Google

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We'll leave it up to the cultural anthropologists of the future to unravel the significance of the fact that Rebecca Black's "Friday" was the most watched video on YouTube in 2011. Just a brief look at the basic statistics of YouTube's viewership this year, however, clearly shows how much of a force Google's video sharing site has become. According...

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The Google+ is ending the year with a massive number of updates and new features. Besides giving users greater control over what appears in their main stream, the Google+ team also launched support for multiple administrators for Google+ Pages and more useful notifications that provide users with what Google calls "sneak peaks" at updates from your stream. In addition,...

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Google puts a lot of work into the ever-changing logos it puts on its homepages around the world to commemorate historical events, holidays and the birthdays of people like Jim Henson, Cezanne or Thomas Edison. Indeed, there is a whole team at Google that focuses on nothing else but creating these so-called doodles and - at an increasing rate...

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Google today announced that its crawler for mobile sites, Googlebot-Mobile, can now detect smartphone-optimized content. The idea here is to ensure that Google's mobile search can now direct searchers immediately to the smartphone-optimized version of a website. Typically, these sites redirect users to their smartphone sites when they detect a mobile browser. This introduces a slight amount of latency...

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In what is becoming an annual ritual, Google today announced that it is extending its free calls promotion for Google Talk through 2012. Thanks to this, Google's users can make free calls from Gmail within the U.S. and Canada for another year. After launching calling in Gmail in August 2010, Google first said these calls would be free for the...

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Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for local, as well as maps and location services, was interviewed by Crunchfund's MG Siegler on stage at the LeWeb conference in Paris this morning. This wide-ranging interview touched upon everything from Google+ check-ins, Latitude, mobile maps, Android and Mayer's own role at Google. Mayer's Role at Google Today Mayer has long been one of the...

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During LeWeb in Paris this afternoon, Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt took the stage together with Loic Le Meur to discuss a wide variety of topics, including the state of local and mobile development, the state of Google Android and the role of technology in society. Talking about politics, for example, Schmidt noted that the idea of "social, local...

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The black navigation bar that has been gracing the top of most Google products for the last few month is about to be retired. Google plans to replace it with a search box and even more prominent Google+ notifications and sharing tools. Users will now have to hover over the Google logo to use what the company calls the...

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Google Product Search, the company's price comparison engine for online shopping, just got some nifty new updates. Just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, Google introduced a smarter search feature today, it's so-call "best match" feature, which highlights the product Google thinks you are most likely looking for. Product Search now also often displays a...

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With the launches of iTunes Match and Google Music, this was clearly a good week for music lovers (at least in the U.S.). With iTunes Match, Apple finally offers a cloud-based solution for accessing all your music on any iOS device, and with Google Music, Google can finally say it offers Android users a service that is competitive with...

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It seems, the rumors of Google+’s death have been greatly exaggerated. According to new data from Hitwise, Google just recorded its 3rd biggest week since launch. Traffic is up 25% from last month and 5% from last week. Unsurprisingly, Google+’s best weeks with regard to overall visits came right after the site opened up its door to all users at the end of September.

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Google just announced that Google+ now offers developers a way to get photos and videos out of Google+ and into their apps. As Google is slowly opening up the APIs for its new social network, it makes sense for the company to tackle photos and videos first. These, after all, are one of the backbones of Google+ (though I could do without the support for animated GIFs). Not only do its users get virtually unlimited space for their photos, but a number of professional photographers like Trey Radcliff and Thomas Hawk are using the new network to their fullest advantage.

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Until earlier this year, you could do a Google search and use the ‘+’ operator in front of any word to make sure that Google would search for this specific term. Now that Google is moving towards using ‘+’ as a way to find Google+ profiles, though, this option is gone. Instead, Google asked users to use double quotes to ensure that none of Google’s usual corrections, personalizations or other changes are applied to this term. Now, however, after some vocal opposition against the disappearance of the ‘+’ search operator, Google is introducing a new tool that brings some of this functionality back: verbatim search.

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Google today announced that it will start personalizing your Google Maps experience with your ratings and personalized recommendations. For now, Google is keeping these new features very subtle. Indeed, unless you look very closely, you may just overlook the new symbols. Places you have already rated will now appear with a number of dots underneath their respective symbols, corresponding to the star rating you gave them. Recommended places now feature a slight orange glow around their symbols.

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Until now, Google Apps for Business users who pay a monthly or annual per-user fee to use the business versions of Gmail, Google Docs and similar services under their own domain names had one problem: the only real support option was over email. While that may work for most problems, quite a few users actually prefer to get an immediate answer and to talk to somebody knowledgeable over the phone. Starting today, Google now provides 24x7 phone support for Google Apps for Business users for all issues related to the product’s core services. These include Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar, among others.