Category Archives: Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our topics, technology, and the Google culture

App campaigns make their landing: introducing a simpler name for Google’s app ad solution

People reach for their mobile phones throughout the day for help getting things done. And it's often a mobile app that delivers what they need—whether it's a new pair of rain boots or a puzzle game to pass the time during a commute.

Universal App campaigns help connect your app with more of these app-happy consumers. Today, we are simplifying the name of “Universal App campaigns” to “App campaigns.” This move will not affect campaign features or functionality, and there’s no action required for existing app promotion customers.

App campaigns will join Search, Display, Video, Shopping and Smart as the top-level campaign names available in Google Ads.

Ad Campaign Types

Here’s the full list of Google Ads campaign types after the App campaigns name change

App campaigns use Google’s machine learning technology to help you find the users that matter most to you, based on your defined business goals—across Google Search, Play, YouTube, and over three million sites and apps—all from one campaign.

To date, App campaigns have delivered unprecedented results for the developer community—helping drive more than 17 billion app installs, according to Google Internal data from 2019. We hope this more direct name will help advertisers and developers get started with Google Ads and select the right campaign type for their business goals.

You’ll start to see these changes roll out over the next month. We’ll talk more about this change—and other new App ad innovations—at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in mid-March. We hope to see you there!

Using AMP to make display ads safer, faster and better for users

The performance benefits and security guarantees offered by AMPHTML ads, which are display ads created using the AMP framework, translate to better advertiser ROI, publisher revenue and overall better user experience. Because of this, Google has expanded serving AMPHTML ads not only to AMP pages, but also to regular web pages. As of January this year, 12% of all display ads served by Google are now AMPHTML ads.

All of the code in the AMP repository is open source which is carefully reviewed by the project maintainers before being merged. As a result, ads written in AMP start performant and stay performant. Such a process also drastically reduces the likelihood of AMPHTML ads having code that takes advantage of chipset level vulnerabilities or drain CPU by crypto-mining from users’ devices. 

Since AMPHTML ads can be trusted, they can be rendered into a more performant same-origin iframe. This performance boost results in the ad rendering faster on page which translates to higher publisher revenue and better advertiser ROI.

AMPHTML Ads Stats

Experiment results from GPT.js rendering AMPHTML ads in a same-origin vs cross-origin iframe

AMPHTML ads on AMP pages deliver even better ROI

An AMPHTML ad delivered to an AMP page has better performance compared to the same ad running on a regular web page. This is due to the inherent design of AMPHTML ads outlined here, giving advertisers better click through rates and viewability.

AMP pages have seen steady growth over the past few years and advertisers now have access to well over 1 billion impressions/day worth of premium (from a user experience & ad experience standpoint) inventory. In addition, more than 35 percent of ads served to AMP pages are already AMPHTML ads.


Publishers and Advertisers seeing success with AMP pages and AMPHTML ads

The news publisher EL PAIS partnered with Volkswagen, one of their advertisers, to run a multivariate A/B test measuring how Volkswagen’s display ads created in AMPHTML vs HTML5 would perform on AMP vs regular pages.

Simply moving from a standard HTML page to an AMP page (with the same HTML5 ad) resulted in a 26 percent CTR increase. Moving further to an AMP page with AMPHTML ads resulted in an additional 48 percent CTR increase.

AMPHTML Ads Increase in Performance

Increase in performance metrics when combining AMP pages with AMPHTML ads

You can read the full case study here.


Getting started with AMPHTML ads for advertisers

AMPHTML ads are a subset of the AMP spec and ships with many good-by-default ads UI components, an analytics measurement framework, a spam detection system, viewability measurement and other building blocks to create a good and measurable ad.

We encourage you to read more about the benefits of using AMPHTML ads, but if you want to jump ahead to start creating them, this is a good place to begin.

Once you have created the ad, you can choose one of the following options to serve AMPHTML ads:

  1. Work with an Authorized Buyer that allows to target just AMP or regular inventory

  2. Use Google Ads to target inventory in the Google Display Network

  3. Direct buy with publishers using Google Ad Manager

  4. [Coming Soon] Display & Video 360 support to deliver AMPHTML ads to AMP pages

Google continues to invest in delivering better user ad experiences by increasing the share of AMPHTML ads vs regular ads. Once mobile app support launches in Q2, 2019, advertisers can fully transition to creating a single AMPHTML ad and have it render across all environments and devices.

We hope you’ll take full advantage of the performance, security benefits and the increased ROI by choosing to build & serve AMPHTML ads in your next campaign.

Android Enterprise Recommended expands to include Managed Service Providers

As organizations increasingly turn to Android as their enterprise mobility platform, we want to make sure they can easily identify partners with experts who are best equipped to support them.

That’s why we’re expanding the Android Enterprise Recommended program to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and companies with MSP business units who provision, manage and support millions of devices around the world on behalf of customers. Under the Android Enterprise Recommended program for MSPs, validated partners are trained on the latest best practices from Google to help customers simplify and expand their mobility deployments.

We’re pleased to announce that Accenture, Brodos, Cognizant, DXC Technology, Econocom, Honeywell Enterprise, Mobile Mentor, Mobility MEA, Offshore Tech, SCC, SHI, Skywire, Stratix, Tech Data and Vox Mobile have been validated as Android Enterprise Recommended partners. Over time, we plan to add more MSP partners to the program.

Android Enterprise Recommended MSPs are required to deliver the following capabilities for customers (the full list of requirements can also be found here):

  • Technical expertise and leadership with dedicated personnel trained by Google on implementing and supporting Android

  • Certified experience with Android Enterprise Recommended Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) systems

  • A close working relationship with Google with an assigned account manager and access to a 24/7 Google partner escalation desk

  • A commitment to staying current on the latest Android product features and training requirements as part of annual program re-validation

When we launched the Android Enterprise Recommended program a year ago, we set out to make it simple for businesses to find Android devices and services that have been validated by Google for meeting elevated enterprise requirements. Since then, we’ve applied this framework to knowledge worker devices, then rugged devices,and—most recently—services with last month’s launch of Android Enterprise Recommended for EMMs. With each step, we’re aiming to give customers more confidence in deploying Android and ensuring their deployment is as consistent and current as possible.

Since Android Enterprise Recommended launched, we’ve received great feedback from customers who are putting the program to use. Research firm IDC found that 82 percent of European Android Enterprise Recommended customers said their devices are more secure and more enterprise grade than other devices. We’ll continue to look for ways to expand this program and consistently raise the bar to help customers get more value from their investment in Android.

Hello, .dev!

Developers, designers, writers and architects: you built the web. You make it possible for the billions of people online today to do what they do. Have you ever tried to register your preferred domain name, only to find out it's not available? Today, Google Registry is announcing .dev, a brand new top-level domain (TLD) that's dedicated to developers and technology. We hope .dev will be a new home for you to build your communities, learn the latest tech and showcase your projects—all with a perfect domain name.

Check out what some companies, both big and small, are doing on .dev:

  • Want to build a website? Both GitHub.dev and grow.dev have you covered.
  • Trying to create more inclusive products? Visit accessibility.dev for digital accessibility solutions.
  • Learn about Slack’s helpful tools, libraries, and SDKs at slack.dev.
  • Connect with Women Who Code at women.dev.
  • Who doesn’t want to do more with their time? Jetbrains.dev offers software solutions that make developers more productive.
  • Want to brush up on your skills (or learn new ones)? Check out Codecademy.dev.
  • Learn how to build apps on the Salesforce platform at crm.dev.
  • Interested in learning how to increase the agility and productivity of your data team? Visit dataops.dev.
  • Want to build & deploy serverless apps on a global cloud network? You can do that with Cloudflare at workers.dev.
  • Get a sneak peek of what’s running under the hood of the Niantic Real World Platform at ar.dev.

Like our recent launches for .app and .page, this new domain will be secure by default because it requires HTTPS to connect to all .dev websites. This protects people who visit your site against ad malware and tracking injection by internet service providers, and from spying when using open WiFi networks. With every .dev website that’s launched, you help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future.

Starting today at 8:00 a.m. PT and through February 28, .dev domains are available to register as part of our Early Access Program, where you can secure your desired domains for an additional fee. The fee decreases according to a daily schedule. Beginning on February 28, .dev domains will be available at a base annual price through your registrar of choice. To find out pricing from our participating partners, visit get.dev.

Google has already started using .dev for some of our own projects, like web.dev and opensource.dev. Visit get.dev to see what companies like Mozilla, Netflix, Glitch, Stripe, JetBrains and more are doing on .dev and get your own domain through one of our registrar partners. We look forward to seeing what you create on .dev!

Fighting disinformation across our products

Providing useful and trusted information at the scale that the Internet has reached is enormously complex and an important responsibility. Adding to that complexity, over the last several years we’ve seen organized campaigns use online platforms to deliberately spread false or misleading information.

We have twenty years of experience in these information challenges and it's what we strive to do better than anyone else. So while we have more work to do, we’ve been working hard to combat this challenge for many years.

Today at the Munich Security Conference, we presented a white paper that gives more detail about our work to tackle the intentional spread of misinformation—across Google Search, Google News, YouTube and our advertising systems. We have a significant effort dedicated to this work throughout the company, based on three foundational pillars:

  • Improve our products so they continue to make quality count;
  • Counteract malicious actors seeking to spread disinformation;
  • Give people context about the information they see.

The white paper also explains how we work beyond our products to support a healthy journalistic ecosystem, partner with civil society and researchers, and stay one step ahead of future risks.

We hope this paper and increased transparency can lead to more dialogue about what we and others can do better on these issues. We're committed to acting responsibly and thoroughly as we tackle this important challenge.

6 highlights from Google for Philippines

At the first ever Google for Philippines event this week, we shared our vision for how we're going to help more Filipinos make the most of what the internet has to offer. This includes key updates and product launches that we hope can drive inclusive growth and support the Filipino people to participate in an increasingly digital world: 

Connecting Filipinos to the internet  

1. Google Station. To help improve internet access, we’re bringing Google Station to the Philippines in partnership with SMART. Together, we’re making Station available at more than 50 locations, including airports in Manila, Clark and Davao, as well as LRT 2 and MRT 3 stations by the end of this month. The platform will be at hundreds more sites country-wide by the end of the year.

2. Google Go.This AI-powered “all-in-one app” helps people, especially those coming online for the first time, discover, share and find content on the internet more easily. You can tap your way through trending queries and topics, or use your voice to say what you’re looking for, and even listen to web pages being read out-loud. Google Go is tailor-made for devices which may have less space or less reliable internet connections, with search results on the app optimized to save up to 40% data. 

Google Go G4PH

Providing relevant and localized experiences for Filipinos 

3. Jobs on Google Search. Filipino job seekers will soon be able to find job listings from sites across the web directly in Google Search as we’re bringing jobs on Google Search to the Philippines. They’ll be able to customize their job search through filters, save searches, or be notified when new relevant job postings appear. At launch, this will include half a million job listings from sites such as Department of Labor and Employment, Kalibrr, Jobayan and Jobs Cloud. To ensure that even more jobs are listed over time, we’ve published open documentation so all third-party job search platforms and direct employers can make their job openings discoverable through jobs on Google Search. 

4. Number Coding in Google Maps. Developed in partnership with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), this new feature will help drivers navigate from A to B in a way that avoids restricted roads on their coding day.

5. Digiskarteng Pinay. YouTube has always been a platform for learning. In collaboration with TESDA, Philippine Commission on Women, Cashalo and Unilever, this program will empower women by connecting them with educational content on YouTube—from health to nutrition, financial literacy and technical skills—that can support them in enhancing their livelihoods. 


Kilalanin si Jhoan: Isang Ma-Digiskarteng Pinay

Enabling MSMEs to connect with customers online

6. Making MSMEs more discoverable in partnership with PLDT Enterprise. Working with PLDT Enterprise, we’ll help businesses verify their business profiles and support them to get their businesses listed on Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps. With searches for products, stores and services “near me” doubling in the last 3 years, we believe this is an incredible opportunity for Filipino businesses to reach new customers. 

Smart regulation for combating illegal content

We've written before about how we're working to support smart regulation, and one area of increasing attention is regulation to combat illegal content.

As online platforms have become increasingly popular, there’s been a rich debate about the best legal framework for combating illegal content in a way that respects other social values, like free expression, diversity and innovation. Today, various laws provide detailed regulations, including Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States and European Union’s e-Commerce Directive.

Google invests millions of dollars in technology and people to combat illegal content in an effective and fair way. It’s a complex task, and–just as in offline contexts—it’s not a problem that can be totally solved. Rather, it’s a problem that must be managed, and we are constantly refining our practices.

In addressing illegal content, we’re also conscious of the importance of protecting legal speech. Context often matters when determining whether content is illegal. Consider a video of military conflict. In one context the footage might be documentary evidence of atrocities in areas where journalists have great difficulty and danger accessing. In another context the footage could be promotional material for an illegal organization. Even a highly trained reviewer could have a hard time telling the difference, and we need to get those decisions right across many different languages and cultures, and across the vast scale of audio, video, text, and images uploaded online. We make it easy to easily submit takedown notices; at the same time, we also create checks and balances against misuse of removal processes. And we look to the work of international agencies and principles from leading groups like the Global Network Initiative.

A smart regulatory framework is essential to enabling an appropriate approach to illegal content. We wanted to share four key principles that inform our practices and that (we would suggest) make for an effective regulatory framework:

  • Shared Responsibility: Tackling illegal content is a societal challenge—in which companies, governments, civil society, and users all have a role to play. Whether a company is alleging copyright infringement, an individual is claiming defamation, or a government is seeking removal of terrorist content, it’s essential to provide clear notice about the specific piece of content to an online platform, and then platforms have a responsibility to take appropriate action on the specific content. In some cases, content may not be clearly illegal, either because the facts are uncertain or because the legal outcome depends on a difficult balancing act; in turn, courts have an essential role to play in fact-finding and reaching legal conclusions on which platforms can rely.

  • Rule of law and creating legal clarity: It’s important to clearly define what platforms can do to fulfill their legal responsibilities, including removal obligations. An online platform that takes other voluntary steps to address illegal content should not be penalized. (This is sometimes called “Good Samaritan” protection.)

  • Flexibility to accommodate new technology:While laws should accommodate relevant differences between platforms, given the fast-evolving nature of the sector, laws should be written in ways that address the underlying issue rather than focusing on existing technologies or mandating specific technological fixes. 

  • Fairness and transparency: Laws should support companies’ ability to publish transparency reports about content removals, and provide people with notice and an ability to appeal removal of content. They should also recognize that fairness is a flexible and context-dependent notion—for example, improperly blocking newsworthy content or political expression could cause more harm than mistakenly blocking other types of content. 

With these principles in mind, we support refinement of notice-and-takedown regimes, but we have significant concerns about laws that would mandate proactively monitoring or filtering content, impose overly rigid timelines for content removal, or otherwise impose harsh penalties even on those acting in good faith. These types of laws create a risk that platforms won’t take a balanced approach to content removals, but instead take a “better safe than sorry” approach—blocking content at upload or implementing a “take down first, ask questions later (or never)” approach. We regularly receive overly broad removal requests, and analyses of cease-and-desist and takedown letters have found that many seek to remove potentially legitimate or protected speech.

There’s ample room for debate and nuance on these topics—we discuss them every day—and we’ll continue to seek ongoing collaboration among governments, industry, and civil society on this front. Over time, an ecosystem of tools and institutions—like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, and the Internet Watch Foundation, which has taken down child sexual abuse material for more than two decades—has evolved to address the issue. Continuing to develop initiatives like these and other multistakeholder efforts remains critical, and we look forward to progressing those discussions.

Roses are red, violets are blue: six Pixel camera tips, just for you

No matter what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, you’ll probably end up taking a few photos to celebrate or capture the moment—and that's where Pixel's camera comes in. Pixel 3's camera has tools that can help you capture and get creative with your V-Day photos. Here are six tips for our beloved #teampixel.

1. Virtual Valentines

Playground is a creative mode in the Pixel camera that helps you create and play with the world around you. You can send a virtual Valentine, or make your photos and videos stand out with the new Love Playmoji pack and two sticker packs. Capture and celebrate the love in the air today and year-round with interactive hearts, fancy champagne glasses, animated love notes or lovebirds.


2. A V-Day Vision

Your Valentine always stands out to you. So make them the center of focus with Portrait Mode, and watch as the background fades into a beautiful blur… just like the world does when you’re together.

3. Mood Lighting

Romantic dinner date? Use Night Sight to capture the mood when the lights are dim. Pixel’s camera can capture the highlights of your Valentine’s celebrations, even in low light.

Night Sight

4. Picture Perfect Palentines

If you’re celebrating with your Palentines, Group Selfie Cam on Pixel 3 gives everyone the love they deserve in your group selfie.

5. Search at First Sight

The technology that lets you search what you see is baked right into Pixel 3’s camera. See a shirt that would look great on your Galentine? Use Google Lens to find something similar online. Want to know what that flower is in your bouquet? Use Google Lens to identify it. Making a last-minute dinner reservation at that restaurant on the corner? Use Google Lens suggestions to dial the number on their sign with just a tap in the Pixel camera.

Lens

6. Sharing is Caring

With unlimited original quality photo and video storage using Google Photos on Pixel 3, you can snap as many shots as you want. From there, you can turn them into a movie or set up a live album, so you can relive (and share) your favorite Palentines’ moments year-round with your friends.

So whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s, Palentine’s or Galentine’s day, Pixel 3’s camera can help you capture your favorite moments with your favorite people.

Lost in translation? Try interpreter mode with the Google Assistant

It’s easier than ever to meet new people and explore new places—but language barriers that prevent us from talking to each other still exist. With the Google Assistant, we're focused on creating the best way to get things done—regardless of who you’re communicating with or what language you speak. To help you connect with people you’re talking to, we recently introduced a new feature called interpreter mode that translates your conversations in real time.

We’ve been piloting interpreter mode at the concierge and front desks of hotels like Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Dream Downtown in New York City and Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, where guests are using it to have free-flowing conversations with hotel staff—even if they don’t speak the same language.

If you want to test out interpreter mode but don’t have an upcoming stay at these hotels—don’t worry! You can now use this feature to translate across 26 languages from the comfort of your own home. Give it a go on Google Home devices and Smart Displays, where you’ll both see and hear the translated conversation. Simply ask your Assistant, “Hey Google, be my Thai interpreter” or “Hey Google, help me speak Spanish” to get started.

To give you an idea on how people from around the world have been using interpreter mode, let’s check out how travelers have used it at hotels to experience and navigate new destinations.

hyatt1

Caesars Palace Las Vegas hosts thousands of guests each year from across the globe, and interpreter mode brings simpler, faster and more effective translation capabilities directly to their guests. Previously, if the concierge staff at Caesars Palace needed to help a non-English speaking guest, they’d have to dial their in-house translation service and pass the phone back and forth with them. Now, with interpreter mode on the Google Home Hub, concierge staff can personally provide guest recommendations in real time—leading to better service, plus quicker and easier guest transactions. In a city known for its entertainment and cuisine, guests are using the feature in languages like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian to speak with the concierge staff for help booking concerts and live theatrical performances, securing restaurant reservations, and getting directions around the Las Vegas Strip.

At Dream Downtown, the technology helps guests find exactly what they're looking for when they turn to the concierge staff for assistance. Spanish, Mandarin and French have been the three most popular languages translated, and patrons are using interpreter mode when they need to do things like check into their rooms or request amenities like towels or ice. During New York Fashion Week, a guest from France urgently needed to find supplies to complete a design project—but she only spoke a little bit of English. Using interpreter mode, she was able to translate the word “tape measure” for Dream staff, who then helped her find one at a store nearby. The guest was pleasantly surprised at how quickly she was able to get assistance—and she finished her design, right on time for the fashion show.

At Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, where the concierge team welcome numerous international guests due to the hotel’s proximity to the airport, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin have been the top translated languages. Guests typically use the feature to get help with questions about San Francisco landmarks, tourist destinations and to discover restaurants nearby. Most recently, a Korean guest used interpreter mode to help plan out his first trip to San Francisco. Without interpreter mode, he wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of local recommendations from the concierge.

interpretermodegif

Interpreter mode can help businesses better serve their guests through an improved customer experience. And this technology can be a helping hand wherever language barriers exist, including at hotels, airports, restaurants, customer service kiosks, organizations aiding humanitarian efforts and much more. If you’re part of a business interested in bringing this technology to your customers, we’d love to hear from you.

Investing across the U.S. in 2019

One year ago this week, I was in Montgomery County, Tennessee to break ground for a new data center in Clarksville. It was clear from the excitement at the event that the jobs and economic investment meant a great deal to the community. I’ve seen that same optimism in communities around the country that are helping to power our digital economy. And I’m proud to say that our U.S. footprint is growing rapidly: In the last year, we’ve hired more than 10,000 people in the U.S. and made over $9 billion in investments. Our expansion across the U.S. has been crucial to finding great new talent, improving the services that people use every day, and investing in our business.

Today we’re announcing over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centers and offices across the U.S., with major expansions in 14 states. These new investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. With this new investment, Google will now have a home in 24 total states, including data centers in 13 communities. 2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the Bay Area than in it.

This growth will allow us to invest in the communities where we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally. Our new data center investments, in particular, will enhance our ability to provide the fastest and most reliable services for all our users and customers. As part of our commitment to our 100 percent renewable energy purchasing, we’re also making significant renewable energy investments in the U.S. as we grow. Our data centers make a significant economic contribution to local communities, as do the associated $5 billion in energy investments that our energy purchasing supports.

Here’s a closer look at the investments we’re making state by state:

Map gif

Midwest

We’re continuing to expand our presence in Chicago and are developing new data centers in Ohio and Nebraska. The Wisconsin office is set to move into a larger space in the next few months—and last November we opened a Detroit office in Little Caesars Arena, where you can see into the space where the Detroit Red Wings play.

detroit office opening

Googlers and partners at our office opening in Detroit last November

South

With new office and data center development, our workforce in Virginia will double. And with a new office in Georgia, our workforce will double there as well. Data centers in Oklahoma and South Carolina will expand, and we’re developing a new office and data center in Texas.

ribbon cutting

Opening one of our data centers last year.

Northeast

Massachusetts has one of our largest sales and engineering communities outside of the Bay Area, and we’re building new office space there. In New York, the Google Hudson Square campus—a major product, engineering and business hub—will come to life over the next couple of years.

West

We’ll open our first data center in Nevada and will expand our Washington office, a key product and engineering hub. In addition to investments in the Bay Area, our investments in California continue with the redevelopment of the Westside Pavillion, and the Spruce Goose Hangar in the Los Angeles area.

googlers

Googlers at work. Our investments this year will go toward expansions in data centers and offices across the U.S.

All of this growth is only possible with our local partners. Thank you for welcoming Google into your communities—we look forward to working together to grow our economy and support jobs in the U.S.