When we announced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook a few weeks ago, we committed to improving it over time to make the Outlook experience on Apps as similar to the experience on Exchange as possible. We first focused on making mail, contacts, and calendar work really well, because those are the features that the more than one hundred companies who tested Apps Sync before launch asked for. Today we wanted to share a couple of updates on our progress in improving compatibility.

We worked closely with Microsoft to address two issues that we shared recently, and we appreciate their help. The Windows Desktop Search feature now works, so you can choose between the native Outlook search, which has been available since launch, and Windows Desktop Search to find information in Outlook. We've also worked with them to add support for accessing Windows Live Hotmail via the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector plug-in.

We also added an option to allow users to enable or disable autoarchive during installation, improved the two-way synchronization of notes in contacts, and improved our installation to make it more clear where data in other Outlook accounts is located. To access these additional features and fixes, current users are being updated automatically to the latest version, and it's available immediately to new users here. As always, you can find more detailed information about Apps Sync in our help center, and we're going to continue to add more advanced features in the coming months.

Since the release of this tool, many businesses have asked us for more information about switching from Microsoft Exchange, so we've pulled together a Google Apps resource site that centralizes information for businesses coming from an Exchange environment. It has information about Google Apps, answers to your due diligence questions, customer feedback from those who have switched before you, and more.

Posted by Chris Vander Mey, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps

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We launched the Google Apps Status Dashboard in February as a tool to help us communicate better about the performance status of our Apps products. We've received a lot of positive feedback from customers, and we've been working to make the Dashboard even more useful.

Today we're taking the next step and making the Dashboard available in 24 new languages. Take a look at the status of our Apps in Español or in 日本語. Our announcements on the Dashboard will be available in all supported languages, and the language you see will correspond with your settings and preferences. There may be times when we'll give you a link to additional details in English or a smaller subset of languages in the interest of communicating as quickly as we can, but you'll always find an announcement about the current status of our Apps products in the language you select.

The Dashboard is now available in the following languages: English, Czech, Danish, German, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

We encourage you to check out the Dashboard and keep it handy for the next time you want to check on the performance of our Apps.

Posted by Matt Drake, Software Engineer

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Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Brian Bolt from Boise State University's Office of Information Technology as our guest blogger today. Boise State University recently selected Google Apps Education Edition to address messaging and collaboration needs for more than 20,000 students, staff, and faculty users, realizing drastic cost savings and reducing countless IT hours.

To hear more about how schools like Boise State are using Google Apps, Google is hosting a series of free education-focused webinars starting on Thursday, June 25 with a discussion led by Arizona State University on Thursday, June 25. We hope you'll join us!

In early 2007, we at Boise State University learned of Arizona State University's deployment of Google Apps Education Edition to their student population. At that time, we were at a crossroads between upgrading email for employees and students and pressure to change the email application that was in place since 1996. We recognized ASU's move to Google Apps for students as a shift in application delivery to supported end-users – the move to the "cloud" of Internet-delivered services and support.

By choosing Google Apps for Education, Boise State could redirect resources and personnel away from an ever increasing drain on budget dollars and support time, to other critical education-focused applications and still have a leading edge communication and collaboration platform.

Boise State administrators and faculty were visionary in agreeing with the movement of email, calendaring and document collaboration to Google. Collaboration between students, between students and faculty and between staff are all now easily facilitated. It was as big a change as the integration between email and calendaring in the late 1990s. The early 2000 mantra of "anywhere, anytime on the web" was finally a reality.

The rationale for deploying Google Apps for Education to Boise State students was predicated on the University's strategic vision of "Charting the Course," which defines a road map for Boise State University's goal to become a Metropolitan Research University of Distinction. Taking our directive from the University's Vision Statement, we contacted Google to begin the process of providing Google Apps for Education to the campus.

We started with the task of moving all student accounts to Google Apps in 2007. This equated to the migration of more than 20,000 accounts. The student account move was smooth and adopted with minimal support. The students were very adaptive to change. The major hurdles of a mail system migration were not seen by the end user group, as we linked authentication and account creation to the University identity management system.

Soon after we successfully implemented the student mail system, we contemplated the possibility of moving faculty and staff to Google Apps. The prospect of migrating faculty and staff from an enterprise messaging system to Google Apps was altogether different from displacing the simple mail system our students used. We accepted the idea that a transition would be more difficult than the student move, but we believed that once the tools were in place, and people acclimated to the functions and features of Gmail and Calendaring, the University would be in a better position to communicate and collaborate.

Security was the initial hurdle put in front of the move by most of the colleges and departments. We began an education campaign to explain that not only was Google a leader and innovator in the application area, they excelled at security and privacy in the services they provided to their educational partners. Google has offices of information security personnel compared to the handful at Boise State.

Now that the migration of our 3,000 faculty and staff is complete, we have a new realization: deploying Google Apps and reallocating resources is just the beginning. We have new tools to explore and share; collaboration was the unexpected silver lining of the Google Apps suite. Having Google Apps as a keystone technology establishes the foundation from which we can support the University's strategic vision of Charting the Course and its commitment to academic excellence, public engagement, vibrant culture and exceptional research.

After our migration was done, we hosted a celebratory lunch for those involved in the project. All of the dishes were delicious, but the highlight was the cake, courtesy of Tonya, our in-house pastry chef. Yes, it is entirely edible, and it tasted amazing too!

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps Education Edition team

We're passionate about learning here at Google and always revel in the innovations that educators drive when they work with Google Apps. To share some of the latest innovations we've seen in this arena, we're hosting a free, live educational webinar to show the power of Google Apps Education Edition. In this session you'll hear directly from Arizona State University, the first school to deploy Google Apps Education Edition. Learn about their 2006 decision to go with Google Apps, the results they've seen so far, and their future plans for working and teaching with Google Apps. Details follow:

Google Apps for Education
Thursday, June 25, 2009
10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

We hope you'll join us to learn how Google Apps can help institutions like ASU save money and IT resources, all while making it easier for teachers to innovate and for students to learn and work together.

Read today's news about Google in education, and what schools are learning as they start using Google Apps.

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps for Education marketing team

Get timely updates on new features in Google Apps by subscribing to our
RSS feed or email alerts.

We built Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook to make it as easy as possible for people who love Microsoft Outlook to continue to use it when their company switches to Google Apps. In developing the feature, we focused on allowing Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business email, contacts and calendar. But we also recognized that many people add plug-ins to Outlook for additional features. For that reason, we worked to ensure that as many plug-ins as possible continue to work, like and WebEX.

Unfortunately, some plug-ins don't yet work with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the more common ones:
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Connector
  • Acrobat PDF Maker Toolbar
  • Outlook Change Notifier
If you would like to continue to use these plug-ins, uninstall Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, and the uninstaller will re-enable the plug-ins.

We'd also like to highlight another known issue that may be of interest. Programs that interact directly with the Outlook data file, including Windows Desktop Search and's encryption plugin, don't currently work well with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Windows Desktop Search will not properly index Google Apps Sync data files, so in order to stop indexing from running indefinitely, the Google Apps Sync installer disables it. We recommend using the default Outlook search.

If you want to re-enable Windows Desktop Search for your Outlook data files, you can uninstall Google Apps Sync. If you are using Google Apps Sync version or lower, you must first install the latest version and then uninstall Google Apps Sync to re-enable indexing.

You can find more information about what's different in our
help center. We're working with Microsoft and other partners to help fix these issues and support additional Outlook features like multiple calendars. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Posted by Chris Vander Mey, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps

With Google Apps, education can now easily move beyond the walls of a classroom. These days we see more and more teachers using Google Apps to engage students across the country, and even around the globe, in a new way of collaborative learning.

Recently, one New York school used Google Sites to hold an event bringing students, teachers, parents, and other guests from around the world together for a conversation about the future of education. The event, "Dot To Dot," was held live at IS 339, a public middle school in the Bronx, and was broadcast live through streaming video on its site.

All 67 of the school's teachers and hundreds of its students presented projects using videos, blogs, Google Docs and Google Sites. The event was a showcase of student voices, addressing topics ranging from the environment and how we affect our ecosystem, students' vision of freedom, and international human rights and genocide.

Since IS 339 started using Google Apps in 2007, it has fostered an environment of creative expression, responsibility, and collaboration among its students and teachers. IS 339 uses Google Apps for innovative educational practices such as student-run businesses, "good behavior" currency credits that can be used at the school store (also run on Google Apps), and group projects using Google Docs and Sites. Administration has also benefited from the efficiency that Google's web apps have helped accelerate.

Student progress and grading is now a collaborative process using Google Forms and Spreadsheets so that students can have a community of teachers supporting them. The results speak for themselves. In the past five years, IS 339 has moved off of New York State's failing schools list, and its students have moved from 9% to 60% on grade level in math, and from 12% to 40% on grade level in literacy.

When you combine Google Apps and inspirational educators, the results speak for themselves:
ease of collaboration and innovation. Kudos to IS339 and the growing community of educators expanding what's possible in learning with the power of Google Apps.

Posted by Ashley Chandler, User Operations for Google Docs and Google Sites

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RSS feed or email alerts.

Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Ron Brister, Senior Manager of Global IT Operations, and Arron Privatsky, System Administrator, of Serena Software as our guest bloggers today. Serena Software, a leading provider of software to accelerate application development, helps IT departments keep pace with the demands of the businesses they support. Serena’s tools automate software development processes and help business users create powerful mashups – without requiring any coding. Serena is a privately owned company with 29 offices in 14 countries and 800 employees. Founded more than 25 years ago, Serena has more than 15,000 customers including 96 of the Fortune 100.

Serena Software recently selected Google Apps Premier Edition for its messaging and collaboration needs, saving more than $750,000 and countless IT hours. Members of Serena Software will be on hand next Thursday, June 18, to talk about that experience in a live webcast.
Register here.

My name is Ron Brister, and I’m Senior Manager of Global IT Operations at Serena Software. I'm here with Arron Privatsky, System Administrator for Serena. Serena is a leading provider of software to accelerate application development. Because we are software experts, it’s no surprise that we are always looking for the best solutions.

For us, it was becoming increasingly clear that our messaging infrastructure was lacking. Inbox storage space was a constant complaint. Server maintenance was extremely time-consuming, and backups were inconsistent. Then we found that – calculating additional licenses of Microsoft Exchange, client access licenses for users, disaster recovery software, and additional disk storage space to increase mailbox quotas to 1.5GB – staying with our existing provider would have cost us upwards of $1 million. That was a nearly impossible number to justify with executives.

We thought about replacing our on-premise solution, but to tell the truth, we were skeptical. I, personally, had been a Microsoft admin for 15 years, and Microsoft technologies were ingrained in my thought processes. But Google Apps provided many pluses: Gmail, Google’s Postini messaging security software and 25 GB of mailbox space, as well as greater uptime and 24/7 phone support.

Apps also offered reliable mobile access and included other Google productivity and collaboration applications, such as Google Docs for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations – all at $50 per user per year. The cost savings would amount to a whopping $750,000 per year. All this added up to the ability to save the company money and to transition to a more advanced, flexible infrastructure.

Once we selected Google Apps, we decided on a “Big Bang” migration. Employees would switch over on their own, migrating their old emails to Gmail if they chose to, or simply starting with a clean inbox. We did not support local email clients, opting to support only the Gmail web interface through Mozilla Firefox to best accommodate the company's mixed Linux, Mac and PC environment.

We also enlisted four small groups of early adopters who would try the Google solution first, and then assist IT and support their peers during the full-scale migration. We used a lot of Google’s existing support documents to help us during the migration.

The overall move to Google Apps took all of six hours. We waited for the phones to ring, but all we heard was silence – in fact, we sat there playing meebo for quite a while – and still, nothing happened. We cut the cord all in one stroke to avoid the hassle of living in two environments at once. We made the switch globally, all in one day – and, due to the advantages of this cloud computing solution, we’ve never looked back.

I expect that what I am saying is probably setting off a lot of questions in your head. We welcome you to join us for a live webcast to learn more:

Thursday, June 18, 2009
1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m PDT / 5:00 p.m. GMT

We'll give you more details and take questions on our recent switch to Google Apps. We hope that you'll join us.

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps team

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For many businesses, switching to a new email and calendar platform can seem like a daunting task. What about the technical issues? What about getting users on board? Well, for businesses that want to quickly take advantage of all the benefits and innovations of Google Apps, we have great news.

Today, we're announcing the launch of our new
Google Apps Deployment for Enterprise site, which we built using Google Sites. On the site, we've gathered several resources to help businesses make the move to Google Apps faster and easier. Businesses with many employees and complex IT environments, in particular, will find these time-saving resources useful in managing the transition to Google Apps.

The site's resources are grouped into two categories: deployment planning and user adoption. The planning resources help IT administrators, project planners, and others become familiar with all the Google Apps features and tools available, determine a deployment strategy, and track deployment activities.

We also describe our Google Guides Program, a peer-to-peer technical support methodology, which can make your deployment easier. Whether you choose to handle deployment entirely in-house or enlist the aid of a Google Solutions Provider, we think you'll find these planning resources essential for understanding the deployment process and ensuring a successful outcome.

At Google, we believe that better communication leads to better results, so we've also designed a host of user adoption resources to make it easier for businesses to communicate to their users. For example, our communications and quick-start templates can be quickly customized based on both the platform from which users are migrating (Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes) and the features being enabled, and our eLearning videos can help users get up to speed at their own pace.

Here's a look at our current set of resources:

But this is just the beginning. We'll continue to add new resources to the site and enhance the material that's already there. We developed many of the site's resources by working closely with some of our Enterprise customers, and we want to continue in that spirit of cooperation. We'd especially like to hear about your best practices and new approaches to making a Google Apps deployment faster and easier.

So check out our new deployment site and send your feedback and ideas to

Posted by Matt Ceglia, Technical Writer, Google Enterprise

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Over the last year, we've had a razor sharp focus on making it as easy as possible for businesses to deploy Google Apps. In the last few months you've seen some of the results, from offline Gmail to user directory synchronization to full Blackberry® interoperability.

Today we're excited remove another key barrier to enterprise adoption of Google Apps with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook lets you use Microsoft Outlook seamlessly with Google Apps Premier or Education Editions.

Many business users prefer Gmail's interface and features to products they've used in the past. But sometimes there are people who just love Outlook. For them, we've developed Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. It enables Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business email, contacts and calendar. And they can always use Gmail's web interface to access their information when they're not on their work computer.

Key features include:
  • Email, calendar, and contacts synchronization. For email, the plug-in uses the offline Gmail protocol, which is much faster than IMAP or other methods.
  • Free/Busy lookup and Global Address List functionality, which makes it easy to schedule meetings with your colleagues, regardless of whether they use Outlook's calendar or Google Calendar.
  • A simple, two-click data migration tool which allows employees to easily copy existing data from Exchange or Outlook into Google Apps.
Watch it work in this 3 minute video:

Here's what the IT execs at Genentech and Avago have to say about using this capability:

Three key service providers – NuVox, Netfirms and IKANO – have already begun offering Google Apps Sync. NuVox, a leading telecom provider in the Southeast and Midwest, sees "an incredible response to Google Apps from [our] customer base," says CEO Jim Akerhielm. "We’re excited that Google Apps Sync helps our customers stop running Exchange and spend more time focusing on their core business."

Netfirms, which powers 1.2m websites in the U.S. and Canada, is launching Google Apps to their customers in concert with Google Apps Sync. George
Mitsopoulos, V.P. of DNA Mail (an IKANO company) says, "Google Apps Sync gives our customers even more options while minimizing our deployment effort. It's 'install, launch and you're ready to go.'"

If your business hasn't started using Google Apps yet, you can learn more about Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. If you already use Google Apps Premier or Education Edition, go ahead and give the plug-in a try.

Posted by Eric Orth, Software Engineer, Google Apps team

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RSS feed or email alerts.

We're usually very serious when we describe our take on cloud computing, but on Wednesday, June 24, we'll be letting our hair down and having fun with computing in the cloud. We've teamed up with Virgin America to launch the Day in the Cloud Challenge – the first-ever online scavenger hunt to be played simultaneously in the air and on the ground.

If you fly for business or for pleasure, you've probably noticed that more and more airlines are rolling out in-flight WiFi, allowing you easy access internet-based applications like Google Apps. Imagine instant messaging with your colleagues and friends, co-editing a proposal, or responding to personal and work email in-flight.

Many of us have used Google Apps onboard airplanes, and we started asking ourselves: what better way to demonstrate the value of cloud computing than by using Google Apps from 35,000 feet – far from our homes and offices and, literally, in the cloud. The idea for the "Day in the Cloud" was born.

Whether you're flying that day or not, we invite you to take an hour out of your busy day to play. Visit to learn more.

Posted by Vivian Leung, Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps

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On this blog, we usually focus on helping you make the most of the products we've designed specifically with IT departments in mind. But Google has lots of other tools that other parts of your organization (such as the sales and marketing teams) might find useful.

So, in this post, we thought we'd go through a quick summary of the wide range of Google products that can help you do business. We've grouped these tips into three buckets: methods to optimize your website, details about how your company info can get listed on Google properties and finally, ways to improve your business operations.

Tip 1: Help customers find you with Google Maps
Pinpoint your business by embedding a Street View image on your website to show customers your storefront, office, building, parking facilities or anything else at the street level, or provide interactive door-to-door driving directions with a simple gadget. For a complete store locator solution, check out Google Maps API Premier

Tip 2: Engage users when they visit your site
Awaken and strengthen the community that visits your website by enriching it with social features. You can choose from a gallery of gadgets to add commenting, ratings and reviews, opinion polls, and more to your site. Learn more

Tip 3: Help visitors find what they're looking for
Add a customized Google-powered search box so that your visitors can easily find what they're looking for on your site. You can choose to show targeted ads alongside search results and earn revenue while helping visitors find what they're looking for with AdSense for Search, or you can purchase Google Site Search to offer your visitors an ad-free search experience.

Tip 4: Earn revenue from ads targeted to your content
Google AdSense enables website publishers of all sizes to display targeted ads alongside their online content and earn money. Sign up for AdSense and get access to Google's vast network of advertisers. If you're already selling ads directly to advertisers, learn how you can better manage your online sales and ad inventory with one of Google's ad serving solutions.

Tip 5: Measure website conversions on your website using Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool to track how visitors interact with your website. You can set up "Goals" in Analytics to track how many visitors complete a desired action, such as submitting a contact form or making a purchase. This lets you see your website's ROI and optimize your marketing efforts. Check out this post for a tutorial on how set up Goals for your site.

Tip 6: Increase your conversion rates with Website Optimizer
Every web page has room for improvement when it comes to conversions. Testing a few simple changes with Google Website Optimizer can radically increase your site's conversion rate. Try it now.

Tip 7: Put your business on Google Maps
People search for businesses on Google Maps and every day. Make sure your business is easy to find and your listing information is up-to-date by visiting the Local Business Center at It's free, and with the new dashboard feature, you can see how popular your business is on Google, where people drive from to get to you, and how they search to find you. Check out this video to learn more.

Tip 8: Submit all of your content
Google can also help you reach out to the world by distributing your content on Google Web Search, Product Search, iGoogle, and more. Learn how Google’s free products can make your online investments go further with increased distribution, traffic and monetization.

Tip 9: Simplify your IT environment, encourage innovation and cut costs
Managing email and other messaging software with multiple servers can be a headache. By switching to Google Apps, you can enjoy 99.9% uptime and take advantage of Google's data center infrastructure to ensure your information is secure. With your systems online, new features are automatically incorporated and collaboration can be done at a fraction of the cost of existing setups. Learn more

Tip 10: Archive corporate email in a central and searchable repository
Many businesses rely on backup tapes or .pst files to serve as their email archive. Searching through these sources can be time consuming and resource intensive. To minimize your IT operating burden and protect your business from costly e-discovery projects, you can archive email on-line in a central and searchable location with Google Message Discovery. Learn more

Tip 11: View and style mapping data with Google Earth Pro
If your business has GIS (Geographic Information System) data then use Google Earth Pro to view this map data with built-in GIS data import tools. You can also share styled map data quickly with colleagues and clients with Google Earth as a backdrop, leveraging Google’s comprehensive mapping data to make quick, location specific decisions. Learn more

Tip 12: Easily locate ALL of your internal documents using the Google Search Appliance 6.0
Your company’s internal search system can be just as good as Google’s – and just as easy to use. The Google Search Appliance (GSA) provides universal search for business, indexing all company content in a customizable way. The Google Search Appliance can search intranets, web servers, portals, file shares, databases, content management systems, and real-time data in business applications – and serve it up to employees in integrated, easy-to-navigate results. The new version of the GSA – GSA 6.0 – which just premiered yesterday, can now search billions of documents and provides rich customization features. Learn more

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Today we're announcing the launch of the latest version of the Google Search Appliance, GSA 6.0. We've packed it full of so many new features that it's difficult to even count them. Check out the videos linked below to see some highlights, and I'll tell you how we got to this point -- the origins of (GSA)n.

As you might know, last August, we launched "10 million docs in a box ". Building on the premise of scale with simplicity, we (the engineering team) challenged ourselves to see how much further we could go, while still keeping the architecture extremely simple. After many late-night sessions spent diagramming on the whiteboards and chugging cappuccinos, we had a breakthrough.

The end result was a new architecture: (GSA)n. When we tested it out, the product manager was pretty excited about all the new features and search power. He was used to hearing about the millions of docs we could handle – but this time we were going to push it to a new realm: billions.

The idea was simple; build technology to connect as many appliances as you'd like, whether in one location or separated across departments or even across continents - and still provide a unified set of results to the end-user – the employee searching for an elusive document or piece of information. This would not only give our customers unparalleled ability to scale, but enable them to integrate all the data in their organizations. Information doesn’t do you much good if you can’t find it! That was our guiding principle.

One of our beta customers, MTCSC Inc., really needs the geographic integration. When we caught up with them, MTCSC was in the midst of deploying over 50 GSAs all over the world for a federal customer, connecting to over 2,500 data sources and consisting of data on websites, file shares, databases, and SharePoint servers. The new GSA 6.0 architecture is now helping them integrate information from the varied data centers to provide users with a single, unified set of results.

So imagine there is a database that might “live” in Egypt, some documents in a data center in Sydney, and a fileshare whose homebase is Los Angeles. The new GSA 6.0 integration can handle searching through all those data stores and give the employee who is looking a simple page of search results – one that looks as easy to use as – even though the backend search is really complicated.

And, since we were feeling ambitious, we added a Ranking Framework (where administrators can easily feed in server logs and other enterprise-specific information to improve relevance of search results), multiple new biasing options, and an administrative API to provide more control for automation of common tasks. We also added support for both early binding and late binding, providing organizations with flexible security policies to meet their needs.

The bottom line: safer, higher-quality, more customizable enterprise search with (GSA)n.

This morning, both Google and our customers, including MTCSC, spoke at an event on all the new developments leading to (GSA)n and the 6.0 version. We talked so much about searching a billion documents, we decided to try something we’ve never seen done before: set up and showcase the actual infrastructure required to search a billion docs, and you can see it here. It is surprisingly small and simple, and pretty cool to know that we can now take the amount of content in the entire index in the year 2000 (when was searching though just a billion docs), and pack it into a server rack built that could fit in the corner of my living room. And I have a normal-sized living room.

Posted by Shamim Alpha, Enterprise Search Engineer

Learn more about the Google Search Appliance 6.0 at

If your enterprise maintains one or more physical locations, you may already know that roughly 80% of consumers use search to find local businesses. But unless those customers are also visiting your website directly, you may not know much about how those customers are finding you, or where they're coming from when they visit one of your locations.

That's because your site is just a part of your entire web presence. Users of Google Maps and Google Search, for example, may also be interacting with your local listing on Google. And while there are plenty of great tools out there (like Google Analytics) to measure traffic to your site, there isn't any way to measure how customers are interacting with other elements of your web presence like your listing.

That is, until today. The Google Maps team has just launched a new dashboard in its free Local Business Center ( tool that will open up exactly that kind of data to business owners.

This is the first time this kind of data has ever been made available to business owners, and we think you'll find it highly useful.

If you're interested in learning more, head over to the Official Google Blog for a more detailed overview or the Lat Long blog for a walk-through of the dashboard's features. And be sure press the play button, below, to see things in action.

Posted by Amer Shahnawaz, Software Engineer, Local Business Center