Monthly Archives: June 2013

More News at Your Fingertips



Did my favorite team win or lose? Should I carry sunscreen or rain gear when I go hiking this weekend? And what did I miss in the world of technology and business? These quintessential questions of the day are all ones that Google News can provide quick answers to with some nifty new features. The aim is all about making news more relevant and useful to you by surfacing content that you might need in a hurry.

1. For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.


2. Our homepage also has a new Weather section on the right-hand column. With a quick glance, this section lets you see the 4-day weather forecast starting from today. The weather section is ‘smart’ - it defaults to show the weather for your current location. (As with local news, you can set this location manually.) We think this is a neat feature as you can track local weather conditions right next to the top stories without having to jump elsewhere to get this information.


3.The Editors’ Picks section has been a great channel for publishers and readers alike. It offers publishers a unique way to showcase their best work and build their brand, while enabling readers to discover great content that they might otherwise miss. Today we have extended Editors’ Picks from our homepage to our section pages so that you can now enjoy these hand picked articles for the particular section that you are reading at any given time. Editors’ Picks are now being introduced into the Technology and Business sections with plans to add more over time.



Look for these features the next time you visit Google News.

Introducing Google Docs Cursor/Selection APIs in Apps Script

Ever wanted to programmatically insert something at the cursor in Google Docs (say, a “Sign Here” image) or read the user’s selection (maybe for an on-the-spot translation)? Starting today, you can.

Apps Scripts bound to Google Docs can now access the active user's Cursor and Selection by calling Document.getCursor() and Document.getSelection(), respectively. The returned objects provide useful information like the element the cursor is positioned in and an array of all of the elements contained in the selection.


Example #1: Selection Translator

This Google Doc contains a simple script that uses Apps Script’s Language Service to translate selected text from English to Spanish through a custom menu item.


Here, it uses the getSelectedElements() method of the Selection class to get an array of selected elements:


var selection = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument().getSelection();
if (selection) {
var elements = selection.getSelectedElements();

Next, it loops through each element, performs the translation, and replaces the original text:


var translatedText = LanguageApp.translate(
element.asText().getText(), 'EN', 'ES');
element.asText().setText(translatedText);

Example #2: Bibliography App

At Google I/O this year, Apps Script engineer Jonathan Rascher demonstrated Bibstro, a bibliography sample app for Google Docs that inserts inline citations at the cursor. Today, we’re releasing the source code for Bibstro; you can also try it out by making of copy of this Google Doc.


To insert text, the script calls the aptly named insertText() method of the Cursor object:


var cursor = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument().getCursor();
if (cursor) {
// Determine the text of the new inline citation to insert.
var citation = bibStrategy.getInlineCitationText(...);

var surroundingText = cursor.getSurroundingText().getText();
var surroundingTextOffset = cursor.getSurroundingTextOffset();

if (surroundingTextOffset > 0 &&
surroundingText.charAt(surroundingTextOffset - 1) != ' ') {
// If the cursor follows a non-space character, insert a space
// and then the citation.
cursor.insertText(' ' + citation);
} else {
// Otherwise, just insert the citation.
cursor.insertText(citation);
}
}

You’ll also notice that the script uses the Cursor class’s getSurroundingText() method to determine whether to insert a space before the new inline citation.


Example #3: Cursor Inspector

To help you become familiar with how cursor and selection work, we've also created a Cursor Inspector sample script. As you navigate through a document, the script displays up-to-date information about your cursor or selection in a custom sidebar. We’re also releasing the source code for Cursor Inspector on GitHub.


These new APIs are available immediately. We’re excited to see what kind of scripts you come up with!


Kalyan Reddy profile | Stack Overflow

Kalyan is a Developer Programs Engineer on the Google Apps Script team in New York City. He is committed to increasing developers’ productivity by helping them fully utilize the power of Apps Script. In his free time, he enjoys participating in the maker community and hacking together robots.

More Innovation From African Developers

Developers play a crucial role in making the internet relevant for Africans. This is why fostering a vibrant African developer ecosystem is very important to Google. Developers and tech entrepreneurs from across the continent joined thousands of their peers from all over the world to explore the latest tech innovations at Google I/O 2013 in San Francisco . Several of them were members of the Google Developer Groups in countries such as; Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Kenya, Republic of Congo,Togo and Uganda.

Hassan Nsubuga, Lead for GDG Mbale,Uganda with Google SVP Vic Gundotra at Google I/O

Luckily participation was not limited to those who could make it to San Francisco’s Moscone Center; developers back home were also able to get in on the action with more than 67 I/O extended parties hosted by Google Developer Groups and Google Student Ambassadors across the continent where talks were streamed live to an excited audience.

Away from the excitement of I/O ‘13, it has been a busy year for many African developers and tech startups. We added six new apps to our African case studies page:

  • Maji Dashboards and Virtual Kenya from Upande: websites that utilize the power of Google’s Geo tools to make information about Kenya readily accessible for better decision making, development planning, and education
  • ReadyCash from Parkway Projects: a home grown mobile money service from Nigeria with an app that leverages the power of the Android platform to integrate a unique QR code based payment system
  • Matatu is an Android version of a local card game from Uganda
  • ASiM developed by Olivine Technology is a real time inventory management solution with an Android client and App Engine backend
  • Asa: an Android tablet app by Nigeria’s Genii Games that brings the magic of African folktales to children of all ages.
Asa (African Folktales)

Flashback!

Remember AfriNolly- winner of 2011 Android developer competition? The app by Fans Connect Online now has over 2 million downloads across several platforms, with a new Android version support for 11 languages launched in May 2013. The Fans Connect Online team also ran a contest for African short films and created a radio show focused on the African film industry.

Keep an eye on our case studies page to follow the exploits of these and many more developers in Africa, as they continue to innovate with Google APIs and platforms.

Do you feel your app should be featured here? Let us know!


Posted by Chukwuemeka Afigbo, Outreach Program Manager, Sub Saharan Africa.


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Toujours plus d'innovation de la part des développeurs africains

Les développeurs jouent un rôle décisif pour faire d'Internet un outil pertinent pour les Africains. C'est la raison pour laquelle Google a à coeur de développer un écosystème dynamique de développeurs africains. Les développeurs et entrepreneurs en technologie du continent africain ont rejoint leurs pairs venus par milliers du monde entier pour découvrir les dernières innovations technologiques à l'édition 2013 du Google I/O à San Francisco. Plusieurs d'entre eux étaient membres des Groupes de Développeurs Google dans des pays tels que l'Algérie, le Burkina Faso, l'Égypte, le Kenya, la République du Congo, le Togo et l'Uganda.

Les développeurs africains qui n'ont pas pu se rendre au Moscone Center de San Francisco ont cependant pu participer à plus de 67 événements I/O Extended organisés par les Groupes de développeurs et les étudiants ambassadeurs Google à travers le continent, où des discussions étaient diffusées en direct devant un public passionné.

En marge de l'excitation de l'édition 2013 du I/O, l'année a été très chargée pour de nombreux développeurs et start-ups technologiques africains. Nous avons ajouté six nouvelles applis à notre page Étude de cas pour l'Afrique :

  • Maji Dashboards et Virtual Kenya par Upande : sites Internet qui utilisent les outils géographiques développés par Google pour faciliter le processus décisionnel, développer la planification, et l'éducation, en rendant les informations relatives au Kenya facilement accessibles
  • ReadyCash par Parkway Projects : un service local nigérian de paiement mobile et une appli qui tire le meilleur parti de la plate-forme Android afin d'intégrer un système de paiement unique, sur la base de codes QR
  • Matatu est une version Android d'un jeu de cartes local d'Uganda
  • ASiM, développé par Olivine Technology, est une solution de gestion des stocks en temps réel qui dispose d'un client Android et d'un back-end App Engine
  • Asa : une appli Android pour tablettes créée par la société nigériane Genii Games, qui transmet la magie des contes populaires africains aux enfants de tout âge.
Flashback !

Remember AfriNolly- lauréat de l'édition 2011 du Concours des développeurs Android ? L'appli développée par Fans Connect Online compte maintenant plus de 2 millions de téléchargement sur différentes plateformes. La nouvelle version Android, lancée en mai 2013, est disponible en 11 langues. L' équipe de Fans Connect Online a également organisé un concours de courts-métrages africainset créé une émission de radio axée sur l'industrie du film africaine.

Consultez régulièrement notre page Étude de cas pour suivre leurs exploits et ceux de nombreux autres développeurs d'Afrique, qui ne cessent d'innover avec les API et les plates-formes Google.

Pensez-vous que votre appli devrait y figurer ? Faites-le nous savoir !


Publié par Chukwuemeka Afigbo, Outreach Manager, Afrique sub-saharienne

Google+ helps constituents connect with Members of Congress on major policy issues

Posted by Sarah Kaehler, Google+ Politics Team

Washington D.C. and the legislative process can feel very far removed from our everyday lives even though what happens in the halls of Congress will have a big impact on our future.  Over the last few months, we have seen more and more Members of Congress turn to Google+ in order to break down traditional barriers of communication and have a candid conversation about serious issues facing our country.

As immigration and student loans become hot topics on Capitol Hill, members are turning to Google+ Hangouts On Air to connect with constituents and advocates across the country.  
Hangouts allow lawmakers to directly engage with people back in their respective districts without leaving their office, allowing for a real conversation to take place beyond the Beltway.

With votes this week on bills about these issues, representatives from both sides of the aisle have been working to make sure their voices are heard one last time. Yesterday, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) joined organization America’s Voice to discuss immigration  and make a final push for reform.


And today
American Action Forum will be hosting conservative thought leaders to discuss strengthening the immigration reform bill with amendments. Tune in to watch live here.

With just under a week until student loan rates are set to double, House Republicans are hosting a series of Hangouts On Air to discuss the issue. Scheduled Hangouts On Air include:

  • June 26th at 11:30 AM ET with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Jackie Wolorski (R-IN)
  • June 26th at 3:30 PM ET with Reps. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • June 26th at 3:30 PM ET with Reps. Larry Buschon (R-IN) and Diane Black (R-TN)
  • June 27th at 12:00 PM ET Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)

Tune in on Google+ this week to see how Congress is voting and to learn more about how the decisions will impact you.

Measurement Lab comes to Africa: Introducing a new source of data on Internet Quality

As connectivity in Africa continues to grow, the quality of your Internet connection is as important as being able to get online. Regulators, academics, and users are interested in getting better data about connectivity and the quality of connectivity. This data can help inform decisions that improve Internet quality for everyone. To help fill this information gap, the Measurement Lab Research Consortium (M-Lab) has launched its first locations in Africa, in partnership with TENET in South Africa, and KENET in Kenya, Google Africa, and many other industry and academic partners.

M-Lab is a collaborative effort to provide a global, publicly available source of data on network performance. M-Lab takes a completely open approach, managing a global server platform designed specifically for network measurement. Researchers deploy open-source measurement tools on the platform, and users can run these tools to find out real-time information about their connection, such as speed, traffic shaping, and application throttling. Each time a test is run using one of these tools, data is collected. Currently M-Lab makes over 700 terabytes of raw, rich measurement data available to anyone who’s interested.





[Download throughput in Kenya, median for the country]


Data is now being collected on African networks in South Africa and Kenya via local servers for the first time, providing a new and valuable source of information about the health and performance of the Internet in Africa. Examples of existing research informed by M-Lab infrastructure include the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America report in the US, a large number of peer reviewed academic papers, including primary research on deep packet Inspection, traffic shaping, traffic discrimination, and many other topics.

We invite you to learn about the data, and to access it here.
If you’re interested in learning more about M-Lab, please visit measurementlab.net.

Posted by Nnamdi Abraham-Igwe, Google Access Lead for Emerging Markets



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Measurement Lab arrive en Afrique : lancement d'une nouvelle source de données sur la qualité d'Internet

Avec la croissance continue de la connectivité en Afrique, la qualité des connexions Internet devient un enjeu aussi important que d'être en ligne. Autorités réglementaires, universitaires et internautes veulent obtenir de meilleures informations sur la connectivité et sa qualité. Ces informations peuvent aider à prendre les décisions qui amélioreront la qualité d'Internet pour tous. Pour combler ce manque d'information, le Measurement Lab Research Consortium (M-Lab) a ouvert ses premières implantations en Afrique, en partenariat avec TENET en Afrique du Sud, KENET au Kenya, Google Afrique et bien d'autres partenaires industriels et universitaires.

M-Lab est un effort collaboratif visant à fournir une source de données mondiale, publique, sur la performance du réseau. M-Lab s'appuie sur une approche complètement ouverte, gérant une plate-forme serveur spécialement conçue pour mesurer la performance des réseaux. Les chercheurs déploient des outils de mesure en open-source sur la plate-forme, et les internautes peuvent les exploiter pour obtenir des informations en temps réel sur leur connexion, telles que le débit, la bande passante et la limitation du nombre d'applications. Chaque fois qu'un test est exécuté avec ces outils, des données sont collectées. Actuellement, M-Lab exploite plus de 700 téraoctets de données de mesures brutes et riches, accessibles à toute personne intéressée.
Les données sont désormais collectées sur les réseaux africains en Afrique du Sud et au Kenya via des serveurs locaux et ce, pour la première fois, assurant une nouvelle source fiable d'information sur l'état et les performances d'Internet en Afrique. Parmi les exemples de recherches documentées par l'infrastructure M-Lab, citons le rapport Measuring Broadband America du FCC aux États-Unis, un nombre important d'articles universitaires approuvés par les pairs, dont les principales recherches sur l'inspection approfondie des paquets, la régulation de flux, la discrimination de trafic et bien d'autres sujets

Pour en savoir plus sur les données et à y accéder, cliquez ici.
Pour plus d'informations sur M-Lab, consultez le site measurementlab.net.

Posté par Nnamdi Abraham-Igwe, 
Google chef d'accès pour les Pays émergents

Flubaroo 3.0 Released

Flubaroo, a popular Apps Script application that helps teachers with grading, has just reached version 3.0. The new features and improvements include:

  • Smarter emailing of grades.
  • Option to email "Help Tips" for each question.
  • Option to send students individualized feedback.
  • Multi-language support, with first language of Spanish.
  • Easier to read grade emails.

If you know any teachers who aren’t using Flubaroo yet, why not encourage them to try it out? It doesn’t cost a thing, and has helped thousands of teachers save time and gain insight into student performance — all through the power of Apps Script.


Dave Abouav   profile

Dave is a Googler who also teaches physics at community college at nights. He developed Flubaroo as his 20%-time project, and runs edCode.org, a community of teachers and developers creating free, open-source tools for education.

Google+ page identities and the YouTube API

As more YouTube channels start using Google+ page identities, here are some best practices to ensure that your code can make authorized API calls to access the channel.


With Google+ page identities, there can be many channels associated with a single Google Account. For example, when a user Alice Smith signs into her Google Account, she may have her “Alice Smith” (personal) channel on that account, and potentially additional channels, linked to Google+ pages, on associated accounts. These associated accounts do not have a password by default; she gets access to them by signing into her personal account, and then using a switcher to go back and forth between them.


How does this channel selection work with APIs? With API access through web-based OAuth 2, the switcher comes automatically. The web flow will ask Alice which account she wants to use, after she signs into her “Alice Smith” account. The OAuth 2 tokens your application gets back work just as they do today.


The OAuth 2 web-based “Select an account” interface, allowing a user to grant access to their personal channel or any channels linked to Google+ pages that they manage.


If you’re not using web-based OAuth 2 (you are still relying on one of our deprecated authorization methods), or if you are an Android developer who is using OAuth 2 (there is currently no native Android account switcher), then the API will choose the “wrong” channel in some cases, or even no channel (e.g., if the personal account doesn’t have a channel). When this happens, the user has two options to specify the correct channel:


As a best practice, we recommend that you ensure users know of these options, so your application will access the correct channel. Even more importantly, we recommend that all applications provide visual feedback letting users know which channel is currently authorized. If you’re still using version 2 of the YouTube Data API, you can retrieve the profile of the special identifier default; this corresponds to the currently authorized channel’s profile. In the version 2 response, the channel’s display name is returned as an attribute of yt:username, and the profile image can be found by looking at media:thumbnail. If you’ve started using version 3, then the method to use is channels.list() with the part=snippet and mine=true parameters set. The version 3 response contains a channel’s display name in channel.snippet.title and profile image in channel.snippet.thumbnails.default.url.


To summarize, here are the high-level points to keep in mind:
  • OAuth 2 will automatically display a “Select an account” web interface, allowing users with multiple channels associated with their account to choose which one they’re authorizing access to.
    • ...this doesn’t apply to Android OAuth 2, yet.
  • Use of other authorization methods will mean some users need to specify which channel to use, either in their Advanced Account Settings (if they consistently use one channel), or by setting up login credentials for each channel, and using them as needed.
  • All developers are strongly encouraged to display visual feedback letting their users know which channel is currently authorized.


Update: This YouTube Developers Live show with Sherry Listgarten, the Product Manager responsible for Google+ and YouTube integration, goes into more details about plans for Google identities and YouTube channels. It also contains a video walkthrough of many of the points covered in this blog post.



Cheers,
Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team

Boosting Africa’s small businesses

When Naa used to go to the Accra Central Market to get her fill of handmade craft jewellery, she was upset to see the stalls stacked with cheap imported items. She started Roots by Naa, a Ghanaian company creating fashion products such as headbands, brooches, and necklaces from handworked African fashion textiles.

What began as a side business is now a successful company supporting local crafts and promoting Ghanaian culture to the world - thanks to the Internet. Naa uses online dashboards to track visitors to the website and gain insight into the number of people and countries visiting, including clients from the US, UK, and France. She now plans to expand and train immigrant porter girls in Ghana - kayayee - in making handmade accessories, giving them a better standard of living and equipping them with an income-generating skill.


As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with an entrepreneurial culture, diverse resources and political stability, Ghana aims to continue on its upward path by leveraging the Internet to reach regional and international markets. Google Ghana has partnered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to launch Innovation Ghana, an initiative celebrating Naa and other Innovation Heroes.

                  Accessory bt Roots by Naa                                                           The Innovation Heroes

Innovation Ghana highlights the recommendations of the Dalberg study, which equips policy makers with data about the socio-economic benefits of the Internet, and how to capitalize on this potential. At the recent launch, Ghana's Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Haruna Iddrisu stressed the importance of the Internet for Ghana’s economy and job creation.

As part of this effort, Google Ghana also supported the Ghana Google Developer Group and Accra Google Business Group to bring together over 300 developers and businesses to connect, inform and inspire them around the theme of the internet and its potential to unleash innovation. Leading Ghanaian developers shared their knowledge of Javascript, HTML5, Google Drive API and Android. The business sessions featured stories of how SMEs have successfully used the internet to market their products and services, manage customers, and build their brands - all of which are key common challenges in Ghana.

Another initiative is called Social Day for the creative industry. The country’s leading bloggers discussed how the blogging community can further promote the use of internet tools. The grand finale hosted over 60 Ghanaian personalities who were thrilled with a songwriting collaboration between award winning musicians M.anifest and E.L, MC’d by Sister Deborah. The evening showcased how Google+, Hangouts and YouTube are being used, both internationally and locally, to reach new audiences, create new content and strengthen an existing creative culture.

With these successes achieved, we look forward to supporting the country’s growing online entrepreneurial spirit.

Posted by Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Manager, Ghana

#InnovationGhana

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Encourager les petites entreprises en Afrique

Lorsque Naa se rendait sur le marché central d’Accra pour faire le plein de bijoux faits main, elle éprouvait un sentiment de frustration à la vue de tous ces étals remplis d’articles d’importation bon marché. C’est alors qu’elle a décidé de créer Roots by Naa, entreprise ghanéenne spécialisée dans la création d’articles de mode tels que bandeaux, broches et colliers réalisés à la main dans des imprimés tendance de style africain.

Ce qui n’était au début qu’une activité secondaire est devenu aujourd’hui une entreprise florissante qui soutient l’artisanat local et assure la promotion de la culture ghanéenne dans le monde entier grâce à Internet. Naa utilise des Dashboards en ligne pour suivre les visiteurs de son site et obtenir des données sur leur nombre et leur pays d’origine, notamment les clients américains, britanniques et français. Elle envisage aujourd’hui d’étendre son activité et de former des jeunes filles immigrés au Ghana, employées comme porteuses - kayayee - à la fabrication d’accessoires faits main en leur offrant un meilleur niveau de vie par l’acquisition de compétences génératrices de revenus.
Doté d’une des économies les plus dynamiques du monde, d’une culture entrepreneuriale, d’une grande diversité de ressources et d’une stabilité politique, le Ghana a pour objectif de poursuivre sur la voie de la croissance en exploitant Internet afin de toucher les marchés régionaux et internationaux. Google Ghana est partenaire du Ministère du commerce et de l’industrie dans le cadre de l’initiative Innovation Ghana, qui met à l’honneur Naa ainsi que d’autres Héros de l’innovation.

Innovation Ghana met l’accent sur les recommandations de l’étude Dalberg, qui fournit aux décideurs des données sur les avantages socio-économiques d’Internet, et montre comment tirer parti de ce potentiel. Lors du lancement qui a eu lieu récemment, Haruna Iddrisu, le ministre ghanéen du commerce et de l’industrie, a souligné l’importance d’Internet pour l’économie du Ghana et la création d’emplois.

Dans le cadre de cette initiative, Google Ghana soutenait également le groupe de développeurs de Ghana Google ainsi que le groupe entreprises de Google Accra afin d’inciter plus de 300 développeurs et entreprises à se connecter, à s’informer et à se mobiliser sur le thème de l’Internet et de son formidable potentiel pour développer l’innovation. Les principaux développeurs ghanéens ont partagé leurs connaissances dans des domaines comme Javascript, HTML5, Google Drive API et Android. Les sessions réservées aux entreprises comportaient des témoignages sur la manière dont des PME utilisent Internet pour commercialiser leurs produits et leurs services, gérer leurs clients et promouvoir leur marque - des problématiques communes à l’ensemble des entrepreneurs ghanéens.

Social Day est le nom d’une autre initiative dans le secteur de la création. Les principaux blogueurs du pays, ont échangé sur la façon de promouvoir l’utilisation des outils Internet. La grande finale a réuni plus de 60 personnalités ghanéennes, ravies de participer à une composition entre les musiciens primés M.anifest et E.L, avec le concours de Sister Deborah. La soirée a été l’occasion de présenter comment Google+, Hangouts et YouTube sont utilisés, au niveau international et local, pour toucher de nouveaux publics, créer de nouveaux contenus et renforcer la culture de la création.

Fort de ces succès, nous sommes impatients de soutenir l’esprit d’entreprise en ligne dont fait preuve ce pays.

Publié par Estelle Akofio-Sowah, reponsable pays, Google Ghana
#InnovationGhana

Watch Live@Wimbledon on YouTube

Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal are already in London getting ready for Wimbledon, the world’s oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam tennis tournament.  

This year, supported by Rolex, Wimbledon's YouTube channel will have exclusive access throughout The Championships on Live@Wimbledon.  

Catch the key moments of the tennis, interviews, behind the scenes and press conferences throughout the Wimbledon fortnight. You can also relive all the glory days of Wimbledon’s golden moments, such as one of the greatest matches ever played, the 2008 Wimbledon Men's Singles Final: Rafael Nadal Vs Roger Federer.

Round up your friends and learn how to make a fantastic strawberry ice cream for Wimbledon by Jamie Oliver. You can also get closer to the Wimbledon action by serving up your Wimbledon-inspired #shotoftheday photo to win Centre Court tickets. Follow Wimbledon on Google+ now.

Start pressing your tennis whites: it all starts Monday, June 24. 

Stephen Nuttall, YouTube Sports, recently enjoyed the drama of the 2012 Men's Singles Final: Federer Vs Murray 

Source: YouTube UK Blog


America’s businesses are growing. The web is helping.

Cross posted with the Official Google Blog.

Michael Edlavitch was a middle school math teacher in Minnesota when he started a website with free math games to engage his students. With free online tools, a passion for math and an initial investment of just $10 to register his domain, www.hoodamath.com was born. Eventually Michael’s website became popular with more than just his students. So Michael gave Google AdSense a try as a way to earn money by placing ads next to his content. As word spread and traffic grew, the revenue generated from his site allowed Michael to devote himself full time to Hooda Math. Today, www.hoodamath.com has more than 350 educational games and has had more than 100 million unique visitors to the site. Beyond building a business for himself, Michael is helping students everywhere learn math while having fun.

Over in New York, Roberto Gil designs and builds children’s furniture—loft beds, bunk beds and entire custom rooms. Casa Kids’ furniture is custom designed for the family to grow along with the child. Roberto works out of his Brooklyn workshop and doesn’t sell to large furniture stores, which means the Casa Kids website is an essential tool for him to connect with potential customers.To grow even further, Roberto began using AdWords in 2010. In the first few months traffic to his site went up 30 percent. Today, two-thirds of his new customers come from Google. Meet Roberto and learn more about how he is making the web work for Casa Kids:



These are just two examples of how the web is working for American businesses. According to a McKinsey study, small businesses that make use of the web are growing twice as fast as those that are not on the web. That’s because the web is where we go for information and inspiration—from math games to practice over the summer to someone to design and build that perfect bunk bed for your kids. Ninety-seven percent of American Internet users look online for local products and services. Whether we’re on our smartphones, tablets or computers, the web helps us find what we are looking for.

Here at Google, we see firsthand how the web is helping American businesses grow and thrive. Through our search and advertising programs, businesses like Casa Kids find customers, publishers like Hooda Math earn money from their content, and nonprofits solicit donations and volunteers. These tools are how we make money, and they’re also how millions of other U.S. businesses do, too.

In 2012, Google's search and advertising tools helped provide $94 billion of economic activity for more than 1.9 million American businesses—advertisers, publishers and nonprofits. This represents a 17 percent increase from 2011. Check out the impact made in each state, along with stories of local businesses using the web to grow.

Whether it’s building skills or building furniture, Google helps to build businesses. We're thrilled to be part of such a vibrant industry and are committed to continuing to help make the web work for people and businesses everywhere.