November 18, 2010

AdWords Turns Ten and also Launches new Initiatives for Small-Medium Businesses in India

This month, Google AdWords celebrated our 10th birthday! Over the years, many businesses in India have embraced AdWords and gained from the immense power of search engine advertising. We felt the best way to mark our birthday was to applaud and honour AdWords advertisers by sharing their stories and successes with the world. This December, we’ll be publishing a global map featuring businesses who are happy to tell their stories. If you’re an AdWords advertiser, please join us by submitting a short (three minutes or less) YouTube video or written piece (750 characters or less) telling us your story: who you are, what your business is about, how it’s grown, and the role AdWords has played in your success.

Partnering with small and medium businesses in India has always been particularly important to us, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to better serve the market. Recently, we’ve expanded our efforts with two new initiatives. First, we’ve launched a new AdWords call center in Hyderabad to provide regional language support to businesses that wish to grow with online advertising. Our new call center will offer entrepreneurs assistance in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam and will manage both inbound and out bound calls. Businesses can learn how to manage online advertising campaigns effectively and also receive free advice on how to attract new customers with our powerful AdWords platform.

Second, we’ve launched a new training and incentives program called ‘Google Engage’. The program is specially designed to help grow local individuals and businesses that offer web-related services to clients in India.

Google Engage participants can receive free access to educational resources, live events, training materials, and a select number of AdWords promotional vouchers. The additional expertise gained through the program should help participants become more attractive to potential clients and more valuable to their existing ones. If you’re a web-master, digital agency, IT consultant, or any other web-services business in India, we encourage you to apply today!

Posted by Jon Stona, Product Marketing Manager, Global Acquisitions

November 17, 2010

Tips for creating a free business listing in Google Places: Business listing titles

Users search on and Google Maps because they’re looking for relevant, high-quality content that answers a question or fulfills a need. This useful information often appears in the form of business listings on the search results page, and these free listings are an important way for local business owners to connect with potential customers. We want to help you make the most of your business listing, so this is the first post in three-part blog series about how to set up a clear and effective business listing via Google Places. This first installment delves into the specific topic of business listing titles — also known as your company or organization name — and highlights some of the common issues business owners encounter when creating a listing.

Accurately list your basic business information
If you already have a business listing and want to tweak it, or if you haven’t yet claimed your business listing, sign in or visit Google Places here. The “Company/Organization” field will also serve as your business listing title, so you’ll want to enter in the exact name of your business. For example, for a business called “ Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd.” the following would be its correct business and contact details:

Company/Organization: Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd.
Street Address: Shop No 137 Bunny Road, Begumpally
City/Town and Postal Code: Musterabad, AP 700046
Main Phone: (070) 55557777

A clean, easy-to-read title

The title of your business listing should reflect the exact name of your company or organization as it’s used in the real world. While it’s acceptable to leave off company extensions like Ltd, GmbH or Inc, since those identifiers aren’t helpful to users, be sure to avoid adding any descriptions that aren’t part of the official business name or making any modifications to the official name. Your business listing title must match the business name you use in the real world (e.g. on signage, letterheads or business cards) in order to comply with our Google Places quality guidelines. Listings that are in violation of these guidelines may be suspended and won’t appear in Google search results.

Here are some additional reminders about business titles based on some of the offending listings we see and have to suspend. We also let you know how and where to include specific information you want to provide potential customers, while complying with our quality guidelines.
  • Descriptors and keywords — The following are common examples of modified business titles. These are instances in which either descriptive phrases are used in lieu of the correct business name, or additional keywords and phrases have been added to the business name. These examples are not in accordance with our quality guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] Retail Cotton Textiles
    • [Example title violation] Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd. - Handicrafts, Clothing, Saree’s,
    • [Example title violation] Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd. Designer clothing and ethnic wear
Note: While the “Company/Organization” field may only contain the name of your business, if you’d like to provide more information about your business’s classification or industry, you can do this by selecting the appropriate categories. You can also provide a more detailed description of your business - such as what you do and the the services you provide - in the “Description” field or on your company website.
  • Location names — Unless the official name of your business includes the name of your city, town or other geographic indicator, adding superfluous location terms to the business title violates our guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd. Musterabad
    • [Example title violation] Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd. in Market Place Shopping Mall
Note: To indicate the location of your business, please use the appropriate fields marked “Street Address,” “City/Town” and “Postal Code.” Adding location-specific information in the title of your listing is not necessary since our system automatically uses your address details to determine the search queries for which your listings would be geographically relevant. If you’re concerned that your business is difficult to find or part of a shopping mall or complex, you can provide users with further guidance about where to find you by adding that information in the “Description” field.
  • Phone numbers and websites — Phone numbers and website URLs should not appear in your business title. These details should only be entered into their respective fields in your Google Places listing. The following examples of titles violate our quality guidelines:
  • Capitalization and Punctuation — Some users may be tempted to use special characters or excessive capitalization in the business title to draw attention to their listing. However, this practice is not compliant with our quality guidelines:
    • [Example title violation] HARRYS COTTON TEXTILES LTD.
    • [Example title violation] ##!!Harry’s Cotton Textile Ltd.!!##
Note: In order to ensure that the Google Places business listing results are useful and easy to read, please refrain from using visual gimmicks. Business titles, as well as addresses, should always use standard capitalization and punctuation.The above examples may not cover all cases of business title violations, but we hope we were able to highlight some of the common mistakes we’ve seen. By avoiding these errors when setting up your business listing title, as well as reading through the rest of our Google Places quality guidelines, you should be in good shape to create an optimal and compliant listing.

If you realize that your existing listing is not compliant with our quality guidelines, we encourage you to sign in to your Google Places account to make the required changes and avoid getting temporarily suspended for violating the guidelines.

We hope you find this information helpful, and if you have further questions about business listing titles, visit our Google Places help forum.

Posted by Claudia Pfalzer, Local Search Quality

November 14, 2010

14 year old from Mangalore wins the 2nd Doodle4Google Competition

It took 90 days and over 100,000 entries for India to get its second 'made in India' Doodle. Dennis Hwang - the Master Doodler – and Jennifer Hom – the creative force behind the Google Gandhi doodle - chose the winning doodle for India out of the 41 semi- finalists.

Akshay Raj, grade IX student from St. Aloysius High School, Mangalore, has been announced as the winner for this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition. His doodle was chosen from over 108, 000 doodles submitted by students across the country, and was selected based on artistic merit, creativity, and expression of the theme.

The winning doodle titled "Technically and Naturally Growing India" is live on the Google India home page. The winner Akshay Raj also received a Technology Starter Package and an INR 2, 00,000 technology grant for his school.

The Doodle4Google competition was open to all students from 1st-10th standard. This year participants were challenged to imagine their own version of the Google logo based on the theme "My Dream for India”. From ‘A cleaner, greener India’ to ‘Freedom from poverty’ to ‘Education for all’ to ‘The world’s center of technology’ to ‘Better roads’ the doodles showcased the imagination of young Indian children and gave them an opportunity to display their talent on a national platform. Submitted doodles were shortlisted by partner art schools from across the country, after which 9051 doodles entered the quarter final round. Faculty from the Sir JJ School of Arts then shortlisted the 600 doodles that made it to the semi final round. An esteemed panel of judges that included renowned sculpture artist, Arzan Kambhatta, multi disciplinary artist Bose Krishnamachari and the popular host of the multi-award winning arts show Rob then picked our finalists.

Besides the national winner, three group winners were also chosen. These were picked through an online voting system where the Indian public voted for their favourite doodle from the finalists. Khushi Mahender (Group I) 1st grader from Ryan International won the group prize for her doodle titled ‘Go Green Worldwide’, Tahera Sohail’s (Group II) 6th grader from Kolkata won the prize for her doodle titled ‘This is Green India’. And V Vinoth Kumar’s (Group III) 9th Grader from Chennai won the prize for his doodle titled ‘My Dream for India’. The group winners were each awarded a Technology Starter package. This year Google also introduced the ‘Special Judges’ Award’. These are doodles that our final judges – Dennis Hwang and Jennifer Hom - felt were very creative, close 2nd places in the groups. Anwesh Saha from Kolkata, Sanjali Desai from Mumbai and Nishi Bordia from Indore from Mumbai were awarded the Special Judges’ Award in Groups I, II and III respectively.

Doodle4Google has become a global platform giving young children an opportunity to showcase their talent globally. In India, this year’s competition noticed great enthusiasm from kids around the country, as the entries crossed the 100,000 mark from just 4500 entries we got last year. What is also interesting to note is that we saw participation not just from the metros but children from smaller cities also participated in large numbers, indicating that Internet today has become a mainstream medium for students all across the country. ” said Nikhil Rungta Country Marketing Manager for Google India.

So what is a Google Doodle? "Doodles" are creative Google logos that appear on some special days, to commemorate scientific and artistic achievements, historic or seasonal events, and other local occasions. Their eye-catching designs also often teach you something new about a day, event or occasion whenever you happen to stumble upon them. For over a decade, Google has been designing innovative logos called ‘Doodles’ for its homepage and Dennis Hwang – the master doodler – has been driving this innovation. In August 2010, Google India decided to unleash the creativity of thousands of children in India as we announced India’s second doodling competition called Doodle4Google™.

To see all the finalists' doodles, go to

Posted by Gaurav Bhaskar , Global Communications & Public Affairs Manager