Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

Supporting LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and business owners with digital skills training

More than 100 entrepreneurs and business owners from the LGBTQIA+ community picked up vital new digital skills at a special workshop hosted at our Sydney office this week.

Google experts shared digital tips, tricks and tools to help attendees better connect with customers and grow their businesses — especially during the busy Mardi Gras season. The session covered topics like how to be found online and have a strong presence, how search works, and how to gain better insights into what their customers want.

 Caption: Google Australia’s Head of Small Business Marketing, Richard Flanagan opens the event. 

We are grateful to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association who we partnered with us for the event — and which coincided with this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.

Research from Deloitte shows that there is a digital skills gap in Australia — with a divide between future opportunities and the digital skills Australians need to realise these. It found that Aussie small businesses with high digital engagement are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, seven times more likely to be exporting, and eight times more likely to be hiring. Despite this 90 per cent of small businesses aren’t taking the steps needed to realise this potential. The free workshop was designed to help address this gap for the LGBTQIA+ community.

 Caption: Kate Wickett and Adrian Phoon, Co-Chairs of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

We know that digital tools and skills can open up new opportunities for members and businesses of the LGBTQIA+ community. But many people are unsure what to do or where to begin, so we created these ‘Grow with Google’ workshops to help close this gap.

 Caption: Google Yash Godbole provides advice to a small business owner. 

Since 2014, Google has trained more than half a million people across Australia through online and in-person digital skills training, as well as curriculum integrated through school and partner programs.

Grow with Google aims to provide all Australians with access to digital skills training online and in-person, to help them make the most of the Internet and help close the digital skills divide. It includes an online learning hub accessible from anywhere, on any device, with hundreds of handy training modules.

Posted by Jake Evan, Small Medium Business Marketing Manager, Google Australia

Ten tips to help you and your family stay safe online

Safer Internet Day provides a timely reminder to check your privacy settings and speak to your family about staying safe online. Below are some simple tips for you to create stronger passwords, manage your settings, and browse the Internet securely.

1. Take control of data saved in your Google Account 
You can find your info, privacy, and security settings all in one place – your Google Account gives you transparency over data collected from your activity across Google services.

2. Choose the settings that are right for you with Privacy Checkup 
In just a few minutes, you can manage the types of data we collect, update what you share with friends or make public and adjust the types of ads you would like us to show you with Privacy Checkup.

3. Take the Security Checkup 
A step-by-step tool to give you personalised and actionable security recommendations to help you strengthen the security of your Google Account.

4. Manage your ads preferences with Ad Settings 
In Ad Settings, you can control what data is used to personalise ads to you.

5. Take your content anywhere with Download Your Data Your photos
Your emails. Your contacts. Even your bookmarks. You are in control of the data saved in your Google Account. That is why we created Download Your Data – so you can make a copy, back it up, or even move it to another service.

6. Create family rules about what to share 
Set clear expectations for your family about what not to share online, like photos or private info.

7. Establish boundaries for your children online with Family Link 
Family Link helps parents manage their child's Google Account and Android device so they can set digital ground rules that work for their family. You can keep an eye on screen time, limit daily access, remotely lock your child’s device.

8. Set a timer on YouTube Kids 
To put limits on how long your kids can spend watching videos with YouTube Kids and allow them to watch only collections of channels selected by trusted third parties or the YouTube Kids team.

9. Manage your child’s access to websites with Chrome 
You can manage your child’s access to websites when they are using the Chrome browser on their Android or ChromeOS device and block sites that you don’t want them to visit.

10. Discover our safety programs
The eSmart Digital Licence program, provided by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation with funding from Google. helps to prepare children for the best and worst of the web.

To find out more, visit the Google Safety Centre for updated resources, easy security tips and information dedicated to educating and empowering people on important topics like data security, privacy controls and how to use technology in a way that is right for your family.

Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet. We hope that you take the opportunity today and regularly throughout the year to use these tools to stay safe online.

Data Privacy Day: Seven ways we protect your privacy

Keeping you safe online is a top priority at Google, especially for the thousands of Googlers who work on privacy and security around the world. Marking Data Privacy Day, we’re sharing some of the many ways we keep you safe online and across our products—from built-in protections to easy-to-use tools that keep you in control of your privacy.

1. Keep your passwords safe 

Password Manager in your Google Account helps you remember and securely store strong passwords for all your online accounts. With Password Checkup, one click will tell 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 in a third-party data breach—and we’ll give you the link to change them.

2. Let Google automatically delete your data
With auto-delete for Location History, Web and App Activity and YouTube History, you can choose to have Google automatically delete your activity and location history every 3 or 18 months. You can also control what data is saved in your account with easy on/off controls in your Google Account, and even delete your data by date, product, and topic.

3. Browse the web safely with Chrome 
Safe Browsing in Chrome automatically protects you from malicious ads and warns you before you visit dangerous sites or download suspicious files. If you use Chrome, your password protections are automatically built-in. We’ll warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a known breach as you log into websites.

4. Use your favourite Google apps in Incognito mode 
Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008, and last year we added it to YouTube and Google Maps. Tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account. When you turn off Incognito mode, you’ll return to a personalised Google Maps experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you.

5. Try hands-free privacy controls with the Google Assistant 
You can also manage your privacy settings with help from the Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week” to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account, or “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you,” to tell the Assistant to forget what it heard if the Assistant responds to something that wasn’t actually a question or request. And to learn how Google keeps your data private and secure, just ask, “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?”

6. Check in on your privacy settings across your apps and devices 
Data Privacy Day is a great time to check in on your privacy and security settings. Take a Privacy Checkup and we’ll walk you through key privacy settings step-by-step. You can do things like choose what data—such as your location and search history—gets saved to your Google Account or control what ads you see. When you’re finished, head over to Security Checkup for personalised recommendations to help protect your data and devices, like managing which third-party apps have access to your account data.

7. Control what ads you see from Google 
We do not sell your personal information to anyone and give you transparency, choice and control over how your information is used. If you’re curious about why you’re seeing an ad, you can click on Why this ad for more information. If you no longer find a specific ad relevant, you can choose to block that ad by using the Mute this ad control. And you can always control the kinds of ads you see, or turn off ads personalisation any time in your Ad Settings.

No matter how you use our products, it’s our responsibility to keep your data private and secure. That’s why we work every day to build the best privacy experiences and strongest protections, and we’ll continue our ongoing efforts to make privacy and security simpler for you.

Celebrating community and resilience

Resilience and a sense of community have long been part of Australia’s national identity. We’ve seen that on display in spades in recent weeks and months as people across the country have battled horrific bushfires.

Countless communities have been impacted, with more than 10 million hectares burned, many lives tragically lost and thousands of homes damaged. An estimated billion animals have perished or been seriously injured. The impact on our landscape, flora and fauna has been devastating.

26 January means different things for different Australians, but we are united in our respect and admiration for our Australian firefighters, emergency services personnel and to all those who volunteer to help people in need.

Today’s Doodle recognises their contribution across the nation. Inspired by their bravery, resilience and efforts in the midst of crisis, we chose to honour and celebrate them with a Doodle featuring three firies and a koala, highlighting the volunteers and the people, places and wildlife they are trying to protect.

With several months of summer to go, more bushfires are expected. While searches for “fires near me” were already the top trending Search query in Australia in 2019, finding information about fires nearby continues to be top of mind for many Aussies. We hope that tools like the crisis map can be helpful when people are looking for timely information about the bushfires, and that support like our digital skills training can help communities get back on their feet in the months and years to come.

To all the fire and emergency services personnel and volunteers across Australia - thank you for all that you do.

Note: As the recovery continues, you can find out more and contribute to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund here

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.