March 31, 2011

Public Transport Information for Mumbai arrives on Google Maps

Is your Mumbai experience authentic without having to hop a red BEST bus or having to board a crowded local train ? Its hard to imagine aamchi Mumbai without its trains and buses. Knowing that life in Mumbai revolves around trains and buses, it gives us immense pleasure to announce the availability of BEST Bus and Mumbai Local train routes and schedule information on Google Maps. This information is available both on desktop and on mobile for millions of commuters in Mumbai, arguably the most used public transportation network in India. Transit on Google Maps already includes information for Delhi Metro, Bangalore and Pune bus services in India in addition to 450 cities worldwide.

The easy access of this service helps commuters and tourists find their way seamlessly around the city using both trains and buses. As an example, here are the route options from Thane to Siddhi Vinayak Temple



How to use Google Transit ?
It is very easy to plan your trip using Google Transit
Search for information to reach from Place A to B on Google Maps
  • The result shows a map with the possible route and driving directions for the commuter
  • Choose the transit option by clicking the train icon (next to the car icon)
  • Commuters would get first hand information on available routes and the step by step directions including frequency, and travel duration for each leg of the trip in text and on the map.

So next time when you want to plan your trip whether from Borivali to Gateway of India or from Marol Maroshi to Chowpatty adopt an environment friendly way to commute by using bus or trains.

Posted by Kapil Goswami, Business Development & Manik Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps & Local Search, Google India

March 30, 2011

It’s the final countdown for the Google Science Fair

(Cross-posted from the Google Science Fair Blog )

Did you know that Mitch Rensick won his local Science Fair? Today he is a professor at the MIT media lab where he develops educational technology that is changing the landscape of learning with his Lifelong Kindergarten project. You can learn more about him by tuning in to our interview.


Now is your chance to use your scientific knowledge to try to explore and solve real word problems as part of the Google Science Fair. With only 5 days left before the April 4th deadline, we encourage you to get your projects submitted.

Please keep in mind that when entering the contest, we’ll need parent or guardian consent in order for submissions to be valid. Submissions that don’t include parental or guardian consent will be disqualified. Even if you’re working as part of a team, we require parental or guardian consent for every team member. Your parent or guardian can consent by either:

  1. Responding to the email they were sent when you signed up. If they didn’t receive the email, visit this link: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/gosfconsent/
  2. If your parent or guardian doesn’t have access to email, we are also able to accept a hard-copy of the consent form which you can download here. Once your parent or guardian fills this out, scan and email the completed form to science-fair-consent@googlegroups.com
As you put the finishing touches on your projects, please remember to:
  • Set the permission of your Google Science Fair project site to public so the judges will be able to see it.
  • Include a video or presentation on your Summary Page (also set to public). For an example, check out Tesca’s sample project.
  • Submit your final project site via this form by 4 April 2011.
If you have any questions make sure to check out our FAQ and help forum. Good luck to all the students who have entered the competition, and keep an eye on our Google Science Fair site for the announcement of the global semi finalists in early May. We look forward to seeing all the great work from the world’s future scientists.


Launching the MyYouTube Contest: Subscribe, Vote for your favorite celebrities and win prizes

We’re launching a new contest on YouTube which gives you a chance to show your favorite artists just how much you really love them. The MyYouTube contest has just launched and all your favourite Indian celebrities need your help to win.

Over the next two months, your favourite celebrities from bollywood, singers, models and popular TV stars will compete to score the most points on the MyYouTube Channel. But they only score points when YOU subscribe to their channels and share with your friends.

So what’s in it for you?
By subscribing to your favorite artists’ channels, you’ll get their latest videos delivered straight to your YouTube homepage. It’s a quick and easy way for you to stay up-to-date on their music videos and behind-the-scenes news.

On the MyYouTube Channel, you can flip through all the participating artist profiles, watch their exclusive videos, and even find out what YouTube channels they, themselves, like to watch.

And did we mention all the prizes?

Every artist is giving out several prizes to users who score points for them in the contest. That’s a lot of prizes, ranging from autographed t-shirts and CD’s to fully-loaded ipod shuffles and concert tickets. The winners will be announced in the week of May 2, 2011.




How to score points:
You can earn an artist up to 7 points by doing the following from the MyYouTube Channel:

1. Subscribe to the artist’s YouTube channel. (1 point)
2. Subscribe to any of the artist’s four recommended channels. (1 point for each recommended channel)
3. Share to your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. (1 point each)

You can view the points you have scored for an artist, as well as that artist’s total points to date, next to the artist’s thumbnail on the left side of the page.

These artists can’t win without your help, so head on over to youtube.com/myyoutube and start subscribing now!


March 23, 2011

New Orkut features -- Like?

Two weeks ago, we announced that we are preparing a visual upgrade to Orkut’s interface. We have just started to roll it out to a small percentage of users, so some of you might start to see it. Right now, we are only upgrading those who are using new Orkut, but if you are in the old interface, please do give it a try when we complete the transition!

In addition, we are happy to announce a new feature today that we hope you will “like”:

Just as we add different smileys in emails, scraps and chat, we recognize that you likely have different reactions to your friends’ stories. Here are a few you might recognize from Google Chat, and in addition, you can find extra “smileys” if you type in the right code in the comment field.

Feel free to follow us on our official blog (en.blog.orkut.com) and the official community at www.orkut.com/orkut

Give our “like?” feature a try today and see just how diverse your friends are in their reactions. Rock on, Orkut users!


March 15, 2011

Presenting the Winners of the Google Webmaster Quiz!

Thanks to all of you for the overwhelming response to our webmaster quiz. Today, we're pleased to present the webmaster quiz answers! We hope the quiz gave you an opportunity to look into our SEO Starter Guide to find answers to some common issues users ask about in the Webmaster Help Forum. We'll go over a few of the questions and answers here, but if some of the answers lead you to ask more questions, we encourage you to continue the discussion on our forum.

1) Your primary server is going to be moved and it will be unavailable for a day. What is the most appropriate HTTP status code that your backup server should return?

Correct answer: 3) Return "Network Unavailable (503)" with a helpful message to all requests.

Explanation: The 503 HTTP status code is very useful when your site is facing a downtime. This tells crawlers to come back later, rather than crawling and indexing your "Down for maintenance" pages when you respond with 200 rather than a 503 HTTP status code. Check out the Help Center to learn more about HTTP status codes.

2) Some of you site's pages are in Hindi while the rest are in English. How will you inform Google about this?

Correct answer: 3) Googlebot will figure this out by itself, so nothing special needs to be done.

Explanation: We recommend sticking to a single language per page, as this makes it easier for search engines and users to understand the language used and your content.

3) How many PDF files has Google indexed?

Correct answer: 3) Less than 200 Million

Explanation: You can easily find web documents of a particular file extension using the “filetype:” operator.http://www.google.com/search?q=filetype:pdf. This shows that there are about 190,000,000 results for PDF files on Google. Another great operator for webmasters is the “site:” operator. The “site:” operator is not meant to diagnose issues on your website; for a more exact count, we recommend submitting Sitemaps. Here’s a list of some of our most popular tools and operators to help refine and improve your search.

Excellent work by everyone who took the quiz and tested their know-how! Please find below usernames of the top scorers. Congratulations on the quiz well done!
  • Amit Agarwal (all answers correct!)
  • riyaz
  • sweetfish
  • Ankur Jain
  • reject
  • Kishan Bagaria
  • Quark
  • Preeti Prakash
  • nidhinmd
Honorable mentions go to : Remiz Rahnas, TOMHTML, Karthik, Kerin, Iain Henderson, Bharath Kumar Nakka, jsteverman, Crash, Koti Ivaturi, Priyanka Sachar, Ceejo, Abdul Malick, Mohit Vashisht, Rakesh Narang, crm911, anuj, foo, Udit Hotchandani, Navneet Kaushal, and mark.


March 4, 2011

The Google Webmaster Quiz!

We thought it might be fun and educational to create a quiz based on our brand new SEO Starter Guide for all our India-based webmasters. This is a great reason to read the guide and to brush up on your webmaster skills!

Our quiz is based on common topics from our Webmaster Help Forum as well as some information that may not be well known.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before taking the quiz:
  • The quiz goes live today and submissions will be accepted until March 11, 2011.
  • Winners will be selected based on the accuracy of their answers. This is a fun way to test your webmaster prowess, so do not let this opportunity pass by!
  • Make sure you go through the Google SEO Starter Guide thoroughly, as it will not only increase your chances of winning the contest, but may also improve your webmaster knowledge to a large extent.
  • We’ll follow up with the correct answers and declare the winners after the quiz results have been tallied.
We hope you have as much fun taking this quiz as we had making it!

Now go ahead and take the quiz. Good Luck!