Year in Search: Movies, TV, music and sports we searched for in 2018

14 hours 41 minutes ago

Curious which flicks, footballers and masters of falsetto have the fiercest fans? Year in Search might have a clue for you.

You can explore both the global and country-specific trend lists here, but we also wanted to dive deeper into the leagues, genres and styles that captured people’s attention in the world of sports and entertainment in 2018.

MusicOur feet were tapping and our fingers were typing as we searched for these artists, the top trending in each major musical genre this year:

MoviesThese are the big gainers from the big screen, trending the most in 2018:

TVAny of these shows have you glued to the tube? Here are the binge watches that shot up the charts as top trending shows in 2018.

Sports TeamsFrom championship teams to blockbuster trades, these are the franchises that got people searching this year and are top trending within their leagues:

The Year in Search 2018

1 day ago

Every day, people turn to Search to explore the world of information on the web. They come looking for everything from news and helpful how-tos to song lyrics and easy dinner recipes.


As each year closes, Google Trends data reflects not only these everyday queries, but also the moments, people, ideas, and questions that made that trip around the sun so unique. During a year of highs and lows, the Year in Search highlights all the ways people continued to search for “good”—and this year, it was more than ever.

2018 saw a number of major elections around the world—in the U.S. the top searched “how to” question was “how to register to vote.” In a year when we said goodbye to many cultural icons, like Anthony Bourdain and Aretha Franklin, people searched for how they, too, could influence the next generation, asking ”how to be a good role model.” And when first responders rescued a team of soccer players from a cave in Thailand, the world was inspired — searches for “scuba diving lessons near me” increased by 110 percent that week.


We searched for good news of championships, medal counts and royal weddings, and sought out bright spots throughout the year. We also searched for how to be a good citizen, how to be a good friend, and how to be a good dancer. (Perhaps with the help of some Fortnite GIFs.)


Celebrate all the good the world searched for in 2018, and explore the top trending lists this year at Google.com/2018.

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Imagining new ways to learn Morse code’s dots and dashes

1 week 2 days ago

We first met Emmett at Adaptive Design Association, an organization near Google’s NYC office that builds custom adaptations for children with disabilities. Communicating for him is difficult—he uses a clear plastic word board and looks at specific squares to try and get across what he wants to say. We thought we might be able to help.

At the time, we were working on a special Morse Code layout for Gboard. With its simple dot and dash encoding, Morse is a good fit for assistive tech like switch access and sip-and-puff devices. Emmett was hoping to learn Morse as a more robust form of communication, and we wanted to make a small game to help him learn the new alphabet.

Our first attempt was a small connect-the-dots spelling toy that drew Emmett's favorite cartoon character and only took a few days to build. After watching Emmett get set up with his switches and start excitedly conquering pieces of the little Morse toy, we knew we wanted to do more. We partnered with Adaptive Design on a 48 hour hackathon, where independent designers and game developers worked with Emmett and another 4 kids to prototype games that made Morse code fun to learn.

Here's more on how we partnered with Adaptive Design to create the prototype games.

The kids played the role of creative directors, using their imagination to set the vision for their own games. Each game reflected their interests and personalities. Hannah’s passion for music led to a game where you play notes by typing them in Morse. Matthew combined his interest in soccer and spy thrillers to make a game where you shoot soccer balls at targets by typing their corresponding Morse letters. Emmett made a maze you solve writing different letters. Ben, who likes trains, made a game where YouTube videos are shown on a train once the correct letters are typed in Morse Code. And Olivia’s love for talent shows led to a game called “Alphabet’s Got Talent.”

We’re posting the code for each independent team's games on the Experiments with Google website, where you can also find open-source examples that will help you get started with your own Morse-based apps. If you’re a developer, we hope these resources will inspire you to get involved with the community and make a difference by building your own accessibility projects.

Friendsgiving? More like #trendsgiving

3 weeks 5 days ago

Across America, people celebrate next week’s day of thanks with their own unique traditions, and many come to Search for help to pull off Turkey Day like a pro. (In fact, you can simply search “Thanksgiving” and find video tips from expert chefs on how to master mashed potatoes or ideas to elevate a pumpkin pie!)

But there’s a cornucopia of searches you can do, and we took a look at some of the top and trending ideas that people are gobbling up to hone their side dish skills and perfect their pie game.

Pardon me, but how do you plan to prep your turkey?

There are many ways to toast a turkey, but here are the preferred cooking methods across the U.S. this year. While the Eastern Seaboard and some of the Southwest is fond of frying, smoked birds are booming in nearly half the country. Hawaii joins New England in sticking to the classic roasted turkey.

Top turkey cooking methods in each state

Party fowl

As people gear up for one of the year’s biggest get-togethers for family and friends, questions arise about how to make sure that their fowl doesn’t flop and, this year, how to ensure that the bird they select is safe to eat. Here are some top turkey searches trending right now:

Let’s dish on sides

For many, Thanksgiving meals are more about the sweet and salty sides and the gravy train that goes along with them. But making a dinner that satisfies the dietary needs of all of your guests can be a challenge—and many of you are coming to search for ideas to tailor your menus accordingly. Here are a few insights around these diet-specific dish trends:

  • “Keto Thanksgiving” searches are hitting an all time high in 2018, with “keto Thanksgiving sides” up 70% YoY.

  • Vegan Thanksgiving” has the highest interest among diet-specific searches, more than double the search interest of “keto Thanksgiving” and “vegetarian Thanksgiving” searches.

  • “Gluten free Thanksgiving” is also on the rise, with searches for “gluten free thanksgiving sides” (+300% YoY), desserts (+100% YoY) and stuffing (+90% YoY) all trending up since last year.

Pie, in charts

Everyone has their own festive favorite when it comes to Thanksgiving Day dessert. Here’s a slice of the top pies people are searching for:


Many of these pie preferences can be regional, too. Here are the places where the top pies are poppin’ on Search.

No matter how you celebrate and give thanks, you can find all the ideas you need on Search, get to your friends and family quickly and safely with help from Google Maps, and get to gobbling up that grub.

May we GIF you a suggestion? Emojis and more on Gboard

1 month ago

We communicate in pictures more than ever before. Emoji, stickers, or GIFs often get your point across better than just words. Can you imagine celebrating a birthday without the cake emoji, or *life* without the Carlton GIF? Conversations would be so much more boring—and more misunderstood—without them.


For those of us who just can’t even without the perfect GIF ( … or emoji, or sticker), never fear, Gboard is here! On Gboard, you can search for stickers, emoji and GIFs, all at once. It also has a sticker store, regularly updated with stickers for people all over the world.


But with thousands of emoji and stickers, and an endless number of GIFs, it can sometimes take awhile to find the perfect way to say “I love you,” “hooray,” or anything else you’re trying to communicate.


Starting today for all Android users, Gboard will use AI to suggest GIFs, emoji and stickers to you related to your conversation. This makes it faster and easier to share your #feelings and your glowing personality with whoever you’re chatting with. Keep your eyes peeled for the “GIF” icon to appear in the top left corner of Gboard. Tap it, and you’ll see a selection of GIFs, emoji and stickers that Gboard thinks you might want to share.

So if you’re typing “Awesome!” Gboard will suggest this sticker:

Or if you type “I’m sleepy”, you’ll get this emoji:

To make sure these suggestions are private to you and take place as fast as possible, this feature is processed entirely on your device. You can read more about the benefits of on-device AI here.


This feature is initially available globally in English only. Over time, we’ll expand Gboard suggestions to more languages, and more types of content to help you do and say more right from your conversation. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this:

Protecting what we love about the internet: our efforts to stop online piracy

1 month ago

The internet has enabled people worldwide to connect, create and distribute new works of art like never before. A key part of preserving this creative economy is ensuring creators and artists have a way to share and make money from their content—and preventing the flow of money to those who seek to pirate that content. Today, we're releasing our latest update on those efforts..

Our 2018 "How Google Fights Piracy" report explains the programs, policies, and technology we put in place to combat piracy online and ensure continued opportunities for creators around the world.

We invest significantly in the technology, tools and resources that prevent copyright infringement on our platforms. We also work with others across the industry on efforts to combat piracy. These efforts appear to be having an effect: around the world, online piracy has been decreasing, while spending on legitimate content is rising across content categories.

Here are a few of our findings from this year's Piracy report:

  • $3 billion+:The amount YouTube has paid to rights holders who have monetized use of their content in other videos through Content ID, our industry-leading rights management tool.
  • $100 million+: The amount we’ve invested in building Content ID, including staffing and computing resources.
  • $1.8 billion+:The amount YouTube paid to the music industry from October 2017 to September 2018 in advertising revenue alone
  • 3 billion+:The number of URLs that were removed from Search for infringing copyright since launching a submission tool for copyright owners and their agents.
  • 10 million+:The number of ads that were disapproved by Google in 2017 that were suspected of copyright infringement or that linked to infringing sites.

As we continue our work in the years ahead, five principles guide our substantial investments in fighting piracy:

Create more and better legitimate alternatives: Piracy often arises when it's difficult for consumers to access legitimate content. By developing products that make it easy for users to access legitimate content, like Google Play Music and YouTube, Google helps drive revenue for creative industries and give consumers choice.

Follow the money: As the vast majority of sites dedicated to online piracy are doing so to make money, one way to combat them is to cut off their supply. We prevent actors that engage in copyright infringement from using our ads and monetization systems and we enforce these policies rigorously.

Be efficient, effective, and scalable: We strive to implement anti-piracy solutions that work at scale. For example, as early as 2010, we began making substantial investments in streamlining the copyright removal process for search results. As a result, these improved procedures allow us to process copyright removal requests for search results at the rate of millions per week.

Guard against abuse: Some actors will make false copyright infringement claims in order to have content they don't want online taken down. We’re committed to detecting and rejecting bogus infringement allegations, such as removals for political or competitive reasons.

Provide transparency: We’re committed to providing transparency. In our Transparency Report, we disclose the number of requests we receive from copyright owners and governments to remove information from our services.

Today, our services are generating more revenue for creators and rights holders, connecting more people with the content they love, and doing more to fight back against online piracy than ever before. We’re proud of the progress this report represents. Through continued innovation and partnership, we’re committed to curtailing infringement by bad actors while empowering the creative communities who make many of the things we love about the internet today.

Election Day with Search

1 month 1 week ago

Today is Election Day—less commonly known as the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November—and people all across the country are heading to the polls to cast their votes. With many candidates, measures, and propositions on your ballot, Google tools are here to help you navigate the process, understand your choices, and view the results of races across the country.


Navigating the process

Whether you're registering to vote for the first time, voting absentee, or seeking directions to your local polling place, we can help you find the information you need to make your voice heard in this election. When you search for “how do I register to vote” or “how do I vote,” a box will appear on the results page with authoritative and easy-to-understand information about the deadlines, requirements, eligibility, and logistics of casting a ballot where you live. And if you aren't sure where to vote, a query for “where do I vote” will guide you to the right place.

Understanding the choices

To help you make knowledgeable decisions about your ballot, we’re making information about candidates and ballot measures readily available. If you search for any federal or gubernatorial candidate, a panel of information will appear on the results page. This will include candidate-authored statements about platforms and legislative priorities for all campaigns that have chosen to post them. Likewise, a query for any statewide ballot measure will render a panel of information and the full text for that initiative.

Viewing the outcomes

Once the polls have closed and the votes are being counted, you can come to Search to find minute-to-minute updates as the results begin to come in. A search for “Senate results” or “House results” on Election Day will give you a box with a real-time summary of each chamber, while searching for any congressional or gubernatorial contest will give you results for those specific races.

At Google, our mission is to make the world's information accessible and useful, and we hope these features help you participate in this election. So if you haven't already, go get your "I voted" sticker, and come back to Google when the results come in.


Green hair, don’t care: create emoji that look exactly like you on Gboard

1 month 1 week ago

There might be thousands of emoji, but for a lot of people, it’s hard to find one that looks and feels like *you*. Today, we’re introducing emoji style Mini stickers for Gboard, designed for those who may have stared into the eyes of emoji and not seen yourself staring back. These sticker versions of the emoji you use every day are customizable so you can make them look just like you. Have a beard and long gray curly hair? No problem. Nose piercing and baseball cap? We gotcha.

Three Mini flavors: Bold, Sweet, and Emoji

Minis use a combination of machine learning and artistry to create illustrated stickers based on your selfie. Mini stickers also come in two other styles: “bold,” for when you might be feeling a little extra, and “sweet,” for when you want a softer touch.

After you take a selfie, emoji Minis use Google’s machine learning algorithms, known as neural networks, to suggest a skin tone, hair style and accessories that you can fine tune. Then, you choose a color for your hair, facial hair or different types of head coverings and eyewear. Add freckles or wrinkles—a little or a lot—if you'd like. Design your Minis so they resemble what you look like in your eyes—or in your mind. 🤗

Customizable emoji Minis

With Mini emojis, redheads (and other hair types) won’t just get a single redheaded emoji, but instead a selection of redheaded options, including redheaded zombies 🧟, redheaded mages 🧙 and redheaded shruggies 🤷.


Start stickerising with your new, more YOU emojis! Emoji Minis start rolling out today in all Gboard languages and countries, on both iOS and Android.

Celebrate Halloween with Ghoul-gle

1 month 1 week ago

You know what they say: if you’ve got it, haunt it. Halloween is almost here and we want to make sure you’ve got what you need to celebrate with some help from Maps, Search and the Assistant.

Spookiest Spots

If you’re in the mood for a ghostly encounter, we’ve got you covered. Using historical Google Maps data, we’ve ranked 20 U.S. cities by their spook factor so you know exactly where to get your fill of restless spirits, haunted places, and inexplicable occurrences. Tap each link to see a list of some of the spookiest locations in your city, and check out the Street View imagery below to see what makes some of these places so spooktacular—if you dare 😱.

  1. New York

  2. Los Angeles

  3. Chicago

  4. Dallas

  5. Houston

  6. Washington D.C.

  7. San Francisco

  8. Atlanta

  9. Philadelphia

  10. Boston

  11. Seattle

  12. Phoenix

  13. Denver

  14. Orlando

  15. Minneapolis/St. Paul

  16. Detroit

  17. Portland

  18. Charlotte

  19. Sacramento

  20. Cleveland


Last-minute tips to get festive with your Google Assistant

Forget to pick up candy for trick-or-treaters? Still haven’t had a chance to get pumpkins to carve? Out of creative ideas on what to wear?


Whether you’re seeking last-minute costume inspiration, creepy sounds for your spooky soiree or monster facts to stump your friends and family, your Google Assistant is here to help just in the nick of time!  


Start by saying “Hey Google …”

  • “What should I be for Halloween?” (Take a guided quiz and let the Assistant help you pick out the perfect, unexpected costume.)

  • “Get directions to the nearest pumpkin patch.”

  • “Add Halloween candy to my shopping list.”

  • “Trick or treat.” (Enjoy a spooky experience with sound effects and guest appearances from famous monsters.)

  • “Share facts about monsters.” (Spoiler alert: did you know that people accused of witchcraft also found themselves accused of being werewolves?)

  • “What does a werewolf sound like?”

  • “What does a ghost sound like?”

  • “Share facts about monsters?”


Pretty up some pumpkins

You might be carving out some time over the next day to create a gourd-eous masterpiece for your mantle or front porch. Here are some of the top pumpkin carving searches on Google Images to give you some ideas and how-to’s for a contemporary take on this classic Halloween decor:

A massive Doodle duel

Get your game on with our first-ever multiplayer, interactive Google Doodle. Host a session of “The Great Ghoul Duel” with up to seven friends and family via a custom invitation link or put your ghostly gaming powers to the test by competing with randomized players around the globe. Your goal is to collect as many spirit flames for your team as possible and bring them to home base before time expires. But BEWARE!, opposing teams can swipe your flames—and as a team collects more flames, their powers get stronger, including speed boosts, night vision and much more. Best of luck against your frightening foes!


Learn and do more with Lens in Google Images

1 month 2 weeks ago

On Google’s 20th anniversary last month, we announced updates to make Google Images a more useful place to explore the web through images. One of the ways we’re doing this is by bringing Lens to Google Images. We launched Lens to help you do more with what you see. People already love using it in their camera and on their photos–to find items in an outfit they like, learn more about landmarks, and identify that cute dog in the park. Lens is a natural fit for Google Images.

Starting today, when you see something in an image that you want to know more about, like a landmark in a travel photo or wallpaper in a stylish room, you can use Lens to explore within the image.

Similar to Lens in the Google Assistant and Google Photos, Lens in Google Images identifies things within an image you might want to learn about, and shows you similar ones. When you press the Lens button in Google Images, dots will appear on objects you can learn more about.

Lens in Google Images can also make it easier to find and buy things you like online. For example, you might come to Google Images looking for ideas to redecorate your living room. During your search, you come across a couch you like in an image, but you may not know what style it is or where to buy it. All you need to do is press the Lens button, then either tap on a dot on the couch, or draw around it, and Google Images will show you related information and images. From there, you can learn more about it, or find places where you might be able to buy a similar couch.

Lens in Google Images also helps website owners by giving them a new way to be discovered through a visual search, similar to a traditional Google Search.

To start, the dots will appear on products and other objects Lens has identified, and in the coming months the dots will appear in more types of images, such as landmarks, animals and plants. You can still draw around anything you’re interested in inside of an image to get more information and see related content.

Start exploring today. Lens in Images is now live on the mobile web for people in the U.S. searching in English, and will soon be rolled out to other countries, languages and other places you use Google Images.

Making it easier to control your data, directly in Google products

1 month 2 weeks ago

We’re always working on making it easier for you to understand and control your data so you can make privacy choices that are right for you. Earlier this year, we launched a new Google Account experience that puts your privacy and security front and center, and we updated our Privacy Policy with videos and clearer language to better describe the information we collect, why we collect it, and how you can control it.


Today, we’re making it easier for you to make decisions about your data directly within the Google products you use every day, starting with Search. Without ever leaving Search, you can now review and delete your recent Search activity, get quick access to the most relevant privacy controls in your Google Account, and learn more about how Search works with your data.

Control your data, directly in the Google products you use every day


When you use Google products, you generate data about your activity. For Search, this data includes the terms you search for, links you interact with and other information like your current location when you search.

Before today, if you were searching on Google and wanted to review or manage this data, the best way for you to do that would have been to visit your Google Account. Now, we’re bringing these controls to you – from directly within Search, you can review or delete your Search activity and quickly get back to finding what you were searching for.     

We’re also providing quick access to the privacy controls in your Google Account that are most relevant as you use Search. For example, to control the ads you see when you search, we give you access to your Ad Settings. Additionally, you can access your Activity Controls to decide what information Google saves to your account and uses to make Search and other Google services faster, smarter and more useful.

If you want to learn more about what data is being generated as you use Google services and how we use data to improve your experience, you can now find a short video that helps explain this information.

We’re launching this improvement in Google Search on desktop and mobile web today, and in the Google app for iOS and Android in the coming weeks. Next year, we’ll expand this to Maps, followed by many other Google products. Having access to relevant and actionable privacy controls directly from the Google products you use every day is just one way that we are continuously working to build privacy that works for everyone. 

Tru Biz: A conversation with Deaf artist Jessica Flores about sign language, stickers, and more

1 month 3 weeks ago

Gboard, Google’s on-screen keyboard, is a tool that helps people communicate exactly the way they want on a mobile device. Gboard supports over 400 languages, thousands of emoji and stickers, and an endless number of GIFs.


Part of helping people communicate is making sure Gboard is accessible for all people, and the languages they speak. One language not supported by Gboard, however, is American Sign Language. ASL isn’t a written language, so it’s not suited for a typical keyboard. However, ASL is one of the most expressive languages, and similar to other languages, has its own slang and regional variations. This makes it perfect for a visual communication format like stickers.


We collaborated with Jessica Flores, a Deaf artist, advocate and popular YouTube creator, to design a series of animated stickers for Gboard that feature ASL. We talked to Jessica about her background, her experience creating the stickers, and how she hopes people might use them.

Ryan: How did you get started doing YouTube videos?


Jessica: I started my YouTube channel about two years ago. At the time, I was working at a coffee shop, and a lot of the customers would ask me the same questions about my hearing loss over and over again, which I totally don’t mind. But once I started noticing this, I began to wonder if there was a way I could educate a much larger audience, instead of just one person at a time.


Ryan: What feedback have you received from other Deaf or Hard of Hearing people on your work?


Jessica: I grew up being the only Deaf person I really knew, so I felt very alone and isolated. When I started my YouTube channel years later, I thought there was only going to be a few people who could relate to my content, but boy, was I wrong! I get messages and comments all the time from both Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults and kids telling me they can relate to my videos. Whenever I get these messages, it’s hands down, one of the best feelings in the world.


Ryan: How do you typically use expressions like stickers/GIFs/emoji? What do you like/dislike about this experience?


Jessica: I use stickers, emojis, and GIFs really often. Some might tell you, too often or, more-than-one-normally-should often. (Insert wide eye, straight big smile emoji here)


Personally, a text message just doesn’t allow me to fully express what I am trying to say, or how I am feeling. I probably feel this way because I am a very animated person. Whenever I sign or talk, I feel like I always need to use all of my facial expressions and body language to express what I am trying to say. Even if it is just something simple like, “Hey can you pass the salt?” it ends up being very animated.


Ryan: What was your vision for these stickers? How did the end product compare to your vision?


Jessica: At the beginning of the project, I had no idea what direction these stickers were going to go in. I thought for sure the stickers would feature one character signing all the words.


But after looking at all of our sketches, I realized I wanted a sticker set that would help spread Deaf awareness and expose American Sign Language to more people, even just a little bit. I knew that if we designed a character for the stickers who signed, only those who knew ASL would know what the signs meant, and those who didn’t know ASL might end up ignoring the set completely.


We settled on the perfect solution: making the words become the characters. Now, if you know ASL, you will understand the whole set, as well as the slang. And if you don’t know ASL you will still be able to follow along with most of the signs their meanings.

Ryan: Were there any challenges you encountered as an artist creating the stickers?


Jessica: A lot of people don’t realize that, in sign language, a simple change in facial expression or body language can change a sign’s meaning completely. Just like how a tone of someone’s voice will allow you to figure out if they are mad at you, or if they’re asking you a question.


So when I had a word like “No”, I had to think about what kind of “No” I wanted to sign. Did I want it to be a sad “no”, a happy “no”, a sarcastic “no”? Then, if I picked sad, I had to ask myself, “How sad is it? Is it so sad it’s crying or is it just bummed out sad?” There are so many ways to sign and say “no” that it was hard to pick just one.


Ryan: How do you hope people will use them?


Jessica: I hope it will inspire people to start learning basic ASL or the other many different types of sign language: Mexican Sign Language, British Sign Language, Filipino Sign Language, etc.


My other hope is that the set will encourage people to start learning about Deaf/Hard of Hearing history, community, and culture. People still have a lot to learn about Deaf people. And the faster we can all learn about each other, the faster we can work towards making the world more accessible for one another.


Fortnite fever and verified Vermonsters: Frightgeist Halloween trends for 2018

2 months ago

We’re a little bit more than a fortnight away from Halloween 2018, so it’s time to head to Search for costume inspiration. This year’s Frightgeist—brought to you by Google Trends—shows what’s brewing in the costume cauldron near you and in other hot spots across the country.

The top searched costumes for 2018 are a not-so-macabre mix of Halloween classics (where my witches at?) and contemporary looks the kiddos will go crazy for. Here’s your top ten, just a click away from Google Images ideas to bring each of these to life (or back from the dead):

  1. Fortnite

  2. Spider-Man

  3. Unicorn

  4. Dinosaur

  5. Witch

  6. Harley Quinn

  7. Superhero

  8. Pirate

  9. Rabbit

  10. Princess

As you can see, Fortnite fever has swept the country-- so much that it’s a top search costume in a whopping 43 states. Here are seven states that stand apart and the costumes that are capturing people’s attention--look forward to some Utahcorns and Vermonsters in your neighborhood this year:

  • Alaska: Mermaid

  • Arkansas: Dinosaur

  • Idaho: Unicorn

  • Oregon: Dinosaur

  • South Dakota: Spiderman

  • Utah: Unicorn

  • Vermont: Monster

This year’s top spot is occupied by a new-to-Frightgeist costume trend. Here are other additions to the top 100 for 2018, in order of popularity:

14. The Incredibles

23. Black Panther (Wakanda forever!)

44. Nun

59. Vampirina

70. 1970s (what a coincidence!)

Not all costumes have the staying power of pirates and princesses. Here are a few of the looks that fell from the top 100 for this year’s list:

  1. Princess Leia

  2. Daenarys Targaryen

  3. Darth Vader

  4. Minions

  5. Emoji

If this sampling of scary isn’t what you had in mind to land your perfect Halloween look, head to the Costume Wizard fright now and amp up the spookiness or uniqueness to find the ghoulish get-up you desire.


Have a gourd time this Halloween!

Promoting inclusive storytelling with the Google Podcasts creator program

2 months 1 week ago

Podcasting has quickly become one of the best ways to share and listen to stories, but its future depends on a diverse array of stories, voices and creators. With the launch of the Google Podcasts app in June, we’re working to make it easier for people around the world to find and access podcasts. While there are more podcasts than ever before, there continues to be an imbalance in who is creating them. Women and people of color are still underrepresented as hosts, and many of the world’s most popular podcasts hail from western, urban areas. In June we announced the Google Podcasts creator program, which aims to support these underrepresented voices in podcasting, and make it easier for people to learn how to get into this growing medium.


Beginning today, through November 18th, the application window is official open globally for the first round of the Google Podcasts creator program, which will kick off in January 2019. We’re partnering with one of the best in the podcasting industry, PRX, who will lead and manage the program. PRX has demonstrated a long-time commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the space. As a pioneer of the podcasting space, PRX will lend this valuable expertise to the podcasters in the program.


The Google Podcasts creator program is focused on three main pillars: empowering and training underrepresented voices through an accelerator program, educating a global community with free tools, and showcasing participants’ work as a model for others. PRX, alongside a global advisory committee, will select teams to receive mentorship, seed funding, and an intensive 20-week training. Applications will be accepted from around the globe. You can learn more and apply to the program on PRX’s Google Podcasts creator program website.


For podcast enthusiasts that want to learn more about what it takes to create a podcast, but are not yet ready to apply to the program, PRX will draw on learnings from the program to develop a series of broadly accessible podcasting 101 videos in multiple languages, as well.


Podcasts are a way to bring additional voices, perspectives and experiences into your day-to-day life. The Google Podcasts creator program is designed to help support these voices, so that everyone can find a story that resonates with them.

Image rights metadata in Google Images

2 months 2 weeks ago

As part of a collaboration between Google, photo industry consortium CEPIC, and IPTC, the global technical standards body for the news media, you can now access rights-related image metadata in Google Images.

It’s traditionally been difficult to know the creator of images on the web, as well as who might own the rights. This information is often part of image metadata, and is key to protecting image copyright and licensing information.

Starting today, we’ve added Creator and Credit metadata whenever present to images on Google Images. To see this information on Google Images, you can click on the “Image Credits” link to view the metadata fields. Over the coming weeks, we will also add Copyright Notice metadata.

Also in partnership with CEPIC and IPTC, we hope to create better usage guidance for photographers, photo agencies and publishers to include copyright and attribution information in image metadata. For more on how to best implement IPTC metadata, refer to the IPTC Guidelines.

Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter, a provider of digital asset management tools for photographers and brands, describes why this is a big step for Google Images: “Employing IPTC metadata standards in Google Images results will help ensure proper attribution of credit and support photographers’ copyright, while also boosting the discoverability of content and creators. This is a win for the professional photo community.”

If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, please let us know through the Webmaster Tools Help Forum.

Throwbacks and thank yous on our 20th birthday

2 months 2 weeks ago

On Google’s 20th birthday, Thursday is not just for throwbacks. It’s also for thank yous.

Google wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for you: a curious crowd that comes to Search with all of life’s questions. Today’s birthday Doodle is dedicated to you, and the 20 years of searches that represent the inquisitiveness of people everywhere.

In today’s Doodle and hidden in Search for a limited time, you’ll be thrown back to (and flashed forward from) the days when “what is Y2K?” was your most burning tech question, Pluto was still a planet, and clip art was a critical part of visual communication.

The days when the music format du jour was the MP3 file and it was cutting-edge to watch a DVD. When you had to choose a screen name before hopping into a chat room.

All the kids had to have a digital pet, and girls were rocking the latest butterfly clip styles in their hair. Everyone was keepin' it real and gettin' jiggy wit it on the dance floor. And googol was just a really big number.

You can also peer back into the last two decades through the lens of trends by visiting 20years.withgoogle.com and seeing many of the people, pop culture and pizza (yes, pizza) that inspired your searches from 1998 to now.

We hope this jaunt down memory lane reminds you of your own magical moments when you found just what you were looking for with Google. For the next 20 years and beyond: Search on.

Searching for Tuva: Before the internet and now

2 months 2 weeks ago

“So you think you know every country in the world?” my late friend and drumming partner Richard Feynman said with a twinkle in his eye, back in 1977.“Well, then, whatever happened to Tannu Tuva?”

I replied, “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman—there is no such country!”

But there was: Feynman remembered Tuva as a purple splotch on the map just outside of Outer Mongolia. In the 1930s Tuva issued dozens of marvelous triangular- and diamond-shaped stamps that he collected as a boy. Then the country mysteriously disappeared.

His question turned into a quest—to learn everything we could about Tuva, and to get there ourselves. On the occasion of Google's 20th anniversary this month, I've been thinking about how different our search was then compared to today.

Back then our main source of information was libraries—local, university, even the Library of Congress. Much of the information was in Russian (Tuva had been absorbed into Stalin’s Soviet Union during World War II), so we recruited a linguistic wizard named Glen Cowan to help. (Today you can use Google Translate.) We scoured card catalogs, microfilm reels, cross-library listings—and books that literally needed the dust blown off—in hopes of finding a useful nugget of information. Each nugget, rare and unexpected, delivered a small delight of discovery, and kept our quest alive.

Search for “Tuva” today on Google and you’ll be showered with so many nuggets that you can’t possibly treasure them all.

Back then it took us months to find a single grainy black-and-white photograph of Tuva; search for “images Tuva” on Google today and you’ll find a hundred color photographs in a second.

Back then it took us a year to find a single hand-drawn map of Tuva’s exotically spelled capital; today, you can instantly see a detailed street map of Kyzyl based on satellite imagery, with current traffic conditions.

Because information about Tuva was so difficult to find in the pre-Internet era, our quest was full of twists—much like a Feynman diagram (go ahead, search!). One twist took us to Moscow, where Cowan and I discovered and then brought the largest archaeological and ethnographic exposition ever from the Soviet Union to the United States. It included spectacular items from Tuva, of course. We thought the Nomads exhibition would provide us the key to finally setting foot in Kyzyl; it actually was the key for a dozen Soviet academicians to visit the mysterious Disneyland. No matter: we learned the meaning of the Taoist saying, “The reward is in the journey.”

Undaunted, we spread our enthusiasm by sending out Xeroxed newsletters to our friends, encouraging them to pass them on and send back SASEs (self-addressed stamped envelopes) for future newsletters. We also set up a “Friends of Tuva hotline” (221-TUVA) to spread the latest information about the singing cowboys from Tuva riding in the 1993 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Each Tuvan cowboy could sing two notes simultaneously, something we could scarcely imagine when we read about it in books; today, YouTube has dozens of “Tuvan throatsinging” music videos, and the “Friends of Tuva” newsletters are online.

Sadly, Feynman died in 1988, just weeks before receiving the coveted formal invitation that would allow us to set foot in Tuva at last. But his memory lives on, here and in the land of his dreams. Today, you can find an article online about “Feynman Rock” in Tuva, carved to commemorate the centenary of Feynman’s birth in May this year. At a related event in Kyzyl, Cowan gave a talk in Russian about the work that won Feynman the Nobel Prize, while a simultaneous commemoration live-streamed into Kyzyl from Caltech.

The view from Feynman Rock in Tuva

Today I embark on dozens of quirky diversions every week, usually ending up happily lost in the world of Wikipedia (to which I contribute a dollar a day for my habit). But these easy jaunts seem more like sugar highs than the satisfying meal that Tuva provided, so in an effort to recapture that spirit of adventure, I’ve begun to frequent my local library and read good old-fashioned books again.

Nevertheless, I'm thankful for the embarrassment of riches and fools gold that is today’s Internet. And on Google's 20th anniversary, I offer up a fervent hope: let us never stop pursuing the mysteries that surround us—wondrous mysteries that await sustained, serendipitous, and joyful investigation. Quests can still begin with an intriguing question; adventures still await the curious mind.

Find your Tuva.

Oh, The Things You’ll Find

2 months 2 weeks ago

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to great pages!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
and fingers on your hands.
You can search for whatever
and see where it lands.
You're on your own. With an empty white box.
Roll a dice, flip a coin, if you’re feeling lucky (or not).

You'll spin around pages. “Do a barrel roll” with care!
About anagram you’ll say: "did you mean” isn't right there...
With your head full of brains and your hands full of fingers,
You're too smart to tap any Super Mario box figures.

And if you do not find links
That you want to click on.
You'll go back to the start,
Type again and #SearchOn.

But searchers, beware!
We've hidden more things
in the wide open air ;)

In Search, things can happen,
sometimes go askew,
Atari breakouts, Zerg rushes,
Blink <html> blink blinks too.

And when you have questions,
about lonely numbers or unicorn horns.
Or the answer to life the universe
and everything … again, #SearchOn

OH!
THE THINGS YOU’LL FIND!

Because, once in a blue moon,
Bletchley Park will be scrambled
sending PAC-MAN and snakes
on a big fullscreen amble.

Hooting owls will hoot hoot,
Mooing cows will moo moo,
Google in 1998 will send you back
20 years or so too.

And if that means you need balance,
Why not play solitaire?
Take a moment to spin a dreidel
and catch your breath there. 

Reset your bubble levels,
Turn your metronome back on,
(sqrt(cos(x))*cos(500*x)
+sqrt(abs(x))-0.4)*(3-x*x)^0.1

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL FIND ANSWERS!

So…
Whether you’re Aussie or Kenyan or mostly Hungarian
Or an Indo-Peruvian-Czech vegetarian.
You're off to great pages!
Today is your day!
Your search page is waiting.
So...get on your way!

With the help of Google Search, one woman finds her way

2 months 2 weeks ago

Robin Máxkii always felt caught between worlds—her reservation in Wisconsin, where she lived until age 11, and the urban sprawl of Houston, where she went to high school. During her late teens and early 20s, she maintained a blog, Native Notes, where she wrote passionately about native issues. One day, she received an anonymous comment that would change her life. It stated that if she wanted to actively change the community she wrote about, she should go to college. The seed was planted—she just needed to figure out how.


Robin turned to Google Search and before she knew it, she found her place at a tribal college. There, she became a campus leader, and took internships that helped her advocate for greater access to tech for her community.


Robin’s journey is the subject of our latest episode of “Search On,” Google’s original documentary series that tells the stories of people on a quest for better answers and the magic that happens when they find them at the intersection of tech and humanity. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Google and Google Search, we couldn’t think of a story that better exemplifies the tremendous possibilities that come when people have access to information. Watch Robin’s story above, and read more at g.co/betweenworlds.

Keeping people safe with AI-enabled flood forecasting

2 months 2 weeks ago

For 20 years, Google Search has provided people with the information they need, and in times of crisis, access to timely, actionable information is often crucial. Last year we launched SOS Alerts on Search and Maps to make emergency information more accessible. Since then, we’ve activated SOS Alerts in more than 200 crisis situations, in addition to tens of thousands of Google Public Alerts, which have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Floods are devastating natural disasters worldwide—it’s estimated that every year, 250 million people around the world are affected by floods, also costing billions of dollars in damages. Flood forecasting can help individuals and authorities better prepare to keep people safe, but accurate forecasting isn’t currently available in many areas. And the warning systems that do exist can be imprecise and non-actionable, resulting in far too many people being underprepared and underinformed before a flood happens.

To help improve awareness of impending floods, we're using AI and significant computational power to create better forecasting models that predict when and where floods will occur, and incorporating that information into Google Public Alerts. A variety of elements—from historical events, to river level readings, to the terrain and elevation of a specific area—feed into our models. From there, we generate maps and run up to hundreds of thousands of simulations in each location. With this information, we’ve created river flood forecasting models that can more accurately predict not only when and where a flood might occur, but the severity of the event as well.

These images depict a flood simulation of a river in Hyderabad, India. The left side uses publicly available data while the right side uses Google data and technology. Our models contain higher resolution, accuracy, and up-to-date information.

We started these flood forecasting efforts in India, where 20 percent of global flood-related fatalities occur. We’re partnering with India’s Central Water Commission to get the data we need to roll out early flood warnings, starting with the Patna region. The first alert went out earlier this month after heavy rains in the region.

Flood alert shown to users in the Patna region.

We’re also looking to expand coverage to more countries, to help more people around the world get access to these early warnings, and help keep them informed and safe.

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