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Google

An update to referral source URLs for Google Images‎

Cross-posted from the Webmaster Central BlogEvery day, hundreds of millions of people use Google Images to visually discover and explore content on the web. Whether it be finding ideas for your next baking project, or visual instructions on how to fix a flat tire, exploring image results can sometimes be much more helpful than exploring text.Updating the referral sourceFor webmasters, it hasn’t always been easy to understand the role Google Images plays in driving site traffic. To address this, we will roll out a new referer URL specific to Google Images over the next few months. The referer URL is part of the HTTP header, and indicates the last page the user was on and clicked to visit the destination webpage.If you create software to track or analyze website traffic, we want you to be prepared for this change. Make sure that you are ingesting the new referer URL, and attribute the traffic to Google Images. The new referer URL is: https://images.google.com.If you use Google Analytics to track site data, the new referral URL will be automatically ingested and traffic will be attributed to Google Images appropriately. Just to be clear, this change will not affect Search Console. Webmasters will continue to receive an aggregate list of top search queries that drive traffic to their site.How this affects country-specific queriesWe hope this change will foster a healthy visual content ecosystem. If you're interested in learning how to optimize your pages for Google Images, please refer to the Google Image Publishing Guidelines. If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, please let us know through the Webmaster Tools Help Forum.The new referer URL has the same country code top level domain (ccTLD) as the URL used for searching on Google Images. In practice, this means that most visitors worldwide come from images.google.com. That’s because last year, we made a change so that google.com became the default choice for searchers worldwide. However, some users may still choose to go directly to a country specific service, such as google.co.uk for the UK. For this use case, the referer uses that country TLD (for example, images.google.co.uk).

19:54
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Google

Extending Google’s Grab and Go program to businesses so they can save time and money‎

Devices are more than tools; they’re the home base where your employees go to connect, collaborate, and get their work done. So when an employee’s device isn’t working, the effects are greater than simply the cost of replacement. In addition to the hours employees devote to troubleshooting devices instead of completing projects, there’s the time your IT team spends on repair and replacement when they could be focusing on more strategic initiatives. In fact, IHS estimates that IT downtime costs a large enterprise $60 million a year.But what if you could decrease that lost time from hours and days to just a few minutes? We answered this question at Google by creating our Grab and Go program, allowing employees to use self-service stations to quickly borrow and return devices.Chrome devices and Chrome Enterprise are the key ingredients that make this program so effective. With Grab and Go, centrally-located racks with fully-charged Chromebooks are available 24/7. As soon as an issue arises, employees can grab any of these devices and log in through their corporate account. Because their work is already stored in the cloud, they can jump back into projects immediately, as if they never left their old device.The Grab and Go program makes life easier for our IT admins as well. Chrome Enterprise provides simple manageability through the Google Admin Console. Employees sign in to the Chromebook and all of the company’s management policies are immediately applied upon startup. This ensures that employees are using a secure device and can access all websites, emails, and documents they need to do their job. And all of their bookmarks, passwords, extensions, browsing histories, and personal settings are available on the new device thanks to Chrome Sync.Employees using a Grab and Go Chromebook automatically get an email upon sign-in that explains how and when to return the device, plus instructions on how to extend the loan, if needed. Upon return, devices can go directly to the next user—no reset or setup is needed because Chrome OS encrypts individual user profiles by default.We’ve deployed Grab and Go in many of our offices around the world, and the program has seen more than 30,000 unique users rack up more than 100,000 loans in the last year. In fact, our Grab and Go program administrators estimate that their initial investment in deploying the program paid for itself in productivity time saved after only 50 days.Our success with this program prompted us to release a detailed white paper to help businesses create their own Grab and Go programs. However, we know many businesses can benefit from a turnkey solution that makes deployment fast and easy. As a result, we’re offering an early access program to get them started. With this early access program, IT admins will have all the resources required to start their own Grab and Go program—including an open source app for inventory management, a Chrome OS companion app that greets users upon sign-in, and a full deployment guide.Because the program is so simple, Grab and Go is also an ideal solution for other business cases where employees require temporary access to a device. For example:Frontline workers who only need devices for short periods of time—such as for training or sending emails.Shift workers in workplaces with shared devices, such as healthcare and call centers and can use virtualization solutions through Citrix and VmWare to access legacy apps.Remote workers who travel between office locations, or frequently work outside the office and need both a work and home device.If you're interested in launching a Chrome Enterprise’s Grab and Go program in your business, register your interest in our Early Access program and read our detailed white paper on how Google uses Grab and Go to keep employees productive.

19:22
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Google

Delivering increased connectivity with our first private trans-Atlantic subsea cable‎

This year, we’ve announced major expansions to our global cloud infrastructure, which helps us provide high quality services to our customers. We introduced new cloud regions in the Netherlands, Montreal, Finland, and opening just yesterday, Los Angeles. We invested in three consortium subsea cables--Havfrue, HK-G, and JGA-S. And we we became the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable with our investment in the Curie cable.Today, we’re announcing our newest private subsea cable project: Dunant. This cable crosses the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia Beach in the U.S. to the French Atlantic coast, and will expand our network--already the world’s largest--to help us better serve our users and customers. The Dunant cable is expected to become available in late 2020.Dunant adds network capacity across the Atlantic, supplementing one of the busiest routes on the internet, and supporting the growth of Google Cloud. We’re working with TE SubCom to design, manufacture and lay the cable for Dunant, which will bring well-provisioned, high-bandwidth, low-latency, highly secure cloud connections between the U.S. and Europe.  In keeping with the theme we established with Curie, Dunant is also named after an influential innovator, Henri Dunant, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Red Cross. Like Curie and Dunant, future Google private cables will follow a similar alphabetic theme.A common question we get with these projects is why we’re building them privately.There are a few different ways to go about building a subsea cable. The first is to simply purchase capacity from an existing cable, or one being built by someone else. The second is to create a consortium of partners with similar needs and build a cable together. The third is to build it yourself.All of these options come with different pros and cons, and we use a combination of all three methods to best serve our customers. When approaching a new cable project, and deciding on which of the three methods to use, we consider our needs, and the needs of our customers, in a few areas:Performance and latency: Cables are often built to serve a very specific route. When we build privately, we can choose this route based on what will provide the lowest latency for the largest segment of customers. In this case, we wanted connectivity across the Atlantic that was close to certain data centers, but the reasons could also include the ability to land in certain countries, or to connect two places that were previously underserved, such as was the case with Curie.Capacity: The bandwidth that we want to deliver can vary widely, depending on what already exists and where our customers need more, now and in the future. Our capacity planning includes estimates of Google’s and our customers’ needs for years to come.Guaranteed bandwidth for the lifetime of the cable: The life of a cable can vary from 15 to 25 years, but as with many infrastructure projects, they sometimes continue to serve the route beyond their initial projected lifespan. Our ability to guarantee our customers a certain level of connectivity helps them confidently plan for their businesses going forward.We started off with two private cable projects that run over relatively short distances. These were our Alpha and Beta cables (a nod to how we name software releases), and their success led us to build both Curie and Dunant privately. We’ve worked with consortia on other new cables—including Havfrue, HK-G and JGA-S--and will continue to invest in consortium cables in the future.  Our investments in both private and consortium cables meet the same objectives: helping people and businesses can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.  We’ll continue to look for more ways to improve and expand our network, and will share more on this work in the coming months. In the meantime, you can learn more about our network on our website, or try our demo to see how our infrastructure looks today.

19:22
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