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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Joint support for the Sitemap Protocol

We're thrilled to tell you that Yahoo! and Microsoft are joining us in supporting the Sitemap protocol.

As part of this development, we're moving the protocol to a new namespace,, and raising the version number to 0.9. The sponsoring companies will continue to collaborate on the protocol and publish enhancements on the jointly-maintained site .

If you've already submitted a Sitemap to Google using the previous namespace and version number, we'll continue to accept it. If you haven't submitted a Sitemap before, check out the documentation on for information on creating one. You can submit your Sitemap file to Google using Google webmaster tools. See the documentation that Yahoo! and Microsoft provide for information about submitting to them.

If any website owners, tool writers, or webserver developers haven't gotten around to implementing Sitemaps yet, thinking this was just a crazy Google experiment, we hope this joint announcement shows that the industry is heading in this direction. The more Sitemaps eventually cover the entire web, the more we can revolutionize the way web crawlers interact with websites. In our view, the experiment is still underway.

New features are up

We just released a couple of new features:

  • Document spellcheck in your language
This one has consistently been a top feature request for a looooong time, so we're really excited to have finished it. The document spellcheck now supports more than 30 languages, and we think it's a better quality spellcheck than our old one (it's the same one that Gmail uses, actually).

  • 2 new views of your docs & spreadsheets
For the folks out there who have LOTS of documents and spreadsheets, you can now choose to display only documents, or only spreadsheets. Check out these new "All Documents" and "All Spreadsheets" options from the green-highlighted Browse Docs & Spreadsheets drop-down menu.

As always, we'll be monitoring t he discussion group and support email for your feedback.

Search engines united

Last year we published the Sitemap 0.84 XML protocol as a free and easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about URLs on their web sites so that search engines can more effectively crawl them. We released it under the Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license in the hopes that other search engines would adopt the protocol too. And today, we're excited to announce that Yahoo! and Microsoft are joining us in officially supporting the Sitemap protocol.

As the web becomes more dynamic, Sitemaps will enable better and fresher search results for everyone who uses the web. For site owners, Sitemaps will help improve website visibility in search results. You can read more about this on our Webmaster Central blog.

Google News in Scandinavia

After months of hard work, the day is finally here: we've released Google News in Norway and Sweden.

At Google News, we cut to the bone -- er, to the core -- searching to get you the freshest takes. We gather the latest news headlines in your language and present a summary of links to you in one single page, freshly ranked by relevance and popularity. Then you just dash off to the sites to read the news stories that take your fancy.

The two of us worked as summer interns with Google in Trondheim earlier this year, with plenty of help from our Swedish colleague Jonas Yngvesson, who's based in Google's Zurich office. Now after some months of public silence, we can finally tell our friends and you all about our work on Google News Scandinavia. It has kind of become our baby. We've cared for it, looked after it, yelled at it and corrected it, and we've come to love it. We hope you will appreciate it as much as we do.

In addition to taming the news, we've enjoyed free lunches and had a chance to learn from some of the best engineers Trondheim and the rest of the world have to offer. Perhaps best of all, we were trusted to work on release-level code for Norway and Sweden. If like us you want to have a say in the inner workings of the world's biggest search company -- to discuss algorithm problems with the guy who wrote your algorithm textbook at college -- you should know that Google wants interns all over the world. Check out the Google Interns site.

Before we go, we would like to thank all the Googlers who have helped us and encouraged us and cared for us throughout our internship. Bosses, colleagues, recruiters and caterers, thank you! Our summer would not have been the same without your help.

Search Public Events in Google Calendar

Today we launched a new feature of Google Calendar: "Search public events." It lets you search over public events added by others using Calendar and also events we've added by working with partners to provide movie listings, concerts, and all sorts of other fun events.

There are many reasons we wanted to build this feature, but mainly because some of us on the team moved to New York last year to work in our office there. Needless to say, we wanted to experience everything that the city had to offer but had trouble finding all the fun and fascination that New York has to offer. After Google Calendar launched in April, we saw a surge in the number of public calendars being shared. We thought if we made public events searchable, we could find interesting events with little effort by encouraging people to share interestin g events.

So whether you're interested in broadway, movies, art, music, photography, farmer's markets, Knicks basketball (we love 'em in NY) or even good old dumpster diving, we hope you find this new feature useful. If you don't see your favorite event, add it to a public calendar and share it with the world. And while you're finding new and interesting things to do, please send us feedback on other ways we can improve the service. [more]

How-To Part 4: Voicemail

If your friend is away from his or her computer or not logged in to Google Talk at all, you can leave a voice message which will be converted to an MP3 file and sent to their email account. In fact, if you're too nervous to ask out that special friend via direct conversation or have any other reason to want to deliver a message in not-quite-real-time, you can send it directly to voicemail. Learn how by watching this video.

Peter Adams
Online Operations Coordinator


AJAX Search API: Modules, Widgets and Templates

Post by Tom Stocky, Product Manager; also posted to the AJAX Search API blog

We're excited to see people building support for the Google AJAX Search API into lots of popular web publishing tools: (We mentioned templates for Blogger and Typepad in an earlier post.)

Thanks to everyone who has built tools to make it easier to use the AJAX Search API. If you know about others, let us know!

Community Samples

A couple months ago we asked you to submit your sample apps that made use of the Google AJAX Search API. We've now posted a few of those to the community samples page. If you'd like to see your web app on that page, be sure to submit it for inclusion. And, as always, feel free to share your thoughts on these samples and other uses of the API.

Reminder: Accept your AdWords T&Cs by Nov 27

Just a reminder about our September 5 post... please make sure that you and/or your clients accept the new AdWords Terms and Conditions for each account that you manage via the API by November 27. Failure to do so may result in access to these accounts being blocked after the 11/27 deadline.

If you have the authority to accept the terms and conditions for all of the AdWords accounts under your MCC, please see the Sept 5 post for instructions on how to “batch accept” the AdWords Terms and Conditions.

NOTE: These Terms and Conditions apply to AdWords account owners (regardless of whether or not they use the API), and are separate and distinct from the recent changes announced to the AdWords API beta Terms and Conditions.

-- Jon Diorio, Product Marketing


Microsoft’s Jason Matusow admits the patent covenant that’s part of Redmond’s agreement with Linux distributor Novell is still in process. Novell isn’t completely happy with it, he says in a recent blog post, where he also solicits input on the covenant from the wider open source community. Comments have no doubt been pouring in since the partnership was [more]


The SANS Institute has released its annual list of Top 20 Internet Security Attack Targets and, to no one’s surprise, Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system and Office productivity software get mentioned — a lot. SANS pays a lot of attention to zero-day attacks — in fact, there’s a special section on them at the end of the [more]


AMD is continuing to pursue an anti-trust lawsuit against Intel, and with numerous Intel partners and the European Commission involved, it seems clear that the end, whatever that may be, is nowhere in sight. is reporting that Intel’s lawyers say they don’t have time to produce the documents that AMD says will show Intel coerced [more]


It’s hard to take shots at someone for promoting “interoperability,” and so even Microsoft — often the easiest and most vigorously pursued of tech-press punching bags — is getting generally positive coverage for its Interop Vendor Alliance initiative. The main goal of the vendor panel, which Redmond touted loudly yesterday at a European tech show, is [more]