January 31, 2013

Mapping technology drives economic growth and job opportunities in India

Maps were historically built for people who were explorers, intrepid seafarers who needed maps to guide them. Over the past few years, all of us have turned explorers, relying on comprehensive and easy-to-use maps such as Google Maps to understand and navigate the microworlds around us.

Today, we use maps every day to find all places local, whether it’s a nearby hospital or a good cup of coffee. Yet have you ever stopped to think about the industry behind the maps we use every day, the contributions it makes to our economy, and the benefits it provides to both consumers and businesses?

The transformation of these modern maps is driven by a growing industry that creates jobs and economic growth globally. To get a clearer picture of the importance of the Indian geo services industry, we commissioned a study from Boston Consulting Group. What we found is that maps do make a significant economic splash in India.

According to the BCG report commissioned by Google, the Indian geo services industry generated $3 billion in revenue in 2011 alone while accounting for approximately 135,000 jobs. Even to someone like me, who implicitly believes in the value of maps, the impact of geo services on the Indian economy is staggering — geo services help Indian businesses drive $40-45 billion in revenue, save $70-75 billion in costs and affect 8-9 million jobs in India. The BCG report also found that Indian consumers are also willing to pay $1.5-2 billion more than they currently do for geospatial services such as online maps, navigation systems and local searches.

Currently, the Indian geo services industry is comprised of companies that process the location data, companies that produce geo-enabled software, and expert industries that use geospatial data to generate insights. Beyond the industry itself, a wide variety of other industries in India also use geo services to make their businesses more efficient and productive.

Consider Meru Cab, India’s largest cab provider and the third largest taxi operator globally. They oversee more than 20,000 trips a day across the four massive metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. And using geo services, Meru Cab pioneered the concept of GPS-enabled taxis in India, using a GPS-based tracking system to identify match customers with the nearest cab and swiftly scheduling pickups. As seen with Meru Cab, geo services deliver efficiency gains not only to businesses but also to the rest of the Indian economy.

Indeed, there is tremendous room to grow this industry and create a lasting source of competitive advantage for India. Geo services industry in India is still young, and the large growth of mobile, online maps puts this industry at the cusp of exponential growth. To ensure that geo services continue to be a valuable driver of the Indian economy, there is a need to invest in it — through support of open data policies, product innovation, better satellite technology, and wider geography education programs in schools.

We’re proud of the contributions that Google Maps, Google Map Maker, Google Maps APIs and our Enterprise solutions have made to the Indian geo services industry and to making maps more widely available, but there’s a long way to go. To learn more about the impact of the maps industry, see the full study from BCG.

Posted by Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head - India Product, Google

January 23, 2013

YouTube Partners Meet is Here! Register Today!

We're excited to invite you to our first set of YouTube Partner Meet Ups this year! Last year, we met many partners and the consistent feedback we got from across the country was to host more interactive sessions, more often. And that's exactly our plan for this year! Our first round of events this year are focused on partners with educational or instructional content. From nursery rhymes to how to use spreadsheets, from how to upgrade to the latest Android version to learning to speak english, from entrance exam preparation to MBA counselling - all of this content facilitates learning and the objective of these sessions is to teach our YouTube Gurus the mantra to succeed on YouTube!

  • Delhi - Jan 29
  • Mumbai - Feb 14
  • Hyderabad - Feb 25
  • Bengaluru - Feb 28

January 16, 2013

India Site Clinic, Part 2- Beyond Content

It is a pleasure to bring you a follow-up post from the India Site Clinic series.

Over the years, people have suggested many techniques to try and influence search rankings. However, creating great content is the first and foremost way of organically impacting your search results, but using  variety in content is an efficient way of engaging your audience. In this blog post, we will talk about how to use variety in content and the use of social outreach.

Get Social

A good place to start is by watching this video where Googler, Maile Ohye, tells you how social information can make products like Search more relevant.

Here is a great example of how an Indian Webmaster has used Authorship (rel=author) to distinguish his site in Google’s search results:

You can see that this webmaster’s page might not always rank first for this query. However, if  you are a regular follower of his blog, it helps users discover his page thus surfacing as a highly relevant result. Displaying your image next to the content can work wonders in improving your visibility in Google search results. You can learn how to associate your Google+ profile with your content by following the steps given here.

Engage with your audience

The more your readers share your content, the more it will be visible in Google search. Encourage your readers to share your content. To make sharing easier, make your social sharing buttons more visible and accessible. Also, encourage your readers and users to comment on your articles. Your visibility outside the search results depends majorly on your engagement with your user.

Another very successful way of engaging with your audience is through organizing “Web Meets” using Google+ hangouts. Millions of webmasters worldwide use the G+ hangouts as a way to connect and reach out to their customers. Hangouts give you an opportunity to reach out to that user or reader who is your highest commenter or has the maximum shares. With the Hangout on Air option you can broadcast your hangouts to others who could not join you. What more? every Hangout On Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account. Anyone who missed the live broadcast can come back and watch it. See below to know how you can use the recorded YouTube video to add further value to your website.

YouTube Transcripts

Through the site clinic, we have seen that a lot of webmasters are using videos to reach out to their audience. However, there is a facet to this trend that is rarely explored - making transcripts of your videos. Transcripts are very easy to deploy and have the benefit of keeping users highly engaged. Take a look at this great example video from www.totheculture.com.

We hope this blog post gives some interesting ideas to all our webmasters. We want to thank you for submitting your sites for review and also keeping a close eye on our posts.

Posted by The Google Search Quality Team