Google Friends Newsletter - October 2009


Better music information in search results

We have just introduced a new feature to help you better find music information using Google search. Now, when you enter a music-related query — like the name of a song, artist, album or a line or two of lyrics — into the Google search box, your search results will include links to an audio preview of those songs provided by our music search partners MySpace (which just acquired iLike) or Lala. This feature not only makes search better, it also introduces millions of music seekers to new sources of licensed music online.


Google Flu Trends

Google Flu Trends has expanded from four to 20 countries, including much of Europe. It's also now available in 38 languages. By tracking the popularity of certain flu-related Google search queries, we are able to estimate how many people actually have flu symptoms in a given location, in near real-time. While some traditional flu surveillance systems may take days or weeks to collect and release data, Google search queries can be counted immediately. Google Flu Trends provides an additional surveillance tool that may help public health officials and the public make more informed decisions about preparing for the flu season.

Introducing Google Building Maker

Here is a fun and simple online tool for creating 3D buildings in Google Earth, called Google Building Maker. This tool makes it possible for anyone with a web browser to make high-quality, photo- textured 3D models. It works like a very large, and very smart, collection of building blocks: By assembling the blocks to match the shape of your favorite building, you can make a whole 3D building in a few minutes. Building Maker is available for 50 cities and in 14

Google Wave opens up invitations to a limited preview

We've started sending invitations to preview Google Wave, a new tool that lets you communicate and collaborate in real time, to 100,000+ users. Developers working with Wave now have some new extensions and a roadmap for our APIs. Finally, based on early responses from Google Apps customers, we have also invited to a set of businesses and schools to preview Wave, and look forward to their feedback on how Wave might help with collaboration and productivity.

New security solutions in Google Pack

Google Pack now provides a free way for individual PCs to detect and remove viruses, spyware and rootkits. PC Tools Spyware Doctor with
Anti-Virus SE is available in most locales while Avast! 5.0 Free Antivirus will be used in major European locales. The new versions significantly increase protection for Google Pack PC users and are distributed for free.


Recently we began a weekly series on the Official Google Blog reflecting the heart of our company: search. We're always making changes to improve your search experience, so we have gathered together the seemingly-small details of those changes in one easy-to- find place. We cover a wide variety of aspects within search — tools that webmasters can use to make their sites safer, our recent agreement with Twitter for adding real-time search results and how we've used our search technology to improve recommendations in Google Reader. As we continue to work on improving the search experience, we will keep you updated through this series and posts elsewhere.

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