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February 08 2018

SMX London: Register now for the best rates

February 07 2018

SearchCap: Google AdWords ticket sales, flight search, AMP changes & more
AdWords Express launches notifications for calls from search ads
Google now wants larger images for AMP articles

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with Google Photos

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means love is in the air—and with Google Photos, there are a few ways you can get creative and share your memories with all of your loved ones.

Introducing create-your-own themed movies

Beginning today, you can turn your photos into themed movies via the app or the web. A themed movie brings together photos about a loved one or an important event, and expertly edits them together and sets them to music. You might have seen Google Photos automatically create these movies for you before—but now, you have the ability to create one whenever you want. With a range of themes, from “They Grow Up So Fast” to the feline favorite “Meow Movie,” it’s the perfect way to celebrate all of your favorite people, furry friends, and treasured moments.

Guided movies gallery

And in honor of Cupid, we even have a Valentine’s Day themed movie for you and your sweetheart.

Making a themed movie is simple: just open the Google Photos app, go to the Assistant tab, and tap Movie to get started. You can also just visit this link. After you’ve chosen your theme and the people (or pets) who will star in the movie, you’re ready to go. We’ll use machine learning to select photos based on your choices, add a soundtrack and produce a custom movie just for you. If you want to tweak the result, you can take a seat in the director's chair and edit your movie with the movie editor in the iOS or Android app. These themed movies are rolling out in most countries today, and more movie themes will continue to rollout throughout the year.

Make a photo book for that special someone

If you’re in the US or Canada and looking for a thoughtful way to show someone you care, you can also create a photo book in just minutes from your computer or phone. In need of some creative inspiration? You may see suggested photo books based on your best shots from a trip or period of time. With books starting at just $9.99, they’re a great gift for anyone, from your Galentine to your dad. If you’re in the US, order your photo book with priority shipping by 11:59pm PT on February 7th (that’s today!) to receive it by February 14th.

photobook galentine's

Share the love with your library

All year long, you can make it easy to share the moments that matter with the people that matter. That’s where shared libraries from Google Photos come in. This feature allows you to effortlessly and automatically send and receive photos with the important people in your life—like all of the pictures of your daughter with her grandparent or with your partner. To get started, tap the menu bar in the top left, then “Add partner account.” Exactly what you share is up to you, so you can share your whole library, or you can choose to share only photos of specific people, or from certain dates.

Still need to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit? Try searching your gallery for “hug,” “kiss,” or evento find a few photos that will melt your heart.

Nest to join forces with Google’s hardware team

Smart homes are no longer just a thing of the future. They make families feel safer with connected security systems. They help you save energy and money with intelligent thermostats. And they offer hands-free help and answers to a universe of questions with voice-activated smart assistants.

Since Nest joined Google four years ago, the team has experienced incredible momentum. The company doubled its hardware portfolio last year—selling more devices in 2017 than the previous two years combined. Meanwhile, Google has sold tens of millions of products for the home in just the last year, as more people use the Google Assistant to listen to their favorite music, control their connected devices, and get useful information about their day.

To build on this momentum, we're excited to bring the Nest and Google Hardware teams together. The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it. By working together, we’ll continue to combine hardware, software and services to create a home that’s safer, friendlier to the environment, smarter and even helps you save money—built with Google’s artificial intelligence and the Assistant at the core.

We’ve had a head start on collaborating since our teams already work closely together, and today we’re excited to make Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware.

Google adds new features & improves navigation for mobile hotel & flight searches

Celebrating Black history in our lives today

Growing up, Black history lessons in school were limited to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman. It wasn’t until I found my local public library—and with guidance from friendly librarians—that I began to understand the full breadth and depth of the impact of Africans in America. As a little Black girl growing up in white suburban Maryland, these lessons at the library, reinforced by conversations with my parents, were necessary to shaping a healthy identity as a Black woman.

As I studied my history, I learned that Harriet Tubman overcame her small stature and birth into slavery as, not only a brilliant conductor on the Underground Railroad, but a strategist who led the first military maneuver executed by an American woman. I learned that Jesse Owensovercame his childhood as a sickly sharecropper’s son to become an Olympic gold medalist. I learned that Black Americans in the South left what was familiar to migrate by the millions toward opportunity in the North, Midwest and West Coast. And I fell in love with the poems of Langston Hughes, who articulated the pain and the beauty of the Black experience in words that perfectly expressed what I had—until then—only felt.

Today there are more resources than ever to understand and feel empowered by the lessons of the past. To make these resources available to everyone, Google Arts and Culture is adding to its extensiveonline collection of Black History and Culture. We’ve worked with cultural institutions across America to preserve and showcase artifacts, art, documents and stories honoring the legacy of Black Americans. And as a part of the collection, influencers pay homage to the historical icons and moments that inspire them today. Check out what Nas has to say about how his father and jazz music impacted his life:

Celebrating Black History with Nas #GoogleArts #BHM

Beyond the Arts and Culture collection, here are a few other ways our products are honoring Black history:

  • In a special video series, YouTube creators talk about the individuals creating Black history today. 
  • Learn from your Google Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, share a story about Black history.” 
  • Take a journey in VR with Black history lessons in Google Expeditions.
  • Listen a YouTube playlist oficonic Motown artists curated by influencers like Lebron James, Bethann Hardison, Morgan DeBaun, Mellody Hobson, Veronica Webb and Van Jones.
  • Search “Black History Month” on Google and see posts by verified organizations like the NAACP.

We’ll share more about Black history on Google Arts and Culture throughout the month. If you’re a cultural organization that features Black history collections, reach out to Google Arts and Culture via this form—we’re always looking to expand the range of works of art, archives and stories available on our platform.


Six ways Google can keep you up to speed in PyeongChang

Tomorrow thousands of athletes will come together in PyeongChang to represent their countries with the world as their audience. While the athletes are getting ready for the gold, we’re getting a few of our products ready, too. Here are six ways Google is helping you stay connected to what’s happening on the ground (and on the ice) during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games:

1. Stay in the snow know with Google Search

When you search for the Winter Olympics, you’ll find the latest information about your favorite events at the top of Search results. You’ll be able to see your country’s rank in the race for gold medals, or dive into a specific sport to check out which athletes have won. When you’re not tuning into the Winter Games live, you can watch a daily recap video, see top news related to the Olympic Games, and find verified updates from official broadcasters around the world.

2. Tune in with YouTube

Starting February 8, if you miss a competition, you can watch select Olympic Winter Games video highlights from official Olympic broadcasters on YouTube in more than 80 countries around the world including from NBCUniversal (USA), BBC (UK), NHK (Japan), France TV (France), and Eurosport (Rest of Europe). In the U.S., YouTube TV will also show NBCUniversal’s live coverage of the Olympic Winter Games. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal the Winter Games will be for the first time live and free on the Olympic Channel on YouTube.

3. Keep up with these apps on Google Play

Don’t miss a single jump (ski, axel, or otherwise) with these apps in the Google Play Store. Just download and follow along with the athletes and watch the action live:

4. Explore South Korea in Street View and Google Earth

Check out the new “sports” category in Google Earth Voyager with five stories about the Winter Games that take you from epic ski jumping destinations to theOlympic Torch relay. These travel itineraries will help you explore South Korea’s capital city, and on Street View, you can see the new imagery of stadiums, cities and towns close to PyeongChang.

5. Get your head in the game with the Assistant

Your Google Assistant can help you stay up to date throughout the games. Curious about winners? Just say “Hey Google, who won women’s 1000 meter speed skating in the Olympics?” Rooting for a specific country? “Hey Google, how many medals does Iceland have in the Olympics?” You can even say “Hey Google, tell me a fun fact about the games in PyeongChang.” No matter how you’re asking—on your phone, speaker, TV or other enabled device—the Google Assistant can keep up with all the important Olympic details.

Plus, in the U.S., NBC is bringing an exclusive game to the Google Assistant across devices. It’s already live, so test your winter sports knowledge with dozens of trivia questions. Just say “Hey Google, play NBC Sports Trivia” to start your quest for Olympics’ trivia gold.

6. VR gets you closer to the action

Stream more than 50 hours of NBCUniversal’s live coverage—from the Opening Ceremony to alpine skiing, ice hockey, figure skating, snowboarding, curling and more—in virtual reality by using your YouTube TV credentials to log in to the NBC Sports VR app, powered by Intel True VR. In Europe, multi-camera live VR coverage is available via the Eurosport VR app.

Let the games begin.


New ways to comment on Microsoft files (and more) in Google Drive

Google Drive makes it easy to store and share files in the cloud so you can collaborate securely with your teams and clients while on the go. And we understand that teams work with all kinds of files and tools to get things done. Starting today, we're making it possible to comment directly on more file types including Microsoft Office files, PDFs and images—without having to convert them into Docs, Sheets or Slides.

When you're collaborating with an external agency, negotiating a contract with a client or coordinating a sales agreement with a supplier, chances are you're dealing with multiple file formats. With this update, you can now comment on those files in Drive the way you're used to in Google Docs. In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and the people you work can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite. Let’s say your coworker opens a file on her Windows laptop using MS Word, she will see your comment in the file and can reply right from there.

Bloccos - Image 1
Provide quick feedback on the most popular file formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF files, in the Drive preview pane.

With commenting in Drive preview, you won’t need to open up other tools to complete tasks. Instead, open Microsoft Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in Drive preview and give feedback in comments then get back to work.

AODocs, a company that helps enterprises replace their legacy document management applications and automate business processes integrated with Drive, has been testing the new Drive commenting feature for the past few months. As AODocs helps companies transition from legacy systems, they often collaborate across various licensed software.

“We frequently use the comments feature in Google Docs and Slides when preparing specification documents, reviewing project proposals and creating marketing materials,” says Stéphane Donzé, chief executive officer and founder of AODocs. “With commenting in Drive Preview feature, we can now extend the same collaboration, review and validation processes to Microsoft Office Applications, images and PDFs.”

Bloccos - Image 2
Collaborate on Excel files—as well as other Microsoft files—all within Google Drive.

The ability to comment in Drive preview mode is just one example of interoperability between G Suite and Microsoft Office products. You can also use a Drive plug-in for Outlook to make it easier to insert files stored in Drive to an Outlook email and save incoming attachments to your Drive from Outlook. Our help center has more specifics on how to enable the plug-in for admins.

Of course, you can also convert Microsoft Office files into Docs, Sheets or Slides. Click File > Download as and select the file type you need. Lastly, you can choose to edit Microsoft files without converting them fully using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM).

With G Suite, you can work the way you’re used to working. Get started.
Optimizing for quality score is a best practice, except when it’s not. Here’s why.

Chat apps: opportunities and challenges for journalism

Over the past year, the Google News Lab expanded into Asia with a focus on fueling innovation in newsrooms. In that time, we’ve seen how chat apps are quickly becoming the preferred medium for digital communication across the region. According to the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 23 percent of survey respondents now find, share or discuss news using a chat app—and Asia is at the forefront of this trend.

The flow of information within chat apps is similar to a massive, virtual version of the children’s game of telephone where the quality of information can get worse the more it’s shared. And the proliferation of mis- and disinformation in these private chat room conversations pose difficulties for fact-checkers due to the closed nature of the platform. So, in collaboration with Institute for the Future, we conducted a study to better understand the role chat apps play in the creation and propagation of news and provide newsrooms around the world with learnings from a more advanced chat ecosystem.

Our study was conducted in South Korea because it has the highest smartphone ownership rate, the fastest internet speed, and one of the highest adoption rates of chat apps in the world—making the country a useful indicator of where news media may be headed. We focused primarily on KakaoTalk, the most popular chat app in South Korea, used by 85 percent of people with mobile phones.

Our research (also available in Korean) suggests three key insights for journalists and newsrooms to consider:

  • Millions of ordinary people are driving the flow of news through chat apps: Not only do chat users directly distribute news to their friends and family members through chat, they often paraphrase, contextualize and editorialize news and information, shifting authority from professional journalists to citizens.
  • Chat apps are changing how news is produced: Chat apps and smartphones are used by journalists to record interviews, edit stories and publish news. They’re also used to build networks of journalists that fact-check stories in real time. Chat apps are helping journalists and newsrooms coordinate news across a more decentralized workforce.
  • These apps are redefining the relationship between journalists and readers, creating new monetization opportunities: Journalists can build closer relationships with readers and insert themselves directly into their conversations. With strengthened relationships, new monetization streams, such as crowdfunding, have emerged. 
chat apps

Chat apps are changing the way readers, journalists, and newsrooms interact with each other. Though this changing landscape has created challenges for the news industry, this study confirms that there are also opportunities for both newsrooms and journalists to thrive in this environment.

Google begins enforcing certification process for event ticket resellers on AdWords
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A Look Back at a Great 2017: 5 Major Moz Product Investments and a Sneak Peek Into 2018

February 06 2018

SearchCap: Google Search Console live, Quora ad targeting & Google search app update
Bing explains how AI-powered intelligent answers can show users two points of view for the same query
Case study: On-page + off-page SEO working together = success
Technical SEO in the age of semantic search and Google

Planning travel on the go just got easier

Planning a trip involves lots of searching for flights, hotels, things to do, itineraries and more. The process is often cumbersome because we have to use multiple tools to gather everything we need—especially on a mobile phone.

We’re evolving the way our hotel search works on smartphones to help users explore options and make decisions on their smallest screens. The new hotel search experience includes better price filtering, easier-to-find amenity information and the ability to book right from Google.


We’re also rolling out new features in some countries on mobile search to make it easier than ever to check out your travel options when you’re on the go. In the next few days, you’ll see that if you search for a flight in Google Flights, you can click right in to “Hotels” at the top of the page. This lets you easily click over to check hotel availability and prices in your destination city for the dates you’ve already selected.


And it works the same way if you start by searching for a hotel. You can easily click to the “Flights” tab to check prices and fare options, and easily book your flight when you’re ready.

The same options appear if you want to learn about a specific place, or when searching for things to do there. Let’s say you’re checking out a trip to Sydney. You can now easily click to browse available hotels or flights while you’re exploring the destination.


Clicking on “More Destinations” in the top left will drop you into a new experience that lets you explore other destinations, weekend getaways and trips you might be interested in. We’ve also included a feature called Your Trips that helps you see, at a glance, all your upcoming and past travel reservations from Gmail. These results are private, and only you can see this information. You can email your trip reservations to friends or family right from Your Trips, and also make edits and access them directly offline with the Google Trips app (Android, iOS) when you’re traveling.

This feature doesn't just help you plan your travels, it also connects you to travel companies who help you square away those plans. As Jason Soss, co-founder of Last Minute Travel says, "We're always looking for ways to help travelers find the best hotel room. With Google's new navigation, more people can use Last Minute Travel to book their adventures!”

This year we’re focused on making your mobile phone an integral and useful part of your travel planning—and enjoyment!


Resources for families to make choices about online safety

When I was a kid, my family couldn’t afford a computer, so I’d only get to use one in my father’s office, for a few minutes at a time. When I was a little older, we got a computer at school—one computer, for the entire school—and I was able to spend a bit more time with a PC.

Fast forward to 2018, my daughter is walking around her middle school with a computer in her pocket that enables her to connect to the internet and use apps at any time. Even as a parent at a tech company, it’s hard to believe that this has become the norm: Most kids get a smartphone by the time they are 10 years old, and more than 77 percent of kids 6-12 years old are using them on a weekly basis.

The opportunity for kids to get help with math homework, listen to any song, or video chat with their grandparents at any time is amazing. But technology presents new challenges for parents, and it's important that they're equipped with resources to tackle them effectively.

Today is Safer Internet Day, and this year’s theme is a call to action to create a better internet for the youngest users. Here are some of the resources we’ve developed over the years that do just that.

Be Internet Awesome

Be Internet Awesome is a program—developed in collaboration with online safety experts like the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and ConnectSafely—that teaches kids how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world.

Whether they’re playing Interland, our interactive online game, or learning from educators that are applying our lesson plans in their classrooms, Be Internet Awesome aims to help kids be thoughtful about what they share, identify phishing and other scams, protect their personal information, and be respectful of their peers.

One of the program’s most important pillars is: “When in doubt, talk it out.” Making sure that kids can talk about these new issues with a trusted adult—like a parent or teacher—is critical as they’re learning to navigate the web safely.

Family Link

It’s hard to balance giving kids the freedom to explore the internet, while guiding their experience. Family Linkcan help parents stay in the loop as their kid begins using their first mobile device. Parents can create a Google Account for their kid that's much like their own—and do things like manage apps, keep an eye on screen time, and set a bedtime for their kid's device.

Google Wifi

We’ve also built family-friendly controls into Google Wifi. Site Blocking, which uses the best of SafeSearch, enables parents to block access to more than 8 million non-kid-friendly websites on any device in the home—all with a few taps in the Google Wifi app. And to help you manage screen time, Google Wifi has a helpful feature where you can pause the Wi-Fi when it’s time to sit down for dinner or wind down for bed.

We’ve come a long way since I was using my dad’s computer in his office, and in the years ahead, technology will only become a more central part of our lives. We’re committed to building tools and designing programs that enable parents to provide a safer and inspiring experience for their kids online.

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