02 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Introducing Google for Work (the artist formerly known as Enterprise)

Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we've always believed that it should be meaningful-not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you're in.

Ten years ago, we started bringing Google's consumer technology-along with the features, controls and services businesses need-to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google's infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we've invested in what matters to our customers and partners-security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.

Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend-it's a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google's products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.

But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional "enterprise" business-we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier-Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more-work gets better. And that's what we're working on-the best of Google, now for work.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

02 Sep 2014 5:38pm GMT

30 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Redesigned YouTube Buttons

YouTube's experimental layout with simpler buttons is rolling out to everyone. The like and dislike buttons have merged with the number of likes and dislikes, YouTube no longer uses tabs, "add to" opens a drop-down menu and there's a "more" menu for features like "report", "transcript" and "statistics".



30 Aug 2014 5:08am GMT

29 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 22-28

It was a busy week for entertainment junkies with the Emmys and VMAs, and the cat was out of the bag for Sanrio fans after a surprising piece of news. Read on for more on the last week in search:

And the Emmy goes to…
Though Breaking Bad took home the top honors at Monday's Emmy Awards, people searched less for the acclaimed drama than for some of the event's other, more unexpected happenings. American Horror Story's Jessica Lange proved she's still got it-she was the top search of the night. Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere accidentally revealed the gender of her forthcoming baby, leading people to search for information about the actress and her fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. And it was a night of funny women: Julia Louis-Dreyfus did justice to her award for best actress in a comedy with a Seinfeld-inspired bit on stage… and a Seinfeld-throwback kiss just offstage; and Sarah Silverman won an award for best variety special (and showed off some unusual accessories). Other popular Emmys searches included HBO's The Normal Heart, which was nominated for 16 awards and won two, and True Detective, which won for directing but did not capture the acting awards some expected.

I want my MTV
The other awards show making news this week was MTV's Video Music Awards. As can only be expected at this point, Beyoncé's performance was the highlight of the night; the day after the show, there were more than 50,000 searches for [beyonce vma performance] as people scrambled to re-live (or catch up with) the spectacle. But part of Bey's appeal this time was actually her daughter, Blue Ivy, who appeared on stage (as well as in multiple GIFs, natch) to steal the show like only an adorable child can. Searchers were dazzled by performances by Ariana Grande (in a crystal onesie), Rita Ora (with diamonds in her manicure) and Iggy Azalea. Finally, Katy Perry and Riff Raff's double denim red carpet tribute to that VMA power couple of the past, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, had people giggling-and searching.

Trouble out west
After a nine-year-old in Arizona accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi, people came to Google to learn more about the incident, which has sparked debates throughout the country. And the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 20+ years shook up Napa and surrounding counties this weekend, leading people to the web to learn more about the damage.

Raining [searches for] cats and dogs
Sanrio fans worldwide got some startling news this week: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to the Japanese company, she is a little girl. Whatever her species, she was a top trend in search this week. And for those of you who aren't cat fans (in which case, do you even like the Internet?), there was National Dog Day, Tuesday's top search and-if you ask us-a great excuse for thousands of people to share photos of their own favorite man's best friend.

Tip of the week
Don't let delays ruin your long weekend. To help you decide whether it's faster to bike or take transit to your Labor Day destination, Google Search can show you all of your transportation options and estimated travel times on a single card. Just tap the mic and say "Ok Google, what's the traffic like to AT&T Park" and easily switch between transportation modes to determine which route works best for you.


Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [brandy creek beach] and [delirium series]

29 Aug 2014 8:33pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Docs Tooltip Shows Page Number

When you scroll a document in Google Docs, Google now shows a tooltip that includes the number of the page you're currently reading or editing and the total number of pages. It looks like this: "2 of 3". The tooltip is also displayed when you mouse over the scrollbar.


You can also check the number of pages using print preview or the word count feature. Another option is to insert page number and page count using the features from the Insert menu.

{ Thanks, Daniel Fletcher. }

29 Aug 2014 7:08pm GMT

YouTube Autoplay Experiment

YouTube tests a feature that automatically plays related videos after the video that's currently playing. You can disable this feature by clicking the "autoplay" toggle placed in the right sidebar, next to the list of related videos. "When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next," informs YouTube.



While the autoplay feature may sometimes be useful, I think it's a bad idea to enable it by default. YouTube's suggestions aren't always great and constantly disabling "autoplay" gets annoying. In YouTube's experiment, the autoplay feature is enabled by default every time you open a new video, even if you have previously disabled it.

Here's how you can enable the experimental feature. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:

1. open youtube.com in a new tab

2. load your browser's developer console:

* Chrome or Opera 15+ - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac

* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac

* Internet Explorer 8+ - press F12 and select the "Console" tab

* Safari 6+ - if you haven't enabled the Develop menu, open Preferences from the Safari menu, go to the Advanced tab and check "Show Develop menu in menu bar". Close Preferences and then press Command-Option-C to show the console.

* Opera 12 - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console".

3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=j1l-QY6DlXg; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

4. press Enter and close the console.

Open a random video to see the autoplay feature. To disable the experiment, use the same instructions, but replace the code from step 3 with this one:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

{ via Rubén }

29 Aug 2014 6:41pm GMT

28 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Tests New Site Search Box

For navigational searches like [amazon], [white house] or [stanford], Google displays a search box that lets you search the top search result. Google now tests a completely new site search box. The updated search box is bigger, it's placed below the top search result and Google shows a list of suggestions when you type the query.


For Amazon, Google makes an exception and uses Amazon's internal search, instead of Google Search. Let's say you start typing "smart" and click "smart power strip". Google sends you to Amazon's search results page for "smart power strip". If you don't pick a suggestion and press Enter or click the search button, Google still sends you to Amazon's search results page. The only way to get Google's results is to click "results for" in the list of suggestions.



Amazon seems to be an exception. For searches like [microsoft], [youtube], [imdb], Google shows its own results.



{ Thanks, Rubén. }

28 Aug 2014 1:02pm GMT

27 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Special Characters Search Engine in Google Drive

Google's Drive desktop apps have an updated dialog for inserting special characters. If you open a document, spreadsheet or presentation, go to the Insert menu and click "Special characters", you have many ways to find a special character: use categories, search by keyword (example: arrow), enter the Unicode code point (example: 2195) or draw the character.



"We have launched a new version of the special character picker in Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings, making it easier for people to find characters and symbols - like arrows, shapes, or non-Latin characters - to insert into their content. The new picker now supports keyword search as well as free form input, so editors can draw the symbol that they have in mind and the picker will return available characters that resemble the drawing," informs Google.

Here's another example from Google Drive's Google+ page:

27 Aug 2014 8:39pm GMT

Hangouts Contacts Tab in Gmail

If you use Google Hangouts inside Gmail, you may have noticed a new icon at the bottom of the page. It lets you switch to the new contacts tab that shows your chat buddies starting with the ones who are online, just like in the old Gmail Chat/Google Talk. The small green circle next to the profile picture shows that your chat buddy is online. "Available contacts (those with the green circle) will show in an alpha-ordered list first, followed by a second alpha-ordered list of unavailable contacts," explains Google.


You can also mouse over a contact, click the small arrow icon and pick one of the options: pin to top, start video call, send email or hide. Pin to top moves the contact in a new section at the top of the list.


There's also the regular Hangouts tab that shows your conversations sorted by date. Gmail remembers the most recently clicked tab.

"Starting today it's easier to see which of your chat buddies are currently online, thanks to a new tab in Hangouts in Gmail. In this new tab, friends who are online are shown first, followed by those who aren't. Of course, you can still send your offline friends a message and they'll get it the next time they check Hangouts on their computer, phone or table," informs Google.

For now, Google still lets you switch between the old Gmail Chat and Google Hangouts, so you can always click "Try the new Hangouts" to switch to Google Hangouts and then "Revert to old chat" to go back to Gmail Chat if you don't like Hangouts.

27 Aug 2014 7:46pm GMT

Google Teapot Easter Egg

Google has a funny error page at google.com/teapot. It says: "418. I'm a teapot. The requested entity body is short and stout. Tip me over and pour me out." If you click the teapot, you'll see a nice animation.


So what's this 418 error? You may have noticed HTTP status codes like 404 (page not found) or 403 (forbidden). There are many other 4xx error codes, but 418 was only used for an Easter Egg. "This code was defined in 1998 as one of the traditional IETF April Fools' jokes, in RFC 2324, Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol, and is not expected to be implemented by actual HTTP servers." Here's the text from the document: "Any attempt to brew coffee with a teapot should result in the error code '418 I'm a teapot'. The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout."


{ via Search Engine Land }

27 Aug 2014 7:24pm GMT

26 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

64-Bit Chrome for Windows in the Stable Channel

Chrome 37 has been promoted to the stable channel. This means that the 64-bit Chrome for Windows is ready for primetime. You won't be upgraded to the 64-bit version even if you use 64-bit Windows 7 or Windows 8, so you have to manually install the 64-bit Chrome 37 from this page. You can also click the "Windows 64-bit" from Chrome's download page.


"64-bit Chrome offers many benefits for speed, stability and security. Our measurements have shown that the native 64-bit version of Chrome has improved speed on many of our graphics and media benchmarks. For example, the VP9 codec that's used in High Definition YouTube videos shows a 15% improvement in decoding performance. Stability measurements from people opted into our Canary, Dev and Beta 64-bit channels confirm that 64-bit rendering engines are almost twice as stable as 32-bit engines when handling typical web content," informs Google.

So why is 64-bit Chrome opt-in? It doesn't support 32-bit NPAPI plugins. This may be an important downside for some users, but Chrome will remove NPAPI support in the coming months anyway. Until then, the 32-bit Chrome will still be the default.

Chrome's "known issues" page informs that the 64-bit plugins for Java and Silverlight work properly, while the plugins for Google Earth and Google Voice don't work because they're 32-bit plugins. You can switch between the 32-bit and 64-bit Chrome versions from Chrome's download page.

{ Thanks, Dilraj. }

26 Aug 2014 10:24pm GMT

Upload Google+ Videos to YouTube

YouTube now lets import your videos from Google+. Just go to the upload page and click the "import" button from the right sidebar.


You can select one or more Google+ videos and upload them simultaneously. This is a great way to upload your videos from desktop computers, Android and iOS devices if you've enabled the Auto Backup feature.


Google+ is better suited for uploading and managing photos. Even if Google+ uses YouTube's infrastructure for videos, Google doesn't provide embedding options for Google+ videos.

{ spotted by Nedas Petravičius. }

26 Aug 2014 7:46pm GMT

25 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Edit Office Files in Docs, Sheets and Slides for iOS

Google released the Slides app for iOS and added native Office file editing to Docs, Sheets and Slides for iOS.

"You can truly get stuff done from any device - your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Any change you make on any of these devices is saved automatically, so you can pick up right where you left off any time, anywhere that you can sign in. The Docs, Sheets and Slides apps come with offline editing built right in. Just make the files you want to edit available offline. Any changes you make offline get automatically synced when you reconnect, just like when you make offline edits from your computer. And while converting Office files to Docs, Sheets and Slides is a cinch, the new iPhone/iPad apps also let you edit Office files directly - just like on the Android apps and the web," informs Google.



Native Office editing using the Office Compatibility Mode is a great feature and now Google's productivity apps for iOS are more powerful and can better compete with Microsoft Office.

25 Aug 2014 11:13pm GMT

On YouTube Music Key

Google works on a subscription service for YouTube that will allow users to watch music videos without ads, play music videos in the background when using mobile devices and temporarily download music videos. YouTube Music Key will cost $9.99 a month and it will include Google Play Music All Access, which will be renamed Google Play Music Key.

While this is a great deal for Play Music subscribers, I'm not sure if YouTube Music Key's offering is strong enough on its own. There are many free apps for Android and iOS that let you play almost any YouTube video in the background, not just music videos. They also let you download almost any video and don't show YouTube ads. There are various ways to block YouTube ads and download YouTube videos.


I think that YouTube Music Key is a way to improve Google Play Music Key and supplement it with YouTube's music videos. It's also a way to promote Google Play Music's subscription service using YouTube.

Features like playing videos in the background or offline playback should be available for free for any video. Limiting them to music videos and requiring a monthly fee seems shortsighted, considering that there are free apps that offer these features.

25 Aug 2014 10:49pm GMT

Google Knowledge Vault

New Scientist reports that Google works on supplementing Knowledge Graph with a new database called Knowledge Vault. While Knowledge Graph uses information from a list of trusted sources, Knowledge Vault gathers data from the entire Web.

"Google started building the Vault by using an algorithm to automatically pull in information from all over the web, using machine learning to turn the raw data into usable pieces of knowledge. Knowledge Vault has pulled in 1.6 billion facts to date. Of these, 271 million are rated as 'confident facts', to which Google's model ascribes a more than 90 per cent chance of being true. It does this by cross-referencing new facts with what it already knows. Knowledge Vault offers Google fast, automatic expansion of its knowledge - and it's only going to get bigger," informs New Scientist.

Google already provides some answers extracted from web pages, but it's not clear if this feature has anything to do with Knowledge Vault.


It's interesting to note that the Google blog post that announced Knowledge Graph mentioned that "Knowledge Graph isn't just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It's also augmented at a much larger scale - because we're focused on comprehensive breadth and depth."

Google's goal has always been to use the power of the Web to extract facts and answers. 10 years ago, Google Q&A provided answers to common questions like "what is the population of Japan?" using information from the Web. Knowledge Graph allowed Google to organize information and create connections between entities and now Knowledge Vault comes full circle.

"Knowledge Vault: A Web-Scale Approach to Probabilistic Knowledge Fusion" is authored by Xin Luna Dong, Evgeniy Gabrilovich, Geremy Heitz, Wilko Horn, Ni Lao, Kevin Murphy, Thomas Strohmann, Shaohua Sun, Wei Zhang - all of them from Google. The paper explains that "Knowledge Vault is different from previous works on automatic knowledge base construction as it combines noisy extractions from the Web together with prior knowledge, which is derived from existing knowledge bases". Google's paper uses the open source Freebase graph, but it's obvious that Freebase would be replaced with Knowledge Graph in Google Search.

{ via Search Engine Land }

25 Aug 2014 10:08pm GMT

Add YouTube Search Results to a Playlist

If you want to quickly add videos to a YouTube playlist, you can click YouTube's search box, enter a query, mouse over search results, click the 3-dot menu icon and pick an existing playlist or create a new one. You can add videos without having to open them, then you can edit the playlist from this page.


25 Aug 2014 8:17pm GMT

External Addresses No Longer Use Gmail SMTP Servers

Gmail has a feature that lets you send mail from a different email address. For non-Gmail addresses, you could send email addresses using Gmail's SMTP servers or through the email provider's SMTP servers. Now you can no longer use Gmail's SMTP servers when adding new accounts:

We rolled out a change for new accounts where if you would like to send mail as from a non-Gmail or non-Google Apps account, you can no longer use the option of Gmail's servers to send your mail. Google is a strong supporter of email authentication standards including DKIM, SPF and DMARC. This is one in a series of changes to strengthen email authentication, and end any practices by Google products which break authentication.

Any accounts which previously were using Send Mail As via Gmail servers will not be affected, you can keep the previous set up. If you are a Google Apps user sending from a domain alias or email alias you can also check out the steps listed in this help center article under "I'm a Google Apps for Business user sending from a domain alias or email alias".



The help center article has more information: "Your other email provider has to provide authenticated SMTP support for you to use this option. We'll use TLS by default, or SSL if you enable it. Many email services that provide POP or IMAP support also offer authenticated SMTP support, and you can likely find your SMTP server configuration instructions alongside information about POP or IMAP."

Until 2009, all the addresses you added to your Gmail account used Gmail's SMTP servers. In 2009, Gmail added the option to use the email provider's SMTP servers. One of the benefits was that email clients like Outlook no longer displayed "From username@gmail.com On Behalf Of customaddress@mydomain.com". At that time, Google mentioned that "we recognize that your other address might not have a server that you can use to send outbound messages - for example, if you use a forwarding alias rather than an actual mailbox, or if your other email provider doesn't support authenticated SMTP, or restricts access to specific IP ranges. For this reason, we've kept the original method as well." Now, the original method is no longer available.

{ Thanks, Jan Willem Hengeveld. }

25 Aug 2014 7:13pm GMT

23 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Why Switch to HTTPS?

Google tries to move the entire web to HTTPS, but you may wondering if it's really necessary. If you only have a blog or any other site that only displays static content, why would you use SSL? John Mueller and Pierre Far, both from Google, have the following answer:

Some webmasters say they have "just a content site", like a blog, and that doesn't need to be secured. That misses out two immediate benefits you get as a site owner:

1. Data integrity: only by serving securely can you guarantee that someone is not altering how your content is received by your users. How many times have you accessed a site on an open network or from a hotel and got unexpected ads? This is a very visible manifestation of the issue, but it can be much more subtle.

2. Authentication: How can users trust that the site is really the one it says it is? Imagine you're a content site that gives financial or medical advice. If I operated such a site, I'd really want to tell my readers that the advice they're reading is genuinely mine and not someone else pretending to be me.


23 Aug 2014 4:44pm GMT

Change the Query in Google Search Easter Eggs

This is really cool: you can take some of the Google Search Easter Eggs, change the query and they will still work. For example, you can replace "do a barrel roll" with "google maps" like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=do+a+barrel+roll#q=google+maps. Start with https://www.google.com/search?q=do+a+barrel+roll#q=, then add the new query, while replacing space with +.


This also works for the "blink html" Easter Egg: https://www.google.com/search?q=blink+html#q=las+vegas and the "tilt" Easter Egg: https://www.google.com/search?q=tilt#q=android+l.

{ via Search Engine Land }

23 Aug 2014 4:24pm GMT

22 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 15-21

It was an emotional rollercoaster on search this week. Read on to learn more about what made people laugh and cry.

Tragedies and scandals
The world was shocked by a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Questions remain about how the United States will respond to the incident. And there was sad news closer to home too. TV lost an icon when Saturday Night Live's announcer of 40+ years, Don Pardo, passed away at 96.

While some searchers were in mourning, others were looking for answers. Texas Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry was indicted this week on charges of abuse of power. Perry pleaded not guilty to all charges, but that didn't stop searchers from investigating. And while people had their detective hats on, they also looked into the Louisville Purge, a social media hoax based off the horror movie series The Purge. The hoax claimed that all residents of Louisville, Kentucky would have 24 hours to commit any crime they want-without repercussion. Does anyone take social media that seriously?


"J" as in "J is the only letter that matters"
You'd think our favorite letter would be the letter "G," and normally that's the case-but not this week as J-named celebrities jacked the trends charts. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Julianna Hough is taking off her dancing shoes and getting comfortable behind the judge's table in a new role on the show. Meanwhile, rumors flew like mockingjays this week that actress Jennifer Lawrence has a new beau- the consciously uncoupled Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. And when there's action going on you know Johnny Manziel won't be too far away. Searchers were baffled this week when Johnny Football decided to show the Washington bench that he, um, was "number one."

Deep sea video gaming
Searchers took a trip down memory lane when former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan went head-to-head with Jimmy Fallon in the classic Nintendo 64 game "GoldenEye 007." Unfortunately, Brosnan's experience as the untouchable Bond didn't quite translate into video games skills. But Bond wasn't the only one sleeping with the fishes. There were rough waters this week for sharks... more specifically this shark, who was swallowed whole in one bite by a goliath Grouper. Consider shark week officially over. (^^^)

Tip of the week
Want a fast way to calculate the tip? Stop counting on your fingers and just ask Google "How much is the tip on a $27 bill?" to get the amount. You can also adjust the tip percent and divide the bill by the number of people in your party, right in the search results.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched was [live from new york] and searched for [giant fish].

22 Aug 2014 10:00pm GMT

15 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 8-14

Demonstrations in Missouri and the death of Robin Williams had people searching for a greater understanding this week.

Losing a Hollywood legend
First up, the news of Robin Williams' death sparked tens of millions of searches about the beloved actor's life and career. Legions of fans searched for every one of their favorite films from Williams' decades-long career; top topics include Hook, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam. Many were looking up his most memorable quotes and roles, including the "O captain, my captain" monologue in Dead Poets Society, Genie's first scene in Aladdin, and a standup bit about golf. Others searched for tributes by Williams' fellow actors and comedians, like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien. And just yesterday, news that the actor had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease led people to the web once again.

Two days after Williams' death, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89, inspiring people to search for more information on the actress, in particular her marriage to Humphrey Bogart back in Hollywood's golden age.

Unrest in Missouri
Protests ignited in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri this weekend after an unarmed teenager named Mike Brown was shot and killed by police on Saturday. People turned to search to learn more about the conflict, and searches for terms like [ferguson riot] and [ferguson shooting] rose by more than 1,000%.

Math and science phenomena
Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford, was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal this week for her work on understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres. She is the first woman and first Iranian to win the prize, considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Turning from one sphere to a celestial one, two astronomical events led searchers to the web to learn more. The Perseid meteor shower had its annual peak this week-and got a doodle for the occasion-and the brightest super moon of the year had everyone a little lun-y.

Ice ice bucket
This week saw a rise in searches for [als] thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign to raise money to fight what's better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. From Martha Stewart to Justin Timberlake to your college roommate, odds are you know someone who's dumped a bucket of icy water on themselves for the cause. The ALS Association has received millions of dollars in donations as a result, though we don't have any numbers on how many brave folks took the plunge.

Tip of the week
Still basking in the glow of that super moon? Learn more about our familiar friend in the sky by asking your Google Search app on iPhone or Android, "How far away is the moon?" and get an answer spoken back to you. You can then ask, "How big is it?" Google will understand what "it" you're talking about and give you the 411.



Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [is handedness genetic] and [play it again dick]

15 Aug 2014 8:03pm GMT

08 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 1-7

We may be hitting the last days of summer but the heat is still picking up, especially on search. Read on to learn what sizzled on the trends charts this past week.

Trouble in paradise
Would you turn down a free trip to Hawaii? Julio and Iselle aren't. The two hurricanes are barreling towards the islands, bringing 90 mph winds, flash floods and hordes of searches with them. If Iselle makes landfall, she'll be the first hurricane to hit the Big Island since 1950. Julio, like the tag-a-long younger brother, is right on Iselle's tail. You can review tips on how to stay safe during hurricane season here.

A Hawaiian hurricane isn't the only trouble brewing in the air. Searchers had a virtual panic attack when Facebook went down for a couple hours last Friday. In a state of shock, some people even called the police to assist with their social media emergency. Meanwhile, a toxin called microcystin is contaminating the waters in parts of Ohio, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to stockpile bottled water and look for answers on the Internet.

But there's only one thing that can distract us from the craziness of real life… and that's the sheer absurdity of reality TV. Viewers and searchers tuned in to watch the premiere of the Bachelor in Paradise, an elimination-style show where contestants compete for love. This is probably not what Cervantes meant when he wrote that all's fair in love and war.


First let me take a selfie
As if the world couldn't get any more litigious, a British photographer is taking on Wikimedia over a selfie-and not just any selfie, a monkey selfie. After a curious crested black macaque came upon David Slater's camera equipment and fulfilled nature's call by taking a selfie, the photo went viral and was eventually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free to use images, sound, and other media. Slater asked Wikimedia to take it down on copyright infringement grounds, and Wikimedia said no. Their argument: the photo wasn't Slater's work -- it was the monkey's. We'll leave it up to you to decide who you think is right.

Fortunately, at least one dispute this week was resolved: The stars of the hit science geek themed show, The Big Bang Theory, signed new contracts that would pay them $1 million per episode. We're betting that somehow the line "Show me the Money" is going to make it into the script. A real-life scientist also managed to crack the trends charts when our doodle celebrating John Venn, the creator of the Venn Diagram, got searchers excited to discover what the intersections between sea-life and something with wings.



Who runs the world? Girls!
Let's be honest, can anyone really get enough Beyonce in their life? Her "On the Run" tour with that other mildly successful artist/mogul just topped $100 million in ticket sales and now the remix of her song "Flawless" featuring Nicki Minaj is getting searchers into a frenzy. This woman can do no wrong (except maybe).

Beyonce may cast a shadow that dwarfs us all, but two other women are holding their own on the search charts. WBNA star Becky Hammon became the NBA's first female assistant coach when she joined the staff of the San Antonio Spurs. (We'll call that a crack in the glass backboard.) And First Daughter Malia Obama nearly stole the show at Lollapalooza following her appearance among fellow festival-goers in Chicago.

Tip of the Week
Taking a hike is one of the best ways to enjoy the last days of summer. But it's always safer to hike in the daylight hours. Before you head out, remember to ask the Google App, "When is sunset?" to help you plan accordingly.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [reality tv is better than sitcoms] and [fomo].

08 Aug 2014 7:00pm GMT

06 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Fifteen ways to change the world: the 2014 Google Science Fair Global Finalists

Kenneth Shinozuka, from New York City, wants to help people with Alzheimer's Disease, like his grandfather. Kenneth developed a small, wearable sensor to be worn on his grandfather's foot. When pressure is applied to the sensor, it alerts his family via a mobile app, which allows them to monitor when his grandfather is on the move. By monitoring this behavior, Kenneth hopes to understand the causes of wandering brought on by Alzheimer's, and to ultimately find a way to mitigate or prevent it.

Samuel Burrow, from the U.K., wants to improve the environment by reducing pollution. Taking inspiration from the chemical used in sunscreen, Samuel created a special coating that reduces waste chemicals in the air when subjected to ambient light. And Cynthia Sin Nga Lam, from Australia, thinks everyone deserves access to clean water and created an eco-friendly and economical device to do just that.

These are just a few examples of the 15 incredible projects we've named as the global finalists for 2014 Google Science Fair. This is our fourth time hosting the competition as a way to encourage the next generation of scientists and engineers. From Russia to Australia, India to Canada, this year's finalists (ages 13-18) are already well on their way to greatness. See all 15 projects on the Google Science Fair website.

Special recognition also goes to Kenneth, who has also been awarded the Scientific American Science In Action Award. The prize celebrates a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge, and comes with a year's mentoring from Scientific American and a $50,000 grant toward the project.

What's next for our young scientists? Well, next month, they'll be California-bound to compete at Google HQ for the three Age Category Awards (ages 13-14, 15-16, 17-18) and of course, the overall Google Science Fair Grand Prize Award. The competition will end in style with an awards ceremony, which will be live streamed on the Science Fair YouTube channel and on our website. Tune in to be one of the first to find out this year's winners!

But first, you get to have your say! We need you to pick your favorite project for the 2014 Voter's Choice Award. Show your support for the finalists and cast a vote on the Google Science Fair website beginning September 1. Every year, we're blown away by the projects and ideas these young people come up with, and you will be too.

Posted by Clare Conway, on behalf of the Google Science Fair team

06 Aug 2014 2:30pm GMT

05 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

A first step toward more global email

Cross-posted on the Official Gmail Blog

Whether your email address is firstname.lastname@ or something more expressive like corgicrazy@, an email address says something about who you are. But from the start, email addresses have always required you to use non-accented Latin characters when signing up. Less than half of the world's population has a mother tongue that uses the Latin alphabet. And even fewer people use only the letters A-Z. So if your name (or that of your favorite pet) contains accented characters (like "José Ramón") or is written in another script like Chinese or Devanagari, your email address options are limited.

But all that could change. In 2012, an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created a new email standard that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters (e.g. 武@メール.グーグル). In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That's obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step.

Today we're ready to be that someone. Starting now, Gmail (and shortly, Calendar) will recognize addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters. This means Gmail users can send emails to, and receive emails from, people who have these characters in their email addresses. Of course, this is just a first step and there's still a ways to go. In the future, we want to make it possible for you to use them to create Gmail accounts.

Last month, we announced the addition of 13 new languages in Gmail. Language should never be a barrier when it comes to connecting with others and with this step forward, truly global email is now even closer to becoming a reality.

Posted by Pedro Chaparro Monferrer, Software Engineer

05 Aug 2014 3:59pm GMT

01 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 25-31

The dog days of summer are upon us (just look at the last time we posted on this here blog), but there's still plenty of excitement to keep search buzzing. From big baseball news to blockbusters, here's a look at the last seven days in search:

Baseball bombshells
This season's MLB trade deadline was yesterday, and as news of surprise trades emerged, people were quick to catch the latest via search. More than half of the day's hot trends were baseball-related, and searches for the blogs [mlb trade rumors] reached their highest volume all year. From the three-way trade that landed David Price in Detroit and Austin Jackson in Seattle to the A's-Red Sox swap of Jon Lester and Yoenis Céspedes, it was quite the active Deadline Day.

Searchnado
Thanks in large part to nerdfest Comic-Con, it was a week of sneak peeks for movie fans. First up: the reboot of Mad Max. The long-awaited remake of the Australian classic premiered its trailer at the conference last weekend, and fans got their first real glimpse of Bane Tom Hardy as Max. Meanwhile, a sneak peek of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the forthcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice made waves. And a new teaser trailer for Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 gave us a new glimpse at Katniss as the face of the rebellion.

Though neither film will be in theaters for some time, fans are keeping busy in the meantime: searches for new releases Guardians of the Galaxy, Lucy and Hercules were all high on the charts. And those who prefer their movies with a hefty serving of camp to go with their popcorn had more than enough to satisfy them with Sharknado 2: The Second One. Searches for [sharknado 2 trailer] were up 95 percent over the past month, and the movie was one of the top topics Wednesday when it premiered on Syfy. Simply stunning. Finally, the trailer for the movie version of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods had musical theater lovers ready for more.

Searching for symptoms
An ebola outbreak in West Africa has people concerned about the spread of the deadly epidemic. Searches for [ebola] are at their highest ever, up 2,000%, and related searches like [ebola in nigeria], [ebola symptoms] and [what is ebola] grew too. Worldwide, Liberia had the highest search volume of any country.


Tip of the week
Next time you're invited to a summer barbecue, let Google help you remember to pick up a snack or six-pack to contribute to the fiesta. On your Android or iPhone, just say "Ok Google, remind me to buy a watermelon when I'm at Safeway." Next time you're near the store, you'll get a prompt. No more showing up with empty hands!

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [beyonce surfboard] and [arcade fire tour costumes]

01 Aug 2014 10:49pm GMT

25 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 18-24

Based on search, it seems like a lot of you spent the last seven days slurping ice cream cones, jamming to pop parodies and starting the countdown to a certain February flick. Could be worse. Here's a look at what people were searching for last week:

Fifty shades of search
Searchers were "Crazy in Love" with the new trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, set to a special Beyonce recording of her 2003 hit. There were more than a million searches this week for the ….ahem… hotly anticipated movie, which comes out next Valentine's Day. In addition to the trailer, people were also looking for information on stars [jamie dornan] and [dakota johnson]. Beyonce was in the spotlight for other reasons too, following rumors that her marriage to Jay-Z was on the rocks.

"Mandatory" and musical marriages
After three decades in the biz, Weird Al has finally made his way into the Billboard No. 1 spot with his latest album, "Mandatory Fun." Though his shtick hasn't changed, when it comes to promoting his parodies, the artist has adapted to the Internet era, releasing eight new videos in as many days to generate buzz-and more search volume than at any other point in the past five years. As an editor, of course, I'm partial to "Word Crimes" (which has more than 10 million views on YouTube), but it's just one of the many "breakout" titles searchers are looking for, along with [tacky], [foil] and [first world problems].

In other musical news, Adam Levine's bride [behati prinsloo] was trending this week after the two got married in Cabo San Lucas. And another Mexico wedding had people searching for information on [ryan dorsey], the new husband (after a surprise ceremony) of Glee star Naya Rivera.

Foodie ups and downs
A national fruit recall at stores like Costco and Whole Foods led people to the web to learn more about [listeria]. For many, the possible contamination may have been an extra incentive to celebrate several less than healthful food holidays: Last Sunday (or should we say sundae?) marked National Ice Cream Day, and people were searching for their favorite flavor. National Hot Dog Day took place just a few days later, though sausage searches paled in comparison. And just in case all that junk food made you thirsty, yesterday's National Tequila Day had searchers looking for the perfect margarita recipe.

Tip of the week
Overindulged on ice cream last weekend? It's easy to get back on the healthy eating train with a quick search. Just ask Google "how many calories in hummus?" or "compare coleslaw and potato salad" to get nutrition info on your favorite summer foods.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [coming of age in samoa] and [how old is weird al]

25 Jul 2014 9:59pm GMT

22 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Little Box Challenge opens for submissions

These days, if you're an engineer, inventor or just a tinkerer with a garage, you don't have to look far for a juicy opportunity: there are cash prize challenges dedicated to landing on the moon, building a self-driving car, cleaning the oceans, or inventing an extra-clever robot. Today, together with the IEEE, we're adding one more: shrinking a big box into a little box.

Seriously.

Of course, there's more to it than that. Especially when the big box is a power inverter, a picnic cooler-sized device used to convert the energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles & wind (DC power) into something you can use in your home (AC power). We want to shrink it down to the size of a small laptop, roughly 1/10th of its current size. Put a little more technically, we're looking for someone to build a kW-scale inverter with a power density greater than 50W per cubic inch. Do it best and we'll give you a million bucks.

There will be obstacles to overcome (like the conventional wisdom of engineering). But whoever gets it done will help change the future of electricity. A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car's battery. Or enable advances we haven't even thought of yet.

Either way, we think it's time to shine a light on the humble inverter, and the potential that lies in making it much, much smaller. Enter at littleboxchallenge.com-we want to know how small you can go.

Posted by Eric Raymond, Google Green Team

22 Jul 2014 2:00pm GMT

18 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 11-17

The World Cup is over and order has finally been restored to the universe. Now that football mania is behind us, searchers are getting the latest info about the world off the pitch. From Tesla announcing their cheapest car ever, the $35,000 Model 3 (OK, so "cheap" is relative) to the tragic events surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, read on to see what trended this week.

Cutting the cord … but not really
Netflix binge-watchers had a near-panic attack when rumors swirled that beloved show Orange is the New Black was getting the axe. But have no fear, friends-the show lives to see another 13 episodes and quite humorously reassured us of its existence. On the other side of the entertainment galaxy, comic book fans were shocked to learn that Marvel's Thor is now a woman-and a rather ripped one at that! "Thorita" won't be taking up her hammer against Ultron, the new villain in the upcoming Avengers movie-that role will still be held by Chris Hemsworth. Still, if producers do decide to change it up, we're pretty sure Kacy Catanzaro deserves the role after her performance on American Ninja Warrior left searchers pumped for more.

The sports stars are out tonight
Athletes put on their best three-piece suits and gowns for the ESPYs on Wednesday, and people turned to search to see which of their favorite stars took home the honors. (FYI OKC Thunder star Russell Westbrook, as usual, won the red carpet battle for fashion supremacy, hands down.) While Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe couldn't make it to the awards show, he still managed to make a splash on the trends charts when he came out as gay. Back on the field, it was the end of an era in baseball as New York Yankees legend Derek (er, Michael?) Jeter played in his last all-star game.

Seeing double
It was a tale of two Brookses this week as searchers were surprised to find out Brooks Wheelan got the boot from Saturday Night Live after just one season-tough crowd. Garth Brooks, on the other hand, had a great week when he announced his upcoming fall tour to much fanfare ("searchfare"?). In the reality TV scene, Claire Leeson from England spent more than $30,000 (so, basically a Tesla Model 3) to look like her celebrity idol Kim Kardashian. And another Kardashian lookalike made it to the trends charts when Lilit Avagyan married Kim's ex-boyfriend Reggie Bush-six degrees of Kim Kardashian anyone?

Tip of the week
Didn't catch the ESPYs? Just ask Google, "who won best male athlete?" to see who took the crown this year and find a list of past winners.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who's [on the run] and searching for [crazy eyes] and [dandelions]

18 Jul 2014 10:00pm GMT

17 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

America's businesses are using the web to grow

Over the past few months, we've had the chance to talk to businesses all over the country and hear stories of how they've become successful. For many, it's pretty simple: the Internet. The web is helping businesses and communities across the U.S. to grow and succeed. In fact, last year Google's search and advertising tools helped provide $111 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses-advertisers, publishers and nonprofits-across the U.S.

Take Go2marine, a boat supply company located on Bainbridge Island, off the coast of Washington State. Because of their remote location, bringing traffic to their website using Google AdWords plays an important role in their ability to sell their 250,000+ boat supplies to customers in 176 countries. When it's winter in the U.S., they rely on customers located in other parts of the world where it's boating season, with the web bringing them business from any place, in any season.

Or meet Don Morton, who taught reading, writing and language in lower-income neighborhoods in my home town of Chicago for nine years. In 2005, he began creating his own materials to supplement what the school system provided. Realizing that his worksheets could be useful for students and teachers everywhere, he created ereadingworksheets.com to provide his worksheets for free. Don started using Google AdSense to offset his costs by placing ads next to his content, and today he's able to work full-time on his website and make an impact on students around the world.

These are just two examples of enterprising people making the most of Google tools to find new customers, connect with existing ones and grow their businesses; you can find plenty more of them in our Economic Impact Report. Our tools help connect business owners to their customers, whether they're around the corner or across the world from each other. And when businesses flourish, it's good news for the rest of us. Recent data shows that businesses that are online are expected to grow 40 percent faster and hire twice as many workers as businesses that aren't. Every year, it gets clearer that the web helps lead to more successful businesses, stronger economies, more vibrant towns, and more prosperous communities.

Learn more about our economic impact in all 50 U.S. states, and how businesses are finding success through the web. Whether it's a part for a boat or a grammar worksheet, we're proud to play a role in giving businesses the tools they need to do more--to grow and thrive and connect with customers and communities all over the world.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Customer Solutions

17 Jul 2014 4:07pm GMT

15 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

From superheroes to the battle of the battles—the World Cup through search

Yesterday, Germany won their fourth world championship, and, over the course of the last month, the world watched them do it-in Brazil, in bars and living rooms around the world, on their phones and laptops and tablets. This World Cup was the most digital, most connected, and most searched global event we've seen to date. There were more than 2.1 billion tournament-related searches on Google, many of which we shared on our trends hub.

Looking at the trends from each match, you'll see some topics that you'd expect to catch the world's attention, such as top players and highly-anticipated matches. But who would have guessed that there were 10x more searches in the U.S. for the World Cup than for the NBA Playoffs? Or that Clint Dempsey, American soccer star who also has a rap single, had 2x more search interest than Jay-Z? Or that after Ángel di María's divine goal against Switzerland, he netted 4x more global searches than his fellow countryman, Pope Francis?

Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa was the most searched goalie in the tournament, but Tim Howard's heroics could hardly be forgotten. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer not only snagged third place in search, but took home the 2014 Golden Glove award and a World Cup championship to boot.

The Germany vs. Brazil semifinal was the most searched match throughout the tournament, leaving many people around the world asking, "What is the biggest win in World Cup history?" Meanwhile, some countries were ready to move on to the next opportunity: after the third place game, Brazilians searched more for "World Cup 2018" than for the final game between Argentina and Germany.

No World Cup would be complete without a few surprises-and the creative people of the web were ready to weigh in. Uruguay's Luis Suarez was the most searched player meme, and at the time of the Uruguay-Italy game, there were 20x more searches globally for "Suarez Bite" than for snake, spider, tick, fly, dog and mosquito bites combined.

And if a search Dream Team was created, you'd see these 11 players strutting their stuff on the field. While German star Mario Götze didn't make this list, he was a favorite on search. Even before his goal won it all in the final, he attracted 4x more search attention than Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who presented Germany with the championship trophy.

Beyond the impressive stats on the field, we've got some numbers of our own to share:
Our team watched 107+ hours of football (we didn't even need a water break!) and spent 250+ hours bringing you regular insights from our first ever World Cup trends hub. We hope you enjoyed the excitement of the tournament as much as we did, and for more trends, visit google.com/worldcup or check out our Google+ album.

Posted by Roya Soleimani, Communications Manager, who searched for [iran vs. argentina], [brazil's 12th player], and of course [world cup schedule] throughout the tournament

15 Jul 2014 1:24am GMT

11 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 4-10

Though the World Cup continued to draw search attention, this week it had some company. So in addition to Neymar, people were searching for Lebron James (who's taking his talents back to Cleveland) and Roger Federer (who lost at Wimbledon after a tough match). And following the announcement of this year's Emmy Award nominations, people turned to search to learn more about the snubs and surprises, including Laverne Cox, the first openly transgender nominee. Here's a look at some more top trends in search this week, from the Quidditch World Cup to the world's highest-valued potato salad:

A literary thrill
Author J.K. Rowling was in the news this week after she posted a new Harry Potter story to the fan site Pottermore.com. There were more than 200,000 searches for the site itself (an increase of more than 100 percent over 30 days), as people speculated about whether the new tale signified the coming of more stories about Harry, Hermione and the rest of Dumbledore's Army. Meanwhile, people turned to search to find the new trailer for another, very different book-turned-movie: the twisty, turny Gone Girl. Searches for [gone girl trailer] have nearly doubled in the last month.

And baby makes three
The Internet experienced a collective shock on Wednesday when news emerged that beloved actor/meme Ryan Gosling and girlfriend [eva mendes] are expecting. (With apologies to Mila Kunis.) Hundreds of thousands of people turned to search in denial, determined to find out the truth. Oddly enough, the phrase [ryan gosling father] had already spiked in June, after a recent Father's Day hoax that claimed the Gos had previously adopted a child. And there's no doubt that many were fervently hoping this, too, was merely a rumor and that they still had a chance with His "Hey Girl"-ness. Disappointed fans will have to console themselves by (re)watching The Notebook, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and generated a few searches of its own. Oh, and congratulations to Ms. Mendes, too.

Summer snack time
Finally, during a week of Fourth of July barbecues, it's only fitting that there was an unusual number of food-related subjects among this week's trending topics, starting with a picnic table classic. Last week, a fellow named Zach Danger Brown set up a [kickstarter] project to raise funds for… potato salad. Literally. Despite some controversy over its merits, fundraising for Zach's project is now $45,326-and counting-past the original $10 goal, and searches for potato salad were nearly as high on Tuesday as on Independence Day itself. But that's nothing compared to another Kickstarter project focused on a summer staple. With more than $1.5 million raised so far, the [coolest cooler] promises not just to keep your drinks chilled (elementary, my dear Coleman), but also offers a bevy of bells and whistles worthy of "Pimp My Ride." Not only have 50,000+ searches been done on the subject, but the campaign is well on its way to Kickstarter records. Finally, [joey chestnut] won hearts as well as the mustard winner's belt at this year's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island when he proposed to his girlfriend at the event. More than 100,000 people searched to learn more about this champion of chowing down.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [seersucker etymology] and [dragons love tacos]

11 Jul 2014 10:54pm GMT

Searching for the right balance

In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a "right to be forgotten." Today, we published an op-ed by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, in the U.K.'s The Guardian, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, France's Le Figaro and Spain's El Pais, discussing the ruling and our response. We're republishing the op-ed in full below. -Ed.

When you search online, there's an unwritten assumption that you'll get an instant answer, as well as additional information if you need to dig deeper. This is all possible because of two decades worth of investment and innovation by many different companies. Today, however, search engines across Europe face a new challenge-one we've had just two months to get our heads around. That challenge is figuring out what information we must deliberately omit from our results, following a new ruling from the European Court of Justice.

In the past we've restricted the removals we make from search to a very short list. It includes information deemed illegal by a court, such as defamation, pirated content (once we're notified by the rights holder), malware, personal information such as bank details, child sexual abuse imagery and other things prohibited by local law (like material that glorifies Nazism in Germany).

We've taken this approach because, as article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

But the European Court found that people have the right to ask for information to be removed from search results that include their names if it is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive." In deciding what to remove, search engines must also have regard to the public interest. These are, of course, very vague and subjective tests. The court also decided that search engines don't qualify for a "journalistic exception." This means that The Guardian could have an article on its website about an individual that's perfectly legal, but we might not legally be able to show links to it in our results when you search for that person's name. It's a bit like saying the book can stay in the library, it just cannot be included in the library's card catalogue.

It's for these reasons that we disagree with the ruling. That said, we obviously respect the court's authority and are doing our very best to comply quickly and responsibly. It's a huge task as we've had over 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 webpages since May. So we now have a team of people individually reviewing each application, in most cases with limited information and almost no context.

The examples we've seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticize their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret). In each case, someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue it should be out in the open.

When it comes to determining what's in the the public interest, we're taking into account a number of factors. These include whether: the information relates to a politician, celebrity, or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet "spent"; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments.

We're also doing our best to be transparent about removals: for example, we're informing websites when one of their pages has been removed. But we cannot be specific about why we have removed the information because that could violate the individual's privacy rights under the court's decision.

Of course, only two months in, our process is still very much a work in progress. It's why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they have since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that's happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices-in particular about how to balance one person's right to privacy with another's right to know.

That's why we've also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we're announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court's decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.

The issues here at stake are important and difficult, but we're committed to complying with the court's decision. Indeed it's hard not to empathize with some of the requests we've seen-from the man who asked that we not show a news article saying he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he's able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter's name as she had been the victim of abuse. It's a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary, as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.

Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

11 Jul 2014 1:40pm GMT

Google Cloud Platform predicts the World Cup (and so can you!)

In 2010, we had Paul the Octopus. This year, there's Google Cloud Platform. For the past couple weeks, we've been using Cloud Platform to make predictions for the World Cup-analyzing data, building a statistical model and using machine learning to predict outcomes of each match since the group round. So far, we've gotten 13 out of 14 games correct. But with the finals ahead this weekend, we're not only ready to make our prediction, but we're doing something a little extra for you data geeks out there. We're giving you the keys to our prediction model so you can make your own model and run your own predictions.

A little background
Using data from Opta covering multiple seasons of professional soccer leagues as well as the group stage of the World Cup, we were able to examine how activity in previous games predicted performance in subsequent ones. We combined this modeling with a power ranking of relative team strength developed by one of our engineers, as well as a metric to stand in for hometeam advantage based on fan enthusiasm and the number of fans who had traveled to Brazil. We used a whole bunch of Google Cloud Platform products to build this model, including Google Cloud Dataflow to import all the data and Google BigQuery to analyze it. So far, we've only been wrong on one match (we underestimated Germany when they faced France in the quarterfinals).

Watch +Jordan Tigani and Felipe Hoffa from the BigQuery team talk about the project in this video from Google I/O, or look at our quarterfinals and semifinals blog posts to learn more.

A narrow win for Germany in the final
Drumroll please… Though we think it's going to be close, Germany has the edge: our model gives them a 55 percent chance of defeating Argentina. Both teams have had excellent tournaments so far, but the model favors Germany for a number of factors. Thus far in the tournament, they've had better passing in the attacking half of their field, a higher number of shots (64 vs. 61) and a higher number of goals scored (17 vs. 8).

(Oh, and we think Brazil has a tiny advantage in the third place game. They may have had a disappointing defeat on Tuesday, but their numbers still look good.)

Channel your inner data nerd
Now it's your turn. We've put together a step-by-step guide (warning: code ahead) showing how we built our model and used it for predictions. You could try different statistical techniques or adding in your own data, like player salaries or team travel distance. Even though we've been right 92.86 percent of the time, we're sure there's room for improvement.

The model works for other hypothetical situations, and it includes data going back to the 2006 World Cup, three years of English Barclays Premier League, two seasons of Spanish La Liga, and two seasons of U.S. MLS. So, you could try modeling how the USA would have done against Argentina if their game against Belgium had gone differently, or pit this year's German team against the unstoppable Spanish team of 2010. The world (er, dataset) is your oyster.

Ready to kick things off? Read our post on the Cloud Platform blog to learn more (or, if you're familiar with all the technology, you can jump right over to GitHub and start crunching numbers for yourself).

Posted by Benjamin Bechtolsheim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Cloud Platform

11 Jul 2014 1:24pm GMT

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

For my next 30 day challenge, I'll be growing a mustache to raise awareness and money for men's health issues, and specifically prostate cancer research. Men of search and SEO, please join our team. You can raise awareness, or raise cash. And it's super simple: just don't shave your moustache for 30 days. The name [...]

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

For Halloween this year I asked people on Google+ what I should be for Halloween, and someone suggested going as the blackhat stick man from xkcd. You know, this guy: That sounded like a good challenge. I finished the costume and taped a video, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to get the video [...]

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

I made a Portal turret for my Halloween pumpkin! I was trying to think of things to carve: vampire Android? R2-D2? Zoidberg? Then I thought: I could do a character from Portal 2! I was going to carve something like GLaDOS or Wheatley, but then I realized that a portal turret would be perfect: To [...]

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

Okay, I'm starting up a new 30 day challenge: I'm going to eat vegan for the next 30 days. That means no meat, dairy, or eggs. I'm curious to see how it will go.

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

Even though this year is nowhere near finished, a lot of people at Google are already thinking about things to launch next year. So I wanted to put the question out: what cool things would you like to see Google launch in 2012? For example, in 2011, we launched hundreds of search quality changes that [...]

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

I've been out of town (hiking in Yosemite and traveling to the East Coast) for two out of the last three weeks, so things are a bit crazy. Besides the usual email overload, there's a project at work-not related to webspam-that will need some attention for the next 4-5 weeks. I'm triaging email as best [...]

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

The Emperor instructed the gardener to set up the new court's garden. "I want you to plant five trees growing the Crataan fruit," the Emperor said, "Because we asked people what fruit they like best, and most named the Crataan fruit!" The gardener replied, "Emperor, that is excellent thinking! But let me make some suggestions: First, how about we make one of the five trees bear the Muran fruit. Only one out of ten citizens loves it, but those peculiar citizens tend to love multiple times as much!" "Second," the gardener continued, "How about we make one of the five trees bear the Dratean fruit. No one loves it, but that's because no one knows it yet!" "Third," the gardener said, "How about we leave one spot in the garden empty. Who knows what new type of tree we'll discover that we can put there in the fut ...

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

For the next week or so, I'm going to be hiking in the back country of Yosemite. That's assuming that my legs hold up: after finishing the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July, my knees and ankles have been a little creaky recently. I've been trying to get my email under control in [...]

26 Aug 2011 6:15am GMT

15 Aug 2011

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Color Sound Machine (and what else I've been doing lately)

For those of you who've been wondering whether I had turned to stone, fallen into a bottomless pit, or been climbing the Himalaya... no, none of that is true, even though you probably did notice I'm not actively blogging about Google here anymore*! Just now, a new iPad app I've been working on called Color Sound Machine went live, and this -- and all the other apps and games at Versus Pad** -- are actually what I am doing while not blogoscoping. *I've drafted unpublished posts explaining much more about past, present and future of Blogoscoped, and the history of Google news reporting, but ... oh, for now le ...

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

This submission round is now closed-thanks! Sometime soon I'm planning to record some new webmaster videos. I created a Google Moderator page where you can post video suggestions and vote topics up and down. Instead of short 1-2 minute video answers to quick questions, I'd like to try something new this time. I'd like to [...]

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

It's summertime, so I'm looking for a bunch of fun books to read. I just ordered two books by John Scalzi (Fuzzy Nation and The God Engines), two books by Dean Karnazes because I'm training to run a marathon (Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss and Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner), plus [...]

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

Each year I try to settle on a small set of big goals for the year. Last year my big goal was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. This year, I settled on 2-3 goals I wanted to achieve: 1. Go skydiving. I was with a group of ~15 people in January and we realized that no [...]

23 Jun 2011 7:08am GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

One of the earliest specialist services provided by Google was reverse phone number lookup. If you used the "phonebook:" or "rphonebook:" operators together with a 10-digit US phone number, Google would show you the owner of that phone number, unless the number was unlisted. Google no longer provides that service. Not surprisingly, there was no press release marking the closure, but Google employee Daniel Russell has acknowledged the closure of the service in his blog. He hints at the possible pressures leading to the shuttering of the service: "As you can imagine, this was an endless source of hassles for people (who were surprised to see themselves searchable on Google) and for Google (who had to constantly de ...

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

This website would take the top headlines from a tech or political site for that day -- at first just from Reddit (you gotta start somewhere), but later, from other sites too, in aggregated form, similar to Techmeme, but across different topics you can navigate to from the frontpage (entertainment, politics, technology etc.). It would present them in some sort of list of headlines with a link to the discussion source. Below every headline on the frontpage there's an expandable chat box window. You log-in once into the site and then you can expand any one of these chat boxes, and see who's in there, and read the chat log, and join yourself with remarks by typing them in a box, similar to IRC and others. The chat wouldn't be a replacement of the discussion going on at the other site, but an addition to it. One benefit: a discus ...

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

Two groups have a text chat using a web interface, arguing about a certain topic. For Group B to reply to what Group A says, each member of Group B proposes a sentence. Then, each member of Group B quickly votes on which sentence of another member of their group they like best. (You don't have to propose a sentence, and you don't have to vote on one; both proposing a sentence as well as voting on one are time-limited to just a certain amount of seconds, though.) Then, the highest-voted sentence will be shown to Crowd A as answer. Crowd A now goes through the same process to formulate a reply directed at Crowd B, and so on. To join, you can pick any of the two crowds based on reading the chat log, provided this group hasn't reach its limit of X members (beyond just group size that limit may also depend on how active current me ...

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

If you're using the Google Chrome developer channel (or Firefox 4 Beta) have a look at the new Body Browser to explore a body in 3D. [Via Google OS.]

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Pictures of the Cr-48

MBegin in the forum writes: I ran home for lunch today and was VERY pleasantly surprised to find a Cr-48 Chrome OS Notebook at my doorstep!! -Thanks Google! I took a few quick pics and I'll post more about my experiences later... Feel free to bug MBegin with questions in this post's comments, just in case he finds time to get around answering them!

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Chromedroidpad

Using open source technologies from Google, could someone create a tablet that would let you add both Chrome Web Store apps/ web apps in general, as well as Android Market place apps, and you as user wouldn't even need to bother much about which comes from where as you'd only see a single merged Store, and apps would all be added to a nice homescreen with icons like on the iPad, and apps would always open full-screen no matter if the app maker made it that way or not, and Flash would work too? And would anyone want that thing?

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Device Evolution

Watching evolution is fun, especially when it happens right around you, and happens so fast. A mutation we saw yesterday was a new animal scientists gave the name "Chrome OS Notebook", but it's surrounded by other smart animals of all kinds and shapes. What do they fight for? Their nature are our offices, living rooms, cafes and parks; their food are our individual interests. Computing devices: the more we have, the less we notice them. Sneaky things, changing the color of their skin on different backgrounds... we don't even know they're computers anymore! The sneakier they fade in, the more likely they'll hunt down our interest when it appears. You're in your room, and you just had the idea of going to a cafe to read a newspaper, and perhaps chat with some friends. You can now hear small leafs crack, the surroundin ...

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

How to Disable Google Instant Previews

If you find Google's Instant Previews feature as useless as I do -- you know, those images popping up near search results, often similarly unwanted (when triggered by a wrong click) as Snap site previews -- maybe this User script is for you. I use several machines and browsers, though, so always installing add-ons when Google rolls out something unwanted is suboptimal in the long run (opening links in a new window is something else I don't like, for instance, and whenever I disable it -- even if I would do so across browsers and machines -- it'll come back the next time I empty my cache, because Google thinks that's best for people located in China; another feature which I practically never use is the left-hand side bar... perhaps one day we'll need a Simple Google add-on to get r ...

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google's Newest Q&A Service: "baraza"

Google's newest Question and Answer service is Google baraza beta, launched on 25 October 2010. Baraza is offered in English and French, although Google's links to the French questions aren't working for me. Baraza operates on a Points basis. You get 20 points for signing up, and 4 points each day you log in. If you are already logged into your Google account, there isn't actually any signup process. Your name and photo from your Google profile are automatically used, although you can change your username and avatar if you like. Asking a question costs 5 points, and you earn 5 points for choosing a "best answer" for your question, so you can use the service on an ongoing ...

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Taped an iPhone to my remote-controlled car and hit the Record button

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Playable JavaScript app of my new iPad game Knights vs Knightesses (Google Chrome/ Safari needed)

Here's a fully playable web demo of my new free iPad two-player game Knights vs Knightesses... it runs in Google Chrome and Safari. Note the graphics load much slower than the iPad app because it's online. If you're interested, the full source is viewable. It's all JavaScript because I'm using the PhoneGap wrapper for this one.

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Which of your websites, deleted or lost years ago (or on a backup in a box you can't seem to find), would you most like to get back?

The release of a massive but not complete Geocities archive made me wonder about all the past stuff we probably can't recover anymore (and the usage of stylesheets over time makes design changes so easy that they're also easily undocumented) -- so my question: Which of your lost websites would you most love to get back?

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

See a Random Street View Location

Click the MapCrunch Go button and you'll be transported to a random (Google Street View covered) place in the world. [Via Reddit.]

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT