The CafePress Experience With Ads

When CafePress first started printing shirts in 1999, online retail was still a nascent industry and Google had yet to sell its first ad. Soon CafePress started selling products through search ads on Google, and their business took off. Today, CafePress hosts millions of shops online where customers can choose from more than 325 million products on nearly any topic, from wall art to phone cases.

Just as CafePress has broadened its offerings over time, we’ve also worked to improve and expand our search advertising products. What started as three lines of simple text has evolved into ads that are multimedia-rich, location-aware and socially-amplified.

Today CafePress uses Sitelinks to direct people to specific pages of their website, helping customers find what they’re looking for faster. On average, ads with three rows of links, or three-line Sitelinks, are more than 50 percent likely to get clicked on than ads without Sitelinks. More than 200,000 advertisers have joined CafePress in using Sitelinks in at least one campaign.

Monday at Advertising Week in New York City, I’ll be talking about how advertisers have been quick to adopt these new formats since we first began experimenting nearly two years ago. Businesses from the smallest retailer in Idaho to the largest Fortune 500 company in New York have seen how these innovations in search advertising can help grow successful businesses. In fact, roughly one-third of searches with ads show an enhanced ad format.

Here are a few ways these new ad formats are helping people find valuable information faster:

Visual. Not only can you find theater times for a new movie, you can watch the trailer directly in the ad. Media ads put the sight, sound and motion of video into search ads. With Product Ads, people can see an image, price and merchant name, providing a more visual shopping experience. Because this format is often so useful, people are twice as likely to click on a Product Ad as they are to click on a standard text ad in the same location, and today, hundreds of millions of products are available through Product Ads.

Local. More than 20 percent of desktop searches on Google are related to location. On mobile, this climbs to 40 percent. Location-aware search ads can help you find what you’re looking for more easily by putting thousands of local businesses on the map—literally. More than 270,000 of our advertisers use Location Extensions to attach a business address on at least one ad campaign, connecting more than 1.4 million locations in the U.S. via ads. And, with our mobile ad formats, not only can you call a restaurant directly from the ad, you can also find out how far away the restaurant is located and view a map with directions.

Social. With the +1 button people are able to find and recommend businesses with their friends. Since introducing the +1 button earlier this year, we now have more than 5 billion impressions on publisher sites a day. If you’re a business owner, the +1 button enables your customers to share your products and special offers easily with their network of friends, amplifying your existing marketing campaigns.

We’re continuing to experiment with search ads to help businesses like CafePress grow by connecting with the right customers.

We’re developing ads that provide richer information to you because we believe that search ads should be both beautiful and informative, and as useful to you as an answer.

Bringing the Dead Sea Scrolls

It’s taken 24 centuries, the work of archaeologists, scholars and historians, and the advent of the Internet to make the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible to anyone in the world. Today, as the new year approaches on the Hebrew calendar, we’re celebrating the launch of the Dead Sea Scrolls online; a project of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem powered by Google technology.

Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. In 68 BCE, they were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea to protect them from the approaching Roman armies. They weren’t discovered again until 1947, when a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock in a cave and realized something was inside. Since 1965, the scrolls have been on exhibit at the Shrine of the Book at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Among other topics, the scrolls offer critical insights into life and religion in ancient Jerusalem, including the birth of Christianity.

Now, anyone around the world can view, read and interact with five digitized Dead Sea Scrolls. The high resolution photographs, taken by Ardon Bar-Hama, are up to 1,200 megapixels, almost 200 times more than the average consumer camera, so viewers can see even the most minute details in the parchment. For example, zoom in on the Temple Scroll to get a feel for the animal skin it’s written on—only one-tenth of a millimeter thick.

You can browse the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most well known scroll and the one that can be found in most home bibles, by chapter and verse. You can also click directly on the Hebrew text and get an English translation. While you’re there, leave a comment for others to see.

The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for phrases from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll viewers on the Dead Sea Scrolls collections site may surface in your search results. For example, search for [Dead Sea Scrolls "In the day of thy planting thou didst make it to grow"], and you may see a link to Chapter 17:Verse 11 within the Great Isaiah Scroll.

This partnership with The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is part of our larger effort to bring important cultural and historical collections online. We are thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, helping design the web experience and making it searchable and accessible to the world. We’ve been involved in similar projects in the past, including the Google Art Project, Yad Vashem Holocaust photo collection

The SWF exports of presentations in the Google Documents

Google announcing the deprecation of SWF export functionality for presentations from the Google Documents List API. They are taking this action due to the limited demand for this feature, and in order to focus engineering efforts on other aspects of the API.

Clients currently making the following request to the API are affected by this change.

https://docs.google.com/feeds/download/presentations/Export?docID=1234&exportFormat=swf

We recommend clients currently using SWF exports switch to PDF exports, using the appropriate exportFormat value.

https://docs.google.com/feeds/download/presentations/Export?docID=1234&exportFormat=pdf

They are disabling SWF exports in the coming weeks. Clients attempting to export presentations as SWF after the exports are disabled will receive an HTTP 400 response.

For more information on exporting presentations, see the Google Documents List API documentation. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the forums.