News and notes from Google Down Under
Countdown to 2013: Sydney fireworks live streaming on YouTube
Monday, December 31, 2012
Want to ring in the new year with your very own private fireworks spectacular? Look no further than YouTube.
This New Year’s Eve, for the first time, the City of Sydney’s spectacular midnight fireworks show will be seen by millions around the world on
Telstra’s YouTube channel
. Spectators everywhere will enjoy more than four hours of content, which this year has the creative input of Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue. And as the clocks strike midnight, the iconic Sydney harbour will once again light up in what has become one of the most dramatic and dazzling events at the turn of every year.
Subscribe to youtube.com/telstracorp for a behind the scenes looks at this year’s show, and tune in from 8:00pm AEST on 31 Dec to catch the action. The family fireworks show kicks off at 9:00pm, with the live stream playing continuously from six cameras all the way through to the grand finale at midnight. Whether you’re at home with friends in Sydney, or at your desks elsewhere around the world, don’t miss this New Year’s spectacle.
Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Australia, just watched
How The Fireworks are Made
Gangnam Style Makes YouTube History: First Video to Hit 1 Billion Views
Saturday, December 22, 2012
A million views? You know what's cool? A billion views.
Today, a 34-year-old K-Pop artist made online video history when his viral video,
, smashed our records and became the first video ever to reach one billion views. Yup, that’s right one BILLION views!
PSY's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music-- and er, great equine dance moves. In the past, music distribution was mostly regional. It was more difficult to learn about great artists from around the world.
ut with a global platform at their fingertips, people are now discovering and sharing amazing music from all over the planet, by artists like Brazilian
One billion views is an incredible number, but the PSY-nomenon goes beyond that. Check out these stats:
PSY was already big in Korea, but in 2012, he became a global celeb as Gangnam Style quickly spread from Seoul and the pacific to North America, South America, and Europe.
It’s been seen at least 1 million times in close to 75 countries, making it one of the most global music sensations ever!
From a one-thousand person flash mob in
to cover videos
, hundreds of thousands of parodies have been uploaded to YouTube, some of which have tens of millions of views. In fact, fan tributes to Gangnam Style are now being viewed 20 million times every single day.
remix with Hyuna
has 200 million views alone.
"Gangnam Style" was YouTube's top rising search of 2012 and on October 6th, we saw more than five million searches for “gangnam style” in a single day. Check out
demonstrating some of our most popular YouTube searches this year.
For those interested in the business side: a number of
have been posted claiming “Gangnam Style” has generated over $8.1 million in advertising deals, hit more than 2.9 million in song downloads since July, and achieved other incredible feats!
Since late last month, people have clicked to buy the track on iTunes over 600,000 times helping make PSY
the first Korean artist ever
to rank #1 on the U.S. iTunes chart and
#1 in over 30 more countries
Perhaps what’s most impressive about this feat is that it took just over five months to happen. To give this milestone some context, here’s a chart of Gangnam Style’s rise to popularity versus Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” the video that previously held the most-watched video title:
Congratulations to PSY, the flash mobbers, K-Pop fans and people who love fun across the globe. Considering the Gangnam Style dance was the number one dance-related search on YouTube this year, you better make sure you
brush up on your moves
before New Year's Eve.
The kind of amazing creativity and unique connection between people all over the world that resulted in this one billion views is only possible with an incredible community of people we're so lucky to have on YouTube. And we can't wait to see what you'll come up with next!
Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, recently watched “
Rewind YouTube Style 2012
Shoes of Prey: Setting up and scaling up with Google Apps for Business
Friday, December 21, 2012
Today's guest blogger is
Mike Knapp, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Shoes of Prey, a Sydney-based ecommerce business where customers can design their own shoes.
Shoes of Prey
can be summed-up in four words “design your perfect shoes”. We’re a Sydney-based ecommerce business where customers can design their own flats, heels, wedges, sandals or whatever takes your fancy.
When we established Shoes of Prey back in 2009, we wanted to combine our skills, passions and experience to build something remarkable — a product that would generate buzz and sell itself. Because our shoes are designed by our customers, they do just that. With over four trillion combinations of cutting-edge designs possible, our customers have designed tens of millions of their own shoes so far.
When we first started Shoes of Prey, we chose
Google Apps for Business
as our key technology solution. Much more than just email, we use the whole suite - docs, spreadsheets and presentations. One of the reasons we like using Google Apps is that it gives our staff the freedom and flexibility to work from home, allowing them to manage family commitments or just avoid the commute when the traffic turns nasty.
As we see it, as long as they have Internet access, our staff can be as productive at home or on the move as they are at work. Wherever they are, they have access to all the files and applications they need, and we have peace of mind that this data is secure thanks to Google’s world-class backup and security systems.
We also use Google Apps with our production teams, public relations partners and our investors. This way we can share up-to-date documents in real time, anywhere, anytime without sweating about version control or transferring files by USB stick.
Another feature which supports our flexible work policy are
. Hangouts allow us to communicate face-to-face, whether we’re across town or on the other side of the globe and help us maintain meaningful relationships with our production team and investors.
As an ecommerce business, it’s paramount that our website is always secure and stable, so we also host our website on Google’s App Engine. We can draw on Google’s infrastructure to ensures our site responds seamlessly when there are sudden peaks in demand which happen around key shopping times like Christmas.
Although we’re only a small team Google Apps allows us to “act big” by linking multiple email domain names to single accounts, we can use French, UK or generic domain suffixes to give a local feel to a global interaction. And administratively, the system is intuitive to use and new users, groups and aliases are set up in a matter of minutes.
Having started with three people and grown to about 40, Google Apps for Business has scaled with us. Although we don’t know how many people we’ll have on staff in future, we do know that it won’t involve buying expensive servers or more IT upkeep. We’d recommend it to any SMB looking to set up and scale up big, as it has given us a lot of freedom and empowered us to work in new and innovative ways.
Count down to Christmas Eve with Google Santa Tracker
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
While millions of people eagerly await Christmas Day, Santa and his elves are keeping busy at the
. They’re preparing presents, tuning up the sleigh, feeding the reindeer and, of course, checking the list (twice!) before they take flight on their trip around the world.
While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated
engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve. On his sleigh, arguably the fastest airborne vehicle in the world, Santa whips from city to city delivering presents to millions of homes. You’ll be able to follow him on Google Maps and Google Earth, and get his stats starting at 2:00 a.m. PST Christmas Eve at
Simulating Santa’s path across the world—see it live Dec 24
In addition, with some help from developer elves, we’ve built a few other tools to help you track Santa from wherever you may be. Add the new
or download the
to keep up with Santa from your smartphone or tablet. And to get the latest updates on his trip, follow Google Maps on
Get a dashboard view of Santa’s journey on Google Maps
The Google Santa Tracker will launch on December 24, but the countdown to the journey starts now! Visit
today to watch the countdown clock and join the elves and reindeer in their preparations. You can even ask
Santa to call a friend or family member
We hope you enjoy tracking Santa with us this year. And on behalf of everyone at Google — happy holidays!
Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth
Watch ABC News 24 live from YouTube
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
[Guest Blog Post by Kieran Ricketts, ABC News Online]
Last week, ABC News 24 started streaming live on YouTube – a first in Australian news and television broadcasting. The launch means that all Australians can now watch ABC News 24 live from YouTube and can embed the live ABC News 24 stream within their Facebook or Twitter accounts. As a result, it’s now much easier to share live events and breaking news coverage as it happens by putting the
directly into your status update or tweet.
ABC News 24 can now push out updates from its
pages with live video attached - the live video content now accompanies the update that points to it. Visitors to
ABC News’ flagship YouTube
channel have immediate access to live video alongside highlights from ABC News’ broad range of coverage and programs on demand. Aussies will be able to choose to watch the up-to-date live coverage of ABC News 24 or access video-on-demand highlights to review their favourite news moments from the past, all from the same page.
While this technology is very early in its life (in beta) and the ABC’s engagement with it is also new, we hope that Australians now find it easier to stay in touch with their news as they travel around the country during the summer holidays and beyond. Even if you’re not at your TV, ABC News 24 is only one click away.
Guest post by
ABC News Online
YouTube in Rewind: What you were watching in 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
It’s that time of year again to pause,
and remember the videos, the entertainers, and the moments that captivated us in 2012.
This year, Korean Pop music transcended boundaries and took the world by storm. Cover songs, parodies, and "do-it-yourself" music videos from all genres entertained us in countries near and far. Aussies participated in conversations at a global scale, uploading videos to share ideas on everything from nonprofit campaigns, to political satire, to new and surprising voices and talents. And all over the world, we tuned in for the most up-to-date news footage of presidential elections, natural disasters and more.
2012 has been a big year for YouTube. Globally,
we’ve been watching over 4 billion hours of video a month
. Millions of creators are using YouTube channels to experiment with innovative forms of entertainment, explore their passions and interests, take creativity and pop culture to new levels. 2012’s top trending videos showcase this creative ingenuity in ways we'd never before thought possible.
Check out Australia’s top trending videos for 2012 below:
PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V
Somebody That I Used to Know - Walk off the Earth (Gotye - Cover)
Bella Ferraro - Auditions - The X Factor 2012
Gangnam Style parody "Aussie Battler Style" by Fitzy and Wippa
Call Me Maybe parody - Aussie blokes version
Surprise! Britney Learns 'Gangnam Style' from Psy!
Fallen Kingdom - A Minecraft Parody of Coldplay's Viva la Vida (Music Video)
Awkward Train Situations #2
Loosest Aussie Bloke Ever
Posted by Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager
, recently watched "
Interactive Timeline: YouTube Rewind 2012
Google Maps is now available for iPhone
Thursday, December 13, 2012
People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting t
oday, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the
Apple App Store
. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.
The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.
At the heart of this app is our
constantly improving map of the world
that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. Preview where you want to go with Street View and see inside places with
to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. To get you there, you’ve got
voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops.
The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here’s a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.
To complete the Google Maps ecosystem,
we’re also releasing the
Google Maps SDK for iOS
, and a simple
to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps.
The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in
ore than 40 countries
and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.
Visit the App Store today and download the new Google Maps app. We believe this delightful new experience is a great starting point—and we’ll continue to improve Google Maps for you, every day.
Posted by Daniel Graf, Director, Google Maps for Mobile
Zeitgeist 2012: Gangnam style, Oz Lotto and Olympics make Australia's top 10
Thursday, December 13, 2012
From Korean pop stars to catastrophic weather events, lottery jackpots to life’s burning questions, Google’s annual Zeitgeist is a barometer for what captivated Aussies during 2012.
As 2012 comes to a close, it's time for our annual year-end Zeitgeist — an in-depth look at the "spirit of the times" in Australia as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.
danced its way to become Australia’s top trending search for 2012, rising above searches for
in the number two spot. Also in the top 10 was the year’s biggest sporting spectacle, the
, and a $100M jackpot put
on the list at number six.
Australians were asking quite existential questions this year, with
how to love
topping the ‘how to’ searches. Impressing someone and building relationships must be important for most Aussies with
how to change
how to handstand
how to bulk
all making the top 10. If bulking up on muscles didn’t work to find that special someone, Australians turned to ask
how to hypnotize
(with a ‘z’!).
The newsmakers of 2012 included
. Concern for those in need drove interest in news stories about
. When earthly news was quiet, the science nerd within us turned to the skies to search for the
Transit of Venus
’s progress on Mars.
Whether we admit it or not, everyone likes a bit of celebrity gossip and domestically
to be Australia’s top searched celebrity. Internationally, our fascination in
was only out-searched by our interest in
2012 Zeitgeist website
, you can explore the most popular and hottest trending search terms from all around the world. Happy Zeitgeisting!
Australian Lists for 2012
1. Gangnam Style
2. The Voice
3. One Direction
4. Whitney Houston
6. Oz Lotto
7. Diablo 3
8. Hurricane Sandy
10. Morgan Freeman
Australian News Moments (Most Searched)
1. Hurricane Sandy
2. Julian Assange
3. Felix Baumgartner
4. Transit Of Venus
5. Melbourne Earthquake
7. Hawaii Tsunami
8. Diamond Jubilee
9. Cruise Ship Sinking
10. Nasa Curiosity
Images (Most Searched)
1. One Direction
2. Selena Gomez
3. Justin Bieber
4. Facebook cover photo
5. Miley Cyrus
6. swag notes
8. Louis Tomlinson
9. Niall Horan
10. troll face
Australian Celebrities (Most Searched)
1. Lara Bingle
2. Miranda Kerr
3. Delta Goodrem
4. Keith Urban
5. Nicole Kidman
6. Chris Hemsworth
7. Kylie Minogue
8. Liam Hemsworth
9. Heath Ledger
10. Hugh Jackman
1. Whitney Houston
2. Kate Middleton
3. Morgan Freeman
4. John Mccarthy
5. Usain Bolt
6. Michael Clarke Duncan
7. Lance Armstrong
9. Joseph Kony
10. Julian Assange
Celebrity Deaths (Most Searched)
1. Whitney Houston
2. Michael Clarke Duncan
3. Tony Scott
4. Davy Jones
5. Johnny Lewis
6. Al Freeman
7. Sage Stallone
8. Andy Williams
9. David Kelly
10. Gore Vidal
Global Celebrities (Trending)
1. Robin Gibb
2. Barry Gibb
3. Lara Bingle
4. Liam Hemsworth
5. Delta Goodrem
6. Emilie De Ravin
7. Keith Urban
8. Chris Hemsworth
9. Claire Holt
10. Bindi Irwin
Posted by Shane Treeves, Public Affairs and Communications Associate, Google Australia
Helping to teach the teachers: Computer Science for High Schools grants now open
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Increasing the number of computer science graduates is something that governments and companies globally are focusing on to drive innovation and economic growth.
To help achieve this goal, this year we funded nine universities and technical colleges across Australia and New Zealand to develop and deliver training to computer science teachers through our
Computer Science for High School
With CS4HS, institutions such as Canterbury University and the University of Sydney have been able to provide professional development to hundreds of high school teachers. In turn those teachers have been able to return to classrooms and help ignite thousands of students passion for computer science.
Teachers at the University of Queensland's CS4HS workshops
University of Queensland
recently ran a 2
½ day workshop with hands-on activities and seminars around programming and interaction design. Using the grant to pay for travel costs, organisers were able to fly in teachers from across regional Australia; a group that often miss out on training.
Next year, we want to build on those efforts by continuing to fund more Aussie and Kiwi universities and technical colleges.
are now open for our 2013 program and are open until February 16, 2013. To qualify, you must work for an accredited university, college or technical school in one of the
If you’re not a university faculty member, but still want to be involved, reach out to a local area university and encourage your computer science chairperson to apply. There are also some great classroom resources on our
K-12 educators page
Posted by Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Program Manager, Google Australia & New Zealand
Working better together: Protecting against invalid activity
Friday, December 7, 2012
Google Inside AdSense Blog
Publishers are the lifeblood of the Internet, and we’re committed to helping you grow your businesses. Last year alone, we shared $6.5 billion with our AdSense publishers. We also invest immense amounts of time and millions of dollars in systems (including sophisticated algorithms and human reviews) that keep
from appearing on your sites and prevent advertisers from being fraudulently charged for
. When everything is working well, advertisers trust our network and continue to invest in it, which generates revenue for you the publisher, ultimately funding the free content users love.
But we’ve also heard the stories: publishers finding their accounts suspended or even disabled for “invalid activity” without a clear understanding of why or how to fix it. We know this can be an intensely frustrating, even scary experience. So why does this happen?
While the vast majority of publishers who sign up for AdSense do so in good faith, unfortunately there are some bad actors out there. As you can imagine, we can’t reveal all the tools we use to keep bad sites and bad traffic out of our network. But sometimes these tools result in good publishers who become a source of invalid activity having their accounts disabled without much recourse. We’re making some changes we think will help fix this:
more actively when responding to detected invalid activity. For example, some trusted publishers will now have their accounts suspended instead of terminated, and over time we hope to work directly with more publishers to resolve invalid traffic issues without needing to disable the account at all. (As always, we’ll continue to credit advertisers for any invalid activity.)
We’ve given publishers tools to submit
more informative appeals
, which may help resolve issues more quickly.
more details on invalid activity’s causes.
If we’ve detected a violation of our policies you’ll receive an
notification to your account
with further information and instructions. And you can read all about the causes of invalid activity at our
Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center
, which is now available in most languages supported by AdSense, such as
Whether you’re looking for a refresher or just creating your first ad unit, you can review the do’s and don'ts of ad traffic in our
In order to help publishers avoid common pitfalls, we’re
kicking off a video series
that explains why some of our policies exist and how you can make sure you’re working with them. Our first looks specifically at invalid traffic.
We want to work with our publisher partners to keep the AdSense network strong -- keeping good publishers’ accounts in good standing, while also protecting advertisers and users from fraudulent activity. This is why we’re making changes, like the ones discussed today, to provide more help when things go wrong. We’ll be making even more changes as the year goes on so look for continued updates on this blog.
Posted by Jonathan Bellack, Product Management Director
We want to hear from you. Let’s continue the conversation --
submit your questions
to us about the topics discussed in this post via Google Moderator. We’ll be holding a Google Hangout in January with members of our Product Quality Operations team for the first time to address your questions. Please note that for privacy reasons, we won’t be able to respond to account-specific questions.
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