Posted:
Well, it's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when every patriotic American must either watch football or go shopping. If neither end zone celebrations nor mall garage traffic jams make your day, why not try Froogle? In honor of the kick-off (so to speak) of the holiday spending-splurge season, we've spruced up our online shopping engine to make it as easy as possible for you to find and buy the products you and your loved ones really, really need.

For one thing, we're going international. A few weeks ago, we launched Froogle U.K.; this week we're pleased to announce that German-speaking shoppers can now search for and buy products that are actually for sale in Germany.

And back here in North America, we're now offering Froogle Store Ratings, which let you check the reputation of online stores by looking for "Reviews" links or aggregated ratings scores in your Froogle search results. We've also improved those results by grouping items together so you can more easily compare products. You can even narrow your search by searching by store. And finally, to ease those nightmares about receiving yet another itchy wool sweater, our new Froogle Wish List is easy to create (just click "My Shopping List" to get started), and even easier for your friends and family to access and (hopefully) heed.

Mick Jagger once insisted that you can't always get what you want. This holiday season, the Froogle team is doing their best to prove him wrong.

Karen Padham
Froogle product manager

Posted:
We release a lot of stuff here at Google, but this one I'm particularly excited about. Every year near the holidays my Mom starts asking me to tell her what I would like for Christmas. I'm usually bad at getting her a list, and more than once I've received argyle socks, but now I'll be happy to point her to my Froogle Wish List.

Want one of your own? Just go to Froogle, search for a few things from thousands of online merchants, and click 'Add to list' for any item you want to add to your Shopping List. You'll need to sign in to your Google account or create one if you haven't already (if you have a Gmail account or Groups 2 login, you already have a Google account). If you want to share items, just click the 'In Wish List' checkbox and whammo, you now have a web page of your holiday wish list to share with friends and family. This year maybe I'll get iPod socks instead of argyle!

Jason Shellen
Program manager - Blogger, and Froogle fan

Posted:
Much of scholarly research is learning what others have discovered and building on it. As the famous Isaac Newton quote goes, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Today we are launching the beta version of a service which we hope will help this process. Google Scholar is a free service that helps users search scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports.

Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page. This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature. Google Scholar also automatically analyzes and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to aren't online. This means your search results may include citations of older works and seminal articles that appear only in books or other offline publications.

We at Google have benefited much from academic research. This is one of the ways in which we are giving back to the research community. We hope Google Scholar will help all of us stand on the shoulders of giants.

Anurag Acharya
Principal engineer

Posted:
Since more than half of all Blogger users are outside the U.S., I recently took a virtual tour of blogs around the world from Armenia to Zambia. It is amazing to see that so many people create and update their free websites in such a wide variety of languages - all of them using an English-only version of Blogger. If these folks can create that much content working with a foreign language tool, what could they accomplish if Blogger were available in their own languages?

We'd like to find out. The Blogger team has begun the process of internationalizing our service. While the posting interface and some other pages throughout Blogger are not yet translated, they soon will be. Meanwhile, right now native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Korean will see an increasingly familiar version of Blogger in their own languages when they sign in.

We're all super excited that even more people around the world will be able to put their voice on the web using a Blogger interface that feels more like home.

- Biz Stone, Blogger team

Posted:
You probably never notice the large number that appears in tiny type at the bottom of the Google home page, but I do. It's a measure of how many pages we have in our index and gives an indication of how broadly we search to find the information you're looking for. Today that number nearly doubled to more than 8 billion pages. That made me smile.

Comprehensiveness is not the only important factor in evaluating a search engine, but it's invaluable for queries that only return a few results. For example, now when I search for friends who previously generated only a handful of results, I see double that number. These are not just copies of the same pages, but truly diverse results that give more information. The same is true for obscure topics, where you're now significantly more likely to find relevant and diverse information about the subjects. You may also notice that the result counts for broader queries (with thousands or millions of results) have gone up substantially. However, as with any search engine, these are estimates, and the real benefit lies with the queries that generate fewer results.

The documents in Google's index are in dozens of file types from HTML to PDF, including PowerPoint, Flash, PostScript and JavaScript. Together these pages represent a good chunk of the world's information, but hardly all of it. That's why we keep building more advanced systems for crawling the web and creating more sophisticated indices to sort what we find. So 8 billion pages is a milestone worth noting, but it's not the end of the road. The real test is how well we do in finding what you want from within those pages. We'll keep improving that too.

Bill Coughran
V.P., Engineering

Posted:
When people ask me about what it's like to work at Google, I can only say it's a lot of fun when Larry asks, "How can you help as many people as possible earn a living from Google?" Our answer to that question today is the Google Advertising Professionals program. It's our first step in establishing direct working relationships to everyone who wants to work with us to provide relevant search results or relevant ads.

The program makes it easy to manage lots of AdWords accounts for advertisers and clients, and offers a way for providers to showcase their proficiency with AdWords. And we've created an online learning center with dozens of self-paced lessons on the most up-to-date AdWords information.

There are already thousands of firms and individuals who provide services related to AdWords, and many who could use those services. We hope this program helps them connect in meaningful and rewarding ways.

-- Sumit Agarwal
Product Manager

Posted:
Okay, so WWWDOT - GOOGLE = DOTCOM, and M and E are interchangeable, and there are no leading zeros. Can you solve this equation? Turns out plenty of you can. In fact, maybe you've already taken the Google Labs Aptitude Test, which we published a couple months ago as a recruiting tool and general shout-out to our math-and-CS-minded peers.

Anyway, where WWWDOT - GOOGLE = DOTCOM is concerned...

Off[General::"spell1"]
chars=Characters/@ToLowerCase/@{"WWWDOT","GOOGLE","DOTCOM"};
uchars=Union[Flatten[chars]];
eqn = First[#]-Plus@@Rest[@]&[FromDigits[#,10]&/@chars]==0;

...and so on. If you followed that, you might want to check out MathWorld.com's impressive list of solutions to the thornier GLAT problems. The authors, Ed Pegg, Jr. and Eric Weisstein, declined to tackle most of the GLAT's more whimsically or philosophically inclined essay questions (wimps), but they did, with considerable aplomb, meet the challenge of composing a search-seasonality-related haiku:

MathWorld's search engine
seemed slowed this May. Undergrads
prepping for finals.

Congratulations for a job well done to Ed, Eric, and everyone else who sent in their own solutions. Those Googlers who understand this stuff were impressed with the quality of the work we received. And the rest of us enjoyed the haiku.

Michael Krantz
Google Blog Team