Monday, 31 January 2011
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Go Daddy Makes The Web Faster by enabling mod_pagespeed

As part of our Make The Web Faster initiative, Google announced the availability of mod_pagespeed, an open-source module for Apache webservers to automatically accelerate the sites they serve. Go Daddy, the top web hosting provider and world's largest domain name registrar, announced that they would roll out the mod_pagespeed feature for their Linux Web hosting customers. The feature is now available and is in use by Go Daddy customers who have already started to report faster webpage load times.

“Who on the Internet wouldn't want a faster website?” asked Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. “The benefits of mod_pagespeed are really a slam dunk. It’s built to boost users’ web performance, and ultimately, the bottom line for their business.”

By using several filters that implement web performance best practices, mod_pagespeed rewrites web page resources to automatically optimize their content. The filters improve performance for JavaScript, HTML and CSS, as well as JPEG and PNG images.

Mike Bender, co-creator of photo-blog and Go Daddy customer, detected a 48% decrease, slicing the load time for his image-rich website from 12.8 to 6.6 seconds. mod_pagespeed speeds up the first visit of the site by reducing the payload size and improving compression. Repeat visits are accelerated by making caching more efficient and decreasing the size of resources such as CSS and HTML on the page as demonstrated in this chart (where smaller is faster):

“From the moment we enabled mod_pagespeed, the difference was noticeable,” said Bender. “It was a simple ‘flick of the switch,’ and the site started loading faster.”

For Go Daddy customers currently using the Linux 4GH web hosting platform, find out how to enable mod_pagespeed for your own website here. Other webmasters can install mod_pagespeed binaries or build directly from source.

Monday, 24 January 2011
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127 new dimensions and metrics through the Google Analytics API

One of our aims of the Google Analytics Data Export API is to provide access to all the data you find in our reporting UI. To that end, we are releasing 127 new dimensions and metrics via the API today!

Some of the powerful new data points are:

  • Unique visitors - ga:visitors metric has been updated to support the true number of unique visitors for any date range (instead of the daily unique visitors). It also supports significantly more valid combinations.
  • Organic Searches - The number of organic searches within a session.
  • 10 new Adwords dimensions - Including Matched Query (what people searched for, not the bid term) and Placement Domain (which site you content ads were running on).
  • Search Result Views - The number of times a search result page was viewed.
  • 3 Time dimensions - To simplify plotting graphs.

We also included 111 calculated metrics to make it easy to query most common calculations in the reports, such as bounce rate, cost per conversion, and margin. Now, getting calculated metrics is both more convenient and in parity with the calculated metrics in the UI.

You can see a complete list of the new dimensions and metrics in our public changelog.

With all these dimensions and metrics, it can be time consuming to find the values you are looking for. To simplify this, we’re also launching a new interactive dimension and metric search tool. You can use this interactive tool to search for a dimension or metric using its search-as you-type feature. Even more exciting is the ability to easily determine valid dimension-metric combinations just by selecting the dimensions/metrics that you want to request. Here's a screenshot:

We hope that you will find this new tool and additional data useful. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback, in our developer group.

Google Summer of Code 2011 announced at LCA

(Cross-posted from the Google Open Source Blog)

Despite the recent devastating floods in Australia, the open source community is converging on Brisbane this week for the annual (LCA). The LCA team “encourages everyone to still come to Brisbane and support local business and the community - we need your support.” Monday during the introductory session at LCA, Carol Smith, member of the Google Open Source Programs Office, proudly announced Google Summer of Code 2011.

This will be the 7th year for Google Summer of Code, an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from colleges and universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects with the help of mentoring organizations from all around the globe. Over the past 6 years Google Summer of Code has had 4,500 students from over 85 countries complete the program. We are excited to announce that we will extend the scope of the program this year by targeting a 25% increase in accepted student applications as well as accepting a larger number of mentoring organizations. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all.

Spread the word to your friends! If you know of a university student that would be interested in working on open source projects this summer, or if you know of an organization that might want to mentor students to work on their open source projects, please direct them to our Google Summer of Code 2011 website where they can find our timeline along with the FAQs. And stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011
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Make quick fixes quicker on Google Project Hosting

Have you ever noticed a bug or typo in your code but not been in a position to fix it? Perhaps you were browsing the code online from your Cr-48, or perhaps you just didn’t have Subversion or Mercurial handy. Today the Google Project Hosting team is announcing a new feature for you: the ability to edit your source code files directly in the browser, in our online editor powered by CodeMirror. Just look for the “edit file” link on files in the online source browser:As you edit, you can preview the diff of your changes so you know exactly what you are committing:

And if you don’t have commit privileges to the project? No problem. Instead of committing your changes, you can file your changes as a patch in the project’s issue tracker.

By lowering the barrier to entry for everyone — project members and users alike — we hope to make it easier for projects to grow and improve. Enjoy!

Monday, 10 January 2011
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Google URL Shortener gets an API

When we launched Google’s URL shortener externally back in September, there was no accompanying API to allow people to integrate into their applications and web pages. However, we said that we were working on one, and today we're happy to announce that we’ve launched the API in Google Code Labs. The documentation can be found on the Google Code site, with example code in the Getting Started section.

With this API, developers are able to programmatically access all of the fast, sleek goodness that we currently provide via the web interface. You can shorten and expand URLs using the API, as well as fetch your history and analytics. You could use these features for a wide variety of applications, enabling behaviors ranging from auto-shortening within Twitter or Google Buzz clients to running regular jobs that monitor your usage statistics and traffic patterns. You can check out the Google APIs console to get started.

We’re very excited to be able to offer you this API to access one of the fastest URL shorteners out there. We’re continuing to work on several usability improvements and to make our auto-detection of spammy or malicious content even more robust. We hope that with the new API, you’ll find to be even more useful in your future shortening endeavors! If you’re an application developer, check out the API documentation and see how it looks.

Thursday, 6 January 2011
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BigQuery, meet Google Spreadsheets

Since announcing BigQuery at Google IO last May, we’ve been very excited by the response and feedback we’ve received from the developer community, enterprises and academia. The one consistent request we heard from everyone is the ability to interactively analyze large volumes of data without having to worry about provisioning, maintaining and scaling infrastructure.

Today, we would like to announce the integration of BigQuery with Google Apps Script and Google Spreadsheets, a feature we first demoed at Google IO. With this integration users now have the power to query multi-billion row tables, visualize the results and share them with others. Below you can see a simple script that queries a sample dataset and plots the results. A simple tutorial is available here with more to come soon.

We’ve seen a big uptake of the APIs (released in October) which let you create, populate and delete tables in BigQuery. Users have been loading more and more data in BigQuery. For instance the current M-Lab dataset in BigQuery stands at 240B rows!

The details of BigQuery and new features are available on the BigQuery website. We are gradually adding more developers during this free preview period. Please sign up for an invitation, and let us know about the creative and valuable ways you’re using BigQuery.