Monthly Archives: January 2015

Google app update: get Now cards from your favorite apps

Now cards in the Google app give you relevant information at the right time, without you having to ask for it—whether it’s the score from the Rockets game, your flight status, or the latest story on Greece’s new government. But a lot of useful information lives inside apps on your phone, from your favorite music to last-minute hotel deals to home-buying tips. Today, you have two ways to get information from these apps—either remember to constantly open them up and look, or get a notification, which you may forget to act on if it shows up at the wrong time.

Starting today, the Google app on Android can help you keep up with all the good stuff in 40 different apps at a glance—it’ll bring you Now cards to help you out with your day-to-day life, giving you information that’s helpful to you, right when you need it.

In the morning, catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. On your commute, Pandora can give you recommendations for music to play, based on what you like, or you can be reminded to complete your daily French lesson on Duolingo. During your downtime, you can take care of the groceries, with a card from Instacart reminding you to stock up on the things you often order. If you’re planning a trip and looked up places to stay on your Airbnb app but couldn't make up your mind, you’ll see Now cards from Airbnb for the location and dates you’ve researched. And when you land at an airport, you’ll see a card to order a Lyft.

We’ve teamed up with 30+ developers to bring you these and other new cards, which are rolling out over the next few weeks. Check out some examples on our site—we plan to add more cards and expand this feature over time. Until then, make sure to update to the latest version of the Google app and your other favorite apps, and be on the lookout for handy Now cards to help you with tasks big and small.

Posted by Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management

Source: Inside Search


An update on the migration of older spreadsheets to the new Google Sheets

Back in November 2014, we announced that older spreadsheets (those created prior to Dec 2013, including any subsequent copies) would start being gradually migrated to the new version of Google Sheets for Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track, with Scheduled domains to follow.

While the migration started for consumer spreadsheets, we decided to delay the migration for the Rapid release track to ensure a more smooth process. Starting next week, we will formally start the migration for Rapid release domains, with Scheduled release domains to follow 2-3 weeks later (note: we have decided against displaying the migration notification in the Sheets interface for Google Apps customers to prevent unnecessary confusion).  

The migrations will take several months to complete, but you'll be able to take advantage of the new features and capabilities in the new Sheets as older spreadsheets are migrated. Simpler spreadsheets will be upgraded first, while those that use Apps Script and more complex features will be migrated weeks to months later to ensure a seamless transition.

Release track:
Migration for Rapid release starting next week, with Scheduled release to start 2-3 weeks later (gradual rollout)

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Launching the Ads Status Dashboard


One piece of feedback our sales and support teams have heard over the years is that users want to know about urgent issues impacting DoubleClick products as soon as possible.

Accordingly, we are launching the Ads Status Dashboard, a new publicly-accessible tool that allows you to learn about major outages or functionality concerns across DoubleClick products, including DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Studio, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick Planning, and DDM Reporting. When a major issue impacting large numbers of users is identified, we will post an outage notice in the appropriate row on the Dashboard, then provide updates to the outage notice at a regular interval until the issue is resolved.

We’re hoping this will allow all of our users to get access to crucial information quickly and without friction -- anyone who may be impacted can access the dashboard to check on the status of our products.

We’re looking to add additional products and features to the Dashboard in the coming months, so bookmark it, share it, and return to it often. We hope it saves you time!

Programmatic in 2015: 3 Resolutions for Brands

We all do it - set lofty resolutions that never make it past January. That’s because meaningful resolutions can take time to embrace and implement. Many marketers have told us that in 2015, programmatic buying will be at the heart of their strategy. In fact, the majority of marketers are managing at least 20% of their ad spend programmatically, and almost two-thirds plan to spend twice that amount over the next 12 months. (Source)
To help make the transition easier and more actionable, we connected with Bob Arnold, a digital marketer who has worked at Procter and Gamble, Kellogg, and is now Google’s North American Digital Media and Strategy lead. Bob shared with us three resolutions for marketers as they implement programmatic in 2015.

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Posted by Kelly Cox, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

A look inside how you’re using Inbox



A little over three months ago, we introduced something new called Inbox, and it’s been exhilarating to see how people have embraced the experience. In fact, we’ve received over 100,000 pieces of feedback already. Thank you!

As we keep working to evolve Inbox based on your feedback, we thought it’d be fun to share how people are currently using the product to get things done, and focus on what really matters. Enjoy!
And one more thing. We're opening up invites to Inbox for a 24 hour #InboxHappyHour! If you're interested in trying Inbox, send an email to inbox@google.com from an @gmail.com address before 9am Friday PST and you'll get an invite shortly.

Source: Gmail Blog


Google Apps Vault added to all Google Apps for Education accounts

In September 2014, we announced that Google Apps Vault would be added to all Google Apps for Education accounts at no charge. 

As of yesterday, all new Google Apps for Education customers will receive Vault as part of their Google Apps for Education suite. Existing Google Apps for Education customers who do not already have Vault enabled will now see it added to their account (note: these customers will first have to set up retention policies for archiving to begin). Existing Google Apps for Education customers who already have Vault enabled will not see any changes.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Now available in the UK: Send and request money right from Gmail

Since we announced Send Money in Gmail, paying back your friends has never been so simple, whether you’re chipping in for lunch or reimbursing your housemate for your share of the rent. Today, we're excited to make this feature available for Gmail users in the UK.
This means people in the UK will now be able to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in the UK directly within desktop Gmail -- even if the recipient doesn't have a Gmail address. Sending and receiving money in Gmail is free and easy. To send money in Gmail, hover over the attachment paperclip, click the £ icon to attach money to your message, enter the amount you wish to send, and press send. You can also request money in Gmail by hovering over the attachment paperclip and clicking the £ icon to attach the request to a Gmail message.



When you receive money for the first time, you’ll need to claim it by setting up a Google Wallet Balance and linking your debit card or bank account. After that, your money can be kept in your Wallet Balance for later sending, for spending on Google Play, or you can quickly transfer it to your bank account.

We’re rolling out this feature over the coming weeks to all UK Gmail users over 18 years old, so keep an eye out for the £ icon in the attachment options. Learn more at google.co.uk/wallet.
Posted by Travis Green, Product Manager, Google Wallet

Source: Google Commerce


Start Remarketing with Google Analytics Instant Activation

For many advertisers, remarketing is an essential tactic. But remarketing can be a difficult journey, even for the savviest digital marketer. We repeatedly see marketers struggle with tagging hurdles and complex implementation challenges, with the result that only 1 in 5 remarketers successfully completes their setup.

To help make it easier for advertisers to reach their most qualified customers, we’ve enabled remarketing with a single toggle. Instead of manually updating all of your site tags, simply use Instant Activation and get started with remarketing in four easy steps.

Identifying quality visitors and maximizing conversions

GlobalTechLED.com is a producer of LED lighting. Thanks to Instant Activation, John Burns, Director of Marketing, was able to start remarketing quickly. Without waiting for IT to re-tag his site, John successfully launched Global Tech LED’s first remarketing campaign and saw fast results by reaching their highest potential customers.

After enabling remarketing, Global Tech LED leveraged Google’s powerful machine-learning technology in two ways for their online campaigns: Smart Lists for remarketing automatically created lists of visitors who were most likely to engage in a subsequent session on GlobalTechLED.com. Then, Conversion Optimizer instantly adjusted the campaigns’ bids get more conversions at a lower cost, eventually freeing up more time and resources for the company.

As a result, GlobalTechLED.com is currently reaching their performance and outreach goals. To date they’ve doubled their display campaigns’ CTRs and have almost five times more clicks on their remarketing campaign compared to their other campaigns. Website traffic increased by over 100% in the first 30 days of the campaign, and international traffic skyrocketed. They’ve also seen a 75% decrease in CPA for their campaigns.

These kind of results were exactly what the company was looking for. According to John, "We’ve been trying to hit these specific numbers in the account for a couple of months, and Google Analytics Remarketing helped us achieve these in only a couple of days." Read the full case study here.

Four easy steps to get started

Ready to get started with remarketing? You can, with just four steps.

1. In your Google Analytics Property’s settings, choose ‘Audiences’ under the ‘Remarketing’ section.


2. Choose the AdWords account where you’d like to share your Audience and click ‘Next Step’.


3. Click “Enable” to create your first audience of All Users.  You can also come back later and create more complex audiences, like ‘visitors who have spent more than six minutes on site’, ‘visitors who visited more than five pages’, or ‘abandoned cart’.

This step automatically activates Advertiser Features if you haven’t done so already, which also enables Audience Demographics and Interests Reporting. You can manage this setting at any time in the Admin tab, under the ‘Advertiser Features’ section in your Property Settings.


4. Click ‘Create Campaign’ and complete the remarketing campaign creation process in AdWords. Congratulations, you are now a Remarketer!


We’re really excited to make Advertiser Features in Google Analytics simpler and enable all Google Analytics users to be more successful across all their marketing channels. Stay tuned for future improvements!

Happy Analyzing!

Posted by Avi Mehta and Rosanne Borja, Google Analytics Team

Updated RMF Schedule and Non-Compliance Fees on the AdWords API Rate Sheet

If you're a software developer that builds tools for agencies or other advertisers to manage AdWords campaigns, or if you use the AdWords API to provide reporting dashboards to clients, please take a minute to review these updates.

In May 2014, we extended the deadline for all Required Minimum Functionality (RMF) until December 31, 2014. Now that the extension period has expired, we’d like to explain how we’ll review RMF in 2015. If you’re subject to RMF, you’ll receive emails in the days and weeks ahead explaining the details, so please be sure to update your contact information in the AdWords API Center of your MCC account.

At a high level, the review will look like this: first you’ll confirm your contact information and help ensure the demo account for your tool is working properly. Then, if any requirements are missing from your tool, you’ll receive a detailed non-compliance email followed by a 30-day “fix-it” period to bring your tool into compliance. We hope this will provide sufficient time to address any shortcomings. After that, if you’re not in compliance after the 30-day fix-it period, you’ll be subject to non-compliance fees (which have been reduced) as specified on the updated API rate sheet. And if you’re still not in compliance within 120 days of receiving the initial non-compliance email, your token may be downgraded to Basic Access. Throughout the process, we’ll send you reminder emails of the important milestones and deadlines.

Please note again that we’ve reduced the fees associated with non-compliance. You can see a full list of changes to the API rate sheet.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out directly to the API Review Team.

Testing on the Toilet: Change-Detector Tests Considered Harmful

by Alex Eagle

This article was adapted from a Google Testing on the Toilet (TotT) episode. You can download a printer-friendly version of this TotT episode and post it in your office.


You have just finished refactoring some code without modifying its behavior. Then you run the tests before committing and… a bunch of unit tests are failing. While fixing the tests, you get a sense that you are wasting time by mechanically applying the same transformation to many tests. Maybe you introduced a parameter in a method, and now must update 100 callers of that method in tests to pass an empty string.

What does it look like to write tests mechanically? Here is an absurd but obvious way:
// Production code:
def abs(i: Int)
return (i < 0) ? i * -1 : i

// Test code:
for (line: String in File(prod_source).read_lines())
switch (line.number)
1: assert line.content equals def abs(i: Int)
2: assert line.content equals return (i < 0) ? i * -1 : i

That test is clearly not useful: it contains an exact copy of the code under test and acts like a checksum. A correct or incorrect program is equally likely to pass a test that is a derivative of the code under test. No one is really writing tests like that, but how different is it from this next example?
// Production code:
def process(w: Work)
firstPart.process(w)
secondPart.process(w)

// Test code:
part1 = mock(FirstPart)
part2 = mock(SecondPart)
w = Work()
Processor(part1, part2).process(w)
verify_in_order
was_called part1.process(w)
was_called part2.process(w)

It is tempting to write a test like this because it requires little thought and will run quickly. This is a change-detector test—it is a transformation of the same information in the code under test—and it breaks in response to any change to the production code, without verifying correct behavior of either the original or modified production code.

Change detectors provide negative value, since the tests do not catch any defects, and the added maintenance cost slows down development. These tests should be re-written or deleted.