EsheleD Marketing & Technology


Year in review: 2011

A lot of great things happened this year in AdSense, so as 2011 comes to an end, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights.

New Interface
We fully transitioned to the new AdSense interface and launched a number of new features including bulk edit, multi-dimension reporting and ad styles. We also launched a video series highlighting some of the functionalities of the new interface.

2011 was a big year for all things social at Google, which included many improvements for our AdSense publishers. We introduced the +1 button, first on the Google search results, then on publisher sites and display ads. Based on your feedback, we made +1 buttons faster and provided reporting options. Most recently, we launched Google+ Your Business and Google+ Pages to help you grow your audience and start conversations with the right people.

AdSense in Your City
We met many of you in person through our AdSense in Your City events in North America and other similar seminars around the world. We’re continuing the program next year so make sure to check back for more details. Also, opt in to receiving special offers so we can send you details about AdSense events.

We expanded our payment options by offering Western Union in sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, Palestinian Territories and numerous other countries. Your passion to help Japan after the devastating earthquake truly inspired us so we offered a way for you to donate your AdSense earnings.

We listened to your feedback about wanting to know more about our policies, so we dedicated monthly posts with tips on how to keep your account in good status. For example, we provided tips on creating unique content and information about invalid clicks.

Finally, we’d like to highlight our most popular blog posts of the year, as determined by your visits. Our post on new in-ads notice label and icon received the most visits from readers, and the post that you +1’d the most was our announcement about +1 buttons being added to display ads. Make sure to keep +1ing our posts to let us know when you like them and also +1 our blog in the upper right-hand corner if you’re a fan.

Thanks for your continued partnership throughout 2011 and for your support of the Inside AdSense blog. We look forward to seeing what 2012 brings!

Posted by Jamie Firkus - Inside AdSense Team


On your marks, get set, GOMC!

We’re pleased to announce that professor registration for the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC 2012), our global student competition, is now open!

Student registration, however, will open January 31, 2012. In order for student teams to participate in the competition, their professors must first register.

But what is this challenge, you ask? 

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a global online marketing competition for students from any higher education institution in the world. Students must develop and run a successful online advertising campaigns through Google AdWords for a real business or non-profit organization, exercising advertising and consulting skills and summarizing them in the campaign reports.

Once the campaigns finish running, Google and a panel of independent academics from all over the world will select the winning teams. Their selections will be based on the success of the campaigns and the quality of the competition reports.

There are exciting prizes awaiting the winners:

  • Trip to Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California for the Global Winners
  • Trips to local Google offices for Regional Winners
  • Opportunity to win donations worth $30,000 for the non-profit organizations the students partner with 
  • A brand new award category for GOMC 2012 - The Best Social Media Page Award - more details to follow!

Last year’s challenge featured 50,000 participants representing 100 countries, and this year’s challenge is expected to boast even more. Students, here’s your chance to make a global impact!

To learn more about the Google Online Marketing Challenge, please visit our website:

Posted by AJ Pascua and Anndrea Moore, GOMC Team


More Powerful +1s on Google News

Posted by Erich Schmidt, Software Engineer

Over the past few months, myriad sites across the web (including Google News) have adopted the +1 button to help start conversations. But there hasn’t been an easy way for signed-in users to see what news articles your friends are enjoying -- until now.

Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and people in your Google+ circles have publicly +1’d. You can see their profile pictures and click through to their Google+ profiles, just like on Social Search. And of course you can +1 the stories too, expressing your opinion and optionally sharing with your circles.

Here’s what Spotlight looks like with social annotations:

We hope this change helps you find more great articles to enjoy, and gives more power to your +1s.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

Highlighting journalists on Google News

Posted by Eric Weigle, Software Engineer

Great journalism takes more than facts and figures -- it takes skilled reporters to knit together compelling stories. Knowing who wrote an article can help readers understand the article's context and quality, see more articles by that person, and even interact directly with them. Whole communities can form around prominent contributors, which is why we started showing information about content creators next to their material in Google Search.

Accordingly, Google News is rolling out more information about journalists over the next several weeks, starting with English-language editions. When reporters link their Google profile with their articles, Google News now shows the writer’s name and how many Google+ users have that person in their circles. For the lead article for each story, Google News also shows that reporter’s profile picture and enables readers to add them to their Google+ circles right from the Google News homepage.

If you are a journalist and would like to participate, please follow the instructions in our Help Center. If you are a reader, we hope you enjoy learning more about the faces behind the news.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

More points of view on Google News

By Jayakumar Hoskere, Software Engineer

When a big story breaks, there are often over a thousand articles written about the news event. At Google News, we work hard to surface the most relevant and interesting content to you -- so you can spend less time sorting through thousands of articles, and more time consuming news from a range of diverse perspectives.

For instance, since introducing expandable stories, we have added additional labels to call out special types of articles in many editions. These labels are designed to highlight different content types on Google News, and show you stories that complement and expand upon standard news reporting. The four labels we recently launched include:

  • Live Updating: A live-updating article, such as a liveblog.
  • Featured: An article a publisher has told us is standout.
  • Fact-check: An article providing fact-check content about the story.
  • Your Preferred source: An article from a source that you preferred.

Evaluating a story from different angles often provides a sharper perspective. That is why we also now highlight special types of articles in many Google News search results. Your search results will not only show recent articles, but also those from diverse perspectives that relate to a given query.

We also recently added the Translate button to non-English international stories in expandable story boxes in the U.S edition, giving you the ability to read pieces from all over the world -- even if you don’t speak the language.


We hope you find these changes useful as we continue to develop opportunities for you to find more interesting and valuable content.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

News joins Google Dashboard

Posted by Panchapagesan Krishnamurthy, Software Engineer

Halloween is almost here and we're celebrating early. No trick -- just a treat. As of now, you can access Google News in the Google Dashboard. This gives you the ability to see basic information about your Google News personalizations, check out our privacy policy and click through to edit your preferences.

We're excited to bring you this additional level of control and encourage you to give it a whirl.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

Bringing relevant news to you, regardless of language

Posted by Yaroslav Kurovtsev, Software Engineer, Google Translate

To help bridge language barriers between you and the news of interest to you from around the world -- and to bring you more diverse perspectives on foreign events -- we’ve added a new “translate” button to the expandable story boxes in the U.S. English edition of Google News.

Clicking the translate button reveals the English translation of the original headline using Google Translate. Clicking on the headline takes you to the publisher’s website where you can choose to use Google Translate to see an English version of the entire article. Headlines are labeled with their country of origin.

To do this, we look for foreign articles from local sources on a relevant news topic. For example, in the case of the flood in Thailand, in addition to surfacing English articles from international press like New York Times, we might show a related article from a local source like อาร์วายที9.

At the same time, we hope readers will benefit from finding relevant news in other languages and being able to read it without knowing the language.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

Google News launches redesign in UK and India

Posted by Scott Zuccarino, Product Manager

Starting today, we’ll be rolling out changes to some international versions of Google News in an effort to unify the News experience across editions. As in the U.S. version, these changes offer richer visual navigation, help you find trending and popular news more easily, give you the option to further customize your news experience, and allow you to share pieces you care about in a simpler way.

We’ve also been working to give you a closer relationship with the publishers you love, who can now highlight some of their most compelling content right on your Google News homepage.

In order to bring you the best Google News experience possible, we’ll be periodically refreshing select editions, starting with the U.K. and India. We hope you enjoy these enhancements. As always, please feel free to submit your feedback or visit our Help Center if you have more questions.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

Recognizing publishers’ standout content in Google News

Posted by David Smydra, Product Specialist and Justin Kosslyn, Product Manager

Every day, news organizations and journalists around the world dedicate significant time and resources toward some of the most critical types of coverage: exceptional original reporting, deep investigative work, scoops and exclusives, and various special projects that quite clearly stand out. Today, during a Google News workshop at the Online News Association conference in Boston, we introduced a new content tag for the US edition that will help us better feature this “standout” content and give even more credit where credit is due.
If you put the tag in the HTML header of one of your articles, Google News may show the article with a ‘Featured’ label on the Google News homepage and News Search results. The syntax for this new tag is as follows:
<link rel="standout" href=“” />
You can use the tag to point to your own content or to point to other sources with standout stories. Because the Standout tag belongs in the HTML header of your articles, it will only be seen by automated systems like Google News, not by direct readers of your articles themselves. 
Standout Content tags work best when news publishers recognize not just their own quality content, but also the original journalistic contributions of others when your stories draw from the standout efforts of other publications. Linking out to other sites is well recognized as a best practice on the web, and we believe that citing others’ standout content is important for earning trust as you also promote your own standout work. 
At this point, we ask news organizations to use the Standout tag to cite their own content at most seven times in each calendar week. If a site exceeds that limit, it may find that its tags are less recognized, or ignored altogether. A news organization may cite standout stories from other news sources any number of times each week.
To be clear, Standout tags are just one signal among the many signals that algorithmically determine prominence on Google News. We recognize the importance of giving credit where credit is due, and believe this tag can be a step in the right direction -- but it will only succeed if the publisher community helps it succeed. We have experimented in the past with other metatags, and have applied feedback from those efforts to this initiative. As we monitor how the Standout tag is applied, we'll look forward to sharing further observations or updates.
To learn more about how the Standout tag works and how you can implement it on your site, visit our Help Center article.

Filed under: Google News No Comments

Google News now crawling with Googlebot

Posted by David Smydra, Google News Product Specialist

(Cross-posted on the Webmaster Central Blog)

Google News recently updated our infrastructure to crawl with Google’s primary user-agent, Googlebot. What does this mean? Very little to most publishers. Any news organizations that wish to opt out of Google News can continue to do so: Google News will still respect the robots.txt entry for Googlebot-News, our former user-agent, if it is more restrictive than the robots.txt entry for Googlebot.

Our Help Center provides detailed guidance on using the robots exclusion protocol for Google News, and publishers can contact the Google News Support Team if they have any questions, but we wanted to first clarify the following:

  • Although you’ll now only see the Googlebot user-agent in your site’s logs, no need to worry: the appearance of Googlebot instead of Googlebot-News is independent of our inclusion policies. (You can always check whether your site is included in Google News by searching with the “site:” operator. For instance, enter “” in the search field for Google News, and if you see results then we are currently indexing your news site.)
  • Your analytics tool will still be able to differentiate user traffic coming to your website from Google Search and traffic coming from Google News, so you should see no changes there. The main difference is that you will no longer see occasional automated visits to your site from the Googlebot-news crawler.
  • If you’re currently respecting webmaster guidelines for Googlebot, you will not need to make any code changes to your site. Sites that have implemented subscriptions using a metered model or who have implemented First Click Free will not experience any changes. For sites which require registration, payment or login prior to reading any full article, Google News will only be able to crawl and index the title and snippet that you show all users who visit your page. Our Webmaster Guidelines provide additional information about “cloaking” (i.e., showing a bot a different version than what users experience). Learn more about Google News and subscription publishers in this Help Center article.
  • Rest assured, your Sitemap will still be crawled. This change does not affect how we crawl News Sitemaps. If you are a News publisher who hasn’t yet set up a News Sitemap and are interested in getting started, please follow this link.
  • For any publishers that wish to opt out of Google News and stay in Google Search, you can simply disallow Googlebot-news and allow Googlebot. For more information on how to do this, consult our Help Center.

As with any website, from time to time we need to make updates to our infrastructure. At the same time, we want to continue to provide as much control as possible to news web sites. We hope we have answered any questions you might have about this update. If you have additional questions, please check out our Help Center.

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