Monthly Archives: April 2013

Enhanced Campaigns Hangouts on Air: Optimizing Mobile Strategy

On April 25th, AdWords Specialists hosted a Hangout on Air as the last installment of the Enhanced Campaigns Hangouts on Air series.

To watch the full 20-minute Hangout on Air, visit the Google Business YouTube channel.


During the Hangout, Wes explains how to adjust bids for mobile devices. He does an account walk through, demonstrating how to adjust bids for the time of day, location and device. For example, if a user is on a mobile device near your store during regular business hours, it may make sense to increase the bid. Wes explains how to calculate the actual bids when using multiple bid adjustments at the same time.

Andy then explains how to create mobile preferred ad texts and mobile preferred ad extensions. He emphasizes the importance of sending users on mobile devices to optimized mobile websites, and briefly touches upon ValueTrack parameters. This blog post further explains how to use ValueTrack parameters to manage URLs by device.

To learn more about how to get started with AdWords, visit our help center, check out the AdWords Community Forum, or call us at 866-2-GOOGLE if you already have an AdWords account.

And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout on Air at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday May 9th, when our specialists discuss the ad approvals process in detail.

Google Translate now supports Khmer


What better way to start Cambodian new year than with the addition of the Khmer language to Google Translate as our 66th supported language. We hope that this will help open up the web to Khmer speakers and likewise make Khmer content more accessible to the rest of the world.



Our focus is and always will be our users. The Google Translate team works hard to improve the quality of our translations so that each newly launched language is of a quality good enough to help the users who rely on it. Khmer now meets our standards to be launched with “alpha” status. That means it is an early version of the translation system that will be usable in many situations, but may not be adequate for all.


Today’s Khmer launch comes with these useful features: virtual keyboard (in case you want to type in Khmer but do not have Khmer keyboard handy) and ability to read Khmer text phonetically for users who don't read Khmer alphabet.



Khmer is a challenging language for translation systems for two reasons: There isn’t a lot of Khmer data on the web and words are not usually separated by spaces; so in addition to teaching our translation system a new language, it also has to learn how to separate words (what we call segmentation).

Over time, we will improve the system and make our Khmer translations better. We constantly improve our algorithm when we find new translations and learn from your alternative translations.

If your language is not yet supported, please rest assured that our team is working hard behind the scenes to support additional languages. The more your language is used on publicly available websites with translations into other languages, the sooner we are likely to start supporting it. So please use your language on the web and help us collect new translations by uploading your translations with the Translator Toolkit.

សួស្ដី​ឆ្នាំ​ថ្មី (Happy New Year)!

Post by Arne Mauser, Software Engineer, on behalf of the Google Translate Team

Bringing Google+ Comments to Blogger

Cross-posted from the Google Official blog

Posted by +Yonatan Zunger, Principal Engineer


Reading and responding to comments can be one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging. Not only do they help you connect with your readers, they can also inspire later blog entries. The challenge, oftentimes, is following all the conversations around your contenton Google+, for instance, as well as on your website. So we're making things a lot simpler.


Starting today, you can bring Google+ Comments to your Blogger blog. Once you've enabled the feature through your Blogger Dashboard, you'll enjoy a number of important benefits:


View your blog and Google+ comments, all in one place

Now when you're browsing your blog's comment threads, you'll see activity from direct visitors, and from people talking about your content on Google+. For example, if there's a public Google+ discussion about one of your blog entries, those comments and replies will also appear on your Blogger blog. This way you can engage with more of your readers, all in one place.


Help readers comment and connect with their circles

Your blog readers will now have the option to comment publicly, or privately to their circles on Google+. And when they're browsing blog comments, they can view all of them, just the top ones, or only those from the people in their circles.

In all cases, you and your readers will only see the comments you have permission to see. Giving people these kinds of controls not only encourages more meaningful sharingit can lead to more blog traffic.


To get started with Google+ Comments, just visit the Google+ tab of your Blogger Dashboard, and check “Use Google+ Comments.” (Older comments will continue to appear in the new widget.)

You can also visit any post on the Official Google Blog (like this one), or on Blogger Buzz (like this one), to see Google+ Comments in action.


Happy commenting!

Source: Blogger Buzz


Secretary of State John Kerry kicks off “Hangouts at State” series on Google+

Posted by Ramya Raghavan, Google+ Politics and Causes

Over the past year, Google+ has been used across the globe to connect people and enable free expression—from Syria Deeply, an independent news site which regularly uses Google+ and Hangouts to report about the crisis in Syria to Tom Fletcher, the British Ambassador to Lebanon, who issues dispatches from one country to another via Hangout.

Today, the U.S. Department of State is building on this trend by announcing a new series of discussions called “Hangouts at State.” Each month, these conversations will bring people together across global boundaries to discuss the most pressing U.S. foreign policy issues, like democracy promotion, human rights, counterterrorism efforts, economic development, climate change and drug interdiction.

The series kicks off on Friday, April 19 with a Hangout with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, entitled “The U.S. in the World: What’s In It for Us” and moderated by NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. The Secretary will be joined by a group of Americans to discuss the impact of U.S. foreign policy on people at home.

Tune in on Friday at 1 p.m. E.T. to watch the conversation unfold, and keep your eye on the Google Politics and Elections page for news about the next “Hangout at State.”

A new look and name for Google Web Fonts

This week, Google Web Fonts got a simpler, cleaner look that makes searching and accessing your fonts easier than ever. And in the spirit of simplicity, today Google Web Fonts is now just “Google Fonts.” It’s still the same great collection of free fonts you know and love, but with a new name.


You can get started with Google Fonts here: www.google.com/fonts

Posted by Ajay Surie, Product Manager

Plan your digital afterlife with Inactive Account Manager


Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So today, we’re launching a new feature that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account.

The feature is called Inactive Account Manager — not a great name, we know — and you’ll find it on your Google Account settings page. You can tell us what to do with your Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if your account becomes inactive for any reason.

For example, you can choose to have your data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. Before our systems take any action, we’ll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you’ve provided.

We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife — in a way that protects your privacy and security — and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone.

  

Posted by Andreas Tuerk, Product Manager

Source: Data Liberation


For Malaysia: Bringing Google Apps and Chromebooks to the classroom

As a parent of three kids, I have the same aspirations as many other parents and educators—to provide them with the best opportunities to learn and discover their passions. For many students, the web has become an incredible resource for the classroom, offering tools to work collaboratively, share and research. School systems of all sizes—from a single primary school to an entire country such as the Philippines—have “Gone Google” in their schools and embraced the web to transform education.

Today the country of Malaysia is going a step further by adopting Google Apps for 10 million students, teachers and parents. As part of this initiative they are also deploying Chromebooks to primary and secondary schools nationwide. These efforts to integrate the web are a central part of a national plan (PDF) to reform its educational system.

Malaysia Google Apps

To deploy technology across a nationwide school system, computers need to be simple, manageable and secure. Chromebooks are ideal for learning and sharing in the classroom—there’s nothing complicated to learn, they boot up in seconds and have virus protection built in. They also offer easy setup and deployment, which means they’re ready to go the moment a student opens the lid and logs in. And with reduced overhead costs, Chromebooks are a cost-efficient option* to deploy technology at scale.

To date, more than 3,000 schools worldwide, from Edina, Minnesota to Point England, New Zealand, have deployed Chromebooks to improve attendance and graduation ratesmake learning more fun and enable students to take more ownership for their learning.

The web gives our children and students new opportunities to access the world’s information and work collaboratively. We look forward to working with national and regional leaders to make the most of the web with Google Apps and Chromebooks and help them provide the best opportunities to every student.

*In research sponsored by Google, research firm IDC found that Chromebooks yield three-year cost of ownership savings of $1,135 per device compared to traditional PCs or tablets, require 69% fewer hours to deploy and 92% fewer hours to manage. Learn more.

Source: Google Chrome


Improvements to the Blogger template HTML editor

Posted by: +Samantha Schaffer and +Renee Kwang, Software Engineer Interns.

Whether you’re a web developer who builds blog templates for a living, or a web-savvy blog owner who prefers to make changes to your template using HTML, CSS or JavaScript, you may be interested in some enhancements that we made to Blogger’s Template HTML Editor.

Your blog’s HTML template is the source code that controls the appearance of your blog. This template can be customized to appear however you’d like. The improved HTML template editor now supports line numbering, syntax highlighting, auto-indentation and code folding to make editing your template much easier.

Suppose we wanted to move the date of a blog post underneath the post title, similar to the Blogger Buzz blog. To do this, follow these steps:
Click the “Template” tab on the Blogger dashboard, then the “Edit HTML” button, to see the new template HTML editor:
Locate the “Blog1” widget quickly using the new “Jump to widget” drop down:
This widget controls how your blog posts are displayed. The code inside the widget is folded by default. Clicking the new fold markers ‘►’ next to the line numbers expands the widget and reveals a set of “includable” tags:
Inside the “main” includable is the block of code that renders the post date:
Cut the post date code section and move it to where we want it, in this case, under the post title in the “post” includable:
To check our changes, click the new “Preview template” button to see the updates:
The post date is exactly where we want it, so tab back to “Edit template”, hit “Save template” and we’re done!

Finally, we’ve added a “Format template” button that automatically cleans up the indentation of the template, and made it possible to search for text by pressing “Ctrl+F” once you’ve clicked into the editor. To find and replace text occurrences one by one, use “Ctrl+Shift+F” or to find and replace all occurrences at once, use “Ctrl+Shift+R”.
 
We worked on this project as part of Google Australia’s BOLD Diversity Internship Program. We hope you enjoy the changes we’ve made!

(Cross-posted from the Blogger Developers Network)

Source: Blogger Buzz


A fresh new look for Google Play

Whether you’re in the mood to listen to Justin Timberlake’s new album, read Harlan Coben’s latest bestseller or discover a new game to play, you want the experience of finding and making your purchase to be quick and easy. Today we’ve started rolling out a redesigned Google Play store on Android phones and tablets that is simple, clean and — most importantly — helps you find great entertainment, fast.


The new design focuses on bigger images that jump off the page. Similarly themed content is grouped together so you can hone in on a magazine to read or an app to try. As you move down the page, new recommendations continue to appear so there is always more to see and explore. We’ve also simplified purchasing so you can breeze through checkout and get to enjoying your movie rental or other content.


The redesigned Google Play store app starts rolling out today for Android phones and tablets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above. People around the world should see it over the next few weeks. Get ready for a simpler Google Play.

Posted by Michael Siliski, group product manager for Google Play