Saturday, April 27, 2013

[G] The Big Tent comes to Washington

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Google Public Policy Blog: The Big Tent comes to Washington


Posted by Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations


When we started holding our Big Tent events in London two years ago, we wanted to stir up lively conversation about some of the hot topics relating to the Internet and society. After all, the political meaning of a “big tent” is to attract diverse viewpoints to come together in one place. Since then, we’ve held more than 20 Big Tents on three different continents to debate issues ranging from arts and culture online to the economic impact of the web.


Later today, the Big Tent is coming to Washington, D.C. for the first time. Along with our partner Bloomberg, we'll hear from some of the top names in media, government and the arts for discussions about one of the values we hold most dear: the right to free expression.


Can free speech survive in the digital age? At a time when too many governments deny their citizens the right to dissent, we’ll ask if the Internet is reaching its promise of empowering people around the world. We’ll have sessions on the limits to free speech online, national security in the Internet age, and creativity and freedom on the web.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and senior vice president and chief legal officer David Drummond will be joined by a variety of speakers, including former U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales, deputy secretary of homeland security Jane Holl Lute, Bloomberg chief content officer Norman Pearlstine, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, and Saudi Arabian comedian and YouTube star Omar Hussein.

Things kick off at 1:30pm EDT today—you can watch the entire event on Bloomberg’s live stream and tune in to the Big Tent Google+ page for updates as the event unfolds. Later on, we’ll also upload video clips to the Big Tent YouTube channel. We hope you’ll join us for exciting conversations about how to best keep the Internet free and open.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-big-tent-comes-to-washington.html

Friday, April 26, 2013

[G] Google Summer of Code meetups, Episode 7: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code meetups, Episode 7: Cluj-Napoca, Romania







On March 23rd a Google Summer of Code meetup was held in Romania as part of the GDG Cluj-Napoca meeting with almost 50 students in attendance. The event featured a couple of experienced open source developers, Stas Suşcov and Attila-Mihály Balázs, who were interested in inspiring university students to participate in open source development. Stas is a former Google Summer of Code student and Attila-Mihály is an open source enthusiast. They discuss their experiences in open source and some of the benefits of participating in the Google Summer of Code program below.


I participated twice as a student in Google Summer of Code, in 2010 and 2011, for the WordPress Foundation. For my first summer project I worked on a social learning platform called Courseware for BuddyPress social network. Two years later, together with my friend David, we launched our own startup based on my Google Summer of Code experience, The Courseware Project. Before becoming a student in the program, I had already been involved in a lot of local and global open source communities (Ubuntu, Mozilla, WordPress) and being part of Google Summer of Code was a natural outcome which greatly improved my professional abilities and relationships with people involved in these projects.  


During the meetup I tried to share my experiences and answer as many questions as possible about being a Google Summer of Code student and give helpful tips on how actions to take so the organization will want you for another year as a participant or mentor once you finish your current project. 


By Stas Sușcov -  former Google Summer of Code student and Developer/Operations at Coursewa.re  


----
As a user and creator of open source technology I’m a big believer in its benefits. That’s why when I saw this year’s Google Summer of Code announcement I thought: I need to promote it to as many students as possible. My presentation was a very quick introduction to the concept of open source, the possible reasons for contributing and what steps somebody should take when starting to work on an open source project. The slides used in the presentation are available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. 


In my opinion the main benefits for students who contribute to an open source project through the Google Summer of Code program are:

  • learning how to use tools like IDEs, VCSs, issue/bug trackers, build systems, etc. - these are integral parts of a programmer’s daily life but rarely mentioned in studies at universities

  • learning how to work with an existing project and its infrastructure - most of the projects people end up working on already exist, but in university most of the projects students are taught about are described as being created from-scratch

  • learning how to communicate with others, especially remotely - as much as 80% of a programmer's job is communication and working on an open source project is a great way to practice this

  • having something tangible to show on one’s resume

  • and finally the monetary benefits are also nice 




By Attila-Mihály Balázs, developer at Udacity



I would like to thank again the organizers (GDG Cluj-Napoca) and my co-presenter, Stas. My goal is to make Romania the number one contributing country to Google Summer of Code.



By Attila-Mihály Balázs, developer at Udacity and open source enthusiast





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/gvkOj2SIPeA/google-summer-of-code-meetups-episode-7.html

[G] The Importance of Being Seen: Viewability and Brands

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Inside AdWords: The Importance of Being Seen: Viewability and Brands

Brand marketers since the “Mad Men” era have often sought insight to a simple question: ‘Was my ad seen?’ The answer was that your ad was published, your commercial ran, your online impression served on a web page, but it was impossible to say with certainty whether an ad was viewed or not. Thanks to leaps forward in digital technology and the hard work of many in the industry, it's now possible to measure whether an ad is viewable onscreen. Given this progress, it's not a matter of if this becomes the standard, but when.

We support a viewable impressions standard and have been partnering with the industry to push this forward. Today we've reached an important milestone on this journey - Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for our viewability measurement solution, Active View, which we introduced last year.

"We are very pleased that Google has achieved accreditation for its Active View product" said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the Media Rating Council.  "Viewable impressions are an important foundational improvement in digital measurement and an important step toward comparability with other electronic media."

Active View complements our other investments in making digital an effective medium for brand marketers and their awareness-building campaigns, like Lightbox ads and TrueView in AdMob and games. These efforts appear to be paying off for brand advertisers: we saw a 65 percent increase last quarter alone in the number of brand advertisers using our brand formats and buying tools.

The Active View Roadmap

Viewability has the power to transform the industry: improving the value of marketers’ spend, and of publishers’ sites. We’ve also designed this metric to be actionable, not just for after-the-fact reporting. Based on Active View, advertisers can buy reservable inventory on the Google Display Network (GDN), paying only for impressions that meet the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s proposed viewability standard - at least 50% on screen for one second or longer.

Effective metrics also serve as a universal currency, building an understanding between marketers and content creators about the best way to reach an audience, and the value of an ad on a page. This is why we’ll be building Active View into our products both for advertisers and publishers. In addition to its use on the GDN, Active View reporting will be available in DoubleClick for Advertisers and DoubleClick for Publishers in 2013. Long term, we see this becoming the new standard for how impressions are bought, sold and measured, replacing the “served impressions” metric we have today.

While many intuitively suspected that increased viewability would directly translate into better campaign performance, we now have data to back that up. On our network, we compared ads by the number of seconds they appeared on screen and found:
  • Users are more likely to click on viewable ads -- up to 21 times more.
  • Viewability can help publishers discover “gold below the fold,” with CTR doubling, on average, for below-the-fold inventory. On average, we’ve found that CTR is comparable for viewable above-the-fold and viewable below-the-fold inventory.
  • The longer users view an ad, the bigger the boost for click-through rates (we saw up to a 125% increase when an ad was viewed for more than 20 seconds).

Figure 1.  Comparison of CTR for viewable v. non-viewable ads, shown for all ads (left panel) and BTF inventory only (right panel) (100% = the average CTR of the specified dataset).


Figure 2.  CTR by viewable time, detail.
*Data source for all figures:  Google Display Network 2% sample from February 2013; Brand rank of 0.3 or greater; display ads only; viewable = 50% onscreen.  In all figures, 100% on the y-axis denotes the average CTR across all ad queries in the specified dataset.

Google’s MRC accreditation, which currently applies to the Google Display Network and DoubleClick for Advertisers, was based on a thorough assessment of a number of factors, including the detection process, quality control and delivery standards.

With this accreditation, we are one step closer to making a viewable standard a reality for our partners. With better measurement, we think it's possible to unlock a new golden age of creation across the web, where users can enjoy great content, brands can connect with their customers and content creators can accelerate their growth.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Display Advertising
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-importance-of-being-seen.html

[G] Vampire Weekend + Steve Buscemi = One awesome YouTube live streamed concert this Sunday

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YouTube Blog: Vampire Weekend + Steve Buscemi = One awesome YouTube live streamed concert this Sunday

If you’ve ever spent a Sunday night enjoying "Boardwalk Empire" or rocking out to (and properly using the) "Oxford Comma," you’re in for a treat this weekend.



On Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, Vampire Weekend will perform a concert directed by none other than award-winning actor, director and producer Steve Buscemi to close out this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. And the best news of all is that you won’t need tickets to the Roseland Ballroom to take in the show. You can experience the entire event from the comfort of your couch via YouTube.







This concert, which is a lead-up to the release of Vampire Weekend’s next album, marks the 12th installment of “American Express Unstaged,” a concert series in partnership with YouTube and VEVO that brings together musical artists and film directors to create innovative performances.



The show’s sure to be full of great songs and surprises, including an opportunity for fans at home to unlock an exclusive BACKSTAGED performance, so mark your calendar and be sure to tune in. Here’s some trivia you may not even know: just last month, vocalist and bassist Chris Baio learned he’s actually related to Buscemi (thank you, genealogy websites).



Check out Vampire Weekend’s channel to see new, exclusive videos from this zany collaboration. We can’t wait to see what happens live.



Nicola Young, Marketing Programs Manager, recently watched "How to Destroy Angels - Ice Age - Live From Coachella, April 12, 2013."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/rGcEF6EPYSs/vampire-weekend-steve-buscemi-one.html

[G] A tenfold revenue increase in just three months - nanapi.jp's success story

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Learn More Study Less: A tenfold revenue increase in just three months - nanapi.jp's success story






nanapi.jp is a Japanese site which provides helpful tips for everyday life.  From tips on romance to how to use web services, it has all sorts of advice for everyone.



Recently, nanapi started using AdSense and has seen a steady revenue increase. We spoke to Mr. Furukawa, the CEO, and Mr. Saito, the Director of Ads, and asked them about their experiences with AdSense.



■ Inside AdSense (IA): Please tell us the history of nanapi and how you built your site.  

We established nanapi in September, 2009.  We realized that there was a need for an information site where people could find tips for everyday life, so we decided to provide this content in the form of articles on various topics.



Initially, we only had a desktop site but now we’ve created a mobile site for smartphones too. As of August 2012, we receive 42 million page views and 9 million unique users per month.  The number of unique users is bigger on the desktop site, but the smartphone site receives more page views.





■ IA: How and why did you start using AdSense?

When we first established the site, we decided not to implement ads as we wanted to focus on creating quality content first. After our number of monthly visitors reached 10 million, we implemented a medium rectangle (300x250) in the upper right corner of the site.  As a result, we earned higher revenue than we’d anticipated.



We were surprised by the quality of the ads and how well they matched the content of our site. We’d been concerned that ads might damage the design or usability of our site, but we didn’t feel that way about the site post-implementation.  That’s why we decided to use AdSense more.



■ IA: What results did you see after implementing AdSense?

We started to use AdSense more after the pilot in April 2012.  More specifically, we switched from another ad network to AdSense, and increased the number of ads per page. Our revenue increased more than ten times in just three months!



nanapi covers a lot of topics, and it can be difficult to show relevant ads, but with AdSense's contextual targeting, relevant ads are shown automatically.  People visit nanapi before they take action, and that's why it's natural for our visitors to click relevant ads and leave the site. We implemented 336x280 ads below our articles to capture this kind of user behavior.







■ IA: Did you have any issues after implementing Google AdSense?

We didn’t have any difficulty in implementing or setting up AdSense. Compared to the ad network we used before, AdSense’s account interface is easy to use. It was also very easy to implement AdSense on our smartphone site. We pasted the ad code from the account interface, just as we’d done for the desktop site. It’s very good that AdSense allows us to check performance by platform too.



As for resources, we only need one person to manage AdSense. The account interface is very easy to use. For example, when we experiment with changing an ad format, we can check its performance immediately.



We were concerned that ads would deteriorate the usability of our website.  However, ad quality was very good and we didn’t have to worry.  Since the ads match our content, they enhance the information on the site and we haven’t received a single complaint from our users







■ IA: Please tell us about your plans for the future.

We plan to keep adding more and more articles to our site. Our goal is to make users think that “if you visit nanapi, you’ll find answers for all kinds of topics.” From an ads perspective, we’re considering using DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) to manage our ad units more easily.



Posted by Ayaka Sakakibara - Strategic Partner Manager

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





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/http/saiairnewblogspotin/~3/ECFCtxiMxcA/a-tenfold-revenue-increase-in-just_26.html

[G] A speedy, more secure way to view Microsoft Office files directly in Chrome

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Google Chrome Blog: A speedy, more secure way to view Microsoft Office files directly in Chrome

If you use a Chromebook, you’ve already been enjoying the ability to open Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly in your browser. Starting today, we’re excited to bring this same functionality to Chrome on Windows and Mac.

If you’re running Chrome Beta on Windows or Mac and install the Chrome Office Viewer (Beta) extension, you’ll be able to click a link to an Office file and open it directly in Chrome.

In addition to saving you time, the Chrome Office Viewer also protects you from malware delivered via Office files. Just like with web pages and PDFs, we’ve added a specialized sandbox to impede attackers who use compromised Office files to try to steal private information or monitor your activities.

To give it a try on Windows or Mac:
Since this extension is still in beta, we’d love to get your feedback. When you find issues, please click the “Report an issue” button while viewing the file to report a bug.

Posted by Jelte Liebrand, Software Engineer and Document Dynamo

URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-speedy-more-secure-way-to-view.html

[G] Introducing “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase" — interactive insights on multi-channel marketing

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Analytics Blog: Introducing “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase" — interactive insights on multi-channel marketing

Savvy marketers understand that you don’t always seal the deal with a single message, image, or advertisement. A user may see a display ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before buying something from your website — and all of these interactions can play a role in the final sale. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey so you can measure all of the elements that contribute to your campaigns, attribute the right value to them, and adjust your marketing budgets where appropriate.

That’s the philosophy behind Google Analytics tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling. Tens of thousands of our largest advertisers are gaining valuable insights from Multi-Channel Funnels every month, and we’ve collected these insights using aggregate statistics to develop a benchmarking tool — The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success.


The tool draws on Ecommerce and Multi-Channel Funnels data from over 36,000 Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing, including millions of purchases across 11 industries in 7 countries. Purchase paths in this tool are each based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser.

You’ll find benchmark data for:
  • how different marketing channels (such as display, search, email, and your own website) help move users towards purchases. For example, some marketing channels play an “assist” role during the earlier stages of the marketing funnel, whereas some play a “last interaction” role just before a sale.
  • how long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (from the first time they interact with your marketing to the moment they actually buy something), and how the length of this journey affects average order values.

Channel Roles in the Customer Journey
The data shows that every industry is different — the path to purchase for hotel rooms in Japan is not necessarily the same as the path as for an online supermarket in Canada.

A few findings stand out, in particular:
  • As you might expect, customers typically click on display ads early in their purchase journeys, but in some industries, such as US travel and auto, display clicks tend to occur closer to the purchase decision.
  • Across industries and countries, paid search has a fairly even assist-to-last interaction ratio, implying that this channel can act both in the earlier and later stages of the customer journey.

Advanced tip:
  • Once you’ve explored the benchmarks, look deeper into your own marketing data with the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and consider defining your channels and campaigns to separate out categories that are specific to your business needs.

Purchase values and the length of the journey
We also see interesting patterns emerge when examining the length of the customer journey. While the majority of purchases take place within a single day or a single step (i.e., a single interaction with one marketing channel), longer paths tend to correlate with higher average order values. 

For example,
  • in US Tech, online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than purchases that occur immediately. And while 61% of tech purchases take place on that first day, only 53% of revenue comes from single-day purchases.
  • in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), on the other hand, most purchases (82%) are quick, likely because these are smaller and simpler purchases that don’t require much research.
  • in Edu / Gov, 41% of revenue comes from multi-day purchases, but 60% of revenue comes from multi-step purchases — suggesting that even when customers make decisions in a relatively short time period, they often have multiple marketing interactions before purchasing.

Advanced tip:
  • In Multi-Channel Funnels or the Attribution Modeling Tool, you can adjust the lookback window to reflect the typical length of the purchase path in your industry. For example, if your business tends to have shorter paths, you can zoom in on paths that take 5 days or less:

Putting the benchmarks to work
For marketers, it’s always a crucial challenge to design campaigns that deliver the right message at the right moment in a customer’s journey to purchase. We hope these benchmarks will provide useful insights about the journey and help you put your business into context. In particular, take a look at the final infographic, the “Benchmarks Dashboard,” to get a quick overview of your industry. Then, when you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly.

Try The Customer Journey to Online Purchase today on Google’s new Think Insights website.

Happy analyzing!

Posted by Paul Muret, Director of Engineering, Google Analytics
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/04/introducing-customer-journey-to-online.html

[G] Transparency Report: More government removal requests than ever before

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Google Public Policy Blog: Transparency Report: More government removal requests than ever before

Posted by Susan Infantino, Legal Director 

Three years ago when we launched the Transparency Report, we said we hoped it would shine some light on the scale and scope of government requests for censorship and data around the globe. Today, for the seventh time, we’re releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From July to December 2012, we received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content—an increase from the 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of content that we received during the first half of 2012.


As we’ve gathered and released more data over time, it’s become increasingly clear that the scope of government attempts to censor content on Google services has grown. In more places than ever, we’ve been asked by governments to remove political content that people post on our services. In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government officials or their associates. You can read more about these requests by looking at the annotations section of the Transparency Report. Of particular note were three occurrences that took place in the second half of 2012:
  • There was a sharp increase in requests from Brazil, where we received 697 requests to remove content from our platforms (of which 640 were court orders—meaning we received an average of 3.5 court orders per day during this time period), up from 191 during the first half of the year. The big reason for the spike was the municipal elections, which took place last fall. Nearly half of the total requests—316 to be exact—called for the removal of 756 pieces of content related to alleged violations of the Brazilian Electoral Code, which forbids defamation and commentary that offends candidates. We’re appealing many of these cases, on the basis that the content is protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution.
  • Another place where we saw an increase was from Russia, where a new law took effect last fall. In the first half of 2012, we received six requests, the most we had ever received in any given six-month period from Russia. But in the second half of the year, we received 114 requests to remove content—107 of them citing this new law.
  • During this period, we received inquiries from 20 countries regarding YouTube videos containing clips of the movie “Innocence of Muslims.” While the videos were within our Community Guidelines, we restricted videos from view in several countries in accordance with local law after receiving formal legal complaints. We also temporarily restricted videos from view in Egypt and Libya due to the particularly difficult circumstances there.
We’ve also made a couple of improvements to the Transparency Report since our last update:
  • We’re now breaking down government requests about YouTube videos to clarify whether we removed videos in response to government requests for violating Community Guidelines, or whether we restricted videos from view due to local laws. You can see the details by scrolling to the bottom of each country-specific page.
  • We’ve also refreshed the look of the Traffic section, making it easier to see where and when disruptions have occurred to Google services. You can see a map where our services are currently disrupted; you can see a map of all known disruptions since 2009; and you can more easily navigate between time periods and regions.
The information we share on the Transparency Report is just a sliver of what happens on the Internet. But as we disclose more data and continue to expand it over time, we hope it helps draw attention to the laws around the world that govern the free flow of information online.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/04/transparency-report-more-government.html

[G] More momentum toward digital due process

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Google Public Policy Blog: More momentum toward digital due process


Posted by David Lieber, Privacy Policy Counsel


Three years ago, Google helped found a coalition of technology companies, privacy advocates and academics to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. Today the Digital Due Process coalition includes more than 90 members, all devoted to bringing this federal law in line with how people use the web today.

ECPA no longer reflects the expectation of privacy that Google users and other users of the Internet reasonably have. For example, an email may receive more robust privacy protections under ECPA depending on how old it is or whether it has been opened. The privacy of electronic communications should not hinge on such arbitrary factors.  

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee took a significant step toward updating ECPA by passing legislation that would require the government to obtain a warrant in order to compel service providers to disclose the content of emails and other electronic content that they store on behalf of users. The bill replaces a confusing array of distinctions that ECPA makes with a bright line, warrant-for-content rule.

This is an important moment for all Internet users, and we’re deeply appreciative of Senators Leahy and Lee’s leadership in advancing this bill. We’ve also been working closely with the House Judiciary Committee on this issue and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to update ECPA.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-momentum-toward-digital-due-process.html

[G] More momentum toward digital due process

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Google Public Policy Blog: More momentum toward digital due process


Posted by David Lieber, Privacy Policy Counsel


Three years ago, Google helped found a coalition of technology companies, privacy advocates and academics to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. Today the Digital Due Process coalition includes more than 90 members, all devoted to bringing this federal law in line with how people use the web today.

ECPA no longer reflects the expectation of privacy that Google users and other users of the Internet reasonably have. For example, an email may receive more robust privacy protections under ECPA depending on how old it is or whether it has been opened. The privacy of electronic communications should not hinge on such arbitrary factors.  

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee took a significant step toward updating ECPA by passing legislation that would require the government to obtain a warrant in order to compel service providers to disclose the content of emails and other electronic content that they store on behalf of users. The bill replaces a confusing array of distinctions that ECPA makes with a bright line, warrant-for-content rule.

This is an important moment for all Internet users, and we’re deeply appreciative of Senators Leahy and Lee’s leadership in advancing this bill. We’ve also been working closely with the House Judiciary Committee on this issue and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to update ECPA.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-momentum-toward-digital-due-process.html

Thursday, April 25, 2013

[G] Two Googlers elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Official Blog: Two Googlers elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

On Tuesday, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its list of 2013 elected members. We’re proud to congratulate Peter Norvig, director of research, and Arun Majumdar, vice president for energy; two Googlers who are among the new members elected this year.

Membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is considered one of the nation’s highest honors, with those elected recognized as leaders in the arts, public affairs, business, and academic disciplines. With more than 250 Nobel Prize laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners among its fellows, the American Academy celebrates the exceptional contributions of the elected members to critical social and intellectual issues.

With their election, Peter and Arun join seven other Googlers as American Academy members: Eric Schmidt, Vint Cerf, Alfred Spector, Hal Varian, Ray Kurzweil and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, all of whom embody our commitment to innovation and real-world impact. You can read more detailed summaries of Peter and Arun’s achievements below.

Dr. Peter Norvig, currently director of research at Google, is known most for his broad expertise in computer science and artificial intelligence, exemplified by his co-authorship (with Stuart Russell) of the leading college text, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. With more than 50 publications and a plethora of webpages, essays and software programs on a wide variety of CS topics, Peter is a catalyst of fundamental research across a wide range of disciplines while remaining a hands-on scientist who writes his own code. Recently, he has taught courses on artificial intelligence and the design of computer programs via massively open online courses (MOOC). Learn more about Peter and his research on norvig.com.

Dr. Arun Majumdar leads Google.org’s energy initiatives and advises Google on its broader energy strategy. Prior to joining Google last year, he was the founding director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he served from October 2009 until June 2012. Earlier, he was a professor of mechanical engineering as well as materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and headed the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has published several hundred papers, patents and conference proceedings. Find out more about Arun.

Posted by Alfred Spector, Vice President, Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/two-googlers-elected-to-american.html

[G] Transparency Report: More government removal requests than ever before

| More

Official Blog: Transparency Report: More government removal requests than ever before

Three years ago when we launched the Transparency Report, we said we hoped it would shine some light on the scale and scope of government requests for censorship and data around the globe. Today, for the seventh time, we’re releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From July to December 2012, we received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content—an increase from the 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of content that we received during the first half of 2012.


As we’ve gathered and released more data over time, it’s become increasingly clear that the scope of government attempts to censor content on Google services has grown. In more places than ever, we’ve been asked by governments to remove political content that people post on our services. In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government officials or their associates.

You can read more about these requests by looking at the annotations section of the Transparency Report. Of particular note were three occurrences that took place in the second half of 2012:

  • There was a sharp increase in requests from Brazil, where we received 697 requests to remove content from our platforms (of which 640 were court orders—meaning we received an average of 3.5 court orders per day during this time period), up from 191 during the first half of the year. The big reason for the spike was the municipal elections, which took place last fall. Nearly half of the total requests—316 to be exact—called for the removal of 756 pieces of content related to alleged violations of the Brazilian Electoral Code, which forbids defamation and commentary that offends candidates. We’re appealing many of these cases, on the basis that the content is protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution.
  • Another place where we saw an increase was from Russia, where a new law took effect last fall. In the first half of 2012, we received six requests, the most we had ever received in any given six-month period from Russia. But in the second half of the year, we received 114 requests to remove content—107 of them citing this new law.
  • During this period, we received inquiries from 20 countries regarding YouTube videos containing clips of the movie “Innocence of Muslims.” While the videos were within our Community Guidelines, we restricted videos from view in several countries in accordance with local law after receiving formal legal complaints. We also temporarily restricted videos from view in Egypt and Libya due to the particularly difficult circumstances there.

We’ve also made a couple of improvements to the Transparency Report since our last update:

  • We’re now breaking down government requests about YouTube videos to clarify whether we removed videos in response to government requests for violating Community Guidelines, or whether we restricted videos from view due to local laws. You can see the details by scrolling to the bottom of each country-specific page.
  • We’ve also refreshed the look of the Traffic section, making it easier to see where and when disruptions have occurred to Google services. You can see a map where our services are currently disrupted; you can see a map of all known disruptions since 2009; and you can more easily navigate between time periods and regions.

The information we share on the Transparency Report is just a sliver of what happens on the Internet. But as we disclose more data and continue to expand it over time, we hope it helps draw attention to the laws around the world that govern the free flow of information online.

Posted by Susan Infantino, Legal Director
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/transparency-report-more-government.html

[G] The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

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Inside AdWords: The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

Savvy marketers understand that you don’t always seal the deal with a single message, image, or advertisement. A user may see a display ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before buying something from your website — and all of these interactions can play a role in the final sale. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey so you can measure all of the elements that contribute to your campaigns, attribute the right value to them, and adjust your marketing budgets where appropriate.

That’s the philosophy behind Google Analytics tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling. Tens of thousands of our largest advertisers are gaining valuable insights from Multi-Channel Funnels every month, and we’ve collected these insights using aggregate statistics to develop a benchmarking tool — The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success.


The tool draws on Ecommerce and Multi-Channel Funnels data from over 36,000 Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing, including millions of purchases across 11 industries in 7 countries. Purchase paths in this tool are each based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser.

You’ll find benchmark data for:
  • how different marketing channels (such as display, search, email, and your own website) help move users towards purchases. For example, some marketing channels play an “assist” role during the earlier stages of the marketing funnel, whereas some play a “last interaction” role just before a sale.
  • how long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (from the first time they interact with your marketing to the moment they actually buy something), and how the length of this journey affects average order values.

Channel Roles in the Customer Journey
The data shows that every industry is different — the path to purchase for hotel rooms in Japan is not necessarily the same as the path as for an online supermarket in Canada.

A few findings stand out, in particular:
  • As you might expect, customers typically click on display ads early in their purchase journeys, but in some industries, such as US travel and auto, display clicks tend to occur closer to the purchase decision.
  • Across industries and countries, paid search has a fairly even assist-to-last interaction ratio, implying that this channel can act both in the earlier and later stages of the customer journey.

Advanced tip:
  • Once you’ve explored the benchmarks, look deeper into your own marketing data with the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and consider defining your channels and campaigns to separate out categories that are specific to your business needs.

Purchase values and the length of the journey
We also see interesting patterns emerge when examining the length of the customer journey. While the majority of purchases take place within a single day or a single step (i.e., a single interaction with one marketing channel), longer paths tend to correlate with higher average order values. 

For example,
  • in US Tech, online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than purchases that occur immediately. And while 61% of tech purchases take place on that first day, only 53% of revenue comes from single-day purchases.
  • in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), on the other hand, most purchases (82%) are quick, likely because these are smaller and simpler purchases that don’t require much research.
  • in Edu / Gov, 41% of revenue comes from multi-day purchases, but 60% of revenue comes from multi-step purchases — suggesting that even when customers make decisions in a relatively short time period, they often have multiple marketing interactions before purchasing.

Advanced tip:
  • In Multi-Channel Funnels or the Attribution Modeling Tool, you can adjust the lookback window to reflect the typical length of the purchase path in your industry. For example, if your business tends to have shorter paths, you can zoom in on paths that take 5 days or less:

Putting the benchmarks to work
For marketers, it’s always a crucial challenge to design campaigns that deliver the right message at the right moment in a customer’s journey to purchase. We hope these benchmarks will provide useful insights about the journey and help you put your business into context. In particular, take a look at the final infographic, the “Benchmarks Dashboard,” to get a quick overview of your industry. Then, when you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly.

Try The Customer Journey to Online Purchase today on Google’s new Think Insights website.

Happy analyzing!

Posted by Paul Muret, Director of Engineering, Google Analytics
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html

[G] Two Googlers elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Google Research Blog: Two Googlers elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Posted by Alfred Spector, Vice President, Engineering



Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog



On Tuesday, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its list of 2013 elected members. We’re proud to congratulate Peter Norvig, director of research, and Arun Majumdar, vice president for energy; two Googlers who are among the new members elected this year.



Membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is considered one of the nation’s highest honors, with those elected recognized as leaders in the arts, public affairs, business, and academic disciplines. With more than 250 Nobel Prize laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners among its fellows, the American Academy celebrates the exceptional contributions of the elected members to critical social and intellectual issues.



With their election, Peter and Arun join six other Googlers as American Academy members: Eric Schmidt, Vint Cerf, Alfred Spector, Hal Varian, Ray Kurzweil, and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, all of whom embody our commitment to innovation and real-world impact. You can read more detailed summaries of Peter and Arun’s achievements below.



Dr. Peter Norvig, currently director of research at Google, is known most for his broad expertise in computer science and artificial intelligence, exemplified by his co-authorship (with Stuart Russell) of the leading college text, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. With more than 50 publications and a plethora of webpages, essays and software programs on a wide variety of CS topics, Peter is a catalyst of fundamental research across a wide range of disciplines while remaining a hands-on scientist who writes his own code. Recently, he has taught courses on artificial intelligence and the design of computer programs via massively open online courses (MOOC). Learn more about Peter and his research on norvig.com.



Dr. Arun Majumdar leads Google.org’s energy initiatives and advises Google on its broader energy strategy. Prior to joining Google last year, he was the founding director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he served from October 2009 until June 2012. Earlier, he was a professor of mechanical engineering as well as materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and headed the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has published several hundred papers, patents, and conference proceedings. Find out more about Arun.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/xQxzhNwfRiY/two-googlers-elected-to-american.html

[G] Bringing people together in Drive

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Bringing people together in Drive

Posted by Eric Zhang, Drive Software Engineer

(Cross-posted on the Google Drive blog.)

More often than not, you need to work with others to get things done. Today, working together in Drive is getting even easier with new profile pictures and one-click group chat.

Now when you open a file in Drive, you’ll see the profile pictures of other viewers at the top instead of just their names, making it easy for you to do a quick scan of who else is in the file. You can hover over a photo to see details about the viewer and add them to your circles on Google+ — all without ever leaving Drive.


In addition, you can now start a group chat with just one click. Simply select the new chat button at the top right and a chat box will appear, making it easy for you to quickly message everyone in the file. 

These new features will roll out over the next few days to Rapid Release domains, and we’ll be adding support for more file types (like Google Sheets) soon, so stay tuned. 
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/04/bringing-people-together-in-drive.html

[G] Understanding the dynamics of the AdSense auction - Part II

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Learn More Study Less: Understanding the dynamics of the AdSense auction - Part II


Earlier this week, we started a two-part series to help you better understand the AdSense ad auction and how it helps you earn the most money possible. We shared how text and image ads compete in the same auction, and that our system selects either ad type based on the predicted value -- sometimes resulting in one image ad winning out over multiple text ads. Following on that discussion, today we’ll turn our attention to just text ads.



If you’re using one of our large ad unit sizes like the 300x250 medium rectangle or the 160x600 wide skyscraper, you may have noticed that you’ll sometimes see multiple text ads in the ad unit, while only one or two ads at other times. As we noted earlier this week, our system predicts the value of each competing ad for every impression, based on historic performance and comparison across a variety of scenarios. There can sometimes be cases where our system determines that one or two specific text ads are significantly higher-performing than the other eligible text ads, and that showing them separately would result in higher performance than if the ads were shown together with lower-performing ones. When this occurs, we’ll show them alone, and this means you’ll see less than the full number of text ads in the ad unit.



We know that it can sometimes be confusing to see fewer text ads appearing in an ad unit, and that it can create extra white space, but please know that this behavior is intended to help you earn the most from all of your impressions. As we continue to make improvements to the rendering of the ads and develop new ad formats, we’ll keep you posted right here on our blog.



Thanks for joining us for this series. We hope you found it useful; please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on our AdSense +page.



Posted by Johan Land - AdSense Product Manager


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






URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/http/saiairnewblogspotin/~3/Y-TWHdO7qeM/understanding-dynamics-of-adsense_25.html