Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

YouTube Music starts rolling out today. 6 reasons you’re gonna like it

Last week we announced the new YouTube Music. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out early access of the new YouTube Music in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. To be the first to know when it’s available for you, head to

Here are six reasons we think you’re gonna like it:

  1. It’s ALL here. Not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube. 
  2. Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. At the gym workin’ on that fitness? Escaping during your commute? The right music is right here, built just for you. 
  3. Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “Blogged 50” to discover new music or “Indie Under Pressure” to get the heart rate going. 
  4. Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That rap song with flute”? We got you. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Starbucks lovers”, right? 
  5. The hottest videos. We’ll keep you on top of what’s hot! The hottest videos in the world right now are right there, on their own dedicated Hotlist screen. Today in the U.S., it features Anderson.Paak, Jessie Reyez, and G-Eazy. 
  6. No internet? No problem. Paid members can download music and listen ads-free and in the background. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to.

To the Google Play Music users out there, nothing will change - you’ll still be able to access and add to all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. For additional information on what we announced last week, be sure to check out our blog.
We can’t wait for music fans across the globe to get their hands on YouTube Music! If you’re interested in learning more and getting access, head to

Talking digital skills with businesses in Sandringham

More than 150 small business owners came together at the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne this morning to learn new skills and find out more about getting their business online at the Digital Garage training event.

Business owners heard from Google experts on how to be found online through Google My Business and how to reach new customers with digital marketing.

The event was co-hosted by the Bayside Business Network and local Member for Goldstein, Tim Wilson MP who spoke about the importance of small businesses to the local economy and Sandringham community.

Research from Deloitte found SMBs that are online are more likely to be growing and hiring staff.

A panel spoke about the importance of being easily found online. One of the panelists, Nellie Kerrison from Relish Mama, uses Google My Business and Google Ads and said up to 80 per cent of her business now comes from online bookings.

It’s no surprise, as we know the internet can turbocharge small businesses. Every month, in Australia alone, Google drives tens of millions of direct connections between businesses and their customers including calls, online reservations and direction requests. Good news for businesses and customers!

Want to find out more about getting your business online? Check out The Digital Garage for digital skills training or find a Digital Garage event near you (hot tip: the Digital Garage is off to Brisbane later this month)!

YouTube Music, a new music streaming service, is coming soon to Australia.

From Beyonce’s livestream at Coachella to landmark videos like “Despacito”, “New Rules” and “This Is America,” more than 1 billion music fans come to YouTube each month to be part of music culture and discover new music. It’s also where over 2 million artists come to share their voices and art with the world. YouTube is where artists and fans connect: creating and discovering a world of music.

But YouTube was made for video, not just music. On Wednesday, May 23 (AEST), we’ll be changing that by introducing YouTube Music, a new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music, including your favourite Aussie artists, easier to explore and more personalised than ever. The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it’s all here.

YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else - all simply organised and personalised. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.

So what is YouTube Music exactly?

A new music streaming service from YouTube 

  • A reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music. 
  • YouTube Music has thousands of playlists, which also surface local Aussie artists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube. 

Find more of the music you’re looking for, including from your favourite Aussie artists 

  • Remixes, covers, live versions as well as deep cuts you can’t find anywhere else – from the biggest artists in the world, your favourite local Aussie artists, to the freshest voices breaking through. 
  • New and iconic videos from God’s Plan and Havana to Thriller, Sledgehammer, and more. 
  • YouTube Music search works even if fans don’t know exactly what they’re looking for … we’ll find it if they describe it (try “that hipster song with the whistling”) or give us some lyrics (try “I make money moves”). 

Effortlessly discover new music and new Aussie artists 

  • YouTube Music’s personalised home screen dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on people’s listening history, where they are and what they’re doing. At the airport? We’ll recommend something relaxing before the flight. Entering the gym? We’ll suggest some beats to get the heart-rate going. 
  • Thousands of playlists built to help you discover new music. That means no matter what kind of music you like, where you are, what you’re doing, or what mood you’re in, you can easily find the right playlist for that moment. 

While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, we’re also launching YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for AU$11.99 a month. If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month. And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.

To extend the features of YouTube Music Premium beyond the music app, we’re soon introducing YouTube Premium, the new name for our YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube Premium includes ad-free, background and offline across all of YouTube, as well as access to all YouTube Originals including Cobra Kai, Step Up: High Water and Youth & Consequences. YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube. But because it includes our brand new YouTube Music service, the price will be AU$14.99 for all new members. If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member, don’t worry you’ll still enjoy your current price.

Starting Wednesday (AEST), we're rolling out the new YouTube Music experience in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea*. It will expand more broadly in the coming weeks. We’ll also soon be launching in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. If you want to know when the new YouTube Music is available in your country, head to and let us know you’re interested.
*South Korea will only offer the YouTube Premium membership, not YouTube Music Premium.

Introducing YouTube Premium

Since launching YouTube Red in 2015, we’ve been thrilled with how people are enjoying the service, whether it’s downloading videos for a flight, binging the first season of Cobra Kai, or listening to the wide breadth of ad-free music. As part of ongoing enhancements to the member experience, today we’re excited to announce that YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium!

The new YouTube Premium includes: 
  • The new YouTube Music: ad-free, with background listening and downloads 
  • More, bigger original series and movies 
  • Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube 
It’s all coming soon to even more countries.

YouTube Music 

  • The new YouTube Music is a music streaming service that combines music listening with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalised than ever. YouTube Music includes a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music. 
  • YouTube Premium unlocks the full YouTube Music experience: ad-free music, background listening, and downloads. 

YouTube Originals 
  • With YouTube Premium, you’ll get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals, including recent hits like the Karate Kid-inspired series, Cobra Kai, the dance drama, Step Up: High Water, and upcoming series like the sci-fi thriller, Impulse, and Liza Koshy's Liza on Demand. 
  • More new Originals from around the globe are on the way—featuring comedies, dramas, reality series and action adventure shows from the U.K., Germany, France, Mexico, and more. 

Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube 

  • YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube, which simultaneously supports our incredible creators and artists.

Pricing and Availability 
  • YouTube Premium rolls out soon in existing markets: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea*. It’s also coming soon to new markets: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We look forward to more expansion throughout 2018 and beyond. 
  • YouTube Premium will be available for AU$14.99 per month or you can unlock the full experience of the new YouTube Music by itself with Music Premium for AU$11.99 per month. 
  • When YouTube Premium launches, YouTube Red members will automatically receive access at their current price. In countries where YouTube Red is currently available, a new member can also secure this price ($11.99 in Australia) by joining now at** 
*South Korea will only offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red. 
**If that price changes in the future, we will give plenty of notice.

Our preparations for Europe’s new data protection law

Last year, we outlined Google’s commitment to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), across all of the services we provide in the European Union. We’ve been working on our compliance efforts for over eighteen months, and ahead of the new law coming into effect, here’s an update on some of the key steps we've taken.

Improved user transparency 
We’re updating our current Privacy Policy to make it easier to understand what information we collect, and why we collect it. We’ve improved the navigation and organization of the policy to make it easier to find what you’re looking for; explained our practices in more detail and with clearer language; and added more detail about the options you have to manage, export, and delete data from our services. The policy now also includes explanatory videos and illustrations, because a visual description can be easier to understand than text alone. And we've made it easier to jump to your privacy settings directly from the policy, helping you make choices about your privacy.

Although we’re taking these steps to make our Privacy Policy easier to understand, it’s important to note that nothing is changing about your current settings or how your information is processed. You’ll continue to have granular control over the data you share with us when you use our services, but with clearer explanations. The updated policy is already available to read and we’ll be emailing all of our users about it individually.

Improved user controls 
Every day, nearly 20 million people around the globe visit My Account, our central hub that brings together all the different ways you can review your Google security, privacy and ad settings. As part of our GDPR compliance efforts, we’ve improved both the controls and the clarity of information in My Account so that people are better informed about how and why their data is collected. Within My Account, you can:

  • Use Activity Controls to choose what activity is saved to your Google Account. We provide simple on/off switches to control Location History, Web and App Activity, YouTube Search History and more, across all devices that are signed in to your account. 
  • View or delete data—including search history, location history, browsing history—from our services using My Activity. To make it easier to browse your past online activity, we have given you tools to search by topic, date, and product. You can permanently delete specific activities, entire days or weeks of activity that you don’t want associated with your account. 
  • Take a Security Checkup or Privacy Checkup to reassure yourself that your account is secure, and that your privacy settings work for you. We’ve recently added an option that allows you to subscribe to more frequent prompts to take the Privacy Checkup. 
  • Manage or mute the ads you see on Google, on websites and in apps using the recently upgraded Ads Settings tool and Mute This Ad control. We have provided more information about how and why certain ads are personalized, and will also be further simplifying the look and feel of these tools in the coming months. 
  • Get a clear overview of all the Google products that you use—and the data associated with them—via Google Dashboard. We’ve recently made the Dashboard more mobile-friendly so it's now easy to use across different devices. 
Improved data portability 
Since its launch in 2011, people around the world have used our Download Your Data tool to export data from products like Google Photos, Drive, Calendar, Google Play Music and Gmail, either to their own computer, or to storage services like OneDrive, Dropbox and Box. We are further improving and expanding this feature, adding more Google services, including more contextual data controls, and creating a new setting that helps people schedule regular downloads.

While we’ve enabled people to download data from our services for many years, the GDPR encourages companies to enable direct service-to-service data transfers where feasible, for example from Google Photos to another photo service. To support that aim, we've recently initiated the Data Transfer Project on GitHub, providing early-stage open source code that will, in time, be of use to any developer wanting to offer seamless transfer of data from one service directly into an alternative (or vice versa).

Parental consent and improved tools for children online
Under the new rules, companies must get consent from parents to process their children’s data in certain circumstances. To obtain that consent and to make sure that parents and children have the tools to manage their online experiences, we’re rolling out Family Link–already available in various countries around the world–throughout the EU.

Through Family Link, parents can create a Google Account for their child and are required to provide consent for certain processing of their child’s data. Family Link also allows parents to set certain digital ground rules on their child’s Android device– like approving or blocking apps, keeping an eye on screen time, or remotely locking their child’s device. We plan to evolve Family Link’s functionality over time, working closely with parents and advocacy groups.

Helping our business customers and partners 
The GDPR places new obligations on Google, but also on any business providing services to people in the EU. That includes our partners around the globe: advertisers, publishers, developers and cloud customers. We’ve been working with them to prepare for May 25th, consulting with regulators, civil society groups, academics, industry groups and others.

For our advertising partners, we’ve clarified how our advertising policies will change when the GDPR takes effect. We already ask publishers to get consent from their users for the use of our ad tech on their sites and apps under existing legislation, but we’ve now updated that requirement in line with GDPR guidance. We’re also working closely with our publisher partners to provide a range of tools to help them gather user consent, and have built a solution for publishers that want to show non-personalized ads, using only contextual information.

For our Google Cloud customers, we’ve updated our data processing terms for G Suite and Google Cloud Platform and provided detailed information to customers about our approach to data portability, data incident notifications, secure infrastructure and third party audits and certifications, among other features. For more information, visit the Google Cloud blog.

Strengthening our privacy compliance program 
Over the last decade, Google has built a strong global privacy compliance program, taking advice from regulators around the world. Across the company, we have dedicated teams of engineers and compliance experts who work in full-time privacy roles, ensuring that no Google product launches without a comprehensive privacy review. We’ve now further improved our privacy program, enhancing our product launch review processes, and more comprehensively documenting our processing of data, in line with the accountability requirements of the GDPR.

 This is a snapshot of things we’ve done to date to be ready for May 25, 2018. But our commitment to compliance with the GDPR, and the rights it gives people, will continue long beyond this date. As we evolve our products over time, we’ll continue to improve our Privacy Program and the protections we offer to users. Our ambition is to have the highest possible standards of data security and privacy, and to put our users and partners in control.

Google I/O 2018: Solving problems with AI for everyone

[Cross-posted from the global Keyword blog]
Today, we’re kicking off our annual I/O developer conference, which brings together more than 7,000 developers for a three-day event. I/O gives us a great chance to share some of Google’s latest innovations and show how they’re helping us solve problems for our users. We’re at an important inflection point in computing, and it’s exciting to be driving technology forward. It’s clear that technology can be a positive force and improve the quality of life for billions of people around the world. But it’s equally clear that we can’t just be wide-eyed about what we create. There are very real and important questions being raised about the impact of technology and the role it will play in our lives. We know the path ahead needs to be navigated carefully and deliberately—and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right. It’s in that spirit that we’re approaching our core mission.

The need for useful and accessible information is as urgent today as it was when Google was founded nearly two decades ago. What’s changed is our ability to organize information and solve complex, real-world problems thanks to advances in AI.

Pushing the boundaries of AI to solve real-world problems

There’s a huge opportunity for AI to transform many fields. Already we’re seeing some encouraging applications in healthcare. Two years ago, Google developed a neural net that could detect signs of diabetic retinopathy using medical images of the eye. This year, the AI team showed our deep learning model could use those same images to predict a patient’s risk of a heart attack or stroke with a surprisingly high degree of accuracy. We published a paper on this research in February and look forward to working closely with the medical community to understand its potential. We’ve also found that our AI models are able to predict medical events, such as hospital readmissions and length of stays, by analyzing the pieces of information embedded in de-identified health records. These are powerful tools in a doctor’s hands and could have a profound impact on health outcomes for patients. We’re going to be publishing a paper on this research today and are working with hospitals and medical institutions to see how to use these insights in practice.

Another area where AI can solve important problems is accessibility. Take the example of captions. When you turn on the TV it's not uncommon to see people talking over one another. This makes a conversation hard to follow, especially if you’re hearing-impaired. But using audio and visual cues together, our researchers were able to isolate voices and caption each speaker separately. We call this technology Looking to Listen and are excited about its potential to improve captions for everyone.

Saving time across Gmail, Photos, and the Google Assistant

AI is working hard across Google products to save you time. One of the best examples of this is the new Smart Compose feature in Gmail. By understanding the context of an email, we can suggest phrases to help you write quickly and efficiently. In Photos, we make it easy to share a photo instantly via smart, inline suggestions. We’re also rolling out new features that let you quickly brighten a photo, give it a color pop, or even colorize old black and white pictures.

One of the biggest time-savers of all is the Google Assistant, which we announced two years ago at I/O. Today we shared our plans to make the Google Assistant more visual, more naturally conversational, and more helpful.

Thanks to our progress in language understanding, you’ll soon be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Google Assistant without repeating “Hey Google” for each follow-up request. We’re also adding a half a dozen new voices to personalize your Google Assistant, plus one very recognizable one—John Legend (!). So, next time you ask Google to tell you the forecast or play “All of Me,” don’t be surprised if John Legend himself is around to help.

We’re also making the Assistant more visually assistive with new experiences for Smart Displays and phones. On mobile, we’ll give you a quick snapshot of your day with suggestions based on location, time of day, and recent interactions. And we’re bringing the Google Assistant to navigation in Google Maps, so you can get information while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Someday soon, your Google Assistant might be able to help with tasks that still require a phone call, like booking a haircut or verifying a store’s holiday hours. We call this new technology Google Duplex. It’s still early, and we need to get the experience right, but done correctly we believe this will save time for people and generate value for small businesses.

Understanding the world so we can help you navigate yours

AI’s progress in understanding the physical world has dramatically improved Google Maps and created new applications like Google Lens. Maps can now tell you if the business you’re looking for is open, how busy it is, and whether parking is easy to find before you arrive. Lens lets you just point your camera and get answers about everything from that building in front of you ... to the concert poster you passed ... to that lamp you liked in the store window.

Bringing you the top news from top sources

We know people turn to Google to provide dependable, high-quality information, especially in breaking news situations—and this is another area where AI can make a big difference. Using the latest technology, we set out to create a product that surfaces the news you care about from trusted sources while still giving you a full range of perspectives on events. Today, we’re launching the new Google News. It uses artificial intelligence to bring forward the best of human intelligence—great reporting done by journalists around the globe—and will help you stay on top of what’s important to you.

Helping you focus on what matters

Advances in computing are helping us solve complex problems and deliver valuable time back to our users—which has been a big goal of ours from the beginning. But we also know technology creates its own challenges. For example, many of us feel tethered to our phones and worry about what we’ll miss if we’re not connected. We want to help people find the right balance and gain a sense of digital wellbeing. To that end, we’re going to release a series of features to help people understand their usage habits and use simple cues to disconnect when they want to, such as turning a phone over on a table to put it in “shush” mode, or “taking a break” from watching YouTube when a reminder pops up. We're also kicking off a longer-term effort to support digital wellbeing, including a user education site which is launching today.

These are just a few of the many, many announcements at Google I/O—for Android, the Google Assistant, Google News, Photos, Lens, Maps and more, please see our latest stories.

Meet the 2018 Creators for Change Global Ambassadors

Today, we welcome 47 incredible creators to the YouTube Creators for Change program as the 2018 class of Ambassadors. This global initiative, which we kicked off in 2016, spotlights inspirational creators who use YouTube’s global reach to change conversations around tough issues and make a truly positive impact on the world. Chosen for their passion and dedication to creating social change, these YouTube creators come from over 16 countries and represent a combined audience of 26 million fans.

The 2018 class features 31 new creators as well as 16 creators from last year’s program (those returning are distinguished with a *):

As part of our $5M investment in this program, these creators will receive support from YouTube through a combination of project funding, mentorship opportunities, and ongoing production assistance at our YouTube Spaces. They’ll also join us for our second annual Social Impact Camp at YouTube Space London this summer. The Social Impact Camp is an exclusive two-day-long camp featuring inspirational speakers, video production workshops, and mentorship opportunities with experts as well as time for the Ambassadors to connect with one another.

We’re also joining forces with social change agency Love Frankie to support YouTube creators from the Asia-Pacific region who are passionate about creating social impact and tackling tough issues through their videos. First up for this new partnership will be a series of Boot Camps in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand between June - November 2018 where local creators will workshop creating content about local issues alongside experts such as NGOs, academic authorities, and subject matter specialists. Following these Boot Camps, select local creators will participate in a three-month Academy Program that includes mentoring from Creators for Change Ambassadors, local experts, and NGOs to help produce informed, high-quality content that resonates in their countries.

Over the next few months, the 2018 Creators for Change Ambassadors will kick off projects addressing hate speech, xenophobia and/or extremism through different creative forms. There are many more incredible ideas in the works -- we can’t wait to share more from these inspiring YouTube role models soon.

To the creators who are joining us as 2018 Ambassadors: thank you. We’re humbled to be working with you on sharing your messages of hope and tolerance.

More about Australia’s very own L-FRESH The LION and Sarah Stone 
2018 Creators for Change Ambassador, L-FRESH The LION 

This is the second time L-FRESH The LION, a hip hop artist from South West Sydney, has joined the Creators for Change program. Known for his music that is grounded in thought-provoking lyricism and providing social commentary from the perspective of an Australian born to migrant parents from Punjab, India, he premiered the music video RACI$T / OUR WORLD at New York’s Tribeca TV Festival as part of YouTube's Creators For Change last year.

“For me, YouTube's Creators For Change program is a proactive approach to bringing communities together and challenging some of the most confronting issues of our time. It empowers creators such as myself to tackle these issues head on by using our strengths to discuss them with our audiences. That means a lot to me, to have support from a powerhouse like YouTube to have these conversations,” said L-FRESH The LION.

After taking out a spot in the top six on The Voice Australia in 2017, Melbourne based singer/songwriter Sarah Stone is proving this is just the beginning as she joins the program for the first time this year. As a young music lover, she found her path to YouTube through cover songs and shortly after, began to teach herself how to play, record and publish her own music.
2018 Creators for Change Ambassador, Sarah Stone 

Sarah is passionate about making meaningful and impactful content that has the ability to invoke change and inspire through an empowering message.

“I truly believe we have become desensitised to a lot of the content we see due to the sheer volume we consume daily making it harder for us as individuals to empathise with each other. The fact that we are able to use our devices not only as a barricade to protect us from projecting hate speech and intolerance but also in some ways, to remove us from a sense of reality is really terrifying as people forget the real life implications they are having with their online behaviour,” said Sarah Stone.

Celebrating 2018’s Outstanding 50 LGBTI Leaders

Brilliant things happen when amazing teams bring incredible ideas to life, and the most important building block for this magic is diversity.
At Google that means diversity of thought, voice, experience, background, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief and so much more.
That’s why today we’re thrilled to celebrate the launch of the 2018 Outstanding 50 LGBTI Leaders, in collaboration with Deloitte.
We couldn't be more excited to be involved with the 2018 Outstanding 50 list, which embodies our core ethos of encouraging people to bring their best selves to work.
Outstanding 50 list member Nicole Brennan
Google's core mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, and our goal for diversity is a natural extension of this mission - to increase access to opportunity by breaking down barriers and empowering people through technology.
In all of our offices around the world, we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive.
We hope that this list not only helps pave the way to create more inclusive workplaces across Australia, but more importantly inspires the LGBTI leaders of tomorrow.
Please join us in congratulating this talented and inspirational group, and check out all of the 2018 Outstanding 50 LGBTI Leaders at

Shellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google Earth

In December, we took the Street View trekker  to Christmas Island, a remote tropical territory of Australia just south of Indonesia. With Parks Australia, we joined the island’s red crabs as they marched in the millions from the forest to the sea for their annual migration. 

Now it’s time to shellebrate. Starting today on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can explore Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ unique wildlife, dazzling ocean vistas and lush rainforests, including the grand finale of the red crab migration—the spawning. The red crabs wait all year for this very moment—and the precise alignment of the rains, moon and tides—to release their eggs at the coastal waters. 

Christmas Island’s remote location makes it home to a wild and diverse ecosystem—including 600 species of tropical fish, 14 species of terrestrial crabs, more than 100 bird species and four native reptile species. Exploring its wetlands and blowholes and coastline, you can see for yourself why the island is often called “Australia’s Galapagos.”

A view of Dolly Beach, home to a stunning coral reef and turtles.
A scenic walking trail in the Dales wetlands—a dense rainforest crawling with the island’s endemic blue crabs (Tip: Walk uphill on Street View and you’ll find a waterfall).
The Blowholes, where the waves blast water through eroded cliffs.
A view of Direction Island Beach, part of Cocos (Keeling) Islands which is home to diverse marine life, including coral, reef sharks and parrotfish.

Christmas Island’s nature and wildlife is so treasured and protected that the crabs have right of way. Roads are often closed during the migration, and Parks Australia have erected fences to direct the crabs to safe crossing points with under-road passes, or fly-over bridges. Now you can join the island’s 45 million red crabs as they crawl along the forest floor, climb the cliffs and finally, spawn at the water’s edge.

The red crabs starting their journey in the forest, on the way to Merrial Beach.
The crabs crawling on the Ethel Beach ramp.
Crabs climbing down the cliffs to Merrial Beach
The crabs arriving to spawn at Ethel Beach
The crabs above Ethel Beach after the spawning

Scuttle over to Street View and Google Earth to experience the wonderland of wildlife on Christmas Island, and the white sand beaches of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. And as you step into this moment in time, we welcome you to join the crabs as they lead this magnificent dance of nature.

Consumers will determine the future of news

In the 19th century, newspapers were rocked by a disruptive new technology. The telegraph allowed information to travel faster than ever before, worrying editors and journalists. Why would anyone read a newspaper if news could travel instantly through cables?
The telegraph meant readers expected news to be conveyed more efficiently. But the anticipated newspaper apocalypse never arrived. Far from bringing an end to the industry, the telegraph was co-opted by the best newspapers. Although the telegraph is obsolete today, the rapid and reliable delivery of information it enabled remains a hallmark of the newspaper industry.
Technology has shaped the way people consume news for centuries. Today, anyone with a smartphone can access an unprecedented number of news sources, while sharing content with friends and followers. Consumers are also using the Internet and mobile apps to engage with new forms of advertising, putting pressure on traditional ad-supported industries, including news publishers.
These changes in consumer and marketing behaviour have profound implications for traditional news business models. But they do not mean the death of journalism. In fact, our appetite for quality journalism is on the rise. According to Enhanced Media Metrics Australia, 90 per cent of Australians read Australian news media, and readership has been increasing.
I have read the AFR every day since high school. The way I read it has changed from print to a computer and now to a smartphone. What has remained constant is my need to be kept informed, whether on breaking business developments or the latest cricket results. Technology is the news industry’s strongest tool in satisfying the basic human need for good reporting.
We at Google are not content makers, we do not employ people to work as journalists, and we have no intention of becoming a news publisher. But we share an important common vision with the Australian news industry, which is to ensure that people have access to quality news and information. This is at the heart of our partnerships with publishers such as Fairfax Media. It is also why we support the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry. We have submitted our response and are ready to engage transparently and constructively with the Commission.
We are committed to securing journalism’s bright future in Australia by doing our part to make sure it works for newsrooms, news publishers and news consumers - and we are focusing on a number of areas.
First, newsrooms are looking to engage audiences better, so we are expanding our News Lab Fellowships in Australia in partnership with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. We help journalists use technology to tell more compelling stories, and offer them insights on how their work resonates with readers through Google Analytics.
Second, publishers are endeavouring to grow their business, so we are partnering with them to increase their revenue through digital advertising. We are also helping to promote subscriptions through the integration of subscription content in Search and offering a simple one-click sign-on called Subscribe with Google. With Flexible Sampling, publishers decide how much free sampling to offer their potential subscribers.
Third, consumers are seeking more news on digital platforms, so we are improving the way Search delivers them to the most relevant and trusted sources. In the past calendar year, we directed more than 2 billion visits to Australian news websites — each visit an opportunity to gain a loyal subscriber.
Finally, consumers are also seeking a better news consumption experience. People quit sites that take more than three seconds to load. So we are helping publishers create web pages that load in less than half a second with our open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages format.
And, at all times, people should have transparency and control over how their personal data is used. That’s a responsibility we take very seriously at Google, and we are encouraged that Australians are increasingly aware of how to access and change - even delete - the data they have shared with Google. In 2017, Australians visited more than 22 million times to understand what data they share with Google and how it is used to create a more relevant experience for them.
The way that people consume news may change, but the need for quality journalism does not. Our goal is to support newsrooms in meeting the evolving expectations of their audience. Ultimately, consumers will be the ones who decide whether news publishers flourish, but on present form there is every reason to believe that they will.