Category Archives: Google India Blog

The Official Google Blog for India

Introducing India’s first ever NextUp for Gamers Class of 2019!
In the last few years, Gaming creators on YouTube in India have gained massive popularity. From dodging zombies in Dying Light, to scoring goals in FIFA - creators have captured the breadth of the gaming ecosystem and brought the best of it to their fans and viewers! That's not all! They are also engaging with their fans in multiple ways -- from  direct engagement in real time with YouTube Live, to giving their viewers the opportunity to watch their favourite games at leisure, and also connect with on another during live streams through Super Chats.

Globally, there are 75% more channels with 1M+ subscribers in 2019, as compared to 2018 and India is no exception. For instance, Aaditya aka Dynamo Gaming, who started his journey in 2015, crossed a big milestone of 5M subscribers this year. Shutter Authority, known for VFX-heavy gaming content, was part of our first Next Up program in India in 2016 with about 37K subscribers. Since then, he has amassed almost 2M subscribers and over 980M views from across the world.

As the final special edition of YouTube NextUp India for this year, we’re excited to announce our first-ever class of NextUp for Gamers 2019. Our 12 winners, who span 6 languages, come from 8 different cities and play more than 10 different games. These lucky creators  will attend a five-day Creator Camp at the Pop-Up Space in Chennai in November! They will go through sessions on content strategy best practices, production design, green-screen usage and masterclasses on camera work, lighting, and editing to further refine their craft. Each winner will also receive a voucher worth INR 140,000 for production equipment, to take their channel to the next level! 

Here’s a quick look at who our winners for the NextUp for Gamers are:
Manasvivi: Manasvi is breaking gender stereotypes by bringing a female presence into the PUBG Mobile, with her goal being to create a more inclusive community on YouTube.

SuperTuxon: Teja, the creator behind SuperTuxon - brings dance, comedy, and costumes to his streams, giving his viewers a great dose of both pure gameplay and entertainment.

SikhWarrior: Voted Nvidia Streamer of the Year 2018, SikhWarrior delivers professional PC streams while playing PUBG and GTA V Roleplay.

Midfail-YT: Kicking off our regional diversity, Midfail streams games like PUBG, Human Fall Flat and GTA V while providing commentary in Tamil.

P.K. Gamers: Run by Ravi and Parwez, P.K. Gamers are the only Free Fire channel from in our winner’s cohort and have seen some massive growth on the platform.

SkullCrusher Gaming: SkullCrusher Gaming is your go-to channel for watching playthroughs some of the highest quality games - The Witcher, Forza Horizon and Mad Max.

Malmer: Bringing quality game content in Malayalam, Sarath’s goal for his channel Malmer is to grow the gaming community in his own home state of Kerala.

Nik Gaming: Adding to our lingual diversity, Nikhil does livestreams in Marathi of popular games like PUBG and GTA V.

Liars FC Soccerworld: One for all the football fans out there, Liars FC provides you with all the tips and tricks you need to be successful at PES.

KGK Gaming: Helping his viewers become better at PUBG, Gagan does regular livestreams in Kannada to make it accessible to a whole new set of viewers.

Anmol Juneja: Anmol is one of the few Indian creators making great Hindi content around Fortnite and his reactions achieving those epic in-game moments.

Sandeep Gowdru Live: Sandeep Gowdru delivers consistent livestreams on PUBG and explores the competitive scene while doing commentary in Kannada.

We want to offer a huge congratulations to these gamers! 

You can follow along on Twitter at @YTCreatorsIndia for all the exciting updates from our winners on-ground at Camp. 

Posted by Marc Lefkowitz, Head of YouTube Creator and Artist Development, APAC

Announcing Class III of Launchpad Accelerator India
In August 2019, we opened up applications for Class III of Launchpad Accelerator India - our 3-month program designed to accelerate Indian startups that are using scalable tech like AI & ML to address issues at the core of India’s growth, and we are thrilled to announce the start of the new class.

These 10 inspiring startups will begin their exciting journey with us in October 2019. Similar to the previous two classes, these startups will get access to the best of Google -- including mentorship from Google teams and industry experts, free support, Cloud credits, and much more. The startups will undergo an intensive 1-week mentorship bootcamp which will begin with a detailed and thorough understanding of their problem areas across domains, followed by mentorship sessions, and end with setting clear and specific goals for the upcoming 3 months of the program. 

After the bootcamp, the startups will receive highly customized support, which will include:
  • Tech guidance on specific projects
  • Machine learning related support
  • Design sprints for identified challenges
  • Leadership workshops
  • Access to Google teams
  • Interactions with  industry experts, mentors
  • Networking opportunities at industry events, PR support and much more

The class will end with a leadership workshop pioneered and created by Google called ‘Leaders Lab’ which will give founders a 360 degree perspective and insights about their leadership style.
The class kicks off on 14th October 2019 in Bangalore.
Meet the 10 startups which will be part of Class III:
1) Agricx: Agricx helps 450M+ stakeholders such as farmers, food processing companies etc. to standardize, digitize and enable discovery of agricultural produce using AI

2) Ambee: Hyperlocal, real-time, and accurate air quality data and intelligence at street level granularity and at global scale, to impact and improve the lives of billions around the world

3) Artivatic: Artivatic powers insurance, finance & healthcare businesses with intelligent systems, solutions & processes using AI, ML and data to help them for seamless business & customer activities

4) CureSkin: AI skin-care expert, using image recognition techniques to identify skin problems

5) Intello Labs: AI based post-harvest commodity quality assessment mobile applications

6) Jiny: The world's first assistive UI platform for businesses that guides users at each and every step in their own language through its audio visual assistant

7) Nayan: Detecting traffic violations and improving road safety through Artificial Intelligence on crowdsourced video data

8) Nira: An app-based credit line granting approved users a limit of up to Rs. 1 lakh

9) PerSapien: A device that can neutralize pollution from the ambient atmosphere and can be used to clean up the air above our cities

10) SustLabs: A product that effectively reads and decodes real-time electricity consumption of a house all the way up to key appliances level just by using smart meter data

Posted by Paul Ravindranath, Program Manager, Launchpad Accelerator India

Bringing Indian craft, tracing back many centuries, to Google Arts & Culture
From Kerala to Kashmir, Kutch to Kohima, and all 29 Indian states, over 50 of India's crafts will now be on  ‘Crafted in India’ -- the largest online exhibition on Indian Crafts.

Not many of us know about the exquisite basketry of the Angami Nagas or the Bell Metal Craft of Payyanur or the 300 year old Mata Ni Pachedi Textile Art of Gujarat and the rich history of crafts that India possesses. Google Arts & Culture’s new project ‘Crafted in India’, in partnership with Ministry of Tourism, Dastkari Haat Samiti, and 20 other cultural institutions is making India’s rich handmade heritage accessible for the world to experience. With over 280+ exhibits and 11,000+ images & videos, ‘Crafted in India’ gives people an immersive tour of varied Indian craft forms -- from fabrics to embroidery, wall paintings to stonework, metal casting to wood carving, and more.  

It’s said that back in the 17th century, the Lambani nomadic tribes also called Lambadis or Banjaras, came from Afghanistan to India and are now spread across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Today, the Lambadis community lives and works in Sandur, one of the villages in Karnataka and continues to create rhythms with needle and thread. Their colorful embroidery is popular among people in modern cities and can be found at a variety of exhibitions and craft bazaars. 

Lambani Embroidery

Like the Lambanis, many stories of Indian craft are woven into the country’s rich heritage. The intricate silver work from Odisha also known as Chandi Tarkashi, is another great example that can be dated back to the 16th century. The designs employed by the artisans in silver filigree ornaments, decorative pieces and utilitarian products [like trays, bowls, platters, plaques, photo frames, tiny cones] show the influence of elaborate motifs of that era. Their story of creativity, skilled handwork, and precision work is lesser known to the world. 

Silver Filigree

We know what makes each craft form special are the people behind it. This project therefore takes you behind-the-scenes, to the towns and villages of craftspeople, who have helped preserve and nurture varied craft forms. Meet the late Shabir Ali Beigh, from Srinagar as he decodes the 500 year old tradition of Sozni embroidery, his inspiration, the art of needlework that can make 500 stitches within a centimeter, and the invaluable experience of many generations that his family brings to this field. In this video, master artisans D.C. Rao and Sindhe Ramulu talk about the leather puppetry of Andhra Pradesh which is among the oldest shadow puppet traditions in India. The stories of these craftspeople continue to inspire us, and we are excited to bring their incredible journey online, making it more accessible to people across the globe. Watch inspirational stories of Carpet weaving, Bell metal casting, and Banarasi Sari weaving

Bell Metal Casting

The exhibit also touches upon the Value of Waste and various ways of crafting paper from the most unexpected materials -- from pineapple fibres to old currency, and animal dung. People can discover more about the 40 different waste materials that can help produce paper, including damaged currency notes, whilst also learning more about the various techniques used to make a range of handmade paper products made using waste materials -- these include paper trays, decorative  sheets, notebooks among others. 

To make exploration of craft easy and fun for modern day users, ‘Crafted in India’ has an interesting ‘Guess That Craft’ exhibit. Through a series of clues, the exhibit uncovers the various art forms of India, including Elephant Dung Paper -- an ecological way to create paper from animal wasteChannapatna Toys -- conceptualized by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century, these quirky crafts continue to be created, painted, and played with today, Chhau Masks -- flamboyant craft used during Chhau dance, and many others. 

Channapatna Toys

Crafts have not only become a central part of India's economy, but are integral to India’s rich heritage and culture. The Ministry of Tourism will be promoting, ‘Crafted in India’, as part of its internationally acclaimed tourism campaign -- Incredible India!, and will encourage both Indian and global audiences to ‘Explore India and carry a craft back’.  

We invite everyone to meet the makers, explore their crafts, and share their stories, on the Google Arts & Culture website, and the free Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS or Android.

By Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture

AdSense now understands Marathi

Today, we’re excited to announce the addition of Marathi, a language spoken by over 80 millions people in Maharashtra, India and many other countries around the world, to the family of AdSense supported languages.

The interest for Marathi language content has been growing steadily over the last few years. With this launch, AdSense provides an easy way for publishers to monetize the content they create in Marathi, and advertisers can connect to a Marathi speaking audience with relevant ads.

To start monetizing your Marathi content website with Google AdSense:

  1. Check the AdSense Program policies and make sure your site is compliant.
  2. Sign up for an AdSense account
  3. Add the AdSense code to start displaying relevant ads to your users.

Welcome to AdSense! Sign Up now!

Posted by AdSense Internationalization Team

Keeping privacy and security simple, for you

Our goal has always been to create products that are simple, helpful, and intuitive. It’s no different with privacy and security: managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home.

Earlier this year, we started rolling out more ways for you to protect your data, including making our controls easier to access, new ways to use Google apps with Incognito mode, and options to automatically delete data like your Location History, searches, and other activity with Google.

Making these controls consistent across our core products will help them become more familiar, and we hope, even easier to use. Today, we’re sharing a few more updates on our progress toward this goal.

Incognito mode arrives in Maps

Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008. We added it to YouTube earlier this year, and now we’re rolling it out in Google Maps.

Incognito mode in Maps

When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalize your Maps experience. You can easily turn on Incognito mode by selecting it from the menu that appears when you tap your profile photo, and you can turn it off at any time to return to a personalized experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you. Incognito mode will start rolling out on Android this month, with iOS coming soon.

Expanding Auto-delete to YouTube

In May, we announced that you could automatically delete your Location History and Web & App Activity, which includes things you've searched and browsed. We promised to bring this to more products, and now we're bringing Auto-delete to YouTube History. Set the time period to keep your data—3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it, just like Location History and Web & App Activity—and we’ll take care of the rest.
Auto-delete in YouTube History

Control your privacy with your voice in the Assistant

We’re adding new ways to easily understand and manage your data in the Assistant.
First, when you ask questions like “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” the Assistant will share information about how we keep your data private and secure.
We’re also making it easier to control your privacy with simple voice commands. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account just by saying things like “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.” You won't need to turn on any of these features—they will work automatically when you ask the Assistant for help. If you ask to delete more than a week's worth of data from your account, the Assistant will point you directly to the page in your account settings to complete the deletion. We’re rolling this out in English next week, and in all other languages next month.
Privacy actions in the Assistant

Strengthening your password security

Protecting your privacy online requires strong security, and that’s why we protect your data with one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures.
Tools like our Security Checkup help users by automatically detecting potential security issues with your Google Account and make it easy for you to add extra protections to keep your account safe, like removing old devices or unused apps that still have access to your account.
But we also want to help protect you across the internet, and a big part of that is helping you remember passwords for your other online accounts. With so many accounts, bad habits like using the same password across multiple services are common, and make all of your accounts as vulnerable as the weakest link. If someone steals your password once, then they could access your information across different services using that same password. 
Our password manager automatically protects your passwords across your different accounts, and today, in time for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re making it much more powerful. We’re introducing the Password Checkup, a new feature that—with one click—tells you if any of your passwords are weak, whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we've discovered they've been compromised (for example, in a third-party data breach). Find more about the Password Checkup in this post.
Password Checkup
We’re constantly working to improve the products that billions of people use, right now. We’re also looking to the future so that teams at Google, and other organizations, can build new products and develop new engineering techniques, with privacy and security as core principles. In May, we opened the new Google Safety Engineering Center where we expect the number of privacy engineers to double by the end of 2019. We’ve also open-sourced technologies like our differential privacy library, Private Join and Compute and Tensorflow Federated. These will help any institution—from hospitals to governments to nonprofits—find better ways to gain insights from their data while protecting people's privacy.
As technology evolves, so do people's expectations for security and privacy. We look forward to building protections that aim to exceed those expectations, and will continue sharing regular updates about this work.

Posted by Eric Miraglia, Director of Product Management, Privacy and Data Protection Office

Adding 57,000 public toilets to Google Maps across India
In 2016, in collaboration with the Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, we embarked on a campaign to help users across India to locate public toilets within Google Maps. We launched this as a pilot in three cities: New Delhi, Bhopal, and Indore. After almost three years, this effort now encompasses over 57,000 public toilets in 2,300+ cities across the nation.

With Google Maps, our aim has always been to help people as they navigate and explore the world, wherever they are. And we believe that making information about public sanitation facilities easily accessible to people is a key element for social good -- one that also constitutes the cornerstone of the government's Swachh Bharat campaign to promote clean habits and hygiene.

We have a long history of making Google Maps more relevant, accurate, and reliable for Indian users with India-first solutions such as two-wheeler mode and offline Maps. For this campaign, our product and engineering teams together built a new process seamlessly integrate toilet listings into Google Maps. We have worked closely with the Ministry to update Maps with key information about public toilets from across India, while refining our systems to accurately surface these toilets through a variety of user queries -- over 2.5 lakh users now search for public toilets every month across Search and Maps.

Today, all you need is to search for ‘public toilets near me’ on Google Search, the Google Assistant or Google Maps and receive results at your fingertips. 

In addition, through Google My Business, we helped the Ministry take ownership of these listings on Google Maps so they could monitor visits, ratings, reviews and more, thereby gaining valuable insights that could help them take necessary action to maintain and upgrade toilets. 

Google Maps Local Guides are also continuing to feedback on toilets in their locality, late last year we ran a campaign to spur awareness and adoption that resulted in 32,000 reviews, photos and edits being added to public toilets across India.

We have been humbled to be a part of this campaign, and remain committed to finding ways to make Google Maps even more useful and relevant to users across India. 

Posted by Anal Ghosh, Sr. Program Manager, Google Maps

Launching Build for Digital India: Student Developers Solve For India Initiative

India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, with 460 million internet subscribers in 2019, second only to China. Newly digitising sectors, including agriculture, education, energy, financial services, healthcare could each create $10 billion to $150 billion of incremental economic value in 2025 & possibly create 60 million to 65 million jobs, as per McKinsey

The Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ vision seeks to empower every citizen with the benefits of technology. Google India is committed to contributing to this vision through fostering innovation in areas that are core to  India’s challenges.

To ensure that India achieves its digital potential, Google and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) have come together to launch Build for Digital India - Student Developers Solve for India program. The aim of this initiative is to give Indian science, technology and engineering students a platform to become solution creators for the problems they see around them and their communities. Students will be invited to build solutions on any of the following themes:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Agriculture
  3. Education
  4. Smart Cities & Infrastructure
  5. Mobility & Transportation
  6. Women Safety
  7. Digital India
  8. Environment & Sustainable Development Goals
  9. Accessibility & Disability
  10. Digital Literacy
  11. Others

We will support and nurture tech ideas and/or market ready tech products by providing:

  • Learning opportunities: numerous online learning opportunities on cutting edge tech like machine learning, Android, Google Cloud, progressive web apps and more through courses, live sessions, talks, etc.
  • Mentorship: mentorship sessions in product design, strategy, tech and more from Google and industry experts across India to the most promising products and prototypes. 
  • Showcase: the program will provide visibility and exposure to the best solutions

In order to maximise the reach of the initiative, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will:

  • Encourage universities and colleges across India to participate
  • Provide infrastructure support
  • Offer guidance and support for each theme

Through this program, Google hopes to further contribute to the tech ecosystem by

  • Upskilling students on key technologies and concepts like cloud computing, machine learning, Android, progressive web apps, Flutter and open source development.
  • Nurturing entrepreneurship among students and motivating them to pick meaningful areas  to apply their innovative tech solutions
  • Building key employability-focussed skills via various focused learning opportunities

Know more and register here

Posted by Paul Ravindranath, Program Manager, Google India Developer Relations

Growing, supporting, and empowering YouTube’s growing army of women creators; bringing APAC’s first ever #WomenToWatch workshop to India
This week will mark our first ever #WomenToWatch workshop in APAC, and we are thrilled to kick this off right here in India. #WomenToWatch is one of the three NextUp special editions, we are hosting in the country and is focussed on helping women creators grow on YouTube.  

With over 265 million monthly active users, India has become our biggest and fastest growing market globally. There is no better time than now to be a YouTube creator in India! When we met Archy J, India’s first female bagpiper, during our NextUp camp in 2017, her YouTube channel, The Snake Charmer had about 24K subscribers. While she had a unique talent, and created amazing bagpipe metal covers for songs like Coldplay's Hymn for the Weekend, theme songs for the Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, the reach and engagement on her channel was still small. Through her NextUp journey, she learnt more about community engagement and storytelling  and now has over 430K subscribers and over 63 million views on her videos. 

Archy is not alone! It’s incredible to note that back in 2015 there were no women creators to have crossed the one million subs mark, but today, there are over 120 women creators to have crossed that threshold. The growth of our women creators has been inspiring, and we are committed to supporting them on this journey. 
YouTube NextUp 2019 Batch 

We have been investing in growing YouTube’s vibrant community of women creators. Global icons like Liza Koshy, Lilly Singh and Indian sensations including Prajakta Koli, Nisha Madhulika, Prajakta Kohli, Sejal Kumar, Rickshawali have had a stellar journey on YouTube. That’s not all, there are hundreds of women who have been a part of our YouTube  NextUps, Creator Camps, FanFest and Pop-Ups and have built a career on the platform. 

These women, and thousands of others are breaking barriers, taking to unconventional verticals like MotoVlogging, Technology, Gaming, Travel, Farming, Education, Sewing & Embroidery, and creating diverse content in multiple Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, among others. They are coming from all parts of the country and are doing all sorts of amazing things! What’s interesting to note, is that many women Bollywood celebrities like Alia Bhatt and Jacqueline Fernandez, and sportswomen like Snehal Pradhan are also joining the bandwagon.   

This year, along with our #WomenToWatch NextUp winners, there will be over 700 creators at our YouTube Pop-Up Space in New Delhi who will get to connect with top creators, mentors and leading industry leaders. Through their shared stories and experiences, we hope to see a room full of inspiration! 

Moreover, the YouTube Pop-Up Space has gone bigger and better -- travelling to three cities Indian cities [Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai]. The YouTube Pop-Up at Aloft, Aerocity, New Delhi will have three mega sets -- studio style, pop chic, and an outdoor flea market. Creators will get free access to the state-of-the-art production equipment and themed production sets, to produce original and innovative high production quality content for their own YouTube channels.  
YouTube Pop-Up Space in Delhi

Over the course of next five days, the first class of NextUp #WomenToWatch and budding creators who join us at the YouTube Pop-Up in Delhi, will be able attend events and workshops that will help them improve their presence on YouTube and to collaborate or network with others creators and industry professionals. 

By Satya Raghavan, Director - Content Partnerships YouTube in India and Marc Lefkowitz, Head of YouTube Creator & Artist Development, APAC

More options to help websites preview their content on Google Search

Google uses content previews, including text snippets and other media, to help people decide whether a result is relevant to their query. The type of preview shown depends on many factors, including the type of content a person is looking for and the kind of device they're viewing it on. 

For instance, if you look for recipe results on Google, you may see thumbnail images and user ratings--things that may be more helpful than text snippets when it comes to deciding what you want to eat. Alternately, or perhaps you're looking for a concert nearby, and are able to check out the events directly in the search results. These are made possible by publishers marking up their pages with structured data.

Google automatically generates previews in a way intended to help a user understand why the results shown are relevant to their search and why the user would want to visit the linked pages. However, we recognize that site owners may wish to independently adjust the extent of their preview content in search results. To make it easier for individual websites to define how much or which text should be available for snippeting and the extent to which other media should be included in their previews, we're now introducing several new settings for webmasters. 

Letting Google know about your snippet and content preview preferences

Previously, it was only possible to allow a textual snippet or to not allow one. We're now introducing a set of methods that allow more fine-grained configuration of the preview content shown for your pages. This is done through two types of new settings: a set of robots meta tags and an HTML attribute. 

Using robots meta tags

The robots meta tag is added to an HTML page's , or specified via the x-robots-tag HTTP header. The robots meta tags addressing the preview content for a page are:

  • "nosnippet" - This is an existing option to specify that you don't want any textual snippet shown for this page.
  • "max-snippet:[number]" - New! Specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet for your page.
  • "max-video-preview:[number]" - New! Specify a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview
  • "max-image-preview:[setting]" - New! Specify a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on this page, using either "none", "standard", or "large".

They can be combined, for example:
Preview settings from these meta tags will become effective in mid-to-late October 2019 and may take about a week for the global rollout to complete.

Using the new data-nosnippet HTML attribute

A new way to help limit which part of a page is eligible to be shown as a snippet is the "data-nosnippet" HTML attribute onspan”,”div”, and ”section“ elements. With this, you can prevent that part of an HTML page from being shown within the textual snippet on the page.

The ”data-nosnippet“ HTML attribute will start affecting presentation on Google products later this year. Learn more in our developer documentation for the robots meta tag, x-robots-tag, and data-nosnippet.

A note about rich results and featured snippets

Content in structured data is eligible for display as rich results in search. These kinds of results do not conform to limits declared in the above meta robots settings, but rather, can be addressed with much greater specificity by limiting or modifying the content provided in the structured data itself. For example, if a recipe is included in structured data, the contents of that structured data may be presented in a recipe carousel in the search results. Similarly, if an event is marked up with structured data, it may be presented as such in the search results. To limit that presentation, a publisher can limit the amount and type of content in the structured data. 

Some special features on Search depend on the availability of preview content, so limiting your previews may prevent your content from appearing in these areas. Featured snippets, for example, requires a certain minimum number of characters to be displayed. This can vary by language, which is why there is no exact max-snippets length we can provide to ensure appearing in this feature. Those who do not wish to have content appear as featured snippets can experiment with lower max-snippet lengths. Those who want a guaranteed way to opt-out of featured snippets should use nosnippet.

The AMP Format

The AMP format comes with certain benefits, including eligibility for more prominent presentation of thumbnail images in search results and in the Google Discover feed. These characteristics have been shown to drive more traffic to publishers’ articles. However, publishers who do not want Google to use larger thumbnail images when their AMP pages are presented in search and Discover can use the above meta robots settings to specify max-image-preview ofstandardornone.”

These new options are available to content owners worldwide and will operate the same for results we display globally. We hope they make it easier for you to optimize the value you get from Search and achieve your business goals. For more information, check out our developer documentation on meta tags. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, or drop by our webmaster help forums

Posted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google Switzerland

Powering the digital economy; building a helpful Google for everyone in India

Rama Devi has taught more than a thousand women how to use the internet in her role as a Saathi—now she’s helping farmers become more productive. Amita Raghu has used digital tools to grow Krishne Tassels, her traditional saree tassel business, and trained 700 women in the art of tassel-making. Rajesh Jain, winner of Google’s AI Impact Challenge, has created an app that helps cotton farmers identify pests just by snapping a photo.

They are among the 460 million Indians who are using the internet to search, create, solve problems, build businesses—and help others. They show how technology isn’t just driving economic growth in India, but creating a ripple effect of opportunity across communities. 

Continuing that momentum was the focus of this year’s Google for India event, where we shared announcements aimed at making the internet more accessible, inclusive and empowering for Indians.   

Expanding access in rural India

Four years ago, we launched Google Station: a partnership with Railtel and Indian Railways to bring fast, reliable and secure WiFi to 400 train stations. We hit that milestone last May, and we’ve also expanded the program beyond train stations to include thousands of public buildings and spaces around the country.  And today we’re announcing the next step: a partnership with BSNL to bring high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra —places that haven’t had a WiFi connection before. 

We’re also launching an initiative to help the hundreds of millions of Indians who use 2G phones get the information they need, without requiring data or an internet connection. The Vodafone-Idea Phone Line—supported by the Google Assistant—enables Vodafone-Idea users to call a single number free of charge (000 800 9191000), at any time, and ask for everything -- from sports scores, traffic conditions and weather forecasts or get help with homework.   Starting today, we’re delighted to be expanding the service to all English- and Hindi-speaking Vodafone-Idea customers across India.

Speaking India’s language(s) 

As we improve access to the internet, we also need to make it relevant and helpful, with information Indians need in the languages they speak.  

For many Indians, voice is increasingly becoming their preferred way to search. Two years ago we introduced the Google Assistant, and have since expanded it to nine Indian languages. Hindi is now the second-most used Assistant language globally (after English). And :

We’re also adding more Indian languages to other Google products.  

We’re expanding Discover, the news feed app we launched at Google for India last year, with Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam. Oriya, Urdu and Punjabi will follow soon. 

In Google Lens--which allows people to search for information, ask questions and translate text by pointing their phone’s camera at things they’re interested in--we’re now adding Tamil, Telugu and Marathi.

Last year we launched Bolo, a speech-based app that helps children learn how to read -- today we’re adding Bangla, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu to it, and expanding our content pool by partnering with publishers like Chotta Bheem and Katha Kids.  Bolo has already helped 800,000 young Indians read stories more than three million times and speak half a billion words. We are working with partners like Saajha, the Kaivalya Education Foundation, Pratham Education Foundation and Room to Read-- and looking forward to making it available to even more Indian families. 

Together with the introduction of interpreter mode in the Assistant on Android and Android Go phones in the coming months, which will help translate from one language to another, we’re confident that these initiatives will help unlock more relevant information and content for even more users across India.  

Building platforms for economic opportunity

The biggest story in India’s booming internet economy has been the rise of digital payments.  BHIM UPI has transformed how India makes payments. From 17 million payments in August 2017, to crossing 900 million payments last month, India is setting the global standard on how to digitise payments. 

We launched Google Pay to support this growth, giving Indians a simple, safe and reliable way of making and receiving payments. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve grown more than three times to 67 million monthly active users, driving transactions worth over $110Bn on an annualized basis, with hundreds of thousands of offline and online merchants. But we think there’s an even bigger role for Google Pay to support businesses.  

Starting  today, we’re introducing the Spot Platform which enables merchants to create branded commercial experiences that bridge the offline and online worlds.  Popular services like UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit and Oven Story are already on board through our early access program.  
We’re excited to see how other organizations use Spot to create new experiences, reach new customers and make life easier and more convenient for the Indians who rely on them.   

Spot is one of a number of new Google Pay initiatives we’re announcing today.  We’re also making payments available to debit and credit card holders through ‘tokenized’ cards--a secure way of paying for things using a digital token on your phone rather than your actual card number.  Tokenized cards on Google Pay will be rolling out in the next few weeks with Visa cards for HDFC, Axis, Kotak and Standard Chartered banks. And we will roll out support to cover Mastercard and Rupay and more banks in the coming months.

We’re also deepening our support for small businesses through a new app called Google Pay for Business: a free and easy way for small and medium-sized merchants to enable digital payments without the hassle of time-consuming onboarding and verification process.  
The reality is that despite the massive growth of digital payments, the vast majority of India’s over 60 million small businesses are still not benefiting from the growing digital economy.  We hope these initiatives will help merchants adopt digital payments with more confidence and help contribute to the long term growth of online financial services for the benefit of every Indian.  

A new Jobs effort:

Enabling economic opportunities for every Indian also means helping people prepare for jobs and connecting them with the right opportunities. Today, we are excited to announce a new Jobs effort focusing on entry-level jobs, that are not easily discoverable online. Jobs will be available as a Spot on Google Pay to help job seekers find and prepare for entry-level positions that fit their needs. It uses machine learning to recommend jobs and training content to help these users prepare for interviews and learn new skills. Jobs also makes it easy for them to apply, schedule interviews and engage directly with potential employers.
We’re partnering with the National Skills Development Corporation for their Skill India program.  As part of this collaboration, Skill India students will be offered a seamless way to get started with Jobs and find better employment.  We’re introducing Job Spot with 24 early partners in retail like 24Seven and Healthkart, delivery and logistics partners like Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo and hospitality providers like Fabhotels. We will be expanding this to more sectors and partners in the coming weeks.

We’re incredibly inspired by India.  With its world class engineering talent, strong computer science programs and entrepreneurial drive, India has the potential to contribute to advancements in AI and its application to tackle big challenges. We want to support and contribute to this with Google Research Indiaan AI lab we’re starting in Bangalore. The team will focus on two pillars: first, advancing fundamental computer science and AI research by building a strong team and partnering with the research community across the country. Second, applying this research to tackle big problems in fields like healthcare, agriculture, and education while also using it to make apps and services used by billions of people, more helpful. 

From digital skills training to investing in AI research—we’re looking forward to continuing to contribute to India’s extraordinary progress and growth.  

By Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users Initiative and Payments