Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't miss this chance to prove yourself



There are only 5 days left until registration closes for Google Code Jam 2006. So far, about 16,000 competitors have signed up to show off their programming skills -- and perhaps win an all-expenses paid trip to our New York City engineering office to compete in the finals on October 27. The winner gets $10,000 and global bragging rights: people have registered in huge numbers not only from the U.S., but from India, China, Canada, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Poland, Pakistan, Iran, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Singapore, Japan, Hungary -- you get the idea.

The top 100 finalists will be flown to NYC to show us what they've got. Have you got what it takes to Code Jam? Then by all means register here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Download the classics



Starting today, you can go to Google Book Search and download full copies of out-of-copyright books to read at your own pace. You're free to choose from a diverse collection of public domain titles -- from well-known classics to obscure gems.

Before the rise of the public library -– a story chronicled in this 1897 edition of The Free Library – access to large collections of books was the privilege of a wealthy minority. Now, with the help of our wonderful library partners, we're able to offer you the ability to download and read PDF versions of out-of-copyright books from some of the world’s greatest collections.

Using Google Book Search, you can find The Free Library and many other extraordinary old books, such as:

* Ferriar's The Bibliomania
* A futurist from 1881's 1931: A Glance at the Twentieth Century
* Aesop's Fables
* Shakespeare's Hamlet
* Abbott's Flatland
* Hugo's Marion De Lorme
* Dunant's Eine Erinnerung an Solferino
* BolĂ­var's Proclamas
* Dante's Inferno

To find out-of-copyright books that you can download, simply select the "Full view" radio button when you search on books.google.com. (Please note that we do not enable downloading of any book currently under copyright. Unless we have the publisher’s permission to show more, we display only small snippets of text –- at most, two or three sentences surrounding your search term -– to help you determine if you’ve found what you’re looking for.)

Of course, this is just the beginning. As we digitize more of the world's books -- whether rare, common, popular or obscure -- people everywhere will be able to discover them on Google Book Search.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Get your people talking



Back in February, we blogged about an experiment called "Gmail for your domain" that enabled IT administrators to power their custom domain email with Gmail with 2GB of storage, powerful search tools, and other Gmail features to all of their users. Since then, we've been listening to feedback from thousands of small businesses, K-12 schools, non-profits, universities, even families with their own websites, and based on what they've suggested, we've added so many features that the original name just didn't describe the service accurately any longer.

So say hello to Google Apps for Your Domain, a service available at no cost to organizations of all shapes and sizes.

We think we may be on to something here: all the functionality of Gmail, Google Talk and Google Calendar wrapped up with tools to make them work for your organization, plus Google Page Creator for designing and publishing your website. There's no hardware or software required, and you can customize the user interfaces with your branding and color scheme, so they look and feel like your own.

Things have come a long way in the last six months, and we're still working on the service. If you're from a larger business or university with more advanced needs for communications and sharing, please get in touch regarding premium versions of the service, due out later this year.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We love you, webmasters



We always aim to offer our users relevant and helpful results, and webmasters provide the great content that we point to. Unfortunately -- though we've had the pleasure of chatting with many of you in a variety of forums, around the blogosphere, and at many conferences across the world -- we simply haven't been able to interact with every one of you. So we're excited to announce our new Google Webmaster Central, which enables us to have productive conversations with many more of you, all the time.

Recently, we've added:
Furthermore, Google Sitemaps has been renamed Google webmaster tools. It's more than a new coat of paint; we've added and improved lots of geeky goodies to help give you more info and control.

For those of you who've already established a Google sitemap, have no fear: the Sitemaps protocol remains unchanged and Sitemaps submission mechanisms and reporting is still available from the Sitemaps tab. If you haven't already added a Sitemap, you might want to learn more about it. (In short, putting a Sitemap file on your site enables you to tell us what pages your site has, which of them are most important, and how often they are typically updated.)

You've worked hard on your sites, and, not surprisingly, you want to make sure they're listed appropriately in Google, so of course you have lots of questions. You can find many answers simply by creating a Google webmaster tools account (if you have a Google Account, you're already set), adding your site URL to your account, and verifying that you own the site. A few of the many things you can do with webmaster tools:
We've also put together a comprehensive webmaster help center to answer more of your questions, such as:
With our webmaster tools and webmaster help center, we're able to tackle an increasing number of questions and make the answers available to all webmasters. But we're not planning to rest on our laurels. We're listening to your concerns (in person and all over the Net!) and working hard to expand the content and languages of our help center. We appreciate the webmaster community very much, and look forward to many great conversations to come. We couldn't do search without you.

Happy birthday, Google Talk!



A year ago today, we launched Google Talk. On the days leading up to launch, we spent long summer nights fueled by Reza's eclectic play list. Thankfully, Google Talk didn't have Music Trends back then. The team listened to everything from 2Pac to Ludacris to Biggie.

We want to thank all the users who have submitted product feedback. We'd also like to thank the millions of users who are using the Google Talk network – either through the Google Talk client, Gmail chat, or other supported clients. Our users love the chat integration within Gmail, and we're planning to make it easier to chat with your buddies through other Google services.

Want to send us a birthday message? Leave us a voicemail at talkbirthday@gmail.com.

MEEP.

Finding the wealth in your library (and everyone else's)



As a student and then as a researcher, I used to haunt libraries in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I spent time looking for the books I needed, but also happened to find gems by chance, as I scanned the shelves I walked by. Fun as it was to find an unexpected treasure, I always knew that much remained hidden. Large libraries are way too big to just walk around and browse, even for an enthusiastic teenager.

Today, we're launching the Library Catalog Search feature in Google Book Search, designed to help casual readers and bookworms everywhere find gems in the libraries around the world. Queries on Google Book Search will automatically include results from library catalogs when appropriate. Each result includes a "Find Libraries" link to help readers find libraries that hold the book -- ideally a library nearby, or if need be, a library far away. For example, after reading Martin Gardner's book Fads and Fallacies, I wanted to follow up on Immanuel Velikovsky's books about scientific explanations for biblical miracles. Clicking on the "Find Libraries" link for Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision, I found that a copy was available in the University of Sao Paulo library.

This is true of many types of books in countries all over the world -- my colleagues in Google's Zurich office tell me about being able to find Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets for their nephews and nieces. In many cases, it's even possible to click through to the local library and reserve the book.

For this feature, we have worked with more than 15 library union catalogs that have information about libraries from more than 30 countries, as well as with our colleagues working on Google Scholar (which includes a similar feature just for scholarly books).

We would like to acknowledge and fete our partners who have collected information about the wealth in world's libraries with amazing thoroughness and care. And we're looking to work with union catalogs in other parts of the world so it can be just as easy for library patrons elsewhere to learn what their libraries have waiting for them.

If you're a library patron and can't find the books you're looking for, ask your local library to participate in this program. If you are a librarian at a union catalog and would like to work with us to help users find books in your collections, please contact us.

Here's hoping readers worldwide will use this to discover and explore the wonderful collections in the world's libraries.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Calendar and Notifier for the Mac



Creating a better user experience for Google Calendar on a Mac was my first project at Google. So I'm excited to tell you that Google Calendar now works great in Safari, and we've just launched a major Mac-only upgrade for the Gmail Notifier.

The Google Notifier for the Mac has:
  • Notifications for upcoming events and unread mail
  • Built-in pop up notifications
  • Custom sounds
  • As always, great new icons
So start keeping track of your life with Google Calendar and the Google Notifier.

By the way, since we put this out there last Friday, we've already received a lot of feedback, which we've used to fix some bugs. So keep the comments coming! We want to make the Google Notifier even better.

I got 99 problems, but video distribution ain't one



A little more than 25 years ago, MTV launched in northern New Jersey, where a few thousand people on one cable system were able to watch "Video Killed the Radio Star." My, how times have changed: with an entire collection of networks (including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and VH1), today MTV can be seen just about anywhere there is a TV.

But these days, people aren't only getting video from their TV -- plenty are watching online. And where do they watch this great content? Anywhere they can find it. That's why we've teamed up with MTV to make its quality content available to our vast network of AdSense sites.

So now when you visit places like BabyNames.com and Fan-Sites.org, you may see clips you can play from MTV, VH1, LOGO, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central - clips that these sites' visitors would be most interested in. If you're a site owner, stay tuned as we expand this program. And if you like video, go get your MTV. It's fresh, and it's free.

How to move Ramses II



As a teen in Cairo, I grew up knowing the area called Ramses Square. At that time the statue of Ramses II could be seen from miles away and was one of the city center's attractions. Over the years the king became surrounded by fly-overs, steel walkways and an underground station.

It got to the point where you really had to know where the statue was to see it. A year ago scaffolding appeared around the statue and rumors abounded that the statue was suffering from the pollution and was being restored. The rumors turned out false -- the granite statue was going to be RELOCATED. What?! How?! Just getting the statue out of the labyrinth of bridges and walkways would be a feat of engineering.

Turns out some smart engineers work for the transportation contractor: they used Google Earth to plan the route, made the decision to move the 3200+ year-old statue -- and will do so this Friday, August 25, 2006. Walkways, cables, fences and road dividers are being brought down to make way! Trials and tests have been done to ensure the roads can handle the load, and now Ramses II will embark on what is most probably his last journey. Seeing is believing, so I got together with the Earth team and came up with this KML overlay showing the complete route of the journey from downtown Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) out by the Pyramids.

Coalition against child pornography



Previously, I've shared with you Google's commitment to protecting children online. As part of these efforts, we've joined two recently-formed industry initiatives to combat child pornography and child exploitation on the Internet. No group can keep the Internet safe by itself. We're excited about the promise of collaborating with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other companies to advance this important mission.

Here's the NCMEC release announcing our participation in the Technology Coalition and the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Worldcon beckons



In response to our attending the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas last week, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch commented, "Of course, going to WorldCon in LA (ahem, actually Anaheim in beautiful Orange County) later this month would be nice."

Wouldn't it, though? After all, in addition to Scotty and Spock, many Googlers have been influenced by Isaac Asimov's Dr. Susan Calvin, Robert Heinlein's HOLMES-IV (a.k.a. Mike/Mycroft/Michelle), Arthur C. Clarke's HAL 9000, and Douglas Adams' Marvin the Paranoid Android, and the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy itself, as well as many other science fiction characters, stories, and novels both classic and recent.

So we are in fact throwing a party at this week's World Science Fiction Convention, LACon IV -- on Wednesday evening, in the main party area on the fifth floor of the Anaheim Hilton. Convention attendees are welcome to drop by to talk with Googlers from the Mountain View and Santa Monica offices and see some things that I'm sure Serenity's engineer Kaylee Frye would consider worthy of a "Shiny!"

If you think Google might be a good fit for you, stop by the party or head over to our jobs site.

Exploring the scholarly neighborhood



Searching for scientific articles on Google Scholar works especially well when I can find the search terms that are specific enough to narrow down to the subject I'm interested in and yet general enough to not miss relevant articles. When authors use different terminology to refer to the same thing --- which often happens when a field is very young -- this can be less effective. In fact, I've found cases where the seminal paper for a topic does not even use the key terms that are later used to describe it. For example, John Nash's papers that helped define the area of game theory don't refer to the area as game theory.

Now there's an additional way to find related work in Google Scholar, which should be helpful in such situations. For every Google Scholar search result, we try to automatically determine which articles in our repository are most closely related to it. You can see a list of these articles by clicking the "Related Articles" link that appears next to each result. The list of related articles is ranked primarily by how similar these articles are to the original result, but also takes into account the relevance of each paper. To go back to the game theory example, clicking on the Related Articles link for the first result for game theory enables users to discover several of Nash's seminal articles.

Finding sets of related papers and books is often a great way for novices to get acquainted with a topic. However, we've found that even experts can sometimes be surprised to discover related work in their area of expertise.

Think of it as a way to hop from one giant's shoulder to the next!

Monday, August 21, 2006

School's in



Getting ready for the new school year? There's a back-to-school shopping offer at Google Checkout.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The multilingual Desktop



No matter what language you speak, you shouldn't have to hunt around for stuff on your computer. That's why there's Google Desktop 4, now out of beta in -- count 'em -- 26 languages (hello, Romanian), plus a Japanese beta version.

Thanks also to everyone who submitted a gadget for the contest. We'll announce the winners on September 5th. Read more about this on the Google Desktop Blog.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stardate 0817.06



Starbase 24 Commander's personal log.
I find myself looking forward to my upcoming trip to Earth, specifically Las Vegas...

Did you ever realize that among many other things, Star Trek predicted blogs? Think about it -- all those "Captain's log" and "personal log" entries that Kirk would make. He was definitely a blogger. And of course the communicator-inspired cell phone design. And the crew was constantly asking the ship's computer for information...sort of like Google.

Of course, Scotty and Spock, the engineer and the scientist, certainly were childhood inspirations to many Googlers. Now we've (somewhat) grown up, and often work on things that seem right out of the show: Being able to ask a computer to research a topic and present relevant results. Putting maps, both human-drawn and photos taken from space, on a personal communicator (OK, cell phone). Creating 3-D structures and objects and putting them in a shared warehouse for everyone to use (we're still working on making them into solid holograms for a Holodeck). And I'm convinced we've got replicators that restock the snacks in our micro-kitchens.

So it all stands to reason that we're hosting a booth at the 5th annual Official Star Trek Convention (which celebrates 40 years of the whole enterprise) in Las Vegas. It starts today and runs through Sunday. If you're at the con, please stop by for demos of some of our latest product releases, including a few new ones, often with a particular sci-fi spin. We're also looking for applicants to "Google Academy," so please speak up if you'd like to work here. After all -- today is a good day to code.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More ways to connect and share with Google Talk



Millions of you use Google Talk every day to connect with friends, family, and colleagues via chat and calls. Today we're releasing a new version of Google Talk that introduces several more ways to share and connect. You can download it here.

File transfer - This has consistently been the top requested feature, and we've worked hard to make the experience simple, fast, and fun. You can share any type of file, several at a time if you like. We think the photo sharing experience is especially fun.

Voicemail - The name of this feature doesn't do it justice. Yes, you can now leave voicemails for any of your Google Talk contacts when they don't answer a call, but I think the coolest thing is that you can easily record voice notes and send them to anyone you know by just adding their email address to your contact list -- they don't even have to be running Google Talk. This is a fun and easy way to just say hello, send someone a reminder, or even sing your mom happy birthday! Also, our friends on the Gmail team have added a slick voicemail playback experience within Gmail.

Music status sharing - Show your friends what music you listen to and discover new music that your friends are into (or discover that they spend their entire day listening to Barry Manilow... hmm). We also thought it would be fun for you to see the musical tastes of the broader community. So you now have the option of sharing your music listening history with Google, to be included in the rankings of our new Google Labs project called Music Trends.

Finally, we have some updates targeted at developers such as support for a new voice codec which we'll talk about in an upcoming post. And now, I'm off to record that message for my mom...

Free citywide WiFi in Mountain View



Today, Google launched a WiFi network in our hometown of Mountain View. Radios hanging on lampposts throughout the city are now broadcasting a "GoogleWiFi" wireless (802.11b/g) signal that brings wireless Internet access to the city's residents, businesses, and visitors. All anyone needs is a laptop or other wireless-enabled device and a web browser to get online. Then Mountain View users can select the "GoogleWiFi" signal, open their web browser and sign in with a free Google Account. To learn more about the network's coverage area and the location of the WiFi radios, we've published a map.

This network is a way for us to give back to and engage with the community where our headquarters are. As the product manager for Google WiFi, it has been has been tremendously rewarding to partner with the local government, the schools, the library, the neighborhood associations, and all of our trusted testers to introduce the power of free, wireless Internet connectivity to the city. I look forward to meeting with more members of the community at upcoming training sessions and ice cream socials :-).

Another goal of this network is to promote alternative access technologies by using Mountain View as an example for organizations considering investments in the WiFi arena. We think successful mesh wireless deployments will promote competition, create cheaper access alternatives, and (if done correctly) foster open, standards-compliant platforms for content and service providers to showcase their applications without the hassle of the traditional walled-garden approach.

For additional information about Google WiFi, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by and give the network a try, or RSVP to attend our community training session on August 23. Finally, our special thanks to the city of Mountain View for being such a great partner.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Map Search gadget for the homepage



We just released a Google Map Search gadget for the personalized homepage -- an easy way do local searches and then quickly scroll through the results on a map. You programmers might like to know that this makes use of three Google APIs at the same time: the Google AJAX Search API, the Google Maps API, and the Google Gadgets API. The next challenge? Let's go for four...

A better way to organize photos?



It's not always easy to search through your personal photos, and it's certainly a lot harder than searching the web. Unless you take the time to label and organize all your pictures (and I'll freely admit that I don't), chances are it can be pretty hard to find that photo you just know is hidden somewhere deep inside your computer.

We've been working to make Picasa (Google's free photo-organizing software) even better when it comes to searching for your own photos—to make finding them be as easy as finding stuff on the web. Luckily we've found some people who share this goal, and are excited that the Neven Vision team is now part of Google.

Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about. We don't have any specific features to show off today, but we're looking forward to having more to share with you soon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Code your way to Gotham



New York, New York -- A place so nice, we're holding the Google Code Jam finals here! I'm excited to tell you about our fourth annual competition, the 2006 Google International Code Jam. This year the last round will be held at our second-largest development center, right in downtown Manhattan. The best coders in the world (and that includes you, if you're up for the challenge) compete on speed and accuracy to solve challenging problems with only their brains, fingers, and a computer. If this is your idea of fun, then sign up -- registration opens today. We'll fly the best 100 coders to New York in October, all expenses paid, for the final competition, to meet Google software engineers and to experience Manhattan. First prize is $10,000; all finalists are guaranteed a minimum prize of $750.

Of course, we'll be on the lookout for future Googlers -- those who love solving tricky coding challenges, and are excited about solving the Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal of organizing the world's information.

Registration opens today, so sign up, test your mettle, and we'll save you a place in New York!

Google in the ATL



Check it out: Google's quiet presence in Atlanta is becoming less so, since our engineering and sales teams in Atlanta have recently teamed up. We couldn't be more excited about our brand new (and very Googly) Midtown office. The Atlanta sales team is in its sixth year and continues to grow. The newer engineering team has been hard at work developing the Google Web Toolkit, which launched recently at JavaOne.



When it comes to recruiting great people, Google doesn't let a silly little thing like geography get in the way. In addition to Mountain View, New York, Sydney, Kirkland, Santa Monica, Dublin, Zurich, London, Belo Horizonte, Trondheim, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Tokyo, now you too can be a Googler in Atlanta.

Midtown Atlanta is an exciting place to be these days, so it's no coincidence that we set up shop next door to Georgia Tech, Technology Square, and Atlantic Station. Oh, and of course, The Varsity — because who can resist a naked dog walking?

We're hiring, so please let us know if you're interested in becoming an Atlanta Googler in engineering or sales.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I scream for (Google) ice cream




The Google campus wasn't spared from the recent California heat wave, but we did have a secret weapon to beat back the sun - specially-made Google ice cream desserts from IT'S IT. If you're not from the Bay Area you might be tempted to call an It's It just another ice cream sandwich. But you'd be oh, so wrong. A scoop of ice cream between two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies dipped in chocolate? This is no ordinary dessert.

And indeed the Google version is no ordinary IT'S IT. Google chef Nate Keller worked with the fine folks at IT'S IT to produce a natural, locally sourced, trans-fat-free rendition of their excellent treat. Served only in our Mountain View cafe, it's even got a Google logo on the wrapper. Now, if I could only figure out how to keep a few from melting on my drive home to San Francisco.

Now playing: Movie trailers



Are the special effects in Pirates of the Caribbean any good? Is Tom Hanks' haircut really that bad in The Da Vinci Code? Should you take your grandparents to see Clerks II? Will you be able to sleep after watching The Descent?

The best way to get your summer movie questions answered is to watch the trailers using the Google Movies onebox. Just search for the movie name and your Zip/city on Google.com, and the first result will include a link to the trailer, as well as critics' reviews and showtimes for your local movie theater. To get showtimes for The Descent in San Francisco, for instance, search for [the descent san francisco ca].

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some homepage revisions



You may have noticed the Google homepage feels a little different today. That's because we've reorganized our tabs, or "top links" -- the blue links to Images, News, Maps, etc.). In this iteration, you'll see that Google Video is now featured on the homepage. And we've grouped into a More>> dropdown some other services like Books, Groups, and Froogle.

Search has always been a fundamental paradigm here, so we're constantly working to integrate more services into the main search experience. So while you can go to specific search services directly through the More>> dropdown, you'll also find great results from Books, Groups, and Froogle by just searching Google. As our product line evolves, we're also finding that we have a few destinations that people need to get to directly -- sometimes because the user experience relies heavily on browsing (News, Video) or because there's a different way of searching (Maps).

We'll be making more changes to the organization of our services over the next few months, so let us know what you think and we'll try and incorporate it in our next iteration.

Thanks for checking out Google Checkout



People always ask, what makes Google tick? There are two key elements: our ongoing commitment to building great technology that empowers people like you -- and of course our passion for free T-shirts. Today, to thank everyone using Google Checkout to buy stuff online, we thought we'd combine the two. Everyone who buys something for $20 or more through Google Checkout all day today gets a free T-shirt. So find something you want to buy, enjoy faster checkout online -- and make room in the drawer for your new apparel.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Anita Borg Scholarships now open in Australia



For three years, we've sponsored a scholarship program with the Anita Borg Institute for women studying computer science and related fields in the U.S. Now we're expanding this program to Australia, where we're very pleased to offer an opportunity to both undergraduate students and postgraduates, who may apply for AUD$5,000 scholarships.

Tell your friends, or apply yourself -- the AU program deadline is September 15th.

Welcome to the University of California libraries



The University of Michigan is excited that the University of California is joining with us, the New York Public Library, Stanford, Harvard and Oxford universities in our partnership with Google.

The UC libraries are a great public system of academic libraries. They bring a wealth of new resources and titles to this partnership. We are thrilled at the idea that another public academic library recognizes the importance of making its great collection discoverable by all who search on the web. The UC libraries have chosen, like us, to incorporate all works within their library, not just titles in the public domain. In making their vast collections more discoverable, these great libraries are making a significant contribution to the dissemination of knowledge worldwide.

We began working with Google on the library project in 2004. They have been a terrific partner in this endeavor. We know that the University of California will also enjoy a productive relationship with the Google library team. We welcome the UC libraries to the partnership, and look forward to working alongside them on this important initiative.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Our analysis of click fraud detection



A team of our engineers who specialize in detecting click fraud have analyzed various reports our advertisers have sent in from several consulting firms -- reports that claim a high incidence of click fraud on Google. I encourage you to read more about our findings on the Inside AdWords Blog, and you can see our full 17 page analysis here (PDF).

Monday, August 07, 2006

Related Links, now with video



Earlier this year, we released Google Related Links, designed to deliver fresh content to websites through an easy-to-add module. With it, you can show your users related news, web pages and searches complementing the information on your pages.

In our quest to enrich what can be offered via Related Links, we've added another tab to the mix: now you can show videos in the Related Links box. Result: visitors have access to relevant quality video content, and you add more interactivity to your site. Learn more here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here comes acronym week



If you happen to be in the Northern California city of San Jose next week, you may find yourself overhearing an enormous number of potentially cryptic-but-important acronyms like CTR, SEM, ROI, 301, and SES. That last one stands for Search Engine Strategies, one of the largest global conferences catering to webmasters, online marketers and advertisers, and the people (and companies) who love them. As luck would have it, SES is happening in San Jose Monday through Thursday next week. Google's very own (CEO) Eric Schmidt will participate in a discussion with conference organizer Danny Sullivan, and many other Googlers will be speaking at SES throughout the week as well:

Monday, Aug 7th

12:30 - 2:00 Lunch with the Google Sitemaps team
2:00 - 3:30 Social Search: Up Close With Google, Shashi Seth, Product Manager
4:00 - 5:30 The Search Laboratories, Peter Norvig, Director of Research
4:00 - 5:30 Domaining & Address Bar-Driven Traffic, Hal Bailey, Strategic Partner Manager

Tuesday, Aug 8th

9:00 - 10:15 Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues, Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager, Trust & Safety
11:15 - 12:30 Search Arbitrage Issues, Kim Malone, Director of Online Sales & Operations, Google AdSense
11:15 - 12:30 Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues, Matt Cutts, Software Engineer
1:15 - 2:45 The Bot Obedience Course, Vanessa Fox, Product Manager
3:30 - 5:00 Meet The Search Ad Networks, Emily White, Online Sales and Operations Director

Wednesday, Aug 9th

10:00 - 10:45 A Conversation With Google CEO Eric Schmidt
11:00 - 12:15 Speaking Unofficially: Search Engine Bloggers, Matt Cutts, Software Engineer

Thursday, Aug 10th

9:00 - 10:15 Meet The Crawlers, Shiva Shivakumar, Distinguished Entrepreneur
9:00 - 10:15 Search APIs, Mark Lucovsky, Technical Director and Rohit Dhawan, Product Manager
10:45 - 12:00 Search Engine Q&A On Links, Adam Lasnik, Search Evangelist
10:45 - 12:00 Vendor Chat On Measuring Success, Brett Crosby, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics

We hope those of you attending the conference will check out some of these panels and also stop by the Google booth in the expo hall. Googlers there will be eager to hear your feedback, answer your questions, or even just chat about the world's most colorful search engine. If you come to SES, one thing not to miss is our annual Google Dance, where SES attendees test drive some of our latest creations when they're not shaking their booties or dunking GoogleGuy (hey, it could happen). See you there?

Saved locations on Google Maps



One of the most common requests we've received is for the ability to store a list of personal addresses on Google Maps -- and now you can. To get started, click on the "Saved Locations" link in the upper right corner of the site and sign in to your Google Account. If you're already signed in, this link will take you to your saved locations list -- Google Maps will automatically save every location you search for. You can also go to the Saved Locations list to disable auto-saving of locations or to add, modify, or delete previously-saved locations.

From here, you can also add a label (your choice of an easy-to-remember name, e.g."home") to any of your saved locations. The next time you start entering an address or a label into Google Maps, we'll offer to auto-complete it for you if it's in your saved locations. Auto-completion is also available when you're searching for businesses. If you've labeled the address "1600 Amphitheatre Pky, Mountain View, CA" as "work" (as some Googlers would), when you start typing [pizza near work], we'll offer to auto-complete it as [pizza near 1600 Amphitheatre Pky, Mountain View, CA].

Here’s a tip: When a list of auto-completions is offered, you can hit the Tab key to select the first one.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's all about the photos...on a Mac



I'm happy to tell you about the release of Picasa Web Albums Uploaders (beta, of course) for Mac OS X. Picasa Web Albums makes it simple to share photos with friends and family, and now we've made it even easier on the Mac. This new download comes with two handy tools for uploading photos: There's a plug-in for uploading your pics within iPhoto. If you don't use iPhoto, or just want to upload the occasional picture, just drag your photos into the provided standalone app and click Upload. Either way, I can't wait for my fellow Mac users to showcase their talents.

Normally I work on search engine infrastructure. I love my work on web search, but as a change of pace I decided to use my 20 percent time to make Picasa Web Albums better for Mac users. Fortunately, I was not alone. The Picasa and Mac development teams embraced the project and provided great assistance. Greg Robbins, a co-conspirator in the famous graphing calculator story, worked to refine the user interface. Later, another one of our Mac engineers, Mike Morton (I’m OK, mentor), took over as project lead, made quick work of creating the iPhoto export plug-in, and became the one responsible for incorporating feedback and finishing up the application and plug-in.

For me this has been a great opportunity to meet and work with new people, explore new technologies, and help create something that I hope the Mac community will find useful. So, please sign up for Picasa Web Albums, download the uploaders, and show the world some beautiful photos.