Tag Archives: Events

Best practices for accessibility for virtual events

As everyone knows, most of our open source events have transformed from in-person to digital this year. However, due to the sudden change, not everything is accessible. We took this issue seriously and decided to work with one of our accessibility experts, Neighborhood Access, to share best practices for our community. We hope this will help you organize your digital events!


Virtual events can be a wonderful way to make information more accessible to people, including attendees with disabilities, but hosts often fall short in providing the appropriate logistical support needed for this audience to fully engage in the programming. In this article, we’ll go over some best practices for hosting virtual events to make them accessible to the d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Low Vision, Developmentally Disabled, and Neurodivergent communities. Since some of these accommodations require a bit of planning ahead of the event, we’ll use a timeline format to discuss what needs to be arranged and when.

Initial Planning Stages

Selecting a Platform
When selecting a video conferencing platform for your virtual event, you will want to make sure the platform has the following features:
  1. Ability to dial into the event via phone (see Accessible Event Links for more info)
  2. Ability to assign captioning to someone in the call or via a third party within the platform
Working With Your Speakers
Once you read through the rest of this guide and decide what accessibility tools you’ll use, you should brief your speakers on those practices so everyone is on the same page. For example, if you are going to do an image description of yourself (as detailed in Incorporating Audio Cues), make sure your guests do the same to provide a consistently accessible experience.

At Least 2 Weeks Before the Event

Disability Accommodation Requests
If you are hosting a large event with many attendees, you should provide accommodations like interpreters and audio description without people having to request them. If you are hosting a smaller event (<20 guests), the RSVP form for your event should link to a separate form where you will track accommodation requests. This should be a simple form that collects no identifying information about the person filling it out. A person should not have to disclose their disability in order to request accommodations; an anonymous form will get you all the information you need. The one question you need to ask is: “Are there any disability accommodations you need us to provide in order for you to fully participate in this event?” You should aim to collect this information at least two weeks before the event, so that you have ample time to arrange necessary accommodations.

Accessible Event Links
When sending a link to join a video call, be sure to include the part of the link that includes the dial-in number if you will not be providing an interpreter for the event. d/Deaf/HoH people who can access the Video Relay System (VRS) will need this number to be able to dial their interpreter into the meeting, and it is much easier for these attendees to have this ahead of time rather than trying to ask for it on the day of the event.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters
This section applies to events that have a mostly-US-based audience. If you have an international audience, you will need to ask attendees what nationality of sign language is needed. Interpreters are booked to do everything from attending doctor’s appointments with d/Deaf/HoH patients to interpreting for larger scale events. Therefore, they are quite busy, and require booking a few weeks before you need their services. One of the easiest ways to find an interpreter is through your state or city’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services provider. Most agencies are called “(State name) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services”, and if you search this term you should find the right agency. Most agencies will have you fill out a short form with a few details about your event, and then they will work to connect you with an available interpreter. Once connected, the interpreter may ask you a few additional questions about the event, so they can have any field-specific signs and names prepared ahead of time.

Live Captioning
There are several companies that offer live captioning (sometimes referred to as CART, or Communication Access Real-time Translation) for virtual events. If you are able to hire one of these services, they are your best bet—they know the ins and outs of the technology—and this gives you one less thing to stress about on the day of your event. They will usually schedule a time to perform a test run with you a few days ahead of the event, so you both can be sure things are in working order.

If you are unable to hire a service to provide live captions, most online meeting platforms give you the option to assign captioning to someone. You can have a volunteer transcribe the event, and the captions will show up for anyone who opts to see them.

Interpreting vs Live Captioning
There is a hierarchy in terms of what services to utilize in the event that you must choose between them. The best case scenario, and what you should absolutely strive for, is to have both an interpreter and live captioning. There are many people who can benefit from captions who may not benefit from sign language interpreting, and vise versa. In the event that you have to choose either an interpreter or live captioning, go with live captioning, as more people will be able to benefit from it.

One Week Before the Event

Make Your Visual Materials Accessible
There are a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your visual materials (slideshows and pictures) are accessible to Blind/Low Vision attendees. Many Blind/Low Vision people use screen readers, which read aloud the text that is on a screen. Since you cannot use screen readers during a presentation (both because the reader cannot read text in video format and because attendees will want to hear what you’re saying), you will need to provide a copy of your visual materials to attendees either before or after the event so they can review them. If you are unable to share the exact materials, try to share a version of them that has the same text. This ensures that everyone has full access to all event materials, albeit possibly at different times. Before sharing visual materials, be sure of two things:
  1. You are not sharing an image file of text. If you are sharing a slideshow, for example, do not send a PDF printout of the slides (screen readers will not recognize these as text). Instead, download and share a version of the slideshow and send that directly.
  2. You must add alt text or captions to any pictures. How you will do this varies from software to software, but instructions can usually be found on the software’s website or help forum. Here is a guide on how to do this in Google Slides..
Format Visual Elements
People with visual processing disorders, such as dyslexia, may find some fonts harder to read than others. While needs can vary from person to person, it is generally agreed that sans serif fonts (Arial) are easier to read than serif fonts (Times New Roman). Use sans serif fonts wherever possible in your visual components.

Timing the Event
Most people can benefit from a five minute break every half hour or so (the 30:5 Rule), but this is especially true for people with disabilities that impact their need to go to the bathroom, and also people who struggle with focus. Following the 30:5 Rule ensures that people have time to take care of their needs throughout the event, and that everyone will be continually focused and refreshed. Schedule these five minute breaks into your event timeline.

During the Event

Incorporating Audio Cues
When you first introduce yourself at the event, provide a verbal description of yourself and your surroundings. This allows Blind/Low Vision attendees to learn key visual characteristics about each presenter, much like how a sighted person might remember someone by their statement necklace or unique hairstyle. Here is a format you can follow:
“Hi, I’m (name). I’m going to do a quick image description of myself for any Blind/Low-Vision attendees. I’m a (race) (gender), and I’m wearing (color of shirt, notable accessories). Behind me is (color of wall, clock, etc).”
Additionally, when switching between speakers, it is crucial that you briefly state your name before talking. Many peoples’ voices sound similar, and this practice is helpful to Blind/Low Vision people who need to know who is speaking. This is also important for d/Deaf/HoH attendees who are utilizing their own interpreter via VRS, because the interpreter needs to be able to sign to them the name of the person speaking.

Content Warnings
If your presentation includes very loud noises, flashing lights, or rapidly-transitioning imagery, you need to give attendees a 10-second warning before presenting that content. This is a safety measure for people who are prone to seizures and others who are sensitive to these elements.

Verbally Highlighting Key Visual Features
If you are sharing an important image with attendees (a chart or graph, for example), be sure to verbally describe all of the important information the image relays: general trends, names of data groups, axis titles, etc. Additionally, be sure to at least summarize the text on screen (if applicable)--not everyone is able to read and listen at the same time. Blind/Low Vision attendees will not be able to fully participate in your event if they are not getting the same access to information as sighted people are.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions from the Interpreter
Sometimes, an interpreter may need to ask for clarification on something you said, either because your audio cut out, or because you used a term they have not heard before and they want to make sure they are signing it correctly. Answer interpreter questions right away, so d/Deaf/HoH attendees are able to keep up with what you’re saying.

By following these guidelines, you will ensure that your event is inclusive and engaging for all attendees. If you have questions on how to implement some of these measures, or about how your organization can benefit from becoming more accessible, visit neighborhoodaccess.org to chat with our Accessibility Consulting Team. Let’s work together to create virtual events that work for everyone!

Introduction by Teresa Terasaki, Google Open Source Programs Office
Guidelines by guest author Juliana Good, Founder and Consulting Lead – Neighborhood Access

Get ready for BazelCon 2020

With only 24 hours to go, BazelCon 2020 is shaping up to be a much anticipated gathering for the Bazel community and broader Build ecosystem. With over 1000 attendees, presentations by Googlers, as well as talks from industry Build leaders from Twitter, Dropbox, Uber, Pinterest, GrabTaxi, and more, we hope BazelCon 2020 will provide an opportunity for knowledge sharing, networking, and community building.

I am very excited by the keynote announcements, the migration stories at Twitter, Pinterest, and CarGurus, as well as technical deep dives on Bazel persistent workers, incompatible target skipping, migrating from Gradle to Bazel, and more. The “sold out” Birds of a Feather sessions and the Live Q&A with the Bazel team will bring the community together to discuss design docs, look at landings, and provide feedback on the direction of Bazel and the entire ecosystem.

We are also pleased to announce that, starting with the next major release (4.0), Bazel will support Long Term Support (LTS) releases as well as regular Rolling releases.

Some benefits of this new release cadence are:
  • Bazel will release stable, supported LTS releases on a predictable schedule with a long window without breaking changes
  • Bazel contributors / rules owners can prepare to support future LTS releases via rolling releases.
  • Bazel users can choose the release cadence that works best for them, since we will offer both LTS releases and rolling releases.
Long Term Support (LTS) releases:
  • We will create an LTS release every ~9 months => new LTS release branch, increment major version number.
  • Each LTS release will include all new features, bug fixes and (breaking) changes since the last major version.
  • Bazel will actively support each LTS branch for 9 months with critical bug fixes, but no new features.
  • Thereafter, Bazel will provide maintenance for two additional years with only security and OS compatibility fixes.
  • Bazel Federation reboot: Bazel will provide strong guidance about the ruleset versions that should be used with each Bazel release so that each user will not have to manage interoperability themselves.
Make sure that you register at http://goo.gle/bazelcon to be a part of the excitement of the premier build conference!

See you all at BazelCon 2020!

By Joe Hicks and the entire Bazel Team at Google

New Case Studies About Google’s Use of Go

Go started in September 2007 when Robert Griesemer, Ken Thompson, and I began discussing a new language to address the engineering challenges we and our colleagues at Google were facing in our daily work. The software we were writing was typically a networked server—a single program interacting with hundreds of other servers—and over its lifetime thousands of programmers might be involved in writing and maintaining it. But the existing languages we were using didn't seem to offer the right tools to solve the problems we faced in this complex environment.

So, we sat down one afternoon and started talking about a different approach.

When we first released Go to the public in November 2009, we didn’t know if the language would be widely adopted or if it might influence future languages. Looking back from 2020, Go has succeeded in both ways: it is widely used both inside and outside Google, and its approaches to network concurrency and software engineering have had a noticeable effect on other languages and their tools.

Go has turned out to have a much broader reach than we had ever expected. Its growth in the industry has been phenomenal, and it has powered many projects at Google.
Credit to Renee French for the gopher illustration.

The earliest production uses of Go inside Google appeared in 2011, the year we launched Go on App Engine and started serving YouTube database traffic with Vitess. At the time, Vitess’s authors told us that Go was exactly the combination of easy network programming, efficient execution, and speedy development that they needed, and that if not for Go, they likely wouldn’t have been able to build the system at all.

The next year, Go replaced Sawzall for Google’s search quality analysis. And of course, Go also powered Google’s development and launch of Kubernetes in 2014.

In the past year, we’ve posted sixteen case studies from end users around the world talking about how they use Go to build fast, reliable, and efficient software at scale. Today, we are adding three new case studies from teams inside Google:
  • Core Data Solutions: Google’s Core Data team replaced a monolithic indexing pipeline written in C++ with a more flexible system of microservices, the majority of them written in Go, that help support Google Search.
  • Google Chrome: Mobile users of Google Chrome in lite mode rely on the Chrome Optimization Guide server to deliver hints for optimizing page loads of well-known sites in their geographic area. That server, written in Go, helps deliver faster page loads and lowered data usage to millions of users daily.
  • Firebase: Google Cloud customers turn to Firebase as their mobile and web hosting platform of choice. After joining Google, the team completely migrated its backend servers from Node.js to Go, for the easy concurrency and efficient execution.
We hope these stories provide the Go developer community with deeper insight into the reasons why teams at Google choose Go, what they use Go for, and the different paths teams took to those decisions.

If you’d like to share your own story about how your team or organization uses Go, please contact us.

By Rob Pike, Distinguished Engineer

Recapping major improvements in Go 1.15 and bringing the Go community together

The Latest Version of Go is Released

In August, the Go team released Go 1.15, marking another milestone of continuous improvements to the language. As always, many of the updates were supported by our community of contributors in collaboration with the engineering team here at Google.

Following our earlier release in February, the latest Go build brings a slew of performance improvements. We’ve made significant changes behind the scenes to the compiler, reducing binary sizes by about 5%, and improving building Go applications to be around 20% faster and requiring 30% less memory on average.

Go 1.15 also includes several updates to the core library, a few security improvements, and much more–you can dive into the full release notes here. We’re really excited to see how developers like you, ranging from those working on indie projects all the way to enterprise devs, will incorporate these updates into your projects.

A few users have been working with the release candidates ahead of the latest build and were kind enough to share their experience.

Wayne Ashley Berry, a Senior Engineer at Over, shared that “...seeing significant performance improvements in the new releases is incredible!” and, speaking of compiler improvements, showed “one of [their] services compiling ~1.3x faster” after upgrading to Go 1.15.

This mirrored our experience within Google, compiling larger Go applications like Kubernetes which experienced 30% memory reductions and 20% faster builds.

These are just a couple examples of how some users have already seen the benefits of Go 1.15. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the gopher community will do with it!

A Better Experience For Go Developers

Over the last few months we’ve also been hard at work improving a few things in the Go ecosystem. In July, the VS Code extension for Go officially joined the Go project and more recently, we rolled out a few updates for our online resources.

We brought a few important changes to pkg.go.dev, a central source of information for Go packages and modules. With these changes came functional improvements to make the browsing experience better and minor tweaks across the site (including a cute new gopher). We also made some changes to go.dev—our hub for Go developers—making it easier to navigate the site and find examples of Go’s use in the enterprise.
The new home page on pkg.go.dev. Credit to Renee French for the gopher illustration.
We’ll be bringing even more improvements to the Go ecosystem in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Our Commitment to Open Source and Google Open Source Live

Most of these changes wouldn’t be possible without contribution from our open source community through submitting CLs to our release process, organizing community meetups, and engaging in discussions about future changes (like generics).

Being part of the open source community is something that the Go team embraces, and Google as a whole works to support every year. It’s through this community that we’re able to iterate on our work with a constant feedback loop and bring new gophers into the Go ecosystem. We’re lucky to have the support of passionate Go advocates, and even get to celebrate the occasional community gopher design!

That being said, this has been a challenging year to gather in person for meetups or larger conferences. However, the gopher community has been incredibly resilient, with many meetups taking place virtually, several of which Go team members have been able to attend.

We’d like to help the entire open source community stay connected. In that vein, we’re excited to announce that Google will host a series of free virtual events, Google Open Source Live, every month through next year! As part of the series, on November 7th, members of the Go team will be sharing community updates, some things we’ve been up to, and a few best practices around getting started with Go.

Visit the official site for the Go Day on Google Open Source Live, to learn more about registration and speakers. To keep up-to-date with the Go team, make sure to follow the official Go twitter and visit go.dev, our hub for Go developers.

By Steve Francia Product Lead, Go Team

Join our first Virtual Webmaster Unconference


While the in-person Webmaster Conference events are still on hold, we continue to share insights and information with you in the Webmaster Conference Lightning Talks series on our YouTube channel. But we understand that you might be missing the connection during live events, so we’d like to invite you to join a new event format: the first Virtual Webmaster Unconference, on August 26th, at 8AM PDT!

What is the Virtual Webmaster Unconference?

Because we want you to actively participate in the event, this is neither a normal Webmaster Conference nor a typical online conference. This event isn't just for you - it's your event. In particular, the word "Unconference" means that you get to choose which sessions you want to attend and become an active part of. You will shape the event by taking part in discussions, feedback sessions and similar formats that need your input. 


It's your chance to collaborate with other webmasters, SEOs, developers, digital marketers, publishers and Google product teams, such as Search Console and Google Search, and help us to deliver more value to you and the community.

How does it work?

We have opened the registration for a few more spots in the event again. If you're seeing "registration is closed", the spots have filled up already. We may run more events in the future, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed and this blog.



As part of the registration process, we will ask you to select two sessions you would like to participate in. Only the sessions that receive the most votes will be scheduled to take place on the event day, so make sure you pick your favorite ones before August 19th!


As we have limited spots, we might have to select attendees based on background and demographics to get a good mix of perspectives in the event. We will let you know by August 20th if your registration is confirmed. Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive the invitation for the Google Meet call on August 26th with all the other participants, the MC and the session leads. You can expect to actively participate in the sessions you're interested in via voice and/or video call through Google Meet. Please note that the sessions will not be recorded; we will publish a blog post with some of the top learnings after the event.


We have very interesting proposals lined up for you to vote on, as well as other fun surprises. Save your spot before August 19th and join the first ever Virtual Webmaster Unconference!

Three opportunities to connect with Google Open Source in June

One of our biggest challenges this year has been finding opportunities to stay connected with the many open source communities that we collaborate with across projects. As we continue to develop new ways of creating convenings with our different stakeholders, here are three opportunities to connect with Google Open Source later this month.

24 hours of Google Cloud Talks by DevRel

When: June 23, 2020
What: This is a free, digital series, organized by Google Developer Relations team, offering practitioners an opportunity to connect with our technical experts and deepen their awareness and knowledge of a variety of Google Cloud solutions including ML/AI, Serverless, DevOps, and many more.

Talks by Google Open Source:

June 23

OpenJS World

When: June 23-24, 2020
What: Organized by The Linux Foundation, and sponsored by Google, this annual event brings together the JavaScript and web ecosystem including Node.js, Electron, AMP and more. In 2020, we’re going virtual to learn and engage with leaders deploying innovative applications at massive scale.

Talks by Google Open Source:

June 23
June 24

Open Source Summit North America

When: June 29 – July 2, 2020
What: Organized by The Linux Foundation, and sponsored by Google, this event connects the open source ecosystem under one roof, summoning over 2,000 participants across 15 conference rooms. It’s a unique environment for cross-collaboration between developers, sysadmins, devops, architects, program and product managers and others who are driving technology forward.

Talks by Google Open Source:

June 29
June 30
If you attend any of these talks, and plan to share, you can tag @GoogleOSS on Twitter. We hope to see and connect with many of you at these virtual events!

By María Cruz, Google Open Source

This year in Search Spam – Webspam report 2018

Google aims to provide the highest quality results for any search. As part of this, we take action to prevent what we call “webspam” from degrading the search experience, content and behaviors that violate our webmaster guidelines. Our efforts help ensure that well under 1 percent of results visited by users are for spammy pages. Here’s more about how we fought webspam in 2018.



Google webspam trends and how we fought webspam in 2018



Of the types of spam we fought in 2018, three continue to stand out:


Spam on hacked websites: We reported in 2017 that we had seen a substantial reduction of spam from hacked websites in search results. This trend continued in 2018, with faster discovery of hacked web pages before they affect search results or put someone in harm’s way.   While we reduced how spam on hacked sites affects search, hacked websites remain a major security problem affecting the safety of the web. Even though we can’t prevent a website hack from happening, we’re committed to helping webmasters whose websites have been compromised by offering resources to help them recover from a hacked website. 


User-generated spam: A particular type of spam known as User-generated spam has been a continued focus for us. User-generated spam includes spammy posts on forums, as well as spammy accounts on free blogs and platforms, none of which are meant to be consumed by human beings, and all of which disrupt conversations while adding no value to users. In 2018, we were able to reduce the impact on search users from this type of spam by more than 80%. While we can’t prevent websites from being exploited, we do want to make it easier for website owners to learn how to protect themselves, which is why we provide resources on how to prevent abuse of your site’s public areas.


Link spam: We continued to protect the value of authoritative and relevant links as an important ranking signal for Search. We continued to deal swiftly with egregious link spam, and made a number of bad linking practices less effective for manipulating ranking. Above all, we continued to engage with webmasters and SEOs to chip away at the many myths that have emerged over the years relating to linking practices. We continued to remind website owners that if you simply stay away from building links mainly as an attempt to rank better and focus on creating great content, you should not have to worry about any of the myths or realities. We think that one of the best ways of fighting spam of all types is by encouraging website owners to just create great quality content. Resources such as the SEO starter-guide highlight best practices and bust some common myths and misconceptions related to what it takes to appear well in Google Search results. Reporting link spam is also a great way to assist us in fighting against this type of abuse and to help preserve fairness in Search ranking.



Working with users, webmasters and developers for a better web

Everyday users continue to help us find spam, malware and other issues in Search that escape our filters and processes by reporting spam on search, reporting phishing or  reporting malware. We received over 180,000 search spam user reports and we were able to take action on 64% of the reports we processed. These reports truly make a difference and we’d like to thank all of you who submitted them. 


We think it’s important to let website owners known when we detect something wrong with their website. In 2018, we generated over 186 million messages to website owners calling out potential improvements, issues and problems that could affect their site’s appearance on Search results. We can only deliver these notifications to site owners that verified their sites in Search Console, and we successfully delivered 96 million of those messages. The rest of the messages will be kept linked with the website for as long as they are relevant, so they can be seen when a webmaster successfully registers their site in Search Console. The majority of these messages were welcoming new users to Search Console, and the second largest group was informing registered Search Console users when Mobile-First Indexing became available. Of all messages, slightly over 2%—about 4 million—were related to manual actions resulting from violations of our Webmaster Guidelines. 


High quality content keeps spam off of search results, and we continued to improve the tools and reports we offer for webmasters that create that content. The Google Search Console was completely rebuilt from the ground up to provide both new and improved reports (Performance, Index Coverage, Links, Mobile Usability report), as well as brand new features (URL Inspection Tool and Site and User management). This improved Search Console graduated out of beta in 2018 and is now available generally to all registered website owners.


We didn’t forget the front-end developers who make the modern web work, and focused on helping them make their sites great for users and also search-friendly regardless of whether they are on a CMS, roll their own CSS and JS, or build on top of a web framework. With the new SEO audit capability in Lighthouse, the open-source and automated auditing tool for improving the quality of web pages, developers and webmasters can now run actionable SEO health-checks on their pages and quickly identify areas for improvement.


We also engage directly with website owners to provide help with thorny issues. Our dedicated team members meet with webmasters around the world regularly, both online and in-person. We delivered more than 190 online office hours, online events and offline events in more than 76 cities, to audiences totaling over 170,000 including SEOs, developers and online marketers. We hosted four search events in Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich and Osaka as well as an 11-city Search Conference in India. In 2018, we started live office hours in Spanish on top of English, French, German, Hindi and Japanese, where Webmasters can find help, tips and useful discussion on our Google Webmaster YouTube channel. Product experts continued to help webmasters find solutions through our official support forums in over a dozen languages. 


We look forward to continuing our work to deliver a spam-free Search experience to all in 2019!


Posted by Juan Felipe Rincón, Webmaster Outreach, Dublin

ZuriHac 2018: Haskell hackathon in Rapperswil

Google Open Source recently co-sponsored a three-day hackathon for Haskell, an open source functional programming language. Ivan Krišto from Google’s Zürich office talks more about the event below.

Over the weekend of June 9th, Rapperswil, Switzerland became a home for 300 Haskellers. Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil hosted the seventh annual ZuriHac, the biggest Haskell Hackathon in Europe. ZuriHac is a free, international coding festival with the goal to expand our community and to build and improve Haskell libraries, tools and infrastructure.

Participants could choose to hack all day long, attend the Haskell beginners course led by Julie Moronuki, join the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) DevOps track organized by GHC contributors with the goal to bring in new contributors, listen to the Haskell flavoured talks, or socialize and swim in the lake. The event was colocated with C++ standardization committee meetings which offered a unique opportunity for sharing ideas between the two communities.

Here is a short summary of featured talks at ZuriHac.
The event concluded with a presentation of the results of the three day hackathon: project presentations.

Video by Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil.

Once again, we broke the attendance record! We’re already preparing for ZuriHac 2019 and hope to keep up this amazing growth. See you next year!

By Ivan Krišto, Software Engineer

Googlers on the road: CLS and OSCON 2018

Next week a veritable who’s who of free and open source software luminaries, maintainers and developers will gather to celebrate the 20th annual OSCON and the 20th anniversary of the Open Source Definition. Naturally, the Google Open Source and Google Cloud teams will be there too!

Program chairs at OSCON 2017, left to right:
Rachel Roumeliotis, Kelsey Hightower, Scott Hanselman.
Photo used with permission from O'Reilly Media.
This year OSCON returns to Portland, Oregon and runs from July 16-19. As usual, it is preceded by the free-to-attend Community Leadership Summit on July 14-15.

If you’re curious about our outreach programs, our approach to open source, or any of the open source projects we’ve released, please find us! We’re eager to chat. You’ll find us and many other Googlers throughout the week on stage, in the expo hall, and at several special events that we’re running, including:
Here’s a rundown of the sessions we’re hosting this year:

Sunday, July 15th (Community Leadership Summit)

11:45am   Asking for time and/or money by Cat Allman

Monday, July 16th (Tutorials)

9:00am    Getting started with TensorFlow by Josh Gordon
1:30pm    Introduction to natural language processing with Python by Barbara Fusinska

Tuesday, July 17th (Tutorials)

9:00am    Istio Day opening remarks by Kelsey Hightower
9:00am    TensorFlow Day opening remarks by Edd Wilder-James
9:05am    Sailing to 1.0: Istio community update by April Nassi
9:05am    The state of TensorFlow by Sandeep Gupta
9:30am    Introduction to fairness in machine learning by Hallie Benjamin
9:55am    Farm to table: A TensorFlow story by Gunhan Gulsoy
11:00am  Hassle-free, scalable machine learning with Kubeflow by Barbara Fusinska
11:05am  Istio: Zero-trust communication security for production services by Samrat Ray, Tao Li, and Mak Ahmad
12:00pm  Project Magenta: Machine learning for music and art by Sherol Chen
1:35pm    Istio à la carte by Daniel Ciruli

Wednesday, July 18th (Sessions)

9:00am    Wednesday opening welcome by Kelsey Hightower
11:50am  Machine learning for continuous integration by Joseph Gregorio
1:45pm    Live-coding a beautiful, performant mobile app from scratch by Emily Fortuna and Matt Sullivan
2:35pm    Powering TensorFlow with big data using Apache Beam, Flink, and Spark by Holden Karau
5:25pm    Teaching the Next Generation to FLOSS by Josh Simmons

Thursday, July 19th (Sessions)

9:00am    Thursday opening welcome by Kelsey Hightower
9:40am    20 years later, open source is as important as ever by Sarah Novotny
11:50am  Google’s approach to distributed systems observability by Jaana B. Dogan
2:35pm    gRPC versus REST: Let the battle begin with Alex Borysov
5:05pm    Shenzhen Go: A visual Go environment for everybody, even professionals by Josh Deprez

We look forward to seeing you and the rest of the community there!

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

How we fought webspam – Webspam Report 2017





We always want to make sure that when you use Google Search to find information, you get the highest quality results. But, we are aware of many bad actors who are trying to manipulate search ranking and profit from it, which is at odds with our core mission: to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Over the years, we've devoted a huge effort toward combating abuse and spam on Search. Here's a look at how we fought abuse in 2017.


We call these various types of abuse that violate the webmaster guidelines “spam.” Our evaluation indicated that for many years, less than 1 percent of search results users visited are spammy. In the last couple of years, we’ve managed to further reduce this by half.



Google webspam trends and how we fought webspam in 2017



As we continued to improve, spammers also evolved. One of the trends in 2017 was an increase in website hacking—both for spamming search ranking and for spreading malware. Hacked websites are serious threats to users because hackers can take complete control of a site, deface homepages, erase relevant content, or insert malware and harmful code. They may also record keystrokes, stealing login credentials for online banking or financial transactions. In 2017 we focused on reducing this threat, and were able to detect and remove from search results more than 80 percent of these sites. But hacking is not just a spam problem for search users—it affects the owners of websites as well. To help website owners keep their websites safe, we created a hands-on resource to help webmasters strengthen their websites’ security and revamped our help resources to help webmasters recover from a hacked website. The guides are available in 19 languages.

We’re also recognizing the importance of robust content management systems (CMSs). A large percentage of websites are run on one of several popular CMSs, and subsequently spammers exploited them by finding ways to abuse their provisions for user-generated content, such as posting spam content in comment sections or forums. We’re working closely with many of the providers of popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla to help them also fight spammers that abuse their forums, comment sections and websites.


Another abuse vector is the manipulation of links, which is one of the foundation ranking signals for Search. In 2017 we doubled down our effort in removing unnatural links via ranking improvements and scalable manual actions. We have observed a year-over-year reduction of spam links by almost half.


Working with users and webmasters for a better web



We’re here to listen: Our automated systems are constantly working to detect and block spam. Still, we always welcome hearing from you when something seems … phishy. Last year, we were able to take action on nearly 90,000 user reports of search spam.


Reporting spam, malware and other issues you find helps us protect the site owner and other searchers from this abuse. You can file a spam report, a phishing report or a malware report. We very much appreciate these reports—a big THANK YOU to all of you who submitted them.


We also actively work with webmasters to maintain the health of the web ecosystem. Last year, we sent 45 million messages to registered website owners via Search Console letting them know about issues we identified with their websites. More than 6 million of these messages are related to manual actions, providing transparency to webmasters so they understand why their sites got manual actions and how to resolve the issue.

Last year, we released a beta version of a new Search Console to a limited number of users and afterwards, to all users of Search Console. We listened to what matters most to the users, and started with popular functionalities such as Search performance, Index Coverage and others. These can help webmasters optimize their websites' Google Search presence more easily.

Through enhanced Safe Browsing protections, we continue to protect more users from bad actors online. In the last year, we have made significant improvements to our safe browsing protection, such as broadening our protection of macOS devices, enabling predictive phishing protection in Chrome, cracked down on mobile unwanted software, and launched significant improvements to our ability to protect users from deceptive Chrome extension installation.


We have a multitude of channels to engage directly with webmasters. We have dedicated team members who meet with webmasters regularly both online and in-person. We conducted more than 250 online office hours, online events and offline events around the world in more than 60 cities to audiences totaling over 220,000 website owners, webmasters and digital marketers. In addition, our official support forum has answered a high volume of questions in many languages. Last year, the forum had 63,000 threads generating over 280,000 contributing posts by 100+ Top Contributors globally. For more details, see this post. Apart from the forums, blogs and the SEO starter guide, the Google Webmaster YouTube channel is another channel to find more tips and insights. We launched a new SEO snippets video series to help with short and to-the-point answers to specific questions. Be sure to subscribe to the channel!


Despite all these improvements, we know we’re not yet done. We’re relentless in our pursue of an abuse-free user experience, and will keep improving our collaboration with the ecosystem to make it happen.



Posted by Cody Kwok, Principal Engineer