Author Archives: anzprteam

Tools for small businesses impacted by bushfires

The devastating bushfires have impacted communities across Australia. Countless small businesses have been affected - both directly through damage to premises and as customers can’t reach their business in the way they usually would.

Online tools can help to get information out and reach these audiences. We’re working to assist small businesses to help address immediate issues with their online presence.

Businesses impacted by the bushfires may want to consider taking the following steps on their Google My Business profile to provide the most timely and accurate information on Google Search and Maps:

  • Editing your hours of operation so customers can know if they are open, closed, or have modified hours on Google Search and Maps. 
  • If you’re unable to be at your physical business location, update your business phone number to your mobile phone, so you can answer business calls remotely. 
  • Create free posts to communicate timely information like service changes or inventory updates directly on the Google My Business profile. 
  • Download the free Google My Business app, and activate messaging on your Business Profile to allow customers text you directly from Google Search and Maps. 

Businesses impacted by bushfires can seek assistance related to their Google Ads campaigns by contacting the bushfire support hotline on 1800 287 850. We can help you pause campaigns, get help with payments, or start new campaigns as your business picks up.

We are also hosting free digital skills training sessions for small businesses in impacted communities to help them get back on their feet. Our first training will be in Shellharbour on 10 March 2020 and you can find more details about upcoming events at Grow with Google.

Support for bushfire relief efforts

Australians and people around the world have watched in horror as the recent bushfire crisis unfolded. Communities right across Australia have been impacted, with more than 10 million hectares burned, thousands of homes damaged, wildlife injured or killed and 27 lives tragically lost to date. Our thoughts are with all those suffering.

Throughout the bushfire crisis, Australians have searched for updates on fire conditions near them, as well as safety information. In 2019, “fires near me” was the highest Search query in Australia, highlighting the demand for accurate and timely information. We’ve provided support to help ensure people can access information from fire and emergency services authorities when they need it most. 

In December, we announced Google staff in Australia had led a fundraising effort for the Australian Red Cross for bushfire relief. This campaign with staff donations, matched contributions and a grant from Google’s charitable arm has raised more than $3 million (AUD) to date for the Australian Red Cross, WWF and bushfire response and long-term recovery efforts. We hope this can play some part in helping affected communities.

More immediately, we’ve worked with Infoxchange to add a bushfire services section to the Ask Izzy website, which lists over 370,000 support services across Australia to connect people with help in times of need.

Australians are renowned for helping each other in times of need and our thoughts are with everyone impacted and those still at risk.

In coming months we will offer Grow with Google digital skills training for small businesses in impacted communities to help them get back on their feet and connect with customers. Our first free training for small businesses and nonprofits will be in Shellharbour on 10 March 2010.

More details to come about the training available near you. And stay tuned for updates as we continue to work with fire and emergency services to connect Australians with information when they need it most.


Muselk to Host 12- Hour Livestream with LazarBeam Today to Benefit Australian Bushfire Crisis; First YouTube Livestream for Valkyrae to Begin Tuesday, January 14 

YouTube today announced that the platform will be the exclusive live streaming home for three well-renowned gaming creators: LazarBeam, Muselk and Valkyrae who combined have over 21 million subscribers. As the largest global gaming platform where over 200 million logged-in users watch gaming every single day, YouTube is continuing to bolster its global gaming content with today’s announcement.
With an already healthy audience on the platform, LazarBeam (12.3M subscribers) has the eighth most viewed channel on YouTube with over 2B views in 2019; Muselk (8.15M subscribers) whose boundless excitement for gaming has driven him to gain 7.8M subscribers over the last two years; and Valkyrae, a rising superstar live streamer on the verge of breaking 1M subs on YouTube. All three will continue to grow their presence on the platform and Muselk and Valkyrae will kick off their first-ever YouTube live streams today (Muselk) and tomorrow, January 14 (Valkyrae).
Muselk, in coordination with Click Management and LazarBeam, will host a 12 hour charity livestream with the goal to raise $1M AUD for the Australian Bushfire Crisis. To get involved, tune into Muselk’s channel at 2:00 PST today and donate at the #FightTheFires GoFundMe page.
Lannan (LazarBeam) is one of the world's biggest content creators, with over 12 million subscribers. Starting on YouTube in 2015, Lannan quickly found an audience with his down to earth personality and humor. His Aussie larrikin personality resonated with a huge audience, as he showed people you don't have to be the best to have fun gaming. Moving to Fortnite in 2018, Lannan's growth exploded, and he has since grown to be one of the top ten most viewed gaming creators in the world. Through starting streaming on YouTube, Lannan’s aim is to 'do more,' by showing his audience a different side of himself, experimenting with new digital content, and creating a bigger impact on the world of entertainment. His deal with YouTube was brokered by WME and Click Management.
Elliott (Muselk) has loved gaming since he was a kid. Originally studying to earn a law degree, Elliott started making YouTube videos after classes at night. As his passion grew, so too did his audience, and through convincing his parents to let him 'take a six month break' from university, he never looked back, jumping full time into content creation on YouTube. Elliott has grown to an 8 million subscriber audience through his palpable love for games. He is passionate about helping other creators grow in the industry and is a co-owner of Click Management, one of the leading talent management agencies for digital gaming creators. His deal with YouTube was brokered by WME and Click Management.
Rachell Hofstetter (Valkyrae) is a top female Fortnite creator who previously streamed games such as Witcher 3, Hearthstone and Dark Souls. She was invited to the Fortnite PRO AM tournament at E3 2019 and saw explosive growth following the event on Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. Rachell was the first female member to join top esports organization 100 Thieves. Beyond her Fortnite success, Rachell is known for her diverse content, including her collaborations with other creators, vlogs, and charity streams for philanthropic initiatives such as the Gamers Outreach Foundation. She also has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle in the world of live streaming. She plans to use YouTube’s global reach to translate the importance of mental and physical well-being to viewers across the world. Her deal with YouTube was brokered by UTA.
“Gaming on YouTube just had its best year yet. We saw over 35 million people upload a gaming video in 2019, we had live stream events like Fortnite ‘The End,’ where over 4 million people tuned in and we added incredible creators like Lachlan and CouRage to our ever expanding roster of exclusive live streamers,“ said Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming, YouTube. “Every gaming creator, no matter where they live stream, is a YouTube gaming creator, and we’re proud to be the home of the best gaming content in the world. 2020 is poised to be even better than 2019 with the exciting content we know will be coming from LazarBeam, Muselk and Valkyrae. We’re so excited to have them be a part of our global live streaming family.”
“I’m so excited to join YouTube as a streamer!,” said Valkyrae. “From day one, the YouTube team has been fully aligned with all of my goals. With the support from YouTube, my family and my fans, I will not only continue to do my best as a streamer, but I will also venture into other areas of content and grow my brand even further! I am so grateful for the opportunities and for all my loyal fans who have stuck with me though all my decisions throughout my career. I can’t wait for the next chapter!” 
“Livestreaming is an incredible opportunity to both grow my channel as well as have even more meaningful interactions with my audience,” said Muselk. “I’m so happy to have YouTube as my home for that, and bring my viewers both my video and live content together on the same platform!”

10,000 Australians trained through Digital Springboard

Infoxchange and Google Australia launched Digital Springboard in 2018 to help address Australia’s digital skills shortage by delivering face-to-face training across the country.

The program aims to improve digital skills for all, while supporting transitions to work and career growth through courses that build job readiness skills, as well as topics like social media strategy and an introduction to coding.

This week, the program reached a milestone of 10,000 people trained, helping people across the country get the digital skills they need to apply for a job or reach the next level in their career.

The courses are delivered face-to-face in partnership with more than 150 community groups, libraries and not-for-profits.

Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs said he was proud of the impact that Digital Springboard has had in communities from Perth to Gundagai, the Barossa Valley, Shepparton and beyond to boost digital skills.

“We’ve heard some amazing stories along the way from the people who’ve come along to our sessions,” Mr Spriggs said.

“A chef who’d been out of work for some time had created a CV with his job network provider but wasn’t getting any job offers, after he completed our Digital Springboard Build a CV course and learned about online tools that could strengthen his CV, he got the first position he applied for.”

“Our data shows that participants across the board feel more knowledgeable about the topic and more confident putting their new digital skills into practise after attending a Digital Springboard course.”

You can find details on Digital Springboard’s reach and impact here. To find out more about the program and courses near you, check out Digital Springboard.

Map out your holidays with these tips from Google Maps

The holidays are rapidly approaching–which means a time of food, family and fun. As we kick off this season, feast your eyes on our best Google Maps tips to help you save time, reduce stress and navigate the festivities with ease.

Let Google Maps be your ultimate sidekick 
Google Maps is here to help you get around, explore your city and get your holiday to-do list done efficiently–while maintaining your sanity. Check out our favourite tips to keep your festive season as stress free as possible:

  • Search along your route: If you’re on the road and realise you need to make a stop–say you’re running low on fuel or-gasp!-found out the ham was burned–use Google Maps to search for a servo, butcher or other places along your drive so you can tackle your tasks without going too far out of your way. 
  • Share your ETA: No one likes having to wait to pop the Christmas crackers. Let friends and family know when they can expect you with just a few taps. 
  • Find hidden gems: If you’re heading home for the first time in a while or travelling to a new city, use the Explore tab find the best restaurants, sights and events happening in your area. 
  • Don’t get lost: If you’re exploring on foot, Live View can help you figure out which way to walk with arrows and directions clearly overlaid on the map. 
  • Save precious time: Use the Popular Times feature to see when holiday destinations are most crowded so you can know exactly when to visit. 

For Sydneysiders, we’ve also mapped the trends to help locals better avoid holiday crowds, or find places and activities your whole family will enjoy.
Avoid the crowds
Holiday crowds can easily transform a quick stop into an hours-long adventure. To save you time, we analysed Popular Times data at bakeries, liquor stores, movie theatres and shopping centres during Christmas week so you can know exactly when the crowds tend to peak and when to avoid them. Pro-tip: If you don't like lines, avoid shopping centres on Christmas Eve around 2pm!

Inspiration for travelling family and friends 
If you have friends and family joining you this festive season, and want to show them some local sights, take them out for a meal to give you and your kitchen a rest, or pick up a Boxing Day bargain, we’ve got the top trending places. No surprises we’re headed outdoors -- park cricket anyone?
Happy holidays!

Got cravings? Order it with a little help from Google Search and Maps

Whether you need your morning coffee, a mango smoothie on-the-go or pizza delivery, pre-ordering food can save the day (and a long wait in a queue) when you need it.
Starting today, we’re making it even easier to order food, right on Google Search or Maps. From well known cafes and restaurants like Boost Juice, Chatime, Domino’s, Grill'd, Guzman y Gomez, Pizza Hut and many local cafes and restaurants via HeyYou (with more coming soon!), you can now order takeaway with a few simple clicks. You’ll also be able to request home delivery through Pizza Hut and participating Domino’s.
Look out for the “Order Takeaway” or “Order Online” buttons (for home delivery with Pizza Hut and participating Domino’s) in Google Search and Maps when you search for a restaurant or type of cuisine. For participating restaurants, you can make your selections with just a few taps, choose to pick-up as soon as possible, and check out with Google Pay. You can also choose to quickly reorder your go-to meal by selecting your usual dish.
So, what are you craving today?
If you’re part of a business and would like to bring this technology to your customers, let us know.

Helping provide information during the bushfire crisis

Throughout the bushfires crisis over the past few weeks and months, Australians have searched for updates on fire conditions near them, as well as help and safety information. This was reflected in our 2019 Year in Search list published last week, which shows that ‘fires near me’ was the highest Search query in Australia for the year.

The emergency services already provide a wealth of information, so using that data we want to make sure that people can access timely and useful bushfire information when they come to Google Search and Maps. Working with emergency services we launch SOS alerts as a crisis unfolds to provide the most useful and authoritative information through Search, Maps and Android Notifications.

We also use the Google Crisis Map to inform people of current bushfire locations, as well as the alert level, so they can take the necessary action as per guidance from the emergency services.

In addition to product support, Google staff in Australia have led a global fundraising effort over the last month, with staff donations, matched contributions and a grant from raising $500,000 for the Australian Red Cross for bushfire relief.

As the bushfires continue, we are working with the Fire and Emergency Services in all states and territories to ensure coverage across Australia to give people and communities relevant information available when they need it most.

Your Pixel phone just got helpful with the new Google Assistant and feature drops

What if you could buy a phone that got more helpful over time? With a Pixel phone, that’s exactly what you get, with regular feature updates and product improvements rolling out over the life of your phone.

Aussies who own a Pixel 4 can now start enjoying the all new Google Assistant in English. So, what’s new?

  • Get help faster: Thanks to a deeper integration into Pixel 4, the Google Assistant is now a faster way to get more things done. Breakthroughs in speech processing mean that more requests can happen right on your phone, without always sending your request to the cloud.

  • Multitask seamlessly: We redesigned the Assistant so it doesn’t take up too much room on your screen, letting you better multitask across other apps. It can quickly open apps and search, share what's on your screen, and more.

  • Enjoy smarter answers and actions: The new Google Assistant considers the context of your query to give you more helpful answers. For example, you can ask the Assistant to “show my photos from Palm Beach” and then say “the ones with Sophie.” Then, you can share a picture by saying “send it to Mum.”

The new Google Assistant will roll out to AU Pixel 4 devices in English by Dec 31st, 2019.

This month, Pixel owners will also get even more helpful features – like simplifying portrait photos, making Duo calls more seamless, speeding up and making Google Maps more accurate – in our first Pixel feature drop, coming to a range of Pixel devices. Pixel owners will get software updates that unlock new features and apps so you get that new phone feeling without needing to upgrade.

Portrait Blur for all

Whether you have a Pixel 1, 2, 3, 3a or 4, it’ll be easier than ever to snap a great photo with features like Dual Exposure controls and the new and improved Night Sight that captures the stars with astrophotography. And we wanted to give Pixel owners an even easier way to take great pictures, starting with portrait mode. Now, you can make any photo a portrait on Pixel by blurring the background post-snap to get a beautiful portrait-like photo every time. So whether you took the photo years ago, or you forgot to turn on portrait mode, you can easily give each picture an artistic look with Portrait Blur in Google Photos.

Portrait Blur is already rolling out to Pixel 2, 3, 3a and 4 users – and will hit all Pixels in the coming weeks. To get the new feature drop, update to the latest version of Android and go to the Play Store to start your download.

Pixel 4 owners will also enjoy faster, better calls via Duo as part of this feature drop. The new on-device AI built into Pixel 4 helps keep your audio consistent, the advanced display helps reduce choppy video chatting – and Duo will automatically adjust to keep you in the frame during a video call.

Pixel phones have always received quarterly updates to improve performance and make your device safer with bug fixes and incremental improvements. Now, Feature Drops will bring more helpful and fun features to users on a regular basis to continue to make your Pixel better than ever.

YouTube’s Ongoing Commitment to the Christchurch Call: Wellington Incident Response Workshop

This time last week, 120 experts across Governments, companies, civil society and NGOs converged in Wellington to participate in a YouTube-hosted Incident Response Workshop. We developed the programme as part of our ongoing commitment to the Christchurch Call, in consultation with the New Zealand Government and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). The Workshop aimed to refine and strengthen the collective response in the event of another terror attack with an online component. It was particularly important to work with civil society groups on this and the Atlantic Council played an integral role in content developing scenarios and facilitation.

Two months after the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron led the launch of the Christchurch Call at a summit in Paris, as a commitment by Governments and tech companies to eliminate terror and violent extremist content online. Since then, at further meetings in Aqaba, Jordan and in New York at the United Nations General Assembly, we’ve seen continued work including the announcement that the GIFCT would become an independent body.

Jacinda Ardern and YouTube’s Managing Director APAC, Gautam Anand, opened the two-day workshop with an address to the attendees.

This Incident Response Workshop was the next step in the development of the Christchurch Call and it delivered on its three key objectives:

  • We worked in a multi-stakeholder format and developed stronger partnerships across companies, governments, civil society and NGOs.
  • We stress tested the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol - alongside other relevant protocols, against evolving risks and scenarios.
  • We gathered critical feedback from those present, in order to inform the future agenda of the GIFCT’s crisis response working group.

YouTube was honoured to host this workshop and will continue to work together with the GIFCT, governments and civil society to tackle these issues.

Post content

Year in Search: Here’s what Aussies searched for in 2019

From bushfires to rugby and plant-based recipes – our Searches showed our greatest curiosities, quirks and cravings in 2019.

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the moments that had Aussies searching, wondering – and baking scones. It's been a year of battling bushfires, following elections and learning how to #kicklikeagirl. We welcomed a Royal Baby, bid farewell to some of the greats, and looked for answers during crises. Whether we were building decks, looking to vote or solving rubix cubes, we turned to Search when we wanted to learn, understand or needed a helping hand.

Here's a summary of five themes that defined Search in Australia in 2019:
Fires, floods and disasters

2019 was the year we navigated natural disasters, both on our shores and abroad. “Fires near me” was the highest Search query in Australia for the year – and our top trending News Searches included “NSW fires,” “Cyclone Oma,” and “Townsville flooding.” Beyond our borders, we showed our concern for the Amazon and asked why it was burning. We also tried to make sense of atrocities and attacks, searching for Christchurch and Sri Lanka – and why Hong Kong is protesting.
All about sport

Whether we were watching live, following our teams or looking up scores, our passion for sport came through in Search. We followed the Rugby, Cricket and Basketball World Cups – and tuned into the Ashes.

Female sports stars also shone bright in Search this year. Ash Barty topped the list of top trending Aussies overall, Tayla Harris was the top football player – while queries for “Women’s World Cup” were among the top trending Searches for sporting events in Australia.

Crafty, creative and curious

Aussies were full of questions and projects in 2019, both big and small. We embarked on DIY craft, beauty and home renovation projects – asking how to make beeswax wraps, face masks, and decorations. We certainly didn’t shy away from large-scale projects however, as the top trending DIY Search was “how to build a deck.”

Our questions ranged from practical, political, pop-cultural, scientific and religious. As Aussies hit the polling booths, we looked for help on how to vote. We also wondered how to pronounce “psalm,” what a VSCO girl and astrophysicist is – along with the timeless question, “How to win the Powerball.” Madonna was also a subject of our Search attention as we wondered why she wore an eye patch at Eurovision, which led the list of top trending “Why is…?” queries.
Colourful cravings

From scones to risotto, apple pie to fried rice, Aussies had a palette for all kinds of sweet, savoury and multicultural dishes this year. While we looked up hearty classics like osso buco and beef stroganoff, Searches for “plant based recipes” took the cake in 2019, leading the list of top trending recipes. And as the ketogenic craze continues, we also asked what the keto diet is.
New beginnings and goodbyes

Aussies showed their support for the Royal baby this year, as the world welcomed little Archie in May. We also bid farewell to politicians, fashion icons, sports stars and actors. We mourned the loss of local legend Bob Hawke – as well as global powerhouses, Karl Lagerfeld and Doris Day.

To dive into the data, check out Australia's full trending* lists for 2019:

Searches (Trending)

  1. Fires near me
  2. Rugby World Cup
  3. Cricket World Cup
  4. Election results Australia 2019
  5. Cameron Boyce
  6. Thanos
  7. Avengers Endgame
  8. Danny Frawley
  9. The fall of the Berlin wall
  10. Christchurch shooting

News (Trending)

  1. Election results Australia 2019
  2. Christchurch shooting
  3. NSW fires
  4. Cyclone Oma
  5. Sri Lanka
  6. NSW election
  7. Brexit
  8. Townsville flooding
  9. Royal baby
  10. Amazon fire

Sporting events (Trending)

  1. Rugby World Cup
  2. Cricket World Cup
  3. FIBA World Cup
  4. Cricket Australia
  5. Pakistan vs Australia
  6. Ashes score
  7. Copa America
  8. Ashes 4th test
  9. NRL grand final
  10. Women's World Cup

Global figures (Trending)

  1. James Charles
  2. Billie Eilish
  3. Jordyn Woods
  4. Greta Thunberg
  5. Keanu Reeves
  6. Julian Assange
  7. Lady Gaga
  8. Tsitsipas
  9. Bradley Cooper
  10. Prince Andrew

Australian public figures (Trending)

  1. Ash Barty
  2. Fraser Anning
  3. Israel Folau
  4. Cody Simpson
  5. Scott Morrison
  6. Bill Shorten
  7. Jack Vidgen
  8. George Pell
  9. Tayla Harris
  10. Chris Lilley

Loss (Trending)

  1. Cameron Boyce
  2. Danny Frawley
  3. Luke Perry
  4. Bob Hawke
  5. Annalise Braakensiek
  6. Karl Lagerfeld
  7. Keith Flint
  8. Doris Day
  9. Mike Willesee
  10. Ben Unwin

Recipes (Trending)

  1. Plant based recipes
  2. Scones recipes
  3. Beef stroganoff recipes
  4. MKR recipes 2019
  5. Apple pie recipes
  6. Frittata recipes
  7. Fried rice recipes
  8. Risotto recipes
  9. Hello Fresh recipes
  10. Osso buco recipes

How to…? (Trending)

  1. How to vote
  2. How to watch Game of Thrones
  3. How to vote labor 2019
  4. How to vote liberal
  5. How to pronounce psalm
  6. How to vote in NSW State Election
  7. How to vote early
  8. How to win Powerball
  9. How to opt out of my health
  10. How to solve a rubix cube

Why is..? (Trending)

  1. Why is Madonna wearing an eye patch at Eurovision
  2. Why is the Amazon burning
  3. Why is Australia Day on the 26th
  4. Why is the Press Club closing
  5. Why is Instagram not working
  6. Why is ASAP rocky in jail
  7. Why is Hong Kong protesting
  8. Why is Halloween celebrated
  9. Why is ANZAC day commemorated on 25 April
  10. Why is Turkey invading Syria

What is…? (Trending)

  1. What is area 51
  2. What is momo
  3. What is Brexit
  4. What is a VSCO girl
  5. What is a boomer
  6. What is keto diet
  7. What is an astrophysicist
  8. What is negative gearing
  9. What is Diwali
  10. What is vaping

Top related searches for “DIY” in 2019 in Australia (Most Searched)

  1. How to build a deck
  2. DIY face mask
  3. How to lay pavers
  4. DIY halloween costumes
  5. Beeswax wraps DIY
  6. DIY Christmas decorations
  7. DIY balloon garland
  8. DIY garage
  9. DIY lip scrub
  10. DIY dog wash

* Trending Searches: What was hot in 2019? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2019 as compared to 2018.

* Most Searched: What topped Google’s charts? The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2019—ranked in order by volume of searches.