26 May 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

Bringing digital skills training to 30,000 farmers in Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Tham
Farmer Nguyen Thi Tham receives basic training on how to use her smartphone to navigate the internet

Nguyen Thi Tham has worked as a farmer her entire life. She has always relied on her neighbors for information about the weather and market conditions, and she always thought she was too old to use the internet. But after a few lessons, she is now able to search for the weather forecast in Bac Giang province online, and knows exactly when to cover and protect her crops from the elements so she can harvest and sell more vegetables, even after heavy rains.

Nearly 50 percent of Vietnam's population-or about 45 million people-are farmers just like Tham. They rely on farming for employment and their livelihoods. But, like many places around the world, income from agriculture is declining and productivity is low, with just 20 percent of the country's GDP coming from the sector. This is a huge challenge for a country that depends so heavily on farming.

Technology combined with basic digital literacy can transform lives and give rise to new opportunities. That's why, with a Google.org grant and technical expertise from Google volunteers, we're helping the Vietnam Farmer's Union (VNFU) deliver digital skills training to at least 30,000 farmers over the next three years.

Through online and offline training programs on how to find information on the internet, use basic productivity tools, or navigate agricultural apps, we hope more farmers across Vietnam will be able to boost productivity and their overall quality of life. We look forward to scaling the program through VNFU's broad network (4 out of 5 households in Vietnam have someone who's a member of the VNFU) and with their deep experience educating their beneficiaries.

Bringing digital skills training to 30,000 farmers in Vietnam

Bringing digital skills training to 30,000 farmers in Vietnam

Over the course of conducting research and several pilot trainings since the end of 2016, we've spoken to farmers who use the internet to improve efficiency in other ways. Some told us that they no longer needed to travel for miles to compare crop prices or the cost of farming equipment. And some were able to search for information to help them treat common ailments afflicting their animals, saving them a visit to a veterinarian several villages away.

During these pilot trainings, we also learned that many farmers already have internet access at home, or even their own smart devices, but they don't necessarily know how to use them to their full potential. So we expanded the trainings to include the farmers' children or grandchildren. Through this "buddy" system, pairing farmer and child, the farmers have someone at home to help them, and in this way, we hope the training program will have longer-lasting and more wide-ranging impact.

While we may not be able to reach every farmer across Vietnam, we hope that newfound digital literacy skills will lead to incremental improvements in the ways and lives of many farmers like Tham, and contribute to better outcomes for their communities.

26 May 2017 7:10am GMT

25 May 2017

feedSearch Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

SearchCap: Google link warning, in-store sales & more SEM

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google link warning, in-store sales & more SEM appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

25 May 2017 8:00pm GMT

Google warns against misusing links in syndication & large-scale article campaigns

If the primary purpose of distributing content is to gain links, both authors and publishers risk a Google penalty. The post Google warns against misusing links in syndication & large-scale article campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

25 May 2017 5:24pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Make your own data gifs with our new tool

Data visualizations are an essential storytelling tool in journalism, and though they are often intricate, they don't have to be complex. In fact, with the growth of mobile devices as a primary method of consuming news, data visualizations can be simple images formatted for the device they appear on.

Enter data gifs.

trends_BatmanSuperman.gif

These animations can be used for a variety of sophisticated storytelling approaches among data journalists: one example is Lena Groeger, who has become *the* expert in working with data gifs.

Today we are releasing Data Gif Maker, a tool to help journalists make these visuals, which show share of search interest for two competing topics.

trends_PBJ.gif

Data Gif Maker works like this:

1. Enter two data points

Trend_Step4.png

We typically use the tool to represent competing search interest, but it can show whatever you want it to-polling numbers, sales figures, movie ratings, etc. If you want to show search interest, you can compare two terms in the Google Trends explore tool, which will give you an average number (of search interest over time) for each term. Then input those two numbers in Data Gif Maker.

2. Add your text

Trend_Step3.png

3. Choose your colors

Trend_Step2.png

4. Choose your explanatory text

Trend_Step1.png

5. Hit "Launch Comparisons" and "Download as Gif"

Trend_Step5.png

And there you go-you've made your first animated data gif. Pro-tip #1: the high resolution download takes longer but it's better quality for social sharing. Pro-tip #2: Leave the window open on your desktop while it's creating the gifs as it will do so quicker.

If you want the visual, but not the gif, hit "Launch Comparisons" and it will open in your browser window. Just hit space to advance through the views (it's set up to show five pieces of data, one after the other).

Find the tool useful? We'd love to see what you do with it. Email us at newslabtrends@google.com.

25 May 2017 4:00pm GMT

feedSearch Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

How to compare paid search and organic search without sounding foolish

Which search channel is better: paid or organic? Columnist Andy Taylor argues that there is no simple answer to this question, despite what some practitioners may want to believe. The post How to compare paid search and organic search without sounding foolish appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

25 May 2017 3:16pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Our ongoing commitment to support computer science educators in Europe

The need for employees with computer science (CS) and coding skills is steadily increasing in Europe-by 4 percent every year between 2006 and 2016 according to DigitalEurope. But educators are struggling to keep up with the demand, often because they lack the professional development, confidence and resources to successfully teach their students.

Because of these challenges, we're working to increase the availability of quality computer science education and access to CS skills by empowering CS teachers globally. We've recently launched new support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa through CS4HS, a program to fund universities and nonprofits designing and delivering rigorous computer science professional development for teachers.

We're excited to be working with 79 organizations worldwide, and 28 in the EMEA region, who are committed to increasing the technical and teaching skills of educators, and building communities of ongoing learning. We believe that these organizations are committed to delivering high-quality teacher professional development programs with a deep impact in their local community and a strong potential to increase their reach.

Classroom image

Growing the community of computer science educators

Over the past 10 years, CS4HS has contributed $10 million to professional development (PD) providers around the world to help develop and empower teachers-like Catrobat, a non-profit initiative based at Graz University of Technology in Austria who created a free online course for students and teachers, and the University of Wolverhampton, who created a free MOOC to empower teachers of computing to teach programming in the new computing syllabuses in England, among others.

We're excited to support new and future CS educators around the world. Even though computer science is a relatively new discipline for most schools, the enthusiasm is growing and teachers have a critical role to play in fueling their students' interest and participation. These grants will help universities and nonprofits reach educators with PD opportunities that enhance their CS and technical skills development, improve their confidence in the classroom, and provide leadership training so that they can be advocates for CS education in their communities.

2017 awardees in EMEA

Asociatia Techsoup Romania

Ideodromio, Cyprus

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Informatica, Italy

Lithuanian Computer Society

Dublin City University, Ireland

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

EduACT, Greece

Graz University of Technology, Austria

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Asociatia Tech Lounge, Romania

Association Rural Internet Access Points, Lithuania

University of Wolverhampton, UK

Universidad de Granada, Spain

University UMK Toruń, Poland

Hasselt University, Belgium

Jednota školských informatiků, Czech Republic

University of Lille - Science and Technology, France

University of Roehampton, UK

University of Urbino, Italy

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Vattenhallen Science Center, Lund University, Sweden

University College of Applied Sciences, Palestine

Hapa Foundation, Ghana

Let's Get Ready, Cameroon

Swaziland Foundation for STEM Education

Laikipia University, Kenya

Mobile4Senegal

Peo Ya Phetogo in partnership with University of the Western Cape & Mozilla Foundation, South Africa

To discover more about CS opportunities near you, explore our educator resources, student programs and resources, and tools.


25 May 2017 8:15am 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

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

11 Nov 2011

feedSearch Engine Watch - Latest

Google’s Timeline Search Option is History

As Google pushes fresh search results, a helpful Google search tool for historical searches quietly vanished earlier this month. Google has confirmed that Google's Timeline search option, which debuted in 2007, has been discontinued. By cl...

11 Nov 2011 9:35pm GMT

Google Releases Think Insights Trend & Research Hub for Marketers

Google has graduated Think Insights from beta. This tool now compiles real-time data from Google search and other platforms, combining those facts with additional studies, infographics, and more. Users can find the site at ThinkwithGoogle.com, a...

11 Nov 2011 8:45pm GMT

Google Snaps Up Katango, Social Contact Sorter Meant for Facebook

Google has just acquired startup Katango, makers of a Facebook friends list generating iPhone app released this July. Shortly after its debut, however, Katango's autogenerator faced serious competition from Facebook itself, as it rolled out ...

11 Nov 2011 7:35pm 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