26 Jun 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

3 ways to improve video viewability and grow revenue

Video content has reached new heights and more screens than ever before, making video ads one of the most engaging and effective ad formats today. But as people gain more control to watch video content anytime and anywhere, there are still a number of design and technical factors that can get in the way of people actually seeing those video ads. For video ads to work, people have to be able to see them-that's where viewability comes in.

Higher viewability can lead to better viewing experiences for users, better results for advertisers, and increased demand, fill rates, and revenue for publishers. In fact, increasing the viewability of video ads from 50 percent to 90 percent can result in more than an 80 percent revenue uplift for publishers (averaged across desktop and mobile sites) according to internal data.

To help publishers capture these opportunities and improve the viewability of their instream video ads on websites and apps, we've identified the 3 P's of viewability-premium experiences, placement, and player.

1. Premium experiences, everywhere people are watching

A premium video experience can drive more value for your viewers and make your video ad inventory more appealing to advertisers. By making your videos load quickly, easy to find, and offering captivating content across screens, viewers will keep returning to your platform and your viewability rates can increase.

An impactful update you can make is to improve the speed of your website or app. Start by using tools like PageSpeed Insights or App Speed reports to understand your existing speeds. Then, try implementing solutions like lazy loading for article pages (waiting to load a video until someone scrolls down to it on your website or app), which can decrease latency and increase viewability rates.

2. Placement-making it easy for people to find and watch your video content and ads

The placement of your videos can make a big difference in your viewability. To make it as easy as possible for people to find and watch your video content and ads, place videos in an optimal location. You can run tests to identify where users spend time on your website or app and place the video player in those locations. To do this, try moving your video player to a different location on your website or app, and then measure if viewability rates change in your Google Ad Manager viewability reports.

3. Player-implementing larger video players can maximize viewability

Typically, the larger the video player, the more viewable the ad. By increasing your instream video player size to fill the majority of the screen, you can increase the viewability of your video ads. For example, according to the State of Ad Viewability report published in September 2018, a 2560 x 1440 video player has the highest viewability rate at 95 percent. Evaluate your video ad inventory sizes and move away from smaller video ads that don't deliver the viewability rates desired by you or your advertising partners.

Using Ad Manager to measure your video viewability

If you're just getting started with video viewability, make sure you have the Google Ad Manager Interactive Media Ads SDK implemented on your websites and apps to enable Google's MRC-accredited viewability solution, Active View. We also recommend using the Open Measurement SDK for mobile apps, which offers publishers a single SDK that can be used by multiple measurement providers to measure in-app viewability.

Google Ad Manager offers a variety of reports to help you understand and optimize your video ad viewability. You can combine different reporting dimensions, such as creative size and custom criteria such as above-the-fold or below-the-fold placements, to understand potential areas for improvement and ways to implement the 3 P's of viewability.

Following these best practices can have a big impact on improving the viewability of your video ads, and make the video ad experience better for everyone-users, advertisers, and publishers. For step-by-step recommendations on ways to improve the viewability of your video ads and measure your viewability in Google Ad Manager, download our guide on Video Viewability Best Practices for Publishers.


26 Jun 2019 5:00pm GMT

Get your campaigns ready to reach the always-on deal seeker

Marketers recognize Black Friday and Cyber Monday as major shopping holidays to prepare for. But did you know that only 18 percent of shoppers consolidate their holiday shopping to these days?

Consumers are on the lookout for deals year-round-about 60 percent say that finding a great deal is what they enjoy most about shopping. So whether you're gearing up for July 4th in the U.S., Bastille Day in France, or back-to-school shopping around the world, check out new tools coming soon to help you highlight in-store promotions, factor seasonal sales into your bidding strategy, and reach in-market consumers this season and beyond.

Heat up in-store sales with new Local campaign features

Before they're heading to the store, local shoppers are hunting for deals: searches for "on sale near me" have grown by 250 percent since 2017.

With Local campaigns, you can dedicate your entire campaign to offline sales and complement other channels like TV or print that also help deliver foot traffic to your business during important promotions. In fact, in recent global studies with 10 advertisers, we found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median five times greater incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations.

We have new features coming for Local campaigns to make it available to more advertisers and improve how you manage your locations and creatives. In the next few weeks, you'll be able to set up your Local campaigns to drive calls to your business locations-even if you don't have store visits measurement. By expanding Local campaigns to optimize for calls, more advertisers will now be able to access it and highlight what makes their stores unique across Google Search, Maps, YouTube and more.

Starting today, you can also create location groups to make it easier to promote a subset of business locations. For instance, if you're selling special back-to-school product bundles at certain locations, use location groups to tailor your budget and messaging to this offer. Finally, asset reporting has started rolling out to give you better insight into creative performance. See what kinds of messaging and assets work best and use these learnings to improve your current and future creatives.


Google Ads Local Campaigns One sheeter


Sanborns, a leading department store in Latin America, is one brand using Local campaigns to drive results during key promotions.

Grupo Sanborns

We're excited to work with Google's new technology to help us grow our business. For Father's Day in Mexico and for a major sale we ran at the end of May, we used Local campaigns to make our in-store offers more prominent. It's amazing how we can get exposure with customers at the right time, and this helped us drive a 10x increase in store visits during these promotions year-over-year.

- Grupo Sanborns' marketing team

Put your in-store promotions front and center in local inventory ads

We're also making it easier for retailers to highlight in-store promotions for specific products through Shopping ads. Today, retailers have connected over 2 billion offers to physical store locations globally using local inventory ads. Now, you can add a promotion to your local inventory ads. Call out in-store offers like "20% off" or "buy one get one free" for inventory you have in stock and drive more nearby deal-hunters to your physical locations.

Local campaigns Pixel

We're rolling this out in the U.S. and Australia, with more countries coming soon. If you're a retailer interested in participating, request to join the whitelist here.

Improve Smart Bidding performance by factoring in seasonal sales

Smart Bidding automatically optimizes your bids for every auction to help improve your return on investment. And while it factors in seasonality as a signal, we know there are key moments for your business-like during a big sale-when you can anticipate changes in conversion rates well in advance. For these occasions, we've introduced seasonality adjustments.

Let's say you're running a promotion for grills as people get ready for their summer cookouts. Based on past promotions, you predict seeing a 50 percent increase in conversion rates during your sale. Use seasonality adjustments to let Smart Bidding know to expect and prepare for this conversion rate increase, and help our systems ramp up performance more quickly.

Reach shoppers in the market for your products

In-market audiences for Search help advertisers drive more conversions by reaching qualified shoppers who are actively considering products or services to buy. These are aggregated and anonymized groups of consumers who've recently demonstrated an intent to purchase. This gives you a great opportunity to help your business stand out with compelling offers or deals when people are making their final decisions about what to buy.

We've recently rolled out more in-market segments across popular categories like beauty, sports, education and real estate. This includes over thirty new categories for retail, just in time for your seasonal sales.

No matter what season you're ramping up for around the globe, we hope these new products set you up for success!


26 Jun 2019 4:00pm GMT

25 Jun 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Extend the reach of your site personalization in Google Optimize

Personalization features in Google Optimize help businesses customize sites so their customers can find exactly what they're looking for, when they're looking for it. For example, marketers can display a special promotion on their site for all visitors, or provide product recommendations based on customers' previous purchase behavior.


Multi-page experiences in Optimize help you more easily deliver what your customers are looking for. Now, when you create a personalization or experiment, you'll see an option to add additional pages so that you can extend its reach throughout your entire site-from the initial landing page to the final checkout page. Let's take a look at two examples:


Coordinated customization across your entire site


Picture this: You're planning for a sale next month and will be offering a 20 percent off discount code to all visitors. You want to see if displaying this code across your entire site will increase site conversions. Because each type of page on your site has a unique layout, you need to find a different spot to display your promotion on each page.


Now with Optimize, you can test this idea by creating a single experiment and adding multiple pages to it using the "+ Add page" button.


From there, you'll have the option to edit those pages so that you can display the promotion wherever it looks best in each case-whether that's at the top of your site on the homepage or next to the pricing on your product page.


When you are happy with the results of the multi-page experiment, you can turn it into a multi-page personalization with just one click.


The right experience to the right audience


If you're using Optimize 360, you have the added ability to focus your experiment or personalization to your Google Analytics audiences.


Using the same sale example, let's say you want to offer a 35 percent off discount to your most loyal customers. You can create a multi-page personalization in the same way as described above. You can place the 35 percent discount banner and copy in all the pages that your loyal customers visit. When this personalization is launched, your loyal customers will always see this discount as they move from the home page, through your site, to the checkout page.


Optimize Summer Sale

Want to learn how you can use this feature? Visit this article on our Help Center.

Multi-page experiences are already available to all Optimize and Optimize 360 accounts. You'll be able to ensure your customers see the right message at the right time-even as they explore multiple pages on your site. And by creating a more valuable online experience, they'll keep visiting you again and again.

25 Jun 2019 6:30pm GMT

Introducing BigQuery parameters in Data Studio

If you're one of the many Data Studio users writing custom queries for BigQuery, you can now run parameterized queries. This provides better customization and interaction options to your users while making your reports faster.


When connecting to BigQuery from Data Studio you can use special date parameters or define your own named parameters as part of a custom query. Parameters in custom queries introduce two key benefits: queries can be dynamically updated from the report - no need to create new data sources; this works even if the report user does not have edit access to the data source. You can optimize query cost and gain dashboard performance improvements since less data is passed from BigQuery to Data Studio for parameterized queries.

Creating parameterized custom queries


Let's say you're interested in analyzing word usage by corpus for a selected set of Shakepeare's works. The following BigQuery Public Dataset, bigquery-public-data.samples.shakespeare,is available to carry out this analysis:
BQ Public Dataset

To allow report editors to choose which corpus to analyze from Shakespeare's works you can use the Custom Query interface of the BigQuery connector in Data Studio to define corpus as a parameter as part of a filter. You can define the type of UI element for the parameter (e.g., text input, single select, checkbox, etc.) and provide default values.


In the following example, the corpus parameter has been defined as a single-select dropdown with Hamlet as the default value along with other works as options such as Othello, King Lear, etc.

A BigQuery custom query with a custom corpus parameter

A BigQuery custom query with a custom corpus parameter

What's really cool is that once you've defined the configuration, report editors will then be able to choose a specific corpus to analyze by using the dropdown from the parameters section of the report property panel:

Report Property Panel

E.g. The corpus parameter options in the

Data Studio property panel.

Using date parameters


Prior to date parameters, custom queries for date sharded or partitioned tables could not be limited to a date range based on a report's date control. Instead, your custom query would have to fetch all rows for all dates, leaving Data Studio to do the job of filtering for the date range selected by the report user. The result is slower and less efficient reports.


With date parameters, you can use the reserved start and end date parameters as part of a custom query. When report users select a date range for analysis the dates selected will automatically be included as part of your custom query, resulting in a much more efficient query and fetching only the rows needed for the requested date range.


The following example custom query uses the @DS_START_DATE and @DS_END_DATE parameters as part of a filter on the creation date column of a table. The records produced by the query will be limited to the date range selected by the report user, reducing the number of records returned and resulting in a faster query:


BQ Custom Query

A BigQuery custom query using start and end date parameters

The standard Data Studio date settings and controls will determine the date values for your custom query. A report editor can set a default date or add a date control to a report and the start and end dates for your query will change based on the report date control.


In both cases, named and date parameters offer a more efficient way to retrieve data from a single BigQuery data source while giving your report users flexible options to analyze different data.


Try it out!

To learn more about how parameters work review data source parameters and connecting to BigQuery.


As you have a chance to experiment with parameters, send us feedback or give us a shout out at @googleanalytics.


25 Jun 2019 5:30pm GMT

Helping parents and guardians have the "EdTech talk"

Editor's Note: This week, we're joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

It's crucial for us, and at the heart of our mission, to provide teachers with effective classroom technology that lets them create supportive learning environments. This includes giving educators tools to communicate with parents and guardians, and work with them as partners-because we know learning isn't limited to the classroom. This year at ISTE, we're showcasing our digital citizenship and online safety platforms. These products can help parents and guardians aid students' digital wellbeing, enable parents and guardians to have visibility and participation in the classroom and strengthen the connection between the home and the classroom.

Using tech to communicate with parents and guardians

  • Google Classroom offers guardian summary emails. This option allows guardians to receive daily or weekly email digests of their child's activities in Google Classroom, including upcoming or missing work and different assignments posted in each class. Educators also told us they use Google Slides or Google Sites to have students create monthly recaps or ongoing portfolios. This is a great way to help students take ownership over their learning.

  • Hangouts Meet can help teachers regularly check in with parents, especially when in-person parent-teacher conferences are not possible. Virtual meetings and home visits can be easily scheduled using Google Calendar Appointment Slots. Guardians can connect with educators from anywhere via video call to see examples of their child's progress.

  • Google Forms can be used to collect trip permission slips, coordinate volunteers or submit questions or concerns to teachers during off hours. Educators can use Forms and Sheets to set up an easy way to contact parents. Extensions like Form Publisher can help with mail merges and formatting.

The school to home connection

Each school, classroom and teacher makes different decisions about classroom technology. Regardless of the type of technology, it's important for teachers to foster the conversation of why their school or classroom has chosen it, what you're doing with it in the classroom, how families can continue using it at home. Here's how to get students talking about technology, from school to home.

  • Share the Guardian's Guide to Chromebooks with students' families to help them understand how Chromebooks are being used in the classroom and send a letter home on how parents and guardians can foster a conversation with their children about the technology they're using in class.

  • Send parents and guardians to the Google for Education website to help them understand how students and educators are protected with Google's best-in-class privacy and security. They can also learn about classroom technology like G Suite for Education, Chromebooks, Google Expeditions and more.

  • Share the G Suite Learning Centerwith parents and guardians who want to become more familiar with G Suite tools being used in their child's school.

  • Use Tour Creator so students and their teachers can create their own virtual reality tours of their school or classroom-or even a topic they are learning in school-to share with family members and guardians.

Video of Google Cloud Next presentation

Hear from educators and Googlers about using EdTech tools in schools

Digital citizenship and online safety resources

Technology, when used responsibly, can be a powerful resource that can unlock entire worlds. It's important to teach kids how to navigate the internet responsibly. It's also crucial to set expectations around how much screen time is appropriate each day, when screens are okay and what activities are appropriate to engage in on their devices. Here are some resources and tools to help parents set digital rules.

  • FOSI online safety lessons: Help students learn how to safely navigate the web and develop skills for school, work, and life. We partnered with the Family Online Safety Institute to build five new lessons to help families stay safe online when it comes to digital wellbeing and screen time.

  • ConnectSafely: Read the Parent Guides from our partners who are dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security. Share guides with parents and guardians on social media, cyberbullying, EdTech, Media Literacy & Fake News, Cybersecurity and more.

  • Family Link and Be Internet Awesome: With Family Link, manage the quantity of children's screen time(daily time limits, device bedtime, locking the device remotely) and the quality as well (app approvals, website whitelisting/blacklisting. You can also see how much time kids are spending in apps, and hide apps on their device. And use Be Internet Awesome's family resources to teach students how to be safe, confident explorers of the online world.

As teachers and parents guide the next generation of digital citizens, we're continuing to offer new ways to foster a safe and supportive learning environment for students, teachers and families. From exploratory tools in classrooms that can be used at home, to accessible platforms that encourage confident and safe online exploration, we'll continue to make it our goal to provide tools that go beyond the classroom.

25 Jun 2019 1:00pm GMT

EdTech companies you should know about

Editor's Note: This week, we're joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

At ISTE 2019, we're highlighting a wide range of apps and integrations that make learning more accessible for students of diverse strengths, abilities and needs. We work closely with developers to ensure these accessibility-focused tools and integrations work with our own products, and evolve based on the needs of students and educators who share their feedback with us. Here's how G Suite and Chromebooks power apps that make learning more inclusive:

  • Capti Voice reads aloud documents, books and webpages to students, translates words and passages in more than 100 languages. Students and educators who have a G Suite for Education account can access the app from Google Drive on any web platform. This is especially helpful for students with vision loss, dyslexia, ADHD or motor challenges.

  • Crick Software: One of the first augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps-designed to support students with impairments in spoken or written language-created for Chromebook users, Crick Software supports writers at various levels of experience and ability with word grids that help build sentences. This tool also reads passages back so students can check their work with ease.

  • Scanning Pens: The ReaderPen reads aloud as a student scans the pen over written text, aiding students who need extra support with reading. Students scan the text directly into a Google Doc, upload the audio recordings to a Chromebook or Android device so that they can easily reference the information later.

  • Bulb: Students and educators can create, curate, and share work in a digital portfolio directly from Google Classroom, and access their Bulb portfolio work in Google Drive. Students can share work created in Bulb directly back to Google Classroom, and lessons can be evaluated in Bulb and graded in Google Classroom.

  • Slooh: Slooh's innovative space lab is a global network of virtual robotic telescopes controlled by students (of all ages) and teachers in curriculum-driven, self-guided space exploration. Through Slooh's integration with Google for Education, teachers can make assignments and track student progress.

YouTube video of Crick Software's Clicker Communicator for Chromebooks

Expanding personalized learning with the Chromebook App Hub

We're also working with educational apps focused on cultivating personalized learning environments, improving organization, and optimizing assessments. Here are some partners offering expanded functionality in G Suite, Google Classroom, and Chromebooks, all featured in the brand new Chromebook App Hub.

  • Seesaw has new creative tools optimized for students using Chromebooks. Students can select files from Google Drive, annotate, and curate them into their Seesaw portfolios to share with teachers, parents/guardians, and classmates on Chromebooks. Teachers can import rosters from Google Classroom to Seesaw in just a few clicks-making sharing and demonstrating student learning seamless. Check out Seesaw on the Chromebook App Hub.

  • Backpack for Google Drive by Amplified Labs: Students curate, reflect upon, and showcase digital learning materials against a district-defined skills framework. Backpack manages all of the sharing and organization in Google Drive and connects with Google Classroom rosters and assignments. Check out Backpack for Google Drive on the Chromebook App Hub.

  • Kahoot! makes it easy to create, share and play fun learning games or quizzes in minutes. Their single sign-on feature allows Google users to effortlessly log into their Kahoot! account, and their Google Classroom integration enables educators to share Kahoot! homework challenges with their students in one click. Check out Kahoot! on the Chromebook App Hub.

The Google for Education Technology Partner Program gives developers access to technical, marketing and branding support, and Google initiatives, such as Cloud credits for startups, developer scholarships, and launchpad spaces. Have a product that integrates with Google for Education? Explore the available program track options. If you're looking for awesome apps that integrate with Google tools, check out the Chromebook App Hub, andjoin the App Hub community.

25 Jun 2019 1:00pm GMT

Chicken coops and Snoop Dogg: Martha Stewart's smart home

Managing your home can get complicated. There's always something to look out for, such as a water heater malfunction, the arrival of an important package or general upkeep like trimming boxwood hedges and maintaining the yard. Luckily, smart home technology such as cameras, thermostats and voice-activated speakers now make it easier to keep tabs on the things that matter to you-whether you're taking care of children or pets, trying to save on your energy bills or planning for a busy week.

I recently enlisted the help of Google Nest, which along with ARS, a network of professional technicians and home advisors, turned my house into a more useful, interactive and connected home. Now, caring for my property is as easy as checking my phone, or asking Google to show me a room in my house. And if there's something that needs my attention, I'll get a notification.

Here are some of my favorite tips for how to make the most of your smart home to help solve some of the curveballs life might throw your way.

Check on your pets.

Anyone with a pet knows how important they are to one's life, and it's easy to worry about them when you aren't at home. At my house, animals are a big part of my family-my beloved Chow Chows, my French bulldogs, my cats, canaries, horses, peacocks, pigeons and chickens-and keeping them safe, separate and out of trouble is a priority for me. With the Nest Cam, even when you're not home you can check on your pet and observe their activities in real time. It always gives me peace of mind when I'm out of the house or away at work.

  • Martha Stewart's chicken coop

    With my Nest Cam, I can check in on the chicken coop at any time, especially when I'm away from home.

  • Martha Stewart's horse

    I also use the Nest Cam to check in on the horses.

  • Martha Stewart's greenhouse

    Here's how I can see my greenhouse, which is full of exotic plants. My Nest thermostat helps me maintain the right temperature, no matter the season.

  • Martha Stewart's Nest camera views

    With the Nest app, I can view live video from Nest Cams placed around my property.

Keep your home the perfect temperature.

Smart thermostats are an easy way to manage the temperature in your home. The Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adapts as your life and the seasons change, and it programs itself after about a week of use. For example, I love collecting exotic plants, but they, like pets, require a lot of upkeep. Luckily, a Nest Thermostat in my greenhouse keeps the temperature just right. When the weather changes suddenly, I can control the climate by changing the temperature remotely through the app.

Plan ahead.

Whether I'm prepping for my next big project or making a shopping list for the local nursery, I always like to be prepared, and that includes having the right information at my fingertips whenever I need it. When I'm getting ready for a trip, I ask the Google Assistant on my Home Mini for the weather at my upcoming destination to make sure I'm packing appropriately.

Get notifications about what's going on at home.

I have a very busy life and packed schedule. It's incredibly helpful to get notifications when something at home needs attention. For example, my Nest Hello video doorbell lets me know when a courier has arrived to deliver a package, so I can let them know where to leave it. Another great feature is that my Nest Protect smoke alarm checks itself so I don't have to do manual monthly tests.

Watch your favorite videos.

Having a smart home isn't only about function-it's also about having fun. I love watching my favorite videos of my friend Snoop Dogg and me on YouTube with my Nest Hub: "Hey Google, show me Martha and Snoop videos on YouTube."

I hope you'll try some of these tips yourself and benefit from making your home a smart home like I have. A little help at home: it's a good thing.

25 Jun 2019 11:00am GMT

24 Jun 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Make every story a performance with help from Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell knows how to tell a story. She's taking a break from Disney's "Frozen" to help you make every story a performance, with Google Home Mini as her co-star. If you need help with your own storytelling, you can get a Google Home Mini and three Little Golden Books-"The Lion King," "Aladdin," and "Frozen"-for $49 at Walmart.


To read along with Google Home Mini, grab one of these Little Golden Books and say, "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney." As you read aloud, your Google Home will play sound effects and music to bring more magic to the story. It recognizes where you are in the book, so if you skip ahead or read your favorite part a few times, it can keep up with you and play the right sound effects. We know that interruptions are inevitable, so if you pause for any reason, background music will play until you're ready to begin again.


As the kids get older, they may want to do story time on their own. For parents who want to give their kids access to the Assistant on Google Home, you can create an account for kids under 13 through Family Link, then link their Google Account and voice to Google Home. And remember-Google Home already comes with lots of other Disney games, so you can go on interactive adventures with some of your favorite characters right from your living room.


So, prepare your costumes, work on your character voices and get ready to read. Google Home and Disney will set the stage.


24 Jun 2019 4:00pm GMT

A mom-and-mom card shop draws from experience

If you told me when I was 12 that one day I would be married to another woman and making a living selling greeting cards, I would have given you a "pssht" of disbelief. But I am glad to report that today in 2019, not only am I happily married to someone of the same sex, but also, making greeting cards with my wife is a perfectly respectable way to put food on the table.

I met my future wife, best friend and collaborator Morgan Calderini while working at an arts nonprofit in Rhode Island. We shared a similar passion for creating interesting work that made a difference in the world. As a designer and a printmaker, we began collaborating on different projects shortly after we met, but in 2011, our neon-inked and letterpress-printed, poster-sized wedding invitation went viral and launched us into the spotlight. We quit our nonprofit jobs, rescued a rusty letterpress out of the back of an abandoned shipping container and threw together a website. With little more than a credit card and a recent gay wedding under our belts, we started Ladyfingers Letterpress.

Ladyfingers Letterpress wedding invitation

The wedding invitation that launched Ladyfingers Letterpress.

During the honeymoon of launching our business, we noticed a deficit in queer-friendly products on the market. As LGBTQ+ authors, designers and makers with a rapidly growing online following, we felt empowered to make work that would fill a niche. By using Google My Business we were able to attract more retailers, business contacts and customers with our online reviews, photos and maps. We also frequently updated our website with our most recent work and engaged with our customers. Our online traffic grew to account for half of our business.

  • Ladyfingers Letterpress New Pronouns

    A sampling of work from Ladyfingers Letterpress.

  • Ladyfingers Letterpress LGBTQ

    A sampling of work from Ladyfingers Letterpress.

  • Ladyfingers Letterpress Labels Are For Cereal

    A sampling of work from Ladyfingers Letterpress.

  • Ladyfingers Letterpress I Believe in You

    A sampling of work from Ladyfingers Letterpress.

  • Ladyfingers Letterpress #1 Moms

    A sampling of work from Ladyfingers Letterpress.

In 2014, we relocated to Morgan's hometown of Colorado Springs to be near her family after a wildfire destroyed their home. We struggled to find our place there, but soon discovered the importance of offering a safe space while staying true to our voice no matter where we were. We opened our flagship store in the heart of downtown, where we also host hand-lettering workshops and offer a wide variety of boutique stationery items and locally-made gifts.

From this post we operate our letterpress and design headquarters, and can personally interact with our customers as they see the presses running and witness our products being made. We added the"LGBTQ-friendly" attribute to our Google My Business listing to let customers know they're always welcome. It's especially important for people who navigate their day according to where spaces are safe and not safe.

We believe that you don't have to be a large company to make a big impact. We take pride in making things by hand, locally, and sustainably. Some of the greatest successes we've experienced are the hugs from teary-eyed people who were touched by our work. If you would have asked 12-year-old me to define success, I probably wouldn't have measured it by how much I make other people cry, but today, it seems perfectly applicable.

24 Jun 2019 4:00pm GMT

Helping kids learn to evaluate what they see online

Editor's Note: This week we're launching six new media literacy activities for Be Internet Awesome, designed to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the internet. The new activities were developed in collaboration with experts Anne Collier, executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, and Faith Rogow, PhD, co-author of The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy and a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

As a reading specialist and former high school English teacher, I've witnessed technology enhance our lives in and out of the classroom. But that comes with lots of challenges, like learning to communicate responsibly, being kind online and deciphering what is real and what is fake. We need the right tools and resources to help kids make the most of technology, and while good digital safety and citizenship resources exist for families, more can be done for media literacy. I've worked alongside dozens of educators who believe that media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, but agree that it's a topic that can be tough to cover.

Fortunately, the new media literacy lessons developed for Be Internet Awesome make it easy and fun for kids to learn key skills for evaluating what they see online. These lessons complement the program's digital safety and citizenship topics, which help kids explore the online world in a safe, confident manner.

Be Internet Awesome is like an instruction manual for making smart decisions online. Kids today need a guide to the internet and media just as they need instruction on other topics. We need help teaching them about credible sources, the power of words and images and more importantly, how to be smart and savvy when seeing different media while browsing the web.

All of these resources are not only available for classrooms, but also free and easily accessible for families as well. They're in both English and in Spanish, along with eight other languages, and if you'd like to get some hands-on training as well, Google is partnering with the YMCA and National PTA across multiple cities to host online safety workshops.

I encourage parents to take advantage of these resources and the new activities on media literacy. Let's not only teach kids, but also inspire, educate and empower families to make tech work better for them as well.

24 Jun 2019 1:00pm GMT

Building the Future of the Classroom with Google for Education

Editor's Note: This week, we're joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

In order to build technology helps students learn, we try to imagine where the future of education is going. The recent Future of the Classroom Global Report identifies emerging trends in education, backed by research. Here's how our products and initiatives line up with each of those trends:

Emerging technologies

WithGoogle Expeditions, students can go on virtual field trips-and there are 1,000 tours to pick from, including Carmen Sandiego tours published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Through the rest of the rest of the year, we're rolling out an improved Expeditions experience across many Chrome OS devices. Check here to see if your device is compatible.

Students can also use Tour Creator-which was just recognized as an AASL 2019 Best Website for Teaching & Learning-to create their own virtual reality tours. They can take fellow students or parents on tours of their town or school using the Expeditions App.

Innovating teaching

We're continuing to grow the Teacher Center, our library of free online trainings for educators. For teachers getting started with our tools for the first time, we've added courses for Expeditions and G Suite Editors (Google Docs and Slides ) to complement the existing trainings on Classroom, Forms, and Jamboard.

We've also created shorter courses across a variety of topics, like helping teachers support English language learners, how to use Chromebook accessibility features, or how to get started with our CS First and Applied Digital Skills curriculums.

And for educators who want to get the most out of Google technology, local experts are there to help. Check out our network of trainers, innovators, reference schools and local PD partners on our newly re-designed EDU Directory.

Coaching in the classroom

For educators to benefit from investments in technology, they need to know how to integrate it into their classrooms. The Dynamic Learning Project trains teachers on how to effectively use classroom technology, and we have a new training curriculum for administrators, teaching them how to support instructional coaches in their schools.

We're also helping school administrators quantify their organization's Google for Education implementation across products (G Suite and Chromebooks) and programs (Certification and Transformation) with the launch of the EDU Transformation Report.

Additionally, we've expanded our resources to help school and district leaders think about centering equity in their school's transformation. So we created a new Educational Equity page with resources and case studies to help school leaders understand how equity can be a central characteristic in all seven pillars of the Transformation Framework.

Digital Responsibility

Applied Digital Skillshas seven new lessons focused on digital wellbeing. Teachers can use these free, project-based lessons to teach students to build healthy digital habits, avoid online scams, understand their digital footprint, and more.

Life Skills and Workforce Preparation

Applied Digital Skills also has new lessons that prepare middle and high school students to use G Suite fluently in college, the workforce and beyond. To prove their mastery, students can take the professional G Suite certification and add it to resumes and applications. Other new lessons focus on introducing students to machine learning, making art with Google Sheets, calculating probability, and exploring women's history.

Computational Thinking

CS First, our coding curriculum for students in elementary and middle school, has a new professional development session for teachers to integrate coding activities into English Language Arts, math and science classes.

Acquired by Google last year, Workbench is a content library for educators to discover, create, remix, and share lessons and resources. At ISTE we're announcing a new integration with the Workbench Blockly programming canvas and Google Sheets. This enables people to build Blockly programs to control multiple bluetooth devices (robots, drones, sensors, microcontrollers) and send that data to or retrieve data from Google Sheets.

We're honored to be a part of a global community of educators and parents who help their students develop problem-solving skills, safely navigate the digital world, and prepare for future careers. As classrooms continue to evolve, our products to help educators and students evolve as well.

24 Jun 2019 1:00pm GMT

21 Jun 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Teach your self(ie) how to snap the perfect pic

A selfie a day keeps the doctor away? According to a study, millennials are expected to take more than 25,000 selfies in their lifetime, which comes down to one solo snap a day.


Today is National Selfie Day, so we've put together a few tips and tricks from our Pixel Camera experts for taking the best solo pics.


Natural light > flash: Taking photos in the dark is hard, and it may be tempting to use your phone's flash. But flash photography often makes a selfie look washed out, and you can lose your background, or add glare to your face.


Low-light features are your friend: Having a low-light feature like Pixel's Night Sight can enhance brightness in a dimly-lit setting, but without the white-cast caused by a flash. Night Sight takes several shots and puts them on top of each other to get a naturally lit image, even in the dark.

Night Sight

Know your angles: Positioning your face slightly to one side can make your selfie look less like an I.D. photo, and more like a natural shot. Using photography's "Rule of Thirds" can help you snap a great picture, by bringing the focus of your photo to the area in an image where your eye naturally falls.


Surfer Selfie


Control your portraits: The subtle blur on Portrait Mode can help you pop against the background of your selfie. With Pixel 3 and 3a, you can adjust the blur to your liking. And always remember: Portrait Mode works best when the subject can stand out against a busy background.

Portrait Mode GIF

Don't over-edit:Just like your parents have always told you: "you're beautiful." While editing apps are great, make sure you still look like yourself after you snap your selfie.


21 Jun 2019 10:00am GMT

Stories of Yoga on Google Arts & Culture

Yoga has been around for a few millennia, but I'm completely new to the practice and have only practiced a few poses, like Ekpadasana (the "one leg posture"). Just like a yoga teacher would lead you through the steps of this posture, a new Google Arts & Culture collection called Stories of Yoga, takes you through the history, culture and science behind the practice. If you're a new yogi like me, follow the sequence below to learn the "one leg posture," and read on for some insights our partners have shared for the "Stories of Yoga" exhibit.

1. Come to a standing posture. Take in a deep breath.

Do you know what the word "yoga" means? It has a lot of nuanced interpretations. The ancient Indian text, called Rigveda, implied yoga means "achieving the unachieved," "harnessing," or "connection," and the exhibition "What is Yoga?" explains other interpretations.

2. Finding your balance, bring up your right foot and place it in the center of the inner thigh of your left leg. Your toes should point downward.

One of the most widely-known gurus, Swami Sivananda, introduced five principles of yoga: proper exercise (āsana), the right breathing (prāṇāyāma), relaxation (śavāsana), proper diet, and positive thinking & meditation (vedānta).

3. Bring your palms together in front of your chest as if in prayer, and focus your gaze on a spot in the distance in front of you. Exhale.

Yoga is older than you might think, it actually dates back by a few millennia. The so-called Vedas and Upanishads started referring to yoga around 3000 BC. Two of the earliest teachers who recorded texts dedicated to yoga were Yajnavalkya and Patanjali. Visit the Museum of Classical Yoga and explore a brief timeline.

4. Hold the position and inhale and exhale deeply a few times.

Yoga strengthens your body as well as the mind. Learn about Shri Yogendra, who started off as a wrestler before rooting himself into yoga and founding the Yoga Institute. Or follow the journey of well known guru B.K.S Iyengar, who used yoga to heal his tuberculosis-affected body.

  • Yoga Institute - Ekpadasana.jpg

    A group practicing Ekpadasana at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai

  • Iyengar at Grand Canyon.jpg

    BKS Iyengar in Natarajasana on the rim of the Grand Canyon in America, from Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute

  • Swami Sivananda overseeing Swami Vishnudevananda in scorpion pose.jpg

    Swami Sivananda overseeing Swami Vishnudevananda doing the scorpion posture, from Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams

  • Yoga Institute - Sita Devi in Cobra Pose.jpg

    Shrimati Sita Devi Yogendra practicing the cobra pose, from The Yoga Institute in Mumbai

  • Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams.png

    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams

5. Release back into the standing posture slowly, and repeat for the other leg.

Did you know that women were actually barred from practicing the yoga discipline? Meet pioneer Shrimati Sita Devi Yogendra, who changed perceptions by becoming the first female guru. She introduced sequences specially tailored for women's physiology.

6. As a variation, you can lift your arms up all the way while holding the prayer position. As another variation, you can do the entire sequence while lying flat on your back instead of standing.

There are so many different postures and their variations, and each school has a set of their own. Take a sneak-peek into some of the yoga centers in virtual walkthroughs and see the practice sessions up close.

It is not a big stretch to learn more about yoga thanks to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams, The Yoga Institute, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Vivekananda House and other institutions on Google Arts & Culture at g.co/storiesofyoga.

21 Jun 2019 4:00am GMT

20 Jun 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

How we fight fake business profiles on Google Maps

Google Maps helps people explore, navigate and get things done-and increasingly people are using Google Maps to find local businesses. Over the years, we've added more than 200 million places to Google Maps and every month we connect people to businesses more than nine billion times, including more than one billion phone calls and three billion requests for directions.


To help people find the places and businesses they're looking for-both big and small-Local Guides, business owners and people using Maps every day can contribute to business information. We get millions of contributions each day (like new business profiles, reviews, star ratings, and more) and the vast majority of these contributions are helpful and accurate. But occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them. Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the internet's side for over a decade. They even existed back when business listings were printed, bound and delivered to your doorstep. We take these issues very seriously and have been using a wide array of techniques and approaches to limit abuse on our platforms.


These scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game our system-as we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle continues. Although it's important that we make it easy for legitimate businesses to get their business profiles on Google, we've also implemented strict policies and created tools that enable people to flag these issues so we can take action. It's a constant balancing act and we're continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems. But we can't share too many details about these efforts without running the risk of actually helping scammers find new ways to beat our systems-which defeats the purpose of all the work we do.


We understand the concerns of those people and businesses impacted by local business scammers and back in 2017 we announced the progress we'd made. There was still work to be done then and there's still work to be done now. We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies. Here's more information about the progress we made against this type of abuse last year:

  • We took down more than 3 million fake business profiles--and more than 90 percent of those business profiles were removed before a user could even see the profile.

  • Our internal systems were responsible for more than 85 percent of these removals.

  • More than 250,000 of the fake business profiles we removed were reported to us by users.

  • We disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive - a 50 percent increase from 2017.

This year, we've already introduced a new way to report suspicious business profiles and have started to apply refined techniques to business categories where we're seeing an increase in fraud attempts. To help foster a healthy ecosystem, we're also donating settlement funds from litigation against bad actors to organizations that educate businesses and consumers about fraud. As we continue to fight against fraud, we're making sure people people can flag issues when they see them. Here's how:

Every month Maps is used by more than a billion people around the world, and every day we and our users work as a community to improve the map for each other. We know that a small minority will continue trying to scam others, so there will always be work to do and we're committed to keep doing better.


20 Jun 2019 9:00pm GMT

For this Googler, teaching code is a "drag"

If you're looking to learn how to code, there are tons of tutorials on YouTube-but only a few star a wise-cracking drag queen in a candy-colored wig. That's Anna Lytical, who was dreamed up by Billy Jacobson, an engineer at Google's New York office who wants to bring some drag to the tech world-and bring some tech to the drag world, too.

Billy's interest in drag and computer science started around the same time, in high school. He got into drag as a fan, through watching the show "RuPaul's Drag Race" after school. By the time he moved to New York after college, the show had become an Emmy-winning hit and he was inspired to give drag a try himself. "I had been looking for a new creative outlet, because I had done a lot of theater in high school and I was not doing any of that in the city," he says.

So he watched makeup tutorials on YouTube, and took a class to refine his skills. About two years ago, he performed for the first time as Anna Lytical, a name he says describes his personality on and off stage. "I'll always be analytical even if I'm not Anna Lytical," he jokes. (He briefly contemplated another math-inspired name, Carrie the One, but it was already taken.)

This year, Billy decided to take Anna Lytical to YouTube, with an unexpected twist: a channel dedicated to teaching people about computer science. With nods to famous drag queens, Anna's videos teach people how to code, with lots of projects and pop-culture references to keep viewers interested.

The channel is a departure from other educational videos, which can sometimes be dry and academic. "If you want to make fan art for your favorite drag queen, why not turn it into an interactive website?" Billy says, explaining how he uses projects to teach people about CS. "That's a way you could get introduced to coding." This month, Anna Lytical's channel started an in-depth series that serves as an introduction to computer science, "all dragged up."

Anna Lytical teaches Computer Science 101

"I'm trying to bring tech to people who are interested in drag, and show them you can be queer and flamboyant and be an engineer and code and that's totally fine," Billy says. "I'm also showing people in tech you can be a guy who wears makeup, and you can be an engineer who does drag and performs and expresses yourself."

Billy says it's important to boost LGBTQ+ representation in the tech world, because the industry should reflect the people who use tech products. (That's everyone, after all.) "If there aren't people like you building the technology around you, you're not going to get represented in it," he says. "There could be a form asking you to fill out information about yourself, and maybe there's not a gender option that lines up with you. Or a name field that doesn't accept a character in your name. Representation all around is really important."

Through Anna Lytical, Billy has found more than just the creative outlet he was looking for. "I don't totally think of Anna Lytical as a separate person, but more of a space," he says. "A space I'm free to express myself however I want, wear whatever I want and feel comfortable with it." Not all Anna Lytical's videos feature full wigs and dialed-up glamour-one, for example, is a casual tutorial, filmed in a bathroom, demonstrating how to create the Chrome logo using eye makeup.

Anna Lytical's Chrome makeup tutorial

Regardless of the glam factor, Billy says it's all drag. "I think drag means a lot of different things to a lot of different people," he explains. "A lot of drag we see in the media is about exploring femininity, but I see a lot of people explore masculinity with drag, too. I like to go in both directions and play with all these things."

Billy Jacobson (left) presenting at I/O 2019.

Billy (left) presenting at I/O 2019.

Billy took the stage at I/O this year to discuss storing Internet of Things data. And though the audience may not have noticed, he brought a little bit of drag with him. He wore foundation and concealer, and played up his eyebrows with makeup, which gave him an extra dose of confidence on stage. "It's kind of having a lucky charm. Maybe not everyone's going to see it if you keep it in your pocket, but it's there for you," he says. "People probably won't notice I'm wearing makeup, but I know. It's not for them, it's for me."

20 Jun 2019 5:00pm GMT

Helping businesses capture their identity with Google My Business

Since launching Google My Business five years ago, we've helped more than 150 million local businesses connect with people who are looking for them online. Today, when people search for businesses, they're on the hunt for something more specific--like "late night restaurants near Washington Square Park" or "rooftop happy hour with great cocktails." And they're looking to get more things done--whether that's booking, a reservation, or asking what products a store offers.

We've evolved Google My Business to better meet these needs--from redesigned, easier-to-use mobile apps to making restaurant reservations directly from Google. Today, we're rolling out more features to help businesses make their Profiles as unique as they are and as descriptive as the queries that get customers there.

  • Attract people with welcome offers: Did someone say deal? We've found that more than half of online customers are looking for an offer or discount. Starting today, businesses can reward customers who follow their business on Google with welcome offers , turning happy first time customers into loyal, repeat ones.

Welcome Offers

You can receive a Welcome Offer by following some of your favorite businesses on Maps

  • Find businesses quicker with short names and URLs:Business owners can now claim a short name and URL for their business. With this URL, businesses can easily refer customers back to their Profile - to catch up on latest updates, to make a booking or to write a review after a visit. In the coming months, people will also be able to search short names in Maps.

  • Show personality with cover photos: Businesses can easily set their preferred profile cover photo, putting their best foot forward.

  • Identify companies with more prominent logos:Businesses have an additional branding opportunity with the logo feature. Those that have completed their core information (phone number, hours, etc) will have their logo displayed at the top right-hand side of their profile.

  • Get visual with photo displays:Photos uploaded by a business will appear instantly and prominently on a new dynamic module on the Profile. Photo captions, which are coming, will let businesses tell the stories behind the pictures.

  • Create offline materials:We're also launching a website where businesses can easily download and order custom assets for their place--like stickers--to help promote bookings on the profile, adding reviews and customer following.

Busiiness Profile

The new features can help a Business Profile be as descriptive as possible.

Finally, we want to recognize those businesses that consistently deliver a great experience for people. We'll be highlighting the top five percent of businesses in a particular category with the "Local Favorite" designation. To help people easily find and engage with these businesses, we're also creating digital and physical badges of honors. Stay tuned for more details on these recognition categories coming later this summer.

More descriptive profiles not only help consumers quickly find the business that best suits their needs, but also help businesses stand out and express what is unique about them. We're excited to keep improving Maps and Search for everyone, and help businesses succeed on Google.

20 Jun 2019 4:00pm GMT

04 Nov 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2018: Crab claws!

Do you need something to cheer you up? You got it: I should explain this costume a little bit. At the US Digital Service, we do a thing called "crab claws." Crab claws is like visual applause-you pinch your fingers up and down to say "great job" or "congratulations" or "way to go." We do […]

04 Nov 2018 8:02pm GMT

08 Mar 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Some terrible personal news

Cindy Cutts, my wife and best friend, passed away earlier this week. While I was traveling for work recently, Cindy went to visit her family in Omaha, Nebraska. On Sunday, while enjoying time with family, Cindy started having trouble breathing. Her family quickly called 911 and paramedics took Cindy to the hospital, but Cindy lost […]

08 Mar 2018 12:17am GMT

22 Jan 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Talking to Mr. Money Mustache about the US Digital Service

Last week, I passed my one year anniversary as head of the US Digital Service (USDS). So when Mr. Money Mustache asked for an interview, I was delighted to talk about some of the work that the USDS does. If you aren't familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, he writes about a philosophy of badassity in […]

22 Jan 2018 6:58pm GMT

01 Apr 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google April Fools' Day 2017

April Fools' Day should probably be called Google Fools' Day, since there are so many Google hoaxes.

Google Japan developed a "bubble wrap" version of the Japanese keyboard. "The Google Japanese input bubble wrap version is a keyboard that realizes 'I want to press in my mind, I want to keep pressing'," according to Google Translate.



Another product for your smart home? Meet Google Gnome, "a voice-activated, hands-free tool designed to make backyard living effortless. Need to know what animal is squeaking in your bushes? Stay still and ask Gnome what sound an opossum makes. Running low on birdseed? That's where Gnome comes in. You can even use Gnome's proprietary high-intensity lasers to trim your hedges into whatever shape your heart desires."



The Chrome OS team brings the most popular mobile accessories to the Chromebook, which already blurs the line between mobile and desktop. Chromebook Groupie Stick, Chromebook Cardboard, Chromebook Workout Armband will soon be available in the Google Store. "To take advantage of beautiful, high-resolution displays, as well as great photo editing apps, we've carefully engineered the first Chromebook-sized selfie stick. Never again will you miss the perfect groupie."


Haptic Helpers make VR even more immersive. "We're taking VR to the next level with Haptic Helpers. Using a modest set of everyday tools, these VR virtuosos can simulate more than 10,000 unique experiences, all from the comfort of your own home. Smell the roses. Listen to the ocean. Feel a fluffy dog!"


You can now play the classic arcade game MS. PAC-MAN in Google Maps. "Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue as you swerve the streets of real places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while." Just go to the Google Maps site or open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS and click or tap MS. PAC-MAN at the bottom.


Google Cloud Platform expands to Mars. "By opening a dedicated extraterrestrial cloud region, we're bringing the power of Google's compute, network, and storage to the rest of the solar system, unlocking a plethora of possibilities for astronomy research, exploration of Martian natural resources and interplanetary life sciences. This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system. Our first interplanetary data center - affectionately nicknamed 'Ziggy Stardust' - will open in 2018," mentions Google.


Google Netherlands came up with Google Wind, a machine learning technology that controls the weather. "The Netherlands has many windmills, some no longer in use, we can connect to Google Cloud Platform. So we use the existing Dutch infrastructure, machine learning, weather patterns to control the network of windmills when rain is approaching. The first test results are very promising: we seem to be able to provide sun and clear skies for everyone in the Netherlands," mentions Google Netherlands blog.



Google's search app for iOS is now optimized for cats and dogs. "On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I'm Feeling Woof or I'm Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about-whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk!"


Google also launched Google Play for Pets, a new category of Android games designed for cats, dogs and other pets.


Google Translate's Word Lens feature supports a new language: Heptapod B, the alien language from the movie "Arrival". "The challenge with understanding Heptapod B is its nonlinear orthography. Fortunately, Google's neural machine translation system employs an encoder/decoder system that internally represents sentences as high-dimensional vectors. These vectors map well to the non-linear orthography of the Heptapod language and they are really the enabling technical factor in translating Heptapod B."

01 Apr 2017 7:25am GMT

19 Feb 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Blocks JavaScript Attachments

If you try to send a JavaScript attachment using Gmail or if you want to download a .js attachment, you'll get a new anti-virus warning: "Blocked for security reasons", "1 attachment contains a virus or blocked file. Downloading this attachment is disabled".


.JS has been added to the long list of file types that are blocked by Gmail for security reasons. The full list: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JS (NEW), .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .NSH .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF, .WSH. "To prevent against potential viruses, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files, including: certain file types (listed above), including their compressed form (like .gz or .bz2 files) or when found within archives (like .zip or .tgz files), documents with malicious macros, archives whose listed file content is password protected, archives whose content includes a password protected archive."

The GSuite Blog informs that "for inbound mail, senders will get a bounce message explaining why the email was blocked. If you still need to send .js files for legitimate reasons, you can use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions to share or send your files."

You can still send JavaScript files using Gmail if you change the extension. What about downloading old .js attachments? Try the workarounds from this post.

19 Feb 2017 10:39am GMT

25 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Shows Colorful Suggestions

Google Image Search has a different way to display suggestions: it now shows a long list of colorful boxes with related searches. You can click one or more boxes to dynamically refine search results.


For example, when searching for [sportswear], Google shows suggestions like: [women basketball], [tennis], [badminton], [golf], [volleyball], [nike woman], [alexander wang], [adidas], [fashion], [performance], [vintage], [trendy], [urban], [school], [gym], [90's], [70's], [vogue], [luxe], [avant garde], [korean], [italian], [french] and more. It's interesting to notice that each category of suggestions has a different color.




Here's the old interface, which had fewer suggestions and displayed thumbnails next to suggestions:

25 Jan 2017 9:39pm GMT

19 Jan 2017

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Staying with the US Digital Service

A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Google to do a stint with the US Digital Service. A lot of people know about the US Digital Service because they helped rescue the healthcare.gov website. But you might not realize that the US Digital Service has helped veterans get their health benefits, […]

19 Jan 2017 3:47am GMT

16 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos

Google Image Search's mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It's not disclosed as an ad, there's no sound and you can't stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.



Right now, the experiment seems to be limited to fashion-related queries like [men jackets], [lookbook], [winter outfit], which match videos from YouTube channels like New Look and River Island. "New Look is a South African-owned British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops. (...) The chain sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens," according to Wikipedia.

Google only shows labels like: "New Look on YouTube", even though this looks like an experimental ad format. I hope it will never become a regular feature, as it's pretty annoying and it wastes Internet bandwidth.

16 Jan 2017 10:49am GMT

13 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone

It looks like YouTube's notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube's desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.

"Your notifications live here. Subscribe to your favorite channels to get notified about their latest videos," informs the new notification box.


13 Jan 2017 2:08pm GMT

29 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Notifications in the Navigation Bar

YouTube has recently started to experiment with replacing Google+ notifications in the navigation bar with YouTube notifications. You get notifications for recently uploaded videos from your subscribed channels, but only if you've enabled notifications for those channels. For example, you can go to the subscription manager and click the bell icon next to a channel to enable or disable notifications.

The settings button sends you to the Notifications section from YouTube's Settings page and the 3-dot icon next to each notification lets you turn off notifications from the corresponding channel.


If you don't like this experiment, you can always clear cookies for youtube.com in your browser's settings and opt out.

29 Dec 2016 12:24pm GMT

Google's New Mobile UI for Recipe Search

Just in time for New Year's dinner, Google has a new mobile interface for recipe search. I searched for [avocado mayo] and noticed a long list of keywords below the search box and ads: salad, chicken, shrimp, vegan, bacon and more. You can select more than one keyword and this helps you refine the results.


When selecting a related search, you get a completely different interface that only shows recipes: bigger expandable cards, bigger thumbnails, infinite scrolling.



29 Dec 2016 11:09am GMT

08 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate's 5000 Character Limit

For some reason, Google Translate now has a limit of 5000 characters per translation. There's even a character counter at the bottom of the input box. If you happen to paste a long text that has more than 5000 characters, you'll get an error message ("maximum characters exceeded: X characters over 5000 maximum") and a "translate more" option that lets you translate the rest of the text.


I don't understand the purpose of this restriction, considering that Google doesn't impose any limitation when translating web pages. It's worth pointing out that Google Translate's API has a similar limitation: "the maximum size of each text to be translated is 5000 characters, not including any HTML tags". Google's translation card from Google Search has a different limit: about 2800 characters.

08 Dec 2016 6:18pm GMT

Google Tests Movie Ratings

Google's knowledge graph card tests a feature that lets you like or dislike movies and TV shows. For example, when you search for "It's a Wonderful Life", you can click like or dislike and check the percentage of Google users who liked it.


The same buttons show up when you search for a TV show like "Saturday Night Live".


Search Engine Land reports that Google confirmed this experiment, which was first spotted last month.

08 Dec 2016 11:45am GMT

06 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Holiday Decorations

When you search Google for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus] or other related queries, you'll see some special decorations related to each holiday. Festivus is "a holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season."

Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Christmas star adorn the Google search page and bring the hoiday spirit.


The Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa's Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) are lighting up Google's search pages.




Here are the decorations from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

06 Dec 2016 2:21pm GMT

New Interface for Google Search

Google's desktop search pages have a new interface for navigating between search results. The search box is bigger, there's a new search icon and Google now only shows 2 or 3 specialized search engines next to "all", down from 4. Apps and shopping seem to be missing from the list of search engines, so you can only pick from image search, video search, Google News, Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Books.


The settings dropdown is now placed below the search box and it includes the option that lets you hide private results. You can still change search settings, languages, turn on or turn off SafeSearch, use advanced search options, open Web History or go to the help center.


Search tools are now simply called tools and they include the same options: search by date and verbatim.


Image search lets you quickly go to the saved images page and change SafeSearch setting.


Google Shopping is broken. While the homepage still loads, when you click a product image or search for something, Google shows an empty page.



Here's the old Google Search interface, via Wikipedia:

06 Dec 2016 1:31pm GMT

17 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Random Facts About Animals in Google Search

Did you know that "male lions defend the pride's territory while females do most of the hunting"? Did you know that "the name humpback whale describes the motion it makes as it arches its back out of the water in preparation for a dive"? What about this one: "ostriches have the largest eyes of any land living animal and they measure 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter"?

Google now shows random facts about animals in the "did you know" section of the Knowledge Graph card. They're extracted from various sites and Google actually links to the source.



Some example of queries that return random facts: [cat], [lion], [tiger], [alpaca], [giraffe], [ostrich], [duck], [elk], [raccoon], [shark]. It's worth pointing out that you can get another random fact by reloading the page or searching again for the same animal.

17 Oct 2016 9:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Found in Related Searches

Google Knowledge Graph has more than one billion entities and more than 70 billion facts about these entities (people, places, things). It's huge and it brings a different dimension to search: understanding concepts and the relation between them.

Mobile Google Search now has a section called "found in related search", which shows a few entities frequently mentioned in other related searches. For example, I searched for [ethanol molar mass] and Google showed 2 lists of organic and inorganic compounds: one of them was found in the related search [properties of alkanes] and the other was for [polar solvents]. Ethanol is a polar solvent which can be obtained from alkenes, while alkenes can be derived from alkanes, so Google's suggestions are somewhat useful.


This feature is not limited to chemistry, it also works for other topics. Here's a different query: [tour eiffel design], which shows other "towers of the world" and "tourist attractions in France".



15 Oct 2016 7:34am GMT

14 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Converts Queries Into Questions

I noticed an interesting Google Search experiment in the mobile/tablet interface. When searching for [alcohol with the highest boiling], Google converted my query into a question: "Which alcohol has the highest boiling point?", then it tried to answer the question using a snippet from a web page and then it added a "more results" link. Google's link sent to me to the search results page for the question inferred by Google.

14 Oct 2016 10:29pm GMT

Google's Card for Directions

When you search Google for [directions] or [get directions], you get an error message: "No results for that place. Try entering it below to get suggestions." Google shows a special card for directions with cool features like autocomplete, but the error message is out of place because you haven't typed a location.


Suggestions aren't very smart. For example, I typed "Brisbane, Australia" as the starting point and then I started to type "Mel" as the destination. Google suggested 3 places from California, strictly based on my location, while ignoring that Melbourne is a much better suggestion.


Google shows directions inside the card and you can pick between driving, walking, cycling or using public transportation.


To see the directions, just click the text that describes your favorite route. If there is only one route, pick that one. Another option is to click "directions" and go to the Google Maps site.

14 Oct 2016 9:27pm GMT

Add Home Screen Shortcuts to Google Maps Directions

I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.



You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."


Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.

14 Oct 2016 8:48pm GMT

18 Jun 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A brief update

Over the last couple years, I've seen more and more people in technology trying to make government work better. They're idealists who are also making a large impact. These are people that I respect-some of them worked to fix healthcare.gov, for example. From talking to many of them, I can tell you that their energy […]

18 Jun 2016 1:57am GMT

03 Feb 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Thanks, Amit

Amit Singhal just announced that he's retiring toward the end of the month. Amit has been a formative part of Google's search team, but he's also a good friend. Last year, after he marked 15 years with Google, I wrote this about Amit's contributions: Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated […]

03 Feb 2016 7:49pm GMT

19 Jan 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X)

I solved a problem today and figured that I'd document it for the rest of the world. Every time someone left me a voicemail on Verizon, I would get a cryptic text from Verizon at 900080006202 that looked like "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=NM;id=1;c=1;t=v;s=1XXXXXXXXXX;dt=18/01/2016 13:40-0900;l=13;dev_t=5" or "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=MBU;dev_t=5". Here's what happened. It turns out that Verizon has three kinds of […]

19 Jan 2016 2:00am GMT

31 Oct 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2015: USB Drive

I went a little overboard for Halloween last year. And as you can tell from my the Halloween category on my blog, sometimes I get a little too excited about Halloween. So this year I decided to go quick, easy, and lo-fi as a USB drive: To make a thumb drive/USB key, I just took […]

31 Oct 2015 8:02pm GMT

24 Sep 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Give Google Contributor a try

Recently I've seen several interesting conversations about ad blocking, and I wanted to remind people about a great offering called Google Contributor. With Google Contributor, you contribute a certain amount of money each month. That subscription means that you see fewer ads on the web, and you support the sites that you visit with your […]

24 Sep 2015 3:09pm GMT

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

My taste in financial advice runs toward the simple and the lessons I've learned the hard way. But I still like reading about investing/finance, and I recently read through the 2014 annual report for Berkshire Hathaway. Given that it was the 50th anniversary of Warren Buffett taking charge of Berkshire, I have to admit that […]

09 Apr 2015 6:47am 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

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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