13 May 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

Scholarships for underrepresented leaders in journalism

Editor's note: The Google News Initiative is supporting diversity, equity and inclusion scholarships at three of the industry's top executive education programs: the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University, the Media Transformation Challenge at Poynter Institute and the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at CUNY. This post is authored by the director of the Sulzberger Program, Corey Ford.

Representation at the highest levels of leadership in journalism is essential to an equitable, well-functioning democracy that truly reflects the lived experiences of all people. Right now, the journalism industry is falling well short of having the right diversity of perspectives in the room at the leadership level to properly make the strategic, editorial, product and budgetary decisions to ensure that our collective stories are being properly told. This must change.

As an executive education program that trains senior leaders of respected news organizations, the Columbia Sulzberger Program has a responsibility to help those organizations deepen their bench of leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. Besides encouraging news organizations to sponsor and nominate leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, we think it is important to provide both a path for underestimated leaders to apply to the Sulzberger program directly and a way to fund their tuition and travel to attend. Thanks to the support of the Google News Initiative, that path is now open.

Today I am announcing that Google News Initiative will be sponsoring four scholarships, including tuition and travel, for leaders from groups typically underrepresented in journalism to attend the upcoming 2021 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia Journalism School.

Aerial view of Columbia University with the text: Columbia Journalism School, The Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program

The topics covered in the program are leadership, venture design, diversity, equity and inclusion, audience, trends, product, marketing, business models, strategy, negotiations and pitching.

The Columbia Sulzberger program trains news leaders to innovate and solve strategic business challenges in a time of rapid transformation, uncertainty and opportunity. Fellows use the 21-week program to launch, accelerate and implement a real-world project that is critical to the mission of their organizations and integrated into their day-to-day work. The program will begin with a two-week residency on the campus of Columbia Journalism School in New York City from August 2-13, 2021 and conclude with one final week of residency, January 3-7, 2022, with weekly virtual cohort sessions in between.

Any leader in journalism across the world who self-identifies as being from a group typically underrepresented in journalism is eligible to apply for a GNI scholarship. All tuition and travel costs for three weeks in New York City will be covered. Applications are open right now through a simple form (no letters of recommendation required) and are due no later than June 10. Final decisions will be made by June 21. All applicants for the GNI Scholarship will also be given a one-on-one interview with me, the Director of Columbia Sulzberger Program.

Ready to apply, or know someone who should be a fellow? Read more about the program on my blog and on the Columbia Journalism School website, join me for a virtual information session on Wednesday May 26 at noon ET and start your application today.

13 May 2021 5:00pm GMT

Future-proof your measurement with privacy-safe solutions

Getting the most out of your marketing investments requires a clear understanding of what actions people take after interacting with your ads. In today's evolving privacy landscape, growing your business calls for new approaches to measurement that preserve advertising performance and also put the user first.

Now's the time to adopt new privacy-safe techniques to ensure your measurement remains accurate and actionable. And while this can seem daunting, we're here to help you succeed in a world with fewer cookies and other identifiers with new ways to respect user consent, measure conversions and unlock granular insights from your sites and apps.

Here's a preview of some of the product launches we'll be sharing at Google Marketing Livestream on May 27th.

Easier options for working with consented data

Getting started with privacy-safe measurement requires building a foundation of first-party data. Investing in a strong tagging infrastructure helps you make the most of the data your consumers share with you and lets you accurately measure your campaign performance.

As consumers seek increased control over how their data is used, your methods for respecting their consent choices will also need to evolve. For advertisers operating in the European Economic Area and the U.K., Consent Mode helps you achieve this by adjusting how Google tags operate based on user consent choices for ads cookies or analytics cookies. When users don't consent to cookies, Consent Mode will use conversion modeling to recover, on average, more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys, ensuring that you continue to measure the complete performance of your media in a privacy-safe way.

To make it easier for your website to integrate with Consent Mode, we'll soon enable implementation directly from your Google Tag Manager account, where you'll be able to modify and customize tag behavior in response to users' consent preferences. Accurate measurement that accounts for people's consent choices doesn't have to be complicated, and our new solutions make sure that it isn't.

More first-party conversion data means better measurement

A strong sitewide tagging and first-party data foundation enables measurement solutions to work together to collectively provide you with the most comprehensive reporting and optimization. Building on this foundation, we've developed an additional privacy-safe way to help you preserve accurate measurement when fewer cookies are available.

Enhanced conversions allow tags to use consented, first-party data to give you a more accurate view of how users convert after engaging with your ads. You'll also be able to get the data you need to unlock performance insights, like conversion lift, and improve measurement in cases when your ad is shown on one device and the user converts on another. Your first-party data is hashed to protect user privacy and ensure security, and you'll receive aggregated and anonymized conversion reporting.

Advertisers currently testing enhanced conversions are already seeing positive results. U.K.-based retailer ASOS set up enhanced conversions across Search and YouTube to help them close measurement gaps due to browser restrictions and cross-device behavior. This enabled them to measure conversions that would otherwise not have been captured and improved return on ad spend (ROAS) with a recorded sales uplift of 8.6% in Search and 31% in YouTube.

Enhanced conversions helped establish a strong measurement foundation, off of which we can better measure the impact of our YouTube buys. Carolina Vicente
Media Investment Director, ASOS

Machine learning unlocks new insights in Google Analytics

In addition to using modeling for more complete conversion measurement and optimization, modeling can also help you get deeper customer insights from your behavioral analytics data. Last year we announced the new Google Analytics, which uses machine learning to surface relevant marketing insights, such as a significant change in your campaign performance or the likelihood of your customers making a purchase.

Soon, we'll extend Google's advanced machine learning models to behavioral reporting in Analytics. For example, if there is incomplete data in your User Acquisition report due to cookies not being available, we'll now use modeling to help fill gaps for a more complete view of the number of new users your campaigns have acquired. With or without cookies, you'll be able to enhance your understanding of the customer journey across your app and website and use those insights to improve your marketing.

Coming next

We're continuing to invest in next-generation privacy solutions to help advertisers navigate ongoing industry changes and preserve accurate conversion measurement.

You can find out the latest information about these new privacy-safe measurement solutions at Google Marketing Livestream 2021 on Thursday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET.

13 May 2021 5:00pm GMT

A chance encounter led this researcher to Google

Welcome to the latest edition of "My Path to Google," where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today's post is all about Preeti Talwai, an architecture student turned user experience researcher. Preeti shares how her initial reluctance about tech faded as she realized how many different types of roles there are in the space.

What's your role at Google?

I work as a user experience (UX) researcher on the AI User Experience (AIUX) team in Google Research. Our team studies changes in society and science and creates product concepts in close collaboration with research scientists and UX folks across the company.

My focus is on early-stage, foundational research that tries to unpack big questions about human behavior and needs. With early-stage work, we're often working with technologies that aren't built yet and may be very new to users. For example, one of my favorite projects was studying people's personal goals for a year and helping teams understand how technology can better support those goals.

What does your typical day look like right now?

When I'm planning research, there's a lot of collective strategizing with other teams and my UX colleagues. When I'm conducting a study, my days usually involve a number of sessions with participants. When I'm synthesizing data, it's a lot of "heads-down" time punctuated by ongoing sharing and collaboration with my team. And when I'm sharing the insights and working to put them into action, my days involve meetings and presentations.

Can you tell us about your decision to apply to work at Google and your path to your current role?

I always felt a pull towards design, so I decided to study architecture in college and went on to do a design research/architectural theory degree. Honestly, I never thought I'd work in tech and was actually against that idea at first. I had a very narrow understanding of tech jobs, and I was pretty sure they weren't for me. The first time I became interested in Google was at the end of grad school.

I accidentally walked into a networking event after a class at the business school on campus, and I heard a panelist say she worked for Google's Real Estate and Workplace Services division. I was surprised that something relevant to architecture existed at Google, and I stuck around until the end of the event to meet her. I sent her my resume, and though a role on her team didn't work out, my information ended up getting passed along to a UX research manager who offered me a role as a research assistant. I decided to take this year-long contract role to test-drive a tech career, and, to my own surprise, loved it. After my contract, I transferred to a full-time role on my current team.

My path to Google has been meandering and unpredictable. I have always been drawn to understanding human stories and shaping people's experiences, but I didn't know the job I had been describing was called "UX research" until I graduated from college. I've found that my non-traditional background has opened doors to unique types of research and teams at Alphabet that I may not have otherwise known to look for.

Preeti standing in front of a large Android statue wearing a Noogler hat.

Preeti on her first day at Google.

What inspires you to come in (virtually) every day?

Being able to meet so many different types of people and tell their stories, especially when those voices are not often heard or need to be amplified. The topics I research require deep and personal conversations with our users, and I'm always amazed at how open and candid these sessions can be. I find this an inspiration, but also a privilege and a responsibility I take seriously. My most gratifying moments are when I get to share what we've learned back with the communities who gave us this knowledge.

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I would tell my past self that there's so much more to do at a tech company like Google beyond engineering. There are so many roles I didn't know existed, and getting to these roles doesn't have to be, and is often not, a formulaic process or a straight line.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share with aspiring Googlers?

I see a lot of aspiring UXers wondering how to build a portfolio and feeling like they "need experience to get experience," especially to come to a place like Google. One strategy that helped me is to focus less on job titles and skills as you're building experience, and instead seek opportunities that help you hone your human-centered research lens and approach. Those opportunities might come in diverse and even surprising disciplines, and can help you get methods experience nearly identical to what you'd be getting in a typical UX internship.

13 May 2021 3:00pm GMT

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

Google Ads announces privacy-focused changes for Analytics, Tag Manager and enhanced conversions

These solutions from Google Ads attempt to preserve user data while ensuring that search marketers have the best information to improve and adjust their campaigns.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

13 May 2021 1:00pm GMT

A Schema.org replacement for Google’s phased-out Structured Data Testing Tool; Thursday’s daily brief

Plus, most marketing execs don't make data-driven decisions

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

13 May 2021 10:00am GMT

12 May 2021

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

Some new local search changes you should be aware of; Wednesday’s daily brief

Also, Google updated its event structured data report in Search Console.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

12 May 2021 10:00am GMT

21 Oct 2019

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

All the Fitbit activity badges

Fitbit has discontinued their Fitbit One step trackers, which seems like a good opportunity to step back and reflect on wearing one for the last decade or so. I've enjoyed using Fitbit trackers, but the One devices seemed like they broke down too often. I'm pretty proud that I ended up earning all the activity-related […]

21 Oct 2019 3:06am 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

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

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