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May 25 2018


The High Five: Sip sip, hooray!

A High Five on the 25th day of the 5th month feels like it should mean something, but it doesn’t. Much like most of the internet. What does mean something is this beautiful long weekend we’ve got ahead of us, so, without further ado: I bring you this week’s top five search trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Wine not?

Today is National Wine Day, so watch for your dinner companions to have too many sips of “frose” and turn in early. The denizens of DC, Kansas, and New York were the most keen to know when National Wine Day was taking place. When comparing "red," "rosé" and "white" wine over the last 30 days, red wine is searched nearly twice as much as white, with average interest at 68 percent compared to peak spikes the weekend of May 12-13. Fittingly, interest in rosé is sitting pretty, right in between.

Marking Memorial Day

Red, white, and blue too: This Monday is Memorial Day, so people across the country are looking up tips and tricks for their patriotic celebrations. Top three questions this week on Memorial day were 1) “What was Memorial Day originally called?” 2) “Is today Memorial Day?” And 3) ”When did Memorial Day become a holiday?” Number 2 is my favorite.

Voted off the tie-land

The tribe has spoken … A tribe of reality TV contest candidates and also lots of people who still watch this amazingly long-running show. (Oh how it SURVIVES!) This week’s “Survivor” finale came down to a tie for the first time in the show’s 36-season history and long-standing show fanatics were deep in their feelings about it. Queries like “Who won Survivor 2018 Ghost Island?” and “Survivor fan favorite 2018” spiked over 2,500 percent (!), proving that there are whole worlds out there I know nothing about.

Drawing sides on straws

It’s 2018, so naturally people are taking sides on straws. McDonald’s is under pressure to scrap drinking straws for environmental reasons. Critics claim straws suck for the environment; they’re also super fun to use to drink things. Search interest in “McDonald’s straw” spiked by 230 percent at one point, surpassing search interest in “McDonald’s McFlurry.” While the top two most searched questions this week relating to McDonalds were about straws, the third one, comfortingly, was: “When does McDonald’s breakfast end?”

A verdict in 280 characters

A Texas police officer, a New York comedy writer and a Nashville surgeon walk into a courtroom … And the three are among a group that brought a lawsuit against President Trump for blocking them on Twitter. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Trump’s blocking users on Twitter violates the First Amendment. Searchers turned to Google to ask: “Who are the plaintiffs in the Trump Twitter lawsuit?” and “Who has Trump blocked on Twitter?”


We are many and one: Googlers mark AAPI Heritage Month

Tiffany’s mother was born in Hong Kong. Her father was born in Vietnam. She is proud to be Chinese, Asian, and American. 

Aerica’s mother is Japanese from Kyoto, Japan and her father is Black, from College Station, TX. She identifies as Black and Japanese. 

Together, we are the chairs of the Asian Google Network (AGN), whose mission is to support the diverse and multicultural Asian community at Google and beyond. Founded in 2007, AGN is open to all Googlers and provides an annual mentorship program, opportunities for civic and community engagement; leadership development; and curriculum to advance racial justice for all.

We celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month every year in service to that mission. And for the 40th anniversary of AAPI Heritage Month, it was important to us to convey the diversity of the Asian experience in America. For example, Asians at Google trace their roots to more than 20 countries, are multiracial, multiethnic, and speak dozens of languages. And when Asian ethnicities are disaggregated, the data shows that there are wide chasms in access to education, income, and representation. That means that issues that impact AAPIs are broad as well.

As part of this year’s AAPI celebrations, we created an internal curriculum for Googlers on Asian narratives called “We Are Many and One: Gathering Asian Narratives,” where participants share stories and find both common themes and differences within the Asian American Pacific Islander community at Google. Across the country, AGN chapters also put on events for their local communities, such as the exhibit organized by AGN Ann Arbor, which uses timelines, Supreme Court cases, poetry, and the stories of local Googlers to tell the history of Angel Island, the entry point for many Asian immigrants coming to the United States.

Angel Island Exhibit.jpg

AGN Ann Arbor members observing the Angel Island Exhibit

To recognize the AAPI community outside of Google, we partnered with Google Expeditions to feature tours of “Hokule'a's Worldwide Voyage” and “Kamehameha: Unification of the Hawaiian Islands.” YouTube created a playlist of AAPI artists. Google Assistant embedded 10 new AAPI facts activated by the question, “Hey Google, what’s up?” And just today, the Doodle team created a Doodle celebrating Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe.


In the spirit of celebrating our diverse community, we also spoke with several members of AGN to hear about why they participate in AGN, what this means to them, and who inspires them.

Why does AGN matter to you?


Josh Li, Founder of AGN

AGN provides a safe space where Googlers can share more about their own backgrounds, cultures, challenges they face, and help each other excel at Google and outside of Google.


Edward Doan, AGN Chapter Lead, Austin

As an American-born child of Vietnamese immigrants, I have the "neither-here-nor-there" feeling of straddling two cultures. I have learned to embrace this state, and it's wonderful to meet fellow Googlers who share the same feelings!

Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?


Ashish Sathe, AGN Chapter Lead, Ann Arbor

I still remain connected with my family's roots in India and make it a point to visit every year. I’m proud that India is a country of many different cultures and people that came together to form an identity. From Bollywood movies and music to colorful curries, elements of Indian culture are becoming popular across the world, and I am proud to share this with people in America and around the world.


Lyn Mahina'okalani Mehe'ula, AGN Member

I am Native Hawaiian & Japanese, and I am incredibly proud to belong to an indigenous American culture. My father descends from Chief Kahekili, who was the last King of Mau'i until the Hawaiian Islands were unified in 1810. My mother's side brings in Japanese, as her grandparents migrated to Mau'i over 100 years ago for job opportunities following the Islands' agricultural boom.

Who in the AAPI community inspires you?


Amie Ninh, AGN Race Affairs Lead

I have a lot of heroes in the AAPI community—Yuri Kochiyama, Grace Lee Boggs, Helen Zia. They are activists who strived to build coalitions with other communities of color and also give visibility and voice to the issues impacting the AAPI community.

We hope you’ll join us this AAPI History Month in learning more about the AAPI community and working toward a more just and inclusive world. 


#teampixel rolls out the red carpet this week

You might be inspired to pour yourself a glass of merlot or nibble on a bowl of berries as you scroll through the crimson colors captured by #teampixel this week. 

Next time you shoot with your Pixel 2, see what rich pops of color your camera can bring to life. 

Don’t forget to tag your Pixel photos with #teampixel and you might see yourself featured on @google and The Keyword next!

Ask the #SMXperts: Going All-In On AMP
SearchCap: Google Doodle
James Wong Howe Google doodle honors influential cinematographer behind more than 100 US films

May 24 2018


A new look for Google Play Movies & TV on your Roku device

With Google Play Movies & TV, you can enjoy the latest movie releases or catch up on television shows the day after they air—whether you’re watching on your mobile, your laptop, or your TV. Starting this week, Play Movies & TV is getting even better when you’re in your living room, with a redesigned experience on our Roku channel.

Google Play Movies and TV on Roku - hero

Here’s what’s new:

  • Simpler navigation: The new navigation bar on the left side of your screen helps you  quickly switch between pages and access your favorites easily—no more continuously scrolling all the way back to the top.

  • Dedicated TV page: For TV lovers, you now have a page for just TV—and nothing else. Find the latest shows within a day of airing on television, or dive straight into an episode with a Watch Next row dedicated to TV content.

  • Richer genre browsing:You can now find deeper recommendations on our genre page. For instance, for “Comedy,” you can choose to filter to just movies, and see individual collections for new comedy releases, top rated comedies, Oscar-nominated comedies and more.

  • A modern look:The entire experience has been redesigned to put the focus on content above all else.

As always, everything you buy on Google Play Movies & TV on Roku is available to share with the ones you love using Play Family Library and available to watch on Android, iOS, the web, Android TV and supported Smart TVs. We hope this new look makes it easier for you to browse, watch and enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows on your Roku device, so keep an eye out for it as it rolls out over the next few days.

Google Science Fair 2018: Resources for educators to get ideas flowing

Every idea has the power to change our world. Since the first Google Science Fair in 2011, thousands of teens have shared their ideas with the world. Google Science Fairis a global online competition in partnership with Lego Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic. The competition inspires teens to solve real-world problems through the application of science, technology, engineering and math.

Submissions for this year’s Science Fair will open in 2018. But since teachers play such an important behind-the-scenes role in helping students test their hypotheses and prepare their submissions, we wanted to give teachers a head start on prepping for the competition. With that in mind, we’ve created a full library of new teaching materials and exercises to help get the ideas flowing.  

Focused on the problem-solving process, these materials are flexible enough to adapt to virtually any teaching style, subject or grade. These resources have also been accredited with a Seal of Readiness from the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), meaning they meet high standards focused on helping build foundational technology skills.

We can’t wait to see what your students come up with, and hope these resources spark their imagination!

SearchCap: Yelp against Google, Guide to PPC out & Google Shopping Auctions
Introducing Search Engine Land’s ‘Guide to PPC’

More tools for homeschoolers

Editor’s note: Our goal at Google is to make technology that works for everyone. Last year we made Classroom available to more students and teachers, including homeschoolers, and today we’re also updating the eligibility guidelines for G Suite for Education so homeschool co-ops in the U.S. can collaborate using G Suite for Education. We’ve worked closely with several organizations to make this happen, including National Black Home Educators and Home School Legal Defense Association. Today’s guest author Darren Jones shares more about why this matters.

For decades, homeschooling families have met in groups called “co-ops” to offer new teaching opportunities for their children. Back in the 1980s, when I was being homeschooled, I was in one of these co-ops, learning geography, algebra and drama together with friends who were also learning at home. Homeschooling wasn’t as common then as it is now, and we were spread out geographically. We’d meet for a lesson once a week, but it wasn’t really possible to interact with the teacher once we got home. There was certainly no opportunity for us students to collaborate with our co-op teachers online!

As homeschooling has grown, families still get together to learn. In my work for Home School Legal Defense Association, I advise these groups every day, and I can see how new, advancing technology could benefit students. Through technology, homeschool co-op teachers can set and change assignments on the fly, students can work together even if geographically separated, and everyone has a common format for collaboration. It’s because of this potential that I’ve been working closely with Google this year to make sure that homeschool co-ops have the same access as other schools to G Suite for Education.

G Suite for Education is a free suite of productivity and collaboration tools—including Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Docs and Drive, Google Calendar, and more—that lets students and teachers interact seamlessly and securely across devices. It’s really exciting that homeschools will soon be able to use all of these tools to work better together, encourage creativity and practice critical thinking—whether they’re working one-on-one with an individual student or with a whole homeschool class.

Over the past few months a few homeschool co-ops have been piloting these tools, including  the Partnership Homeschool Educational Association of Minnesota. Jen Crom, one of their teachers, started homeschooling in 2005 and each academic year has 110-130 students through grade 12. She’s found that using G Suite has helped her save precious time and helped her students produce a better final product on their assignments—while at the same time, exposing them to lifelong skills that they’ll need for their future.
For teachers, it’s just so easy to use. We didn’t even have to convince them to move over—it’s easy to learn and saves us so much time. Jen Crom
Homeschool Teacher

Google will start allowing G Suite for Education applications from homeschool co-ops in a few weeks. In the meantime, if you run a homeschool co-op and are interested in using G Suite for Education, please express your interest to receive more information. And if you run a state homeschool organization, let us know so we can provide information on how to verify your local co-ops for access.

I’m thrilled that more homeschoolers will now have access to powerful teaching and learning experiences through technology, and appreciate Google’s commitment to building tools that work for everyone.


Now you can add Suica and WAON to Google Pay in Japan

When we brought Android Pay to Japan in 2016, our goal was to create a unique mobile checkout experience that was tailored to Japanese shoppers. Since then, we’ve unified the different ways consumers pay with Google into a single brand: Google Pay. We’ve also updated the app to make paying faster and simpler, promote easy access to offers, and provide one, convenient place to manage e-money and loyalty cards on mobile using your Google Account.

Now, we’re rolling out two new ways to pay that will make checking out online, in stores, and across Japan even easier.

Suica and WAON now available on Google Pay

Starting today, you can add and manage your Suica and WAON cards in Google Pay if you live in Japan and have an Osaifu-Keitai eligible phone. This means four major Japanese prepaid e-money cards—nanaco, Rakuten Edy, Suica and WAON—can all be used with Google Pay. You’ll be able to pay with Google Pay at the hundreds of locations that accept any of these cards, plus pay on transit anywhere Suica is accepted.

New ways to pay JP

The Google Pay app makes organizing and managing all your cards effortless. You can use the app to quickly sign up for e-money cards using the information from your Google Account, check your balances and easily add money with your credit card, and set up low balance alerts so you’re always ready to go. You can also see your recent activity across all of your cards, get customized offers and rewards, and find helpful tips in the app’s Home tab.

And if you use Google Pay for transit, you can check your commuter pass, bullet train, and green ticket details, plus register your Tpoint and dPoint cards and scan them right from the app.

Adding Suica and WAON brings us one step closer to making paying faster and simpler for everyone, everywhere. Keep an eye out for even more features and new ways to pay in the upcoming months, and get the app now to see just how easy paying can be.

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Enable attribution across all channels, platforms and devices
It’s time for local business to take voice search seriously
The status of Google’s presence in Google Shopping Auctions

Faces of Frida: a digital retrospective on Google Arts & Culture

I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and all of the nights that I am away from you. Frida Kahlo

Hair swept up, the signature eyebrows, and underneath them, her gaze: By documenting her own image and life, Frida Kahlo created an icon, as relevant today as during her own lifetime. Though self-portraits may be how most people first encounter Kahlo, the woman they portray is revered for much more than her art. The complexity of her thinking on feminism and politics, her body and her country, remains fresh. In these contexts, her universally recognizable face takes on many possible interpretations.

For years, Google Arts & Culture has been working in partnership with a network of museums and experts from all over the world to bring the many facets of Kahlo’s legacy together in one place. The result is Faces of Frida, online today and available for everyone to see. It is the largest collection of artworks and artifacts related to Frida Kahlo ever compiled.

The collection showcases some of her most celebrated work, while also shining a light on many artworks and artifacts that are rarely found on public display. These include several pieces from private collections that have never been available online, like “View of New York,” drawn as Kahlo gazed out the window of the Barbizon Plaza Hotel in 1932.

Visitors will also find early versions of several of Kahlo’s finest works, some of which are sketched on the back of finished paintings and as a result have mostly been hidden from the world, like the Sketch for Self-Portrait with Airplane.

The project brings together 33 partner museums from seven countries, over 800 artifacts, 20 ultra-high resolution images created using Art Camera, and five Street View tours of the places that made an impact on her career, including the “Blue House” where Kahlo was born, lived, and took her final breath. Thanks to an enhanced Street View experience, you can now take in the highlights on display at Frida Kahlo Museum or the "I Paint Myself" exhibition from your computer or phone—just tap on any artwork at the bottom of the screen to see how it looks on the wall and click through to learn about the artworks.

Frida Kahlo brought to life by Alexa Meade, Ely Guerra, and Cristina Kahlo | #GoogleArts

In addition to artworks, the collection also features hundreds of personal photographs, letters, journals, clothes—and even an original piece of art, created by one of the many young artists Kahlo continues to inspire. Guided by Kahlo’s great-niece, photographer Cristina Kahlo, artist Alexa Meade transformed Mexican musician Ely Guerra into a piece of “living art,” created specially for “Faces of Frida.”

Google Arts & Culture is free for everyone. We hope Frida Kahlo’s art inspires you, as it inspires creators to this day. Visit g.co/facesoffrida or download the app on either iOS or Android to learn more about the many faces of Frida.

May 23 2018

You need to be at SMX East. Registration is open!

Off the court: how the NBA spent a day at Google

A few weeks ago we were tipped off that some pro basketball players would be in the house at Google HQ. The occasion? The third year of Google and the NBA’s partnership on the #NBACareerCrossover program, which pairs players with companies for an “externship”—a full day spent educating and immersing players in fields outside of basketball. The program has offered options ranging from real estate to media, and this month it was Google’s turn to present tech as a valid next career choice when players decide to hang up their jerseys. In the lineup this year were Luke Kornet from the New York Knicks, Kevin Hardy from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Roger Moute A Bidias from the Raptors 905, former NBA player Gani Lawal, and former WNBA player Stacey Lovelace.

The day kicked off with a talk from our People Operations team, where the players got a sense of the various paths to Google and how to prepare for their next career move. We also held a resume workshop, where everyone was able to ask specific questions and discuss how skills developed on the court translate to careers off of it. During this particular session, Stacey shared that in the WNBA, the pairing of self-reflection and colleagues' assessment are crucial: “You have to learn how to be comfortable in your work, [but] it’s OK to ask for feedback.” Kevin agreed, pointing out the importance of knowing yourself and being honest, whether as a player, when writing a resume or in your day-to-day life: “I always felt that I was self-aware—I reflect on the different things I’m doing, and I try not to paint something fictitious.”

But the day wasn’t all workshops and talks. The players met with our YouTube team, played an interactive game using Daydream, toured the campus, ate lunch at a Google cafe, and rode in Waymo’s self-driving cars. When asked what lessons they had learned from the day, Gani threw this at us: “In the real world, failure isn’t ‘failure,’ it’s something that didn’t work. To succeed in real life, you have to step outside your zone and push forward.” Luke spoke to other methods of leadership off the court: “Service is the best way to be a leader.”

We also learned that everyone has a story to tell, and sometimes that story isn’t what you expect. Roger, explaining why he wanted to visit Google, told us: “I studied industrial engineering, and use Google for everything, so I want to know how Google works—how things go on behind the scenes.” We also discussed how there isn’t one clear path to working at Google. Jason, one of the Googler presenters, is a former NFL player. Other Googlers shared their diverse backgrounds, including a former Marine, school teacher, journalist, diplomat, and several first-generation college graduates. The stories from the players and presenters demonstrated that no matter your beginnings, you can define the outcome.

We had a blast meeting Gani, Kevin, Luke, Roger and Stacey, and hope there was a future Googler in the mix. Thanks to the NBA and our visitors for making this year’s #NBACareerCrossover a day to remember. If you’d like to find your path to Google, head to our Careers site.


Supporting CS educators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

To ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn computer science (CS), it’s critical that educators are prepared and supported to teach with confidence and competence. Today we’re announcing grants to 31 universities and nonprofit organizations across 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to provide professional development for CS educators. These grants are part of Grow with Google’s commitment to train and equip teachers with the right skills to prepare the future workforce.

As digital technologies continue to evolve at an increasingly faster rate, it’s predicted that 21 million new jobs will be created in the next 10 to 15 years. CS has a crucial role in equipping students with the technical skills to embrace these new opportunities and career choices. CS education includes design, data, algorithms and the study of computer systems, while also promoting crucial skills such as collaboration, problem-solving and creativity. We believe every student should have the opportunity to learn CS; with that comes the responsibility of preparing teachers to deliver a CS curriculum with competence and confidence.

The grants announced today will enable research institutions, universities, and educational nonprofits to develop professional development (PD) programs specifically for CS teachers—those already teaching the subject and those completely new to the field. Through these PD programs, teachers will be able to grow their skills and knowledge to provide an exemplary educational experience for their students. Over the coming year, the 31 awardees in EMEA will provide a combined 500 hours of professional learning opportunities for 10,000 primary, secondary and pre-service teachers.

The funding announced today will support professional development for teachers in countries like Italy, where APS Programma il Futuro will provide professional development courses to approximately 150 primary and secondary school teachers. The grants will also allow awardees to respond to the increasing demand for CS PD in pre-service teacher education. In Ireland, for example, The University of Limerick will develop a new course to empower 50 pre-service teachers with CS skills and hands-on classroom resources.

We’re thrilled to congratulate these 2018 grant awardees across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prepared teachers are key to helping students embrace the CS opportunities of tomorrow, and we look forward to seeing how these grantees will advance CS education for the new global economy.

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