Monthly Archives: September 2011

Google News launches redesign in UK and India

Starting today, we’ll be rolling out changes to some international versions of Google News in an effort to unify the News experience across editions. As in the U.S. version, these changes offer richer visual navigation, help you find trending and popular news more easily, give you the option to further customize your news experience, and allow you to share pieces you care about in a simpler way.

We’ve also been working to give you a closer relationship with the publishers you love, who can now highlight some of their most compelling content right on your Google News homepage.

In order to bring you the best Google News experience possible, we’ll be periodically refreshing select editions, starting with the U.K. and India. We hope you enjoy these enhancements. As always, please feel free to submit your feedback or visit our Help Center if you have more questions.

It’s now easier to set up Google Analytics Site Search tracking for your Custom Search Engine

Google Analytics Site Search reports provide extensive data on how people search your site once they are already on it.  You can see initial searches, refinements, search trends, which pages they searched from, where they ended up, and conversion correlation.  In the past we admit that setup was a little challenging, but we’re happy to announce that now we’ve made it easy to setup Site Search tracking directly from your Custom Search Engine.

If you are already a Google Analytics user (and your site has the Google Analytics tracking code on its pages), go to the Custom Search Engine management page, select your CSE’s control panel and click on Google Analytics from the left-hand menu.  We’ll display a list of your Google Analytics web properties so you can select one and tell us the query and category parameters that you want to track.

Once you save your changes, we’ll generate a new code snippet.  Copy it from the Get Code page, paste it into your site and setup is complete!


 You can then access Site Search reports from the Content section of Google Analytics.


Happy analyzing!  If needed, you can find help with setup here and an explanation of the differences between Google Analytics and Custom Search statistics here.  Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Posted by: Zhong Wang, Software Engineer

Integrate Google Web Fonts selection into your apps

We’ve received lots of requests from developers for a dynamic feed of the most recent web fonts offered via Google Web Fonts. Such a feed would ensure that you can incorporate Google Web Fonts into applications and menus dynamically, without the need to hardcode any URLs. The benefits of this approach are clear. As Google Web Fonts continues to add fonts, these fonts can become immediately available within your applications and sites.

To address this need, we’ve built the Google Web Fonts Developer API, which provides a list of fonts offered via Google Web Fonts. Results can be sorted by alpha, date added, popularity, number of styles available, and trending (which is a measure of fonts growing rapidly in usage). Check out the documentation to get started.

Some developers have helped us test this new API over the last few months, and the results are already public. Take a look at TypeDNA’s photoshop plugin as well as Faviconist, an app that makes generating favicons as simple as can be, and Google Web Fonts Families, a list of Google Web Fonts that have more than one style.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Posted by Jeremie Lenfant-Engelmann, Engineer, Google Web Fonts

Recognizing publishers’ standout content in Google News

Posted by David Smydra, Product Specialist and Justin Kosslyn, Product Manager

Every day, news organizations and journalists around the world dedicate significant time and resources toward some of the most critical types of coverage: exceptional original reporting, deep investigative work, scoops and exclusives, and various special projects that quite clearly stand out. Today, during a Google News workshop at the Online News Association conference in Boston, we introduced a new content tag for the US edition that will help us better feature this “standout” content and give even more credit where credit is due.

If you put the tag in the HTML header of one of your articles, Google News may show the article with a ‘Featured’ label on the Google News homepage and News Search results. The syntax for this new tag is as follows:

<link rel="standout" href=“” />

You can use the tag to point to your own content or to point to other sources with standout stories. Because the Standout tag belongs in the HTML header of your articles, it will only be seen by automated systems like Google News, not by direct readers of your articles themselves. 

Standout Content tags work best when news publishers recognize not just their own quality content, but also the original journalistic contributions of others when your stories draw from the standout efforts of other publications. Linking out to other sites is well recognized as a best practice on the web, and we believe that citing others’ standout content is important for earning trust as you also promote your own standout work. 

At this point, we ask news organizations to use the Standout tag to cite their own content at most seven times in each calendar week. If a site exceeds that limit, it may find that its tags are less recognized, or ignored altogether. A news organization may cite standout stories from other news sources any number of times each week.

To be clear, Standout tags are just one signal among the many signals that algorithmically determine prominence on Google News. We recognize the importance of giving credit where credit is due, and believe this tag can be a step in the right direction -- but it will only succeed if the publisher community helps it succeed. We have experimented in the past with other metatags, and have applied feedback from those efforts to this initiative. As we monitor how the Standout tag is applied, we'll look forward to sharing further observations or updates.

To learn more about how the Standout tag works and how you can implement it on your site, visit our Help Center article.

Submit Pagemaps directly to Custom Search

Custom Search users have long been able to create Richer Snippets by adding Pagemaps to their webpages. Today we’re enabling direct submission of Pagemaps via either Sitemaps or On-Demand Indexing requests. This means you no longer have to modify your pages to expose Pagemaps, or wait for Google to crawl your site to process them. This saves time when you want to make a quick change to your metadata. If you have data you would like to be displayed on your site, such as reviews snippets, you can submit it directly to Google instead of putting it in publicly visible markup on your pages. For added security, you can even choose to add a private key to your Pagemap and we will only serve it in Custom Search results when that key is provided.

We hope you enjoy the added convenience these new submission options offer. Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Posted by: Rui Jiang, Software Engineer

Gmail Liberates Recorded Chat Logs Via IMAP

Enough of these goofy videos for Google Takeout. It’s time for an instructional screencast video instead.

This week, Gmail added support for downloading your recorded chat logs via IMAP. All of the entries that you can see in your Gmail chats label will now be delivered to your local email client if it is configured to use IMAP.

We have some information about how to set up and use IMAP for Gmail liberation on our site, but since chat liberation has been requested by many users in the past (both on twitter and our moderator page), here is a screencast that demonstrates this new feature in use.

If you already use IMAP to synchronize your Gmail account to a local device, enabling this new chat log export is as simple as clicking on the “Show in IMAP” checkbox for Chats in the Labels tab of your Gmail settings.

Source: Data Liberation

New on the Menu: Google Voice for Google Takeout

If you use Google Voice to manage your phone-life, we’ve got some good news: your data -- from call history, to voicemail (including transcripts!), to greetings and recordings -- is now available in Google Takeout. Starting today, you can download a copy of all your voice communications along with data from other products with one click. Voicemail messages and greetings are exported as mp3s, text messages as microformatted html, and forwarding phone numbers as a vcard.

Give it a shot, either with all your Google Takeout data, or by itself.

One more product liberated - and many more to go!

Source: Data Liberation