February 28, 2011

Watch special coverage of the Indian Union Budget 2011 live on YouTube

We’re delighted to share that CNBC-TV18 India’s leading business and finance channel have partnered with us to bring you live coverage of the Union Budget 2011 on YouTube. Starting on 28th Feb from 10 am IST, users will be able to watch the live stream of CNBC-TV18 budget reporting on CNBC-TV18's channel on YouTube. The URL is http://www.youtube.com/cnbctv18.

In addition to this, the special budget related programming on the TV channel will also be available on the same day of airing on its YouTube channel, all through the month of February and March.

The Union Budget is an important economic event for Indians and impacts the life of every citizen. This is in continuation our effort to provide Indian users a wide range of content and quality programming around important events such as the Union Budget. It also marks another step in our commitment to help provide even further access to the moments which determine the governance of India’s democracy.

February 25, 2011

Teach your old docs new tricks with Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office

(Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog)

Millions of businesses are experiencing radical productivity gains with web-powered tools, and today Google Apps collaboration is ready for every employee. We’re bringing multi-person, simultaneous editing to the Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications that coworkers may still need from time to time. More people will be able to achieve a 100% web future entirely in Google Docs after learning the benefits of web-powered collaboration within traditional software.

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office is now available to all users worldwide, letting two or more people work together on the same file at the same time in Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 on Windows PCs. For example, you can edit a Word document’s table of contents from Dublin while coworkers adjust formatting and make revisions from Denver. Instead of bombarding each other with attachments and hassling to reconcile people’s edits, your whole team can focus on productive work together.

Google Cloud Connect vastly improves Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010, so companies can start using web-enabled teamwork tools without upgrading Microsoft Office or implementing SharePoint 2010.

Comparison of collaboration alternatives

Today we’re also introducing the 90-Day Appsperience program globally so businesses encumbered with 1990s technology can experience modern collaboration and the burst of productivity that’s possible now. Whether you manage IT for your whole business, lead a department, or manage a complex project like an industry event, a nominal fee covers 90-day unlimited use of Google Apps collaboration plus hands-on support from Google experts. To help companies measure the productivity impact of better teamwork -- and ultimately pay for what they really need instead of desktop software that could sit on the shelf -- the new collaboration dashboard in the Google Apps for Business and Education control panel provides aggregated activity metrics to administrators. Both Google Cloud Connect and this collaboration dashboard are available in English, with many more supported languages to follow soon.

This year we look forward to bringing you countless stories on the Google Enterprise Blog from schools, businesses and other organizations that are becoming much more productive with Google Apps. To get the wheels turning, check out the transformation that’s speeding ahead at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Join me for a live webinar on March 3rd, 2011 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT to learn more about Google Cloud Connect and the 90-Day Appsperience program. Register to attend the live event.

Update: Many of you have also asked about availability for Macs. Unfortunately due to the lack of support for open APIs on Microsoft Office for Mac, we are unable to make Google Cloud Connect available on Macs at this time. We look forward to when that time comes so we can provide this feature to our Mac customers as well.

February 23, 2011

Google’s Educational Internet Bus starts its tour of Uttar Pradesh

Having traveled across South India, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, the Google Internet Bus continues to add more miles and smiles as it enters the state of Uttar Pradesh. Its first stop will be Lucknow, followed by various towns and cities across U.P.

The Internet Bus is a custom designed mobile bus, which takes the internet experience to people in their preferred language. The main aim is to educate people about the Internet and how it may be beneficial to their lives.

Commenting on the successful run of the Google Internet Bus project, Srikanth Belwadi, Product Manager, Google India said, "The Internet is a strong medium of knowledge. Our attempt through the Internet Bus is to spread awareness of this medium and its relevance in our daily life."

The Internet Bus has enjoyed good success during its previous legs and has touched the lives of more than 12,00,000 Indians across 110 towns stopping at over 1000 locations. Surveys have indicated that over 30% of our visitors have gone online for the first time after visiting the Internet Bus and over 50% of our visitors have told at least five people about the benefits of the Internet.

Google aims to replicate the success of this project in Uttar Pradesh by providing people with a platform to experience the Internet.

Users across India will be able to follow the bus through its journey, see pictures and videos and join online communities by simply visiting www.google.co.in/internetbus.

February 4, 2011

Tips for creating a free business listing in Google Places: Adding useful descriptions and relevant categories

With this blog post, we’re concluding our three part series about the Google Places quality guidelines. Today, we’ll discuss how to choose the best fitting categories for your business listing as well as how to provide a useful description. In case you missed the first two blog posts, you can find here the first post about business titles and here the second part about business types.

Adding useful descriptions

As a business owner, we encourage you to add a specific description of your business in the “description” field. This gives potential clients more information to understand what your business is about and see if your business matches what they are seeking. You can also use this field to provide further guidance about the location of your business which might be useful in some cases where it is hard to find, e.g. if the entrance of your business is only accessible via the rear.

Keep the description clean and concise, so it is helpful to users and catches their attention. A series of repeated keywords or categories may turn off potential customers, but a crisp and catchy summary of the services you offer help users determine if your business is right for them.

Choosing relevant categories

If you provide appropriate and accurate categories, we can better match your business listing to relevant user searches. We recommend choosing specific categories that describe the core of your business well instead of broad ones. A good way to find representative categories for your business is asking yourself the question “What is my business?” Be sure to capture what your business is as opposed to what it offers or sells - in that sense, “bakery” would be a good category as opposed to “cakes” or “bread”.

Also, do not include location information in the categories field. If you would like to provide such additional information about your business, you can use the description field and, if appropriate, the service areas feature.

You will be asked to choose at least one category from our standard list - just start typing in the categories field to see what is available via the auto-suggestions.

We recommend always choosing the best matching and most specific category for your business - for any specific category, Google will be able to automatically determine the more generic category as well. That means, if you are a Mexican restaurant, you should go for ‘Mexican Restaurant’ and not ‘Restaurant’ - Google then automatically knows that if you are a Mexican restaurant, you are also a restaurant.

You can provide up to five categories for your business listing. After picking a standard category, you can add up to four customized categories. To add another category, just click on ‘Add another category’ and an additional field will be triggered. Put only one category per entry field. Entering more than one category into a category field is not compliant with our quality guidelines and could result in your listing being suspended and not appearing in Google Places. In case you find it difficult to find an appropriate standard category to start with, just pick a category that fits best and add more specific custom categories. If you are uncertain about categorizing your business, you can also ask for advice in the Google Places help forum and discuss with other business owners.

We hope that this information helps you add a concise description and accurate categories to your business listing in Google Places. This gives potential clients more information to determine if your business matches what they are seeking. For further questions you can visit our Google Places help forum.

Posted by Sabine Borsay, Consumer Operations