Monthly Archives: November 2011

More flexibility for promotions

Custom Search promotions enable you to put relevant information at the top of your search results for specific queries.

Today, we’re announcing several new features to give you more flexibility on how and when to trigger them.

Regular expressions: Use regular expressions instead of verbatim query matches to make it easier to display your promotions for all relevant user queries.

Promotion URL and titles based on the user’s query: Instead of manually adding and maintaining a long list of similarly structured URLs and promotion titles, now you can use the $q variable in your promotion URL or title to replace it with the user’s query.

Enable/disable individual promotions: Manually enable or disable each promotion without affecting the others.

Promotions for Custom Search engines created in AdSense: Promotions now work for these CSEs (though they are still managed via the CSE’s control panel on the Google Custom Search site).

We hope these new features make it easier for you to use promotions on your site. For more details and instructions, please visit our help center. Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Posted by: Weiyu Zhu, Software Engineer

More Powerful +1s on Google News

Posted by Erich Schmidt, Software Engineer Over the past few months, myriad sites across the web (including Google News) have adopted the +1 button to help start conversations. But there hasn’t been an easy way for signed-in users to see what news articles your friends are enjoying -- until now. Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and people in your Google+ circles have publicly +1’d. You can see their profile pictures and click through to their Google+ profiles, just like on Social Search. And of course you can +1 the stories too, expressing your opinion and optionally sharing with your circles. Here’s what Spotlight looks like with social annotations:
We hope this change helps you find more great articles to enjoy, and gives more power to your +1s.

Iframe Custom Search Engines are transitioning to the Element

In August we transitioned all Google-hosted Custom Search Engines to the Custom Search Element. Now we are transitioning iframe CSEs as well. No work is required from CSE owners. Moving from the iframe option to the Element enables those CSEs to take advantage of our latest features, like automatic thumbnails.

If you had an iframe CSE, we encourage you to visit your Control Panel to find new tools for customized presentation and results. As always, we appreciate your feedback in the user forum.

Posted by: Liang Ch'ng, Software Engineer

The power of structured search: a new job search engine for military veterans

As we announced in our Official Google Blog post, Custom Search technology is powering the new National Resource Directory (NRD) job search engine of more than 500,000 job openings from employers around the country. This initiative is a creative application of structured search to provide a highly customized search experience.

Want to learn more about how this works? First of all, like all custom search engines, this uses the power and scale of Google search to constantly crawl the web, looking for structured data to add to the Google index. In this case, sites like have added JobPosting markup from to their sites to help search engines identify veteran-committed job openings, job title, job location, etc.

Recognizing that many job seekers are interested in jobs in their local area, the NRD did some extra work to support a location-based search. When a user specifies a location such as a city or a zipcode in a search, the location is converted into a list of nearby cities with normalized names that match those location markups in the job posting webpages.

To restrict results to only the relevant job postings, for every user query on their site, NRD sends a well formed query request to Google Custom Search including structured search operators such as filtering by cities and job codes and sorting by date to receive XML results and render them on their site.

We’re happy to contribute to this important initiative and hope the power of Google Custom Search can help more businesses to deliver creative search solutions for their users.

Posted by: Hui Xu, Technical Lead, Custom Search Team

Extensis plug-in now supports Google Web Fonts

Do you use Photoshop® to design your website? Looking to spice it up with cool web fonts like Lobster or Dancing Script? Well, now you can do that and more (with over 280 font families) using Google Web Fonts right in Photoshop®.

That’s because, today, Extensis has added support for Google Web Fonts to their Web Font Plug-in for Photoshop®. Now, the entire catalog of Google Web Fonts is only a click or two away!

In addition to making the entire catalog of Google Web Fonts easily accessible, the plug-in takes advantage of the full power of Suitcase Fusion 3. This means that any web fonts you choose to use for your designs are automatically kept up to date, and fully activated as needed. For example, this makes it easy for you to send your Photoshop® files around to your coworkers and not worry whether they have the font(s) installed — it will "just work"!

The free Extensis Web Font Plug-in for Photoshop® can be downloaded now, from:

Posted by David Kuettel, Technical Lead, Google Web Fonts

Interview with Polish Type Designer Ania Kruk

Ania Kruk is a type designer from Poznan, Poland. She currently lives and works in Barcelona and Google Web Fonts is proud to include her first published typeface, Cookie.

Q: What is your background as a designer, and how did you become interested in type design?

Actually, I'm still a beginner in the world of type design: I have drawn letters for only 2 years. I've recently graduated from the University of Arts in Poznan, Poland. Originally, I studied product design, but after 3 years I found myself more interested in graphics than in furniture.

So I took a one year break and moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I worked as an intern in Estudio Mariscal (which was quite an experience, as they were working on the 'Chico y Rita' movie at that time), and did a one-year Masters in Typography and Editorial Design at Eina, Escola de Disseny i Art.

When I came back to Poland for my last year of studies, I was 100% sure that I wanted to focus on type design.
And here I am now, 3 months after my graduation, with my first typeface to be published: Cookie :)

Q: What is your favourite part of the type design process, and why?

Generally, I'm interested in complex, narrative projects that require creating a whole from various elements (meaning: editorial design, information design, typography). Type Design is not about designing one letter, it's about creating a system: the alphabet.

I like the moment when you can start writing words and sentences with your letters, because then you can actually work on the flow and on the balance between the characters. For example, to make some of them more 'normal', transparent, in order to make others more distinctive or decorative.

Q: Designing a new typeface is a long journey. What inspires you to keep motivated throughout all the different stages?

For sure, Type Design is all about details, that an average user won't even notice, so you need to be patient to do this kind of work. I'd say I'm quite competitive, so when I see other peoples projects and I think 'Wow, that's so cool!', it get's me motivated ;) I spend an awful amount of time digging through the internet, checking out blogs, personal websites, etc.

Q: Can you recommend how other type designers can learn the skills involved in making type?

It's hard to say, because I'm still learning myself. But I'd say that calligraphy and drawing are essential to understanding the construction of the letters.

Q: What do you think could be improved about the type design process?

For me the hard part is hinting ;)

Q: What inspired you to create Cookie?

Cookie is a script typeface, based on brush calligraphy. It has a little bit of the 1950s look, that makes you think about all the beautiful ads and pin-ups from this time. It's sweet and friendly - but not too decorative. I tried to keep it simple and legible.

Q: Did you try to accomplish something specific with this typeface design, and did you succeed?

It's my first script typeface, so the whole design process was like discovering a new way of working. I wanted to create a typeface with a nice flow between the letters, and I wanted the letters to join in a natural way - that's the tough part, if you think about all the possible combinations between 26 lowercase characters. I hope it works ok...!

Q: What kinds of uses are most appropriate for this font?

Its clearly a display typeface, suitable more for titles than main texts. But it can be used for short texts, if you're aiming for a hand-written look. It will look good on an invitation, menu, recipe... poster, flyer or as a header of your blog :)

Q: What are your favourite fonts, and why?

Well, I don't really have any favourites. It all depends on the context and what you want to communicate: a typeface can be perfect for one kind of a job, but look horrible when misused.

There are some surprises: I've always considered Mistral by Roger Excoffon as very kitsch and ugly, until I've seen it in on the opening credits for the movie 'Drive'. It looked just great, combined with the music and pictures.

Highlighting journalists on Google News

Posted by Eric Weigle, Software Engineer Great journalism takes more than facts and figures -- it takes skilled reporters to knit together compelling stories. Knowing who wrote an article can help readers understand the article's context and quality, see more articles by that person, and even interact directly with them. Whole communities can form around prominent contributors, which is why we started showing information about content creators next to their material in Google Search. Accordingly, Google News is rolling out more information about journalists over the next several weeks, starting with English-language editions. When reporters link their Google profile with their articles, Google News now shows the writer’s name and how many Google+ users have that person in their circles. For the lead article for each story, Google News also shows that reporter’s profile picture and enables readers to add them to their Google+ circles right from the Google News homepage.
If you are a journalist and would like to participate, please follow the instructions in our Help Center. If you are a reader, we hope you enjoy learning more about the faces behind the news.

Thumbnail images in search results — no work required!

A picture is worth more than a thousand words when it helps search users choose the result they want. With this in mind, some webmasters have gone to a lot of effort providing thumbnails in rich snippets to improve the presentation and usability of their search results pages.  We’re happy to announce that with our latest layout improvement, Custom Search Element users who have not manually added thumbnails will get them without any additional work.

Now, Custom Search crawls your site to find representative images and automatically adds them to your search results snippets.  That’s it. No effort required from you.  Here’s an example of how they improve the search results on

To learn more about automatic thumbnails (and how to disable them), see our Help Center.

Automatic thumbnails are only available with the Custom Search Element. If you are using an iframe CSE, switch to the Element to ensure that you always have the most up-to-date features.

We hope you and your visitors enjoy this new feature. Early reviews have been positive and we look forward to your feedback.

Posted by Edison Nica, Software Engineer