strongly advise all publishers to complete their upgrades to DFP before September 1 to make sure you are able to use the new DFP to its full potential during the busy 2013 holiday season. Please contact your account manager as soon as possible if you don’t have an upgrade date scheduled. And if you’re not sure who to contact, you can always reach out to our customer support team.

We know our partners are looking for tools that can grow and adapt to the needs of their business not just today, but also for tomorrow, the next year and ten years from now. That’s why we’re fully committed to the new DFP. We’re ready to accelerate our pace of innovation on our platform, and we look forward to helping publishers as they break new ground in digital.


Posted by Jonathan Bellack, Director of Product Management
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2013/03/UpdateOnDFPandTheEndOfDART.html

[G] Art, Copy & Code: a series of experiments to re-imagine advertising

| More

Inside AdWords: Art, Copy & Code: a series of experiments to re-imagine advertising

Last year, we started a program to partner with advertisers and agencies to re-imagine how brands tell stories in a connected world. Project Re: Brief set out to recreate some of the advertising industry’s most iconic, classic campaigns using the latest technology tools. This year we’re expanding that program to work with some of today’s most iconic brands and innovative marketers, in our new project: Art, Copy & Code.

Art, Copy & Code is a series of projects and experiments to show how creativity and technology can work hand in hand. Some of these will include familiar brands like Volkswagen, Burberry and adidas—projects developed in partnership with their creative teams and agencies. Others will be creative experiments with innovative filmmakers, creative directors and technologists to explore how brands can connect with consumers through a whole range of digital tools—including ads, mobile apps and social experiences. Our first partner project is a new social driving experience—Volkswagen Smileage.

Building off their 2012 campaign, “It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them,” Volkswagen Smileage is a mobile app and web service that aims to add a little bit of fun to every drive, from your daily commutes to holiday road trips. The app measures the fun factor of each trip using a metric called “smileage,” based on signals like weather, traffic, location, time and social interactions (e.g.,  a long drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon might accumulate more smileage than a morning commute in the snow). You can use it with any car, not just Volkswagens.

Powered by the new Google+ sign-in, you can choose to share Smileage experience with friends and family. For example, during a road trip, photos and videos taken by you and your co-passengers can be automatically added to a live interactive map. The inspiration for the service came from a recent study showing that every day, 144 million Americans on average spend 52 minutes in a car—76 percent of them alone. We wanted to make that time a more shareable experience. Volkswagen Smileage will be available soon in beta—you can sign up on this webpage for early access.


We’ll have many more experiments to share in the Art, Copy & Code project soon—subscribe for updates at ArtCopyCode.com. We’re committed to investing in technology and tools over the long term to help brands and their agencies succeed not just today, but in a digital future that will look very different.

If you’re planning on attending SXSW, stop by the Google Playground on March 9 to see demos of these experiments, or attend our talk on March 10.

Posted by by Aman Govil, Art, Copy & Code Project Lead
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/03/art-copy-code-series-of-experiments-to.html

[G] Public Alerts for Google Search, Google Now and Google Maps available in Japan

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Official Blog: Public Alerts for Google Search, Google Now and Google Maps available in Japan

With nearly 5,000 earthquakes a year, it’s important for people in Japan to have crisis preparedness and response information available at their fingertips. And from our own research, we know that when a disaster strikes, people turn to the Internet for more information about what is happening.

With this in mind, we’re launching Google Public Alerts today in Japan—the first international expansion of a service we debuted last year in the United States. Google Public Alerts is a platform designed to provide accurate and relevant emergency alerts when and where you’re searching for them online.

Relevant earthquake and tsunami warnings for Japan will now appear on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now when you search online during a time of crisis. If a major earthquake alert is issued in Kanagawa Prefecture, for example, the alert information will appear on your desktop and mobile screens when you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps.

Example of a Google Search result on a tablet showing a tsunami warning

Example of a tsunami warning on Google Maps

If you click “詳細” (“More info”) right under the alert, you’ll see more details about the announcement, including the full description from the Japan Meteorological Agency, a link to their site, and other useful information like observed arrival times and wave heights for tsunamis.

Example of how a tsunami alert would work in Fukushima

And when you open Google Now on your Android device, recommended actions and information will be tailored to where you are. For example, if you happen to be in Tokyo at a time when a tsunami alert is issued, Google Now will show you a card containing information about the tsunami alert, as well as any available evacuation instructions:

Example of a tsunami warning card on Google Now

We’re able to provide Public Alerts in Japan thanks to the Japan Meteorological Agency, whose publication of data enables Google and others to make critical and life-saving information more widely available.

We hope our technology, including Public Alerts, will help people better prepare for future crises and create more far-reaching support for crisis recovery. This is why in Japan, Google has newly partnered with 14 Japanese prefectures and cities, including seven from the Tōhoku region, to make their government data available online and more easily accessible to users, both during a time of crisis and after. The devastating Tōhoku Earthquake struck Japan only two years ago, and the region is still slowly recovering from the tragedy.

We look forward to expanding Google Public Alerts to more countries and working with more warning providers soon. We also encourage potential partners to read our FAQ and to consider putting data in an open format, such as the Common Alerting Protocol. To learn more about Public Alerts, visit our Public Alerts homepage.

Posted by Yu Chen, Partner Technology Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/public-alerts-for-google-search-google.html

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

[G] Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday

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Official Blog: Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday

Accessing digital entertainment should be simple, whether you like to read books on your tablet, listen to music on your phone and computer, or watch movies on all three. That’s why one year ago today we launched Google Play, where you can find and enjoy your favorite music, movies, books and apps on your Android phone and tablet, or on the web.

Google Play has grown rapidly in the last year, bringing you more content in more languages and places around the globe. In addition to offering more than 700,000 apps and games, we’ve partnered with all of the major music companies, movie studios and publishers to bring you the music, movies, TV shows, books and magazines you love. And we’ve added more ways for you to buy them, including paying through your phone bill and gift cards, which we're beginning to roll out in the U.K. this week.

Since no birthday is complete without presents, we’re celebrating with a bunch of special offers across the store on songs, TV shows, movies and books. We’re even offering a collection of games with some fun birthday surprises created by developers.

It’s been a busy year, but we’re just getting started. We look forward to many more years of bringing you the best in entertainment!


Posted by Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Digital Content, Google Play
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/celebrating-google-plays-first-birthday.html

[G] Zero Makes Counting a Billion Times More Fun

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YouTube Blog: Zero Makes Counting a Billion Times More Fun

Occasionally, we invite special guests to share their thoughts on the YouTube Blog. Today, Sesame Street became the first nonprofit to reach 1 billion channel views on YouTube. In honor of that achievement, we bring you a guest post from the Count Von Count about the number zero.



Greetings, it is I, the Count Von Count from Sesame Street. It is a pleasure to be blogging to you today because when I blog I get to count the words. That is 31, 31 wonderful words in my blog post, ah-ha-ha.



Today I want to pay tribute to one of my favorite numbers. What number is it? I am glad you asked. Today I pay tribute to the number zero. A surprising number, I know. For when you have zero there is nothing to count. So why do I, a person who loves to count, love the number zero?



Well, for one thing, zero comes in very handy when there is nothing around to count. For you can count zero of that thing. Like right now, as I look around the castle, I count zero elephants, zero airplanes, and zero Justin Bieber CDs. Wonderful.



But that is not the only reason to love zero. For you see zero can make a little number much bigger. How? Like so—say you have a little number 1, a very nice number indeed. But, when you take that one and put a zero next to it, all of a sudden you have 10, 10 wonderful things to count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little fingers on your hands. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little toes on your feet. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little hot dogs in the meat drawer of my refrigerator. Oh! I love counting to ten.



But that is not all that zero can do. Take that 10 and put another zero on the end, and suddenly you have 100. 100 is a glorious number to count. I can count 100 seats in a movie theater; I count 100 golf balls at the golf course. I count 100 senators in the U.S. Senate. I love counting to 100!



Now what if you take that 100 and place another glorious zero beside it? Then all of a sudden you have 1,000. 1,000 is an extraordinary number to count. You can count 1,000 seashells on the seashore, 1,000 paperclips in Bert’s paperclip collection, 1,000 hairs growing out of your uncle’s ear. I love counting to 1,000!



Let’s not stop there! Let’s add three zeros to that 1,000 and all of a sudden we have 1,000,000 things to count. Have you ever counted to 1 million? I did. When I worked for the census bureau in Rhode Island. You should try it one time, or every four years, your choice.



Now take that 1,000,000 and add three more wonderful zeroes and what do you get? I’ll tell you: you get a number so big, so great, and so huge! When you have nine zeroes after a 1 you get the number 1,000,000,000. Yes 1 billion things to count! And it is all thanks to that lovely number zero. Thank you, zero, you make counting a billion times more fun. By the way, that is 510 words, 512, 513, 514 … 515 words in my YouTube blog post! Ah-ha-ha!











Count Von Count recently watched "Sesame Street: Pinball #12 New"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/O-6WGE4p_QU/zero-makes-counting-billion-times-more.html

[G] The 2013 DoGooder Video Awards Open for Nominations

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YouTube Blog: The 2013 DoGooder Video Awards Open for Nominations

Awards season is upon us. And for the fourth year, YouTube is teaming up with See3 Communications to present the DoGooder Video Awards, a celebration of the best nonprofit videos of the year. If you’re a nonprofit who made a video in 2012, you’re eligible and encouraged to submit your video.



But wait, there’s more! For the first time ever, we’re opening up the awards for submissions from individuals who are making videos to change their communities or the world. So if you’re a YouTube creator trying to save the whales one video at a time, or if you made a video on behalf of your favorite nonprofit this year, visit YouTube.com/DoGooder to nominate your video.



There are four separate categories in this year’s DoGooder Awards: the ImpactX Award for videos that drove clear real-world impact; Best Nonprofit Video; Funny for Good, recognizing effective use of comedy; and the Change Agent Award, for individuals who’ve gotten involved and produced their own cause-focused video.



We’ll award prizes like $3,500 grants, free admission to the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and special promotion on YouTube.



 





The deadline to enter is March 22, 2013. Official rules are available here.



Jessica Mason, YouTube for Good, recently watched “YouTubers Support Matt Damon's Strike!”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/g4K3oTdVDx0/the-2013-dogooder-video-awards-open-for.html

[G] Japan’s All Nippon Airways now en route to the digital cloud

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Japan’s All Nippon Airways now en route to the digital cloud

Posted by Mr. Aramaki, Director of Innovation at ANA

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Mr. Aramaki, Director of Innovation, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Japan. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

As Japan’s largest airline, operating around 1,000 flights per day, we know a thing or two about clouds. Today we’re delighted to announce that we’ll be embarking on a journey to a cloud of a very different kind — with Google’s cloud based tools Google Apps for Business — to communicate and collaborate more easily.

Starting in April, all our 33,000 staff across 40 company divisions, from pilots and cabin attendants to HR and finance staff, will use Gmail, Google Drive and Google Talk.


As a global business, we have people working all over the world. Now it doesn't matter if our staff are on tarmacs in Tokyo, offices in London, or on-the-go in the streets of Beijing, they’ll be able to communicate and collaborate in real time, using Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides from their PCs, smartphones or tablets. As well as removing the barriers of distance, the move to Google Apps will also help us break down language barriers with Google Talk’s translation feature.

Google Apps offers us the reliability and scalability we need. We coordinate flights for 2.7 million passengers to 81 local and international destinations every year, so it is critical we have a communication system that we can rely on. With Gmail we’ll not only have this reliability and scale, we’ll also no longer have to dedicate resources to maintaining and operating our email system as we can rely on Google’s infrastructure.

For over 60 years ANA has flown passengers around the world in comfort and safety. As we launch into our next decade were looking forward to smooth sailing into the cloud with Google Apps for Business and creating a more innovative, flexible and productive style of work.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/03/japans-all-nippon-airways-now-en-route.html

[G] Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday

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Official Android Blog: Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday

Accessing digital entertainment should be simple, whether you like to read books on your tablet, listen to music on your phone and computer, or watch movies on all three. That’s why one year ago today we launched Google Play, where you can find and enjoy your favorite music, movies, books and apps on your Android phone and tablet, or on the web.

Google Play has grown rapidly in the last year, bringing you more content in more languages and places around the globe. In addition to offering more than 700,000 apps and games, we’ve partneredwith all of the major music companies, movie studios and publishers to bring you the music, movies, TV shows, books and magazines you love. And we’ve added more ways for you to buy them, including paying through your phone bill and gift cards, which we're beginning to roll out in the U.K. this week.

Since no birthday is complete without presents, we’re celebrating with a bunch of special offers across the store on songs, TV shows, movies and books. We’re even offering a collection of games with some fun birthday surprises created by developers.

It’s been a busy year, but we’re just getting started. We look forward to many more years of bringing you the best in entertainment!


Posted by Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Digital Content, Google Play
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2013/03/celebrating-google-plays-first-birthday.html

[G] Enhanced campaigns: Improving online and offline results with location bid adjustments and offer extensions

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Inside AdWords: Enhanced campaigns: Improving online and offline results with location bid adjustments and offer extensions

With AdWords, you’ve been able to run campaigns in targeted geographic locations and attach your local business address to your search ads using location extensions. Now, new location-oriented features in enhanced campaigns are rolling out globally to help you achieve even better results with AdWords – online and offline. Read on to learn how to:
  • Improve campaign results using location bid adjustments, whether your customers buy online or offline.
  • More easily reach customers that are near your business locations. 
  • Drive more offline purchases and measurable in-store traffic with search ads using offer extensions.
For a guided walkthrough, tips and Q&A on using these new location-based features and offer extensions, please register and join us at this week’s Learn with Google webinar on enhanced campaigns this Thursday, March 7, at 10am PST.

Geotarget broadly with selective bid adjustments for improved results

Whether your business is online-only, offline-only, or multi-channel, you can improve your overall results by using a broad location target to cover your entire potential market while refining your bids in select areas. With legacy campaigns, you’d need to set up a new campaign for every location you wanted to bid differently on. Now, with enhanced campaigns, it’s simple to increase or lower your bids by a certain percent for any location target in your campaign.

In the AdWords interface, click Locations on the Settings tab, and then click on the bid adjustment column to the right of a location target to increase or decrease your bid. You can also make location bid adjustments with the latest version of AdWords Editor.

Adjusting a bid for a location target
Setting a location bid adjustment (click to expand)

To optimize with selective bid adjustments using the AdWords interface:
  1. Click on the “Location details” button and select “What triggered your ad.” 
  2. Toggle the View button to slice your campaign performance data, including conversion data, by different geographic levels (example screen).
  3. Sort or filter to focus on the locations you want to optimize. 
  4.  Select one or more locations. 
  5. Click the “Add targets and set bid adjustment” button.
For more advanced optimization, you might pair your AdWords reporting with your company’s data on customer value by geography to adjust bids for different locations.
Example 1: A commercial maintenance company targets a 20 mile radius around downtown Denver. The marketing director might know that it costs 20% less to sell to and service customers who are within 10 miles of downtown. He can improve his results by increasing his bids by 20% for customers within 10 miles of downtown Denver, since these leads are more profitable. 
Example 2: An online-only financial services company has modeled its average customer lifetime value by zip code. The company’s search specialist has been asked to achieve an average 8:1 return on ad spend (ROAS), which they define as average lifetime value divided by average cost per lead. The specialist downloads data from AdWords with cost per lead by zip code and pairs it with lifetime value for each matching zip code (example data). She looks for opportunities to improve her results by lowering bids in zip codes where ROAS is below the target and increasing bids in zip codes where ROAS is above the target. She makes her bid adjustment decisions in the spreadsheet and implements them in her enhanced campaign, re-checking the ROAS and volume impact for a few weeks and making changes as necessary. With legacy campaigns, she would have to set up a new campaign for every zip code with different bids, increasing the level of campaign management complexity and effort required.
Experienced search marketers know that bids are an important contributor to campaign results, along with ads, extensions, keywords, and landing pages, so they’re sure to measure periodically and make adjustments. Remember, targeting too narrowly can limit your reach, clicks and conversions, so consider using selective location bid adjustments while targeting broadly. More tips on optimizing your campaigns using location are available in the AdWords Help Center.

Reach customers near your offline business locations more easily

If you operate an offline or multi-channel business, you can use the new location extensions targeting to reach potential customers or increase your bids when they're near your locations with just a few clicks. It uses the location extensions you’ve already created and a radius that you specify to create targets around your businesses.

Setting a location extension target
Setting a location extension target (click to expand)

You can then assign a bid adjustment to your location extension target to increase your ad’s visibility when customers are near your business, and potentially more likely to shop and buy from you (step-by-step directions).
Example 3: A national multi-channel retail business has been running AdWords campaigns to sell directly online and to drive people to its 400 local stores. The account has already set up location extensions, but it wants to improve its ad visibility even more when customers are searching within a short distance from its stores. With just a few clicks, its search agency adds a single “2.0 mile around each location extension” target and sets a +25% bid adjustment.
Setting a bid adjustment for a location extension target
 Setting a bid adjustment for a location extension target (click to expand)

Drive measurable offline purchases and in-store traffic with offer extensions

Showing a potential customer the right offer at the right time can be the difference that brings them into a local business to buy from you. Offer extensions help you drive offline purchases and in-store traffic with a redeemable offer shown with your search ads across devices. You can use them whether you’re a retailer, manufacturer, or other type of business (currently shown to users in the U.S. only).

desktop offer extension example
Desktop offer extension example
mobile offer extension example
Mobile offer extension example

When customers click your offer, they'll see your offer details, business logo, and nearby stores (see example below). They can print your offer or save it to their Google Offers account for in-store redemption. At the point of sale, customers redeem the offer using either a text code or a bar code.

Offer details example on desktop
Offer details example on desktop (click to expand)

You pay for clicks on an offer just like a click on your ad headline – there are no fees for each redemption. We’ll also remind customers about unused offers through email to improve the redemption rate. Offer extensions are available at the campaign or ad group level. Check out more details and tips on offer extensions usage and reporting in the Help Center.

Please stay tuned for more details on the availability of offer extensions in other countries and improvements with offer redemption reporting. We welcome your feedback on these features and others in enhanced campaigns using this form.

Posted by Smita Hashim, Group Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/03/enhanced-campaigns-improving-online-and.html

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[G] Linking students together for a summer

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Google Open Source Blog: Linking students together for a summer




Metalink improves downloads automatically using mirrors, hashes, and digital signatures. In 2012, Metalink participated for the first time in Google Summer of Code. We had four students (with a fifth via the GNU Project). All five students successfully completed their work, adding not only to our codebase, but also to our community. We learned a great deal from our students and hope we were able to teach them as well. Below is a brief description of the 5 students and their respective projects.

aria2 Web UI and Metalink/HTTP support in DownThemAll!  by Hamza Zia 
aria2 is a wonderful command line BitTorrent and Metalink client, but the terminal isn't always the best option for everyone and having a Web UI available makes it more accessible to more people. Additional features were also added to the Firefox Addon download manager DownThemAll! this summer. Hamza says, “Before Google Summer of Code I was an amateur web programmer, I had never written or worked with codebases beyond a couple of hundred lines of code. This all changed after the Google Summer of Code program, where with the help of my mentors I was able to approach a large project in manageable chunks and work with some of the very high profile Firefox Addons (DownThemAll!). At the same time I was able to create my own open source project (a web UI for aria2).”

Metalink Downloader Chrome extension by Sundaram Ananthanarayanan 
We didn't want Chrome users to be left out, so Sundaram created this extension from scratch.

Metalink/HTTP support in KGet by Aish Raj Dahal 
Aish added Metalink features to KGet, the native download manager for KDE. Aish says, "Getting to work on an Internet Standard that spans across platforms, download managers, and browsers has helped me gain an insight into the workings of open standards and implementations of RFCs. The small yet excellent community around Metalink has taught me several aspects of real world open source development for which I shall always be thankful."

wget Metalink support by İlim Uğur 
İlim added Metalink support to this ubiquitous command line downloader. This was done with the support of the GNU Project.

Apache Traffic Server cache hits for download mirrors via Metalink by Jack Bates 
The same exact file downloaded from different mirrors isn't automatically detected as already present in proxy caches. Jack had a busy summer, doing double duty online with Google Summer of Code via GPRS modem and sometimes by candlelight, while also volunteering at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village for orphans in Rwanda for a year. Jack says, "This project aims to address the number of times the same large files are transferred over the same internet connection, because large files are often distributed from many different mirrors or a content distribution network. This is sometimes called duplicate transfer detection and is especially helpful where a lot of people share one small, congested internet connection, like at the rural village in Rwanda where I was a volunteer."

Thanks to our students, mentors, all other contributors and supporters, and the Google Open Source Programs Office people who arrange such cool things. The Mentor Summit was tremendous and we are thankful for the whole Google Summer of Code experience.

By Ant Bryan, Metalink Organization Administrator
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2013/03/linking-students-together-for-summer.html

[G] Type less when you’re on the go

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Google Chrome Blog: Type less when you’re on the go

Tired of filling out web forms on your Android phone or tablet with the same information, time and time again? When you’ve signed in to Chrome on your desktop, you can take your saved passwords and autofill entries across your computers and laptops. With today’s Chrome Beta for Android update, you can now access these from your phone and tablet too. This makes for a faster and simpler way to fill out forms, especially handy on a small screen.


The latest version of Chrome Beta for Android is available on Google Play (use the link, you won't find it in search)! To try syncing passwords, make sure you are on the latest beta version of desktop Chrome. This feature will roll out in the coming days, so you may not see it right away after upgrading. As always, you can manage your signed in preferences in Settings.

Posted by Tommy Nyquist, Software Engineer & Mobile Sync Ninja
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2013/03/type-less-when-youre-on-go.html

[G] Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters

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Official Blog: Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters

Our users trust Google with a lot of very important data, whether it’s emails, photos, documents, posts or videos. We work exceptionally hard to keep that information safe—hiring some of the best security experts in the world, investing millions of dollars in technology and baking security protections such as 2-step verification into our products.

Of course, people don’t always use our services for good, and it’s important that law enforcement be able to investigate illegal activity. This may involve requests for personal information. When we receive these requests, we:

  • scrutinize them carefully to ensure they satisfy the law and our policies;
  • seek to narrow requests that are overly broad;
  • notify users when appropriate so they can contact the entity requesting the information or consult a lawyer; and
  • require that government agencies use a search warrant if they’re seeking search query information or private content, like Gmail and documents, stored in a Google Account.

When conducting national security investigations, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation can issue a National Security Letter (NSL) to obtain identifying information about a subscriber from telephone and Internet companies. The FBI has the authority to prohibit companies from talking about these requests. But we’ve been trying to find a way to provide more information about the NSLs we get—particularly as people have voiced concerns about the increase in their use since 9/11.

Starting today, we’re now including data about NSLs in our Transparency Report. We’re thankful to U.S. government officials for working with us to provide greater insight into the use of NSLs. Visit our page on user data requests in the U.S. and you’ll see, in broad strokes, how many NSLs for user data Google receives, as well as the number of accounts in question. In addition, you can now find answers to some common questions we get asked about NSLs on our Transparency Report FAQ.


You'll notice that we're reporting numerical ranges rather than exact numbers. This is to address concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations. We plan to update these figures annually.

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security

(Cross-posted on the Public Policy Blog)
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/transparency-report-shedding-more-light.html

[G] Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters

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Google Public Policy Blog: Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Our users trust Google with a lot of very important data, whether it’s emails, photos, documents, posts or videos. We work exceptionally hard to keep that information safe—hiring some of the best security experts in the world, investing millions of dollars in technology and baking security protections such as 2-step verification into our products.

Of course, people don’t always use our services for good, and it’s important that law enforcement be able to investigate illegal activity. This may involve requests for personal information. When we receive these requests, we:

  • scrutinize them carefully to ensure they satisfy the law and our policies; 
  • seek to narrow requests that are overly broad; 
  • notify users when appropriate so they can contact the entity requesting the information or consult a lawyer; 
  • and require that government agencies use a search warrant if they’re seeking search query information or private content, like Gmail and documents, stored in a Google Account.  

When conducting national security investigations, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation can issue a National Security Letter (NSL) to obtain identifying information about a subscriber from telephone and Internet companies. The FBI has the authority to prohibit companies from talking about these requests. But we’ve been trying to find a way to provide more information about the NSLs we get—particularly as people have voiced concerns about the increase in their use since 9/11.

Starting today, we’re now including data about NSLs in our Transparency Report. We’re thankful to U.S. government officials for working with us to provide greater insight into the use of NSLs. Visit our page on user data requests in the U.S. and you’ll see, in broad strokes, how many NSLs for user data Google receives, as well as the number of accounts in question. In addition, you can now find answers to some common questions we get asked about NSLs on our Transparency Report FAQ.



You'll notice that we're reporting numerical ranges rather than exact numbers. This is to address concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations. We plan to update these figures annually.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/03/transparency-report-shedding-more-light.html

[G] Learn About the 7 Factors of Bid Optimization

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Analytics Blog: Learn About the 7 Factors of Bid Optimization

A version of the following post originally appeared on from the DoubleClick Search blog.

At DoubleClick Search we know that search marketing has expanded dramatically in scale and complexity over the years, and today, large search campaigns may be difficult to manage using manual methods alone. As such, marketers are relying more and more on automated bid optimization platforms to run larger campaigns -- enabling them to scale up and streamline their operations at the same time.

In a recent blog post series on the DoubleClick Blog, we explored key factors to consider when evaluating a search bid optimization platform, including flexible expression of goals, fresh data, smart algorithms, fast operations, regular software updates, sufficient controls, and dedicated, consultative services. As a wrap up to our bid optimization series, we want to recap the importance of these factors with an infographic:

Click here to view the full infographic
Using the 7 factors as a guideline, you can choose the platform that’s best for your business, to help you save time, get the best results, and make better decisions in your digital marketing efforts.  

Stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog to learn more about enhancements, updates, and launches around the Performance Bidding Suite. To learn more about the 7 factors to consider when choosing a bid optimization tool, download our white paper here.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/03/learn-about-7-factors-of-bid.html

[G] Programmatic in the future: Are programmatic channels safe for brands?

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Programmatic in the future: Are programmatic channels safe for brands?


This will be the discussion in our next installment of "Programmatic in the future". Join us on Thursday, 3/7 at 1:30 ET/10:30 PT as Digiday's Editor-in-Chief Brian Morrissey, interviews Penry Price, President, Media6Degrees, and Nate Stricker, VP, Group Account Director for Digital at Initiative.



In case you missed our last conversation with Mike Finnegan, Xaxis' VP of Product Development, here's a snapshot:









Or you could watch the video:









Posted by Yamini Gupta, Product Marketing Team





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DoubleclickPublisherBlog/~3/F5rlEDMgMeo/programmatic-in-future-are-programmatic.html