May 28, 2010

Google Buzz for mobile now available on more devices

(Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog)

Back in February, we launched Google Buzz for mobile, a tool to start interesting conversations when you are out and about. One of the most popular ways to access Google Buzz for mobile is through the web application (by going to buzz.google.com in your phone’s browser). When Buzz launched, it was only available for devices running Android 2.0+ and iPhone. Not any more! Today we’re a releasing an XHTML version of the Buzz website which can be accessed from many other mobile devices, including those running Android pre-2.0, Blackberry, Nokia S60, and Windows Mobile.


Just type buzz.google.com in your browser. Then when you log in using your password, you will be able to view the stream of buzz posts, post publicly or privately, comment or like a post, and more. On the BlackBerry platform, you can also enable location through yourbrowser settings. This will allow you to get to the Nearby view, where you’ll find geo-tagged posts near you. In addition, you can tag your post with your location. Please note that location features might not work on some devices.


Android pre-2.0 devices can now run the same web app as newer versions of Android. You can also switch to the XHTML version if needed, and we will remember your preference.

We have worked hard to make Google Buzz for mobile accessible on more devices in more locations. It is now available in 37 languages through buzz.google.com and we’re excited to bring it to mobile devices with browsers that don’t support the HTML5 capabilities the webapp uses. We hope that you enjoy using Google Buzz on the go!


Posted by Alex Kennberg, Software Engineer, Google Mobile

May 27, 2010

India Site Clinic - Part 3

As part of Site Clinic series with the two blog posts, we have addressed the top four trends - canonicalization, duplicate content, alt attribute for describing images & Sitemaps. While reviewing websites that were submitted through this event, we noticed slow page load time to be another major trend. Load time is the time taken for a web page to open completely in the user’s browser.

In lieu of the recent announcement about site speed being used as a ranking factor, we thought we will end this series with a post on how to make the your websites faster.

Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. Ultimately, if the load time of a web page is decreased, it will make for a better user experience. There are several free tools available on web to evaluate the page speed. One such Google tool is the open source Firefox/Firebug add-on called Page Speed which helps webmasters to assess the speed of a web page by generating results on the basis of our best practices.

http://www.royalchemists.com/ is a chemist’s website with a neat layout. The content clearly conveys a message that they are in business for a very long time and has customer testimonials on home page itself, which is a value add. Page Speed score for the home page when we reviewed was 78/100, which is a decent Page Speed. Let us discuss few parameters of the Page Speed results that this page scored well and what to be improved on.




This page scores well on the following parametersThe website scores on combine External CSS and combine External JS which helps the page to cut down on RTTs and delays in downloading other resources. Also, CSS is placed right on top of the document head as the element helps pages appear to load quicker since this allows pages to render progressively.

What can be improved?

Please have a look at the waterfall-view for http://www.royalchemists.com/ that we did using http://www.webpagetest.org/ .



This page uses lots of images as icons which will slow down the page while loading on browser. Using CSS image Sprites would help the page to reduce the number of HTTP requests and increase the page speed.

In addition, compressing the below components with gzip will help reduce the HTTP response time:

This web page can score more by adding a far future expires header to the static components like image file components. It means setting up an expiration date in future for the resources to be cached will help browser fetch and use the cached version when page is loading after the first run.

Check this video on the post of Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead from our team, who talks about the need for the page speed and how to add Expires header.

We hope this blogpost will encourage webmaster look into ways to speed up their website and in turn the overall speed of the web.

Check out this video of Matt Cutts, a Webspam Engineer from our team, who clarified if page speed is a critical factor in ranking or not. You can read more about Site performance on our Webmaster Help Center and also can use the webmaster tool feature called Site performance which will give site performance statistics.

With this blogpost we would like to conclude our current Site Clinic series and we would like to thank you all profusely for making this a great success.


Posted By Search Quality Team.

May 24, 2010

Google Translate now speaks Hindi

India is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, having more than hundred languages with Hindi as the most widely spoken language. To make it easier to read, learn and communicate in Hindi, we are excited to announce recent addition of automated text-to-speech capability for Hindi translations on Google Translate.

Now while visiting a Hindi speaking area, you'll be able to communicate easily in local language. You can learn Hindi by listening to the translation by clicking speaker icon next to the translated text. For example, if you want to say ‘Hello, how are you?’ in Hindi, just translate it and listen to Hindi equivalent to speak.



As we continue to improve the precision of our automatic translation and text-to-speech system, let us know if you have any feedback in our discussion group.

Posted by Vishnu Sharma, Arun Nair

May 18, 2010

Google India’s Internet Bus Enters Punjab & Haryana

The Google Internet Bus continues its journey across India educating people about the benefits of the Internet. A few weeks ago the project was launched in Chandigarh marking the start of its Punjab & Haryana tour. The bus will tour 15 cities across the two states over the next 40 days. The response during the first few weeks has been very heartening with over 40,000 visitors experiencing the Internet on board.



In Punjab & Haryana the Internet Bus we will focus on content in Punjabi, Hindi & English divided into four main themes which are information, education, communication & entertainment.

The bus project has grown from strength to strength since its launch in February 2009. Lakhs of people have physically trooped through the bus in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh , Kerala & Rajasthan and have learnt about the uses of the internet. Our surveys show that more than 1/4th of our visitors in each state have gone online for the first time after visiting the Internet Bus. We also found that at least 50% of our visitors have told more than five people about the internet.

Google has also learned from this initiative, the recently launched Virtual Keyboard on the Hindi Homepage is aimed at making it easier for first time users to search for information on the Internet.

Users across India can follow the bus through its journey, see pictures & videos, and join online communities by simply visiting http://www.google.co.in/internetbus.



Posted by Nishant Nair & Srikanth Belwadi

May 17, 2010

Five more languages on translate.google.com

(Cross-posted from the Google translate blog)


At Google, we are always trying to make information more accessible, whether by adding auto-captioning on YouTube and virtual keyboards to search or by providing free translation of text, websites and documents with Google Translate. In 2009, we announced the addition of our first “alpha” language, Persian, on Google Translate. Today, we are excited to add five more alpha languages: Azerbaijani, Armenian, Basque, Urdu and Georgian — bringing the total number of languages on Google Translate to 57.

These languages are available while still in alpha status. You can expect translations to be less fluent than for our other languages, but they should still help you understand the multilingual web. We are working hard to “graduate” these new language out of alpha status, just as we did some time ago with Persian. You can help us improve translation quality as well. If you notice an incorrect translation, we invite you click "Contribute a better translation". If you are a translator, then you can contribute
translation memories with the Translator Toolkit. This helps us build better machine translation systems especially for languages that are not well represented on the web.

Collectively, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Georgian and Urdu have roughly 100 million speakers. We hope that these speakers can now more easily access the entire multilingual web in their own language. Try translating these and other languages at
translate.google.com. Here are some phrases from the new alpha languages to get you started:

Baietz lehenengoan
میں خوش قسمت محسوس کر رہا ہوں
բախտաւոր եմ զգում
Mən şanslıyam
იღბალს მივენდობი


Posted by Ashish Venugopal, Research Scientist

May 11, 2010

Transliteration adds 5 new languages

Typing in ones own language is the first step for many users in using a computer and the Internet. To enable that, Transliteration went global at the end of last year, with the addition of 6 non-Indian languages to the initial set of 11 Indian languages.

Today, we are delighted to announce the launch of transliteration support for 5 new languages - Amharic, Tigrinya, Hebrew, Oriya and Sinhalese. With this launch, Google Transliteration supports 22 languages spoken across Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. These new languages are currently available in Google Labs or at http://www.google.com/transliterate.

You can select from one of 22 supported languages:
Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hebrew, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi,Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu.

You can also compose richly formatted text and look up word definitions with our dictionary integration. If the default transliteration is not the word you wanted, you can highlight it to see a list of alternatives. For even finer-grained control, we provide a unicode character picker to allow character-by-character composition.

As with all labs products, we will continue to improve the technology and try out new features. We would love to hear from you, so do let us know what you think.

Posted by: Nilesh Tathawadekar and Mohammed Aslam, Software Engineers

May 6, 2010

A spring metamorphosis - Google's new look


(Cross-posted from the Google Blog)

Using Google today, you may have noticed that something feels slightly different — the look and feel of our search results have changed! Today’s metamorphosis responds to the increasing richness of the web and the increasing power of search — revealing search tools on the left and updating the visual look and feel throughout. While we are constantly rolling out small changes and updates, today’s changes showcase the latest evolutions in our search technology, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for.


The new Google look, with simple left-hand navigation.

What’s new and what’s changed?
We’ve added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, we've launched Universal Search, the Search Options panel and Google Squared, and it’s those three technologies that power the left-hand panel.

Universal Search helps you find the most relevant types of results for your search. The top section of the new left-hand panel builds on Universal Search by suggesting the most relevant genres of results for your query and letting you seamlessly switch to these different types of results. The “Everything” option remains our essential search experience with different types of results integrated into the main results, but now you can also easily switch to just the particular type of results you are looking for.

Our expandable Search Options panel launched last spring brought many rich slice-and-dice tools to search. The new left-hand navigation showcases these tools and enables you to get a different view of your results. Perhaps you’d like to see images from each of the results or just the newest information? These options are all on the left, and our technology will suggest the tools that are most relevant and helpful to your query.

Google Squared (available on Google Labs) helps you find and compare entities. Our “Something different” feature builds on the technology in Google Squared to find other entities that are related to your query, so you can easily explore not only the results for your current query but other related topics.

In addition to the left-hand side changes, we’ve updated our look and feel in terms of our color palette and our logo. These changes are slight, keeping our page minimalist and whimsical, but make our overall look more modern.

The new design refreshes and streamlines the look, feel and functionality of Google, making it easier to pinpoint what you’re looking for. It’s powerful, yet simple. Today’s changes are the latest in our continuing efforts to evolve and improve Google. We've been testing these changes with users over the past few months, and what we're launching today reflects the feedback we've received.. We want to ensure that the Google you use today is better than the one you used yesterday, and these latest changes open up many possibilities for future features and enhancements.

To hear more about our new design, check out this video:


Our new interface begins rolling out today globally across 37 languages. We are also launching the mobile version concurrently for English interfaces in the United States. Search on!

May 4, 2010

Google Transliteration IME for windows 64-bit and 5 more languages

As engineers on the Google Transliteration team, we are very excited to let you know about the launch of the Google Transliteration IME for windows 64-bit and covering 5 more languages (Amharic, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tigrinya) making it 19 languages in total. An IME is an "Input Method Editor" and simply refers to software that lets you type in a language of your choice. Once you download the Google Transliteration IME (it's free and there's no signup required), you can type a word the way it sounds using Latin characters and it will convert the word to its native script. For example, typing "hamesha" transliterates into Hindi as : हमेशा

Google Transliteration IME offers several features focused on an improved user experience. With this launch we have added two more key features: Canonical Schemes and Macros. Canonical transliteration schemes help the users to define their own basic key mappings (like ISCII standard for many Indic languages) which may be familiar to them than using Google IME's intuitive key mappings. Macros feature enables the user to add their own shortcut character sequences for their mostly typed or complex words.

It is currently available in 19 different languages - Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Urdu. This application enables users to create content or communicate in their preferred language online or offline and in any application of their choice. The Google Transliteration IME currently supports 32-bit/64-bit Windows 7/Vista/XP. For more information on Google’s Transliteration IME please visit our help page.

Google Transliteration is also available in Blogger, Gmail, Knol, Orkut and as a bookmarklet. You can also enable it on your website using the transliteration API.



Posted by Prunthaban Kanthakumar and Naren Manappa, Software Engineers