News > Google

Introducing the News Lab

Category: Google | Jun 22, 2015

It’s hard to think of a more important source of information in the world than quality journalism. At its best, news communicates truth to power, keeps societies free and open, and leads to more informed decision-making by people and leaders. In the past decade, better technology and an open Internet have led to a revolution in how news is created, distributed, and consumed. And given Google’s mission to ensure quality information is accessible and useful everywhere, we want to help ensure that innovation in news leads to a more informed, more democratic world.

That’s why we’ve created the News Lab, a new effort at Google to empower innovation at the intersection of technology and media. Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we’re tackling this in three ways: though ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today.

Tools for better reporting
From Maps to YouTube to Fusion Tables to Earth to Search, we offer many tools that newsrooms can use in their reporting and storytelling. Now, journalists around the world can access tutorials on these products created specifically for newsrooms, at We’ll post short written and video tutorials and case studies that highlight best practices from top newsrooms around the world. As Google develops new products that help journalists, we’ll update these resources regularly. You can also get updates by following us on Twitter and Google+, and by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Data for more insightful storytelling
There’s a revolution in data journalism happening in newsrooms today, as more data sets and more tools for analysis are allowing journalists to create insights that were never before possible. To help journalists use our data to offer a unique window to the world, last week we announced an update to our Google Trends platform. The new Google Trends provides journalists with deeper, broader, and real-time data, and incorporates feedback we collected from newsrooms and data journalists around the world. We’re also helping newsrooms around the world tell stories using data, with a daily feed of curated Google Trends based on the headlines of the day, and through partnerships with newsrooms on specific data experiments.

Programs focused on the future of media
We’re also working with partners to build a series of programs focused on imagining the future of news and information, as well as on empowering new voices in media. One of the opportunities we’re focused on is increasing the number of media startups in the marketplace. We’ve launched partnerships with Matter, a media accelerator in San Francisco, and Hacks/Hackers, a global community group for developers and journalists, to provide financial support and mentorship from Google engineers that will help these organizations expand their impact to more startups around the world. We’re also holding a series of TechRaking summits with the Center for Investigative Reporting: hackathons focused on developing new investigative tools such as drones, online databases, and more.

Another area we’ve focused our programs on is citizen reporting. Now that mobile technology allows anyone to be a reporter, we want to do our part to ensure that user-generated news content is a positive and game-changing force in media. We’re doing that with three projectsFirst Draft, the WITNESS Media Lab, and the YouTube Newswire—each of which aims to make YouTube and other open platforms more useful places for first-hand news content from citizen reporters around the world.

The News Lab is a global effort, with teams in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany to start—and we’re also powering the training and research arm of Google’s Digital News Initiative in Europe.

Google has created many technologies and platforms that have engaged the media industry. As both the media landscape and technology continue to evolve, we believe we can create a more informed world if technologists and journalists work together—and we’re excited to be part of the effort.

Posted by Steve Grove, Director, News Lab


Through the Google lens: Search trends June 12-18

Category: Google | Jun 19, 2015

The shooting in Charleston, S.C., was the top topic in search this week. Here’s a look at what people were searching for after the tragedy, plus a glimpse into what else was on searchers’ minds this week.

Tragedy in the south
On Wednesday night, a gunman shot and killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The suspect, Dylann Roof, was arrested Thursday morning, and charged today with nine counts of murder. As people tried to make sense of the story, many turned to the web, leading searches for “Charleston shooting” to climb to more than 5 million. Top questions in the early morning after the shooting include “What was the motive of the hate crime shooting in Charleston?” Many were also interested in the Confederate flag, which still flies above the S.C. Capitol building; interest in the flag spiked 20X in the past week in the U.S. as people asked questions like “What does the Confederate flag stand for?”

Presidential politics
We’re still well more than a year away from the 2016 election but the presidential race is already crowded, and getting more so. This week two new candidates joined the fray: Jeb Bush and Donald Trump both announced they plan to run, bringing the total number of Republican candidates to a cool dozen. Though Bush was the most searched candidate in more than 25 states after his announcement, it didn’t last long. Following Trump’s announcement Tuesday, he became the most searched Republican Presidential candidate in every state in the U.S. Top questions on the newest candidates include “Is Jeb Bush related to George Bush?” (that would be a “yes”) and “What is Donald Trump’s net worth?” (he says more than $8 billion; the numbers are disputed).

Must-see TV
This week was big for sports, with Google’s own hometown team Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA Championship title since 1975. The Warriors were at the top of the search charts on Tuesday with more than 2 million searches. Meanwhile, in hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks edged out the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. Winning never gets old, though: interest in Blackhawks apparel spiked 8X in Chicago between June 9-16, and there were more than 20,000+ searches for the Blackhawks parade route, which took place Thursday with more than 2 million attendees.

Hockey and basketball not your game? Then perhaps you were one of the 8 million people watching the fifth-season finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” (Spoilers for the show follow.) The show was the subject of 2 million searches on Sunday night, as people watched with baited breath to find out what gruesome ends the show had in store for their favorite characters this season. One of the top questions about the show was simply “Who died on ‘Game of Thrones’?”, while others expressed their disbelief by asking “Is Jon Snow dead?” and “Is Stannis dead?” There were also more than 200K searches for Lena Headley, who plays Cersei Lannister, and another 20K later in the week for Rebecca Van Cleave, Headley’s body double for a scene where Cersei is forced to walk naked through the streets. Finally, there was a lot of interest in Arya Stark, one of few surviving Stark children, whose path on the show has also been one of the strangest.

Tip of the week
This weekend marks the first official day of summer, and that means BBQ season. If you’re watching what you eat, Google can help you figure out what to choose at the picnic table. Just ask Google to “compare coleslaw and potato salad” or “compare burgers and pulled pork.”

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [jurassic world showtimes]


Join our global Pride celebration: #AndProud

Category: Google | Jun 18, 2015

Pride is one of the world’s greatest celebrations of diversity, one that we’re excited to support every year. For 2015, we’re doing something a little different: we’ve created an online parade, #AndProud, so that people from around the world can celebrate Pride together.

To join the global parade, visit Androidify, where you can create your own Android character with a fun new Pride wardrobe. During the weekend of June 27-28 your character will party side-by-side with others from around the world in the online parade.

But the celebration doesn’t end there. While the virtual parade happens online, thousands of Googlers will hit the streets of San Francisco, London and New York to show their support in those citywide Pride festivals. Some of the best #AndProud characters will appear on big screens as part of Google’s pride floats in all three cities.

From left to right, Sam Smith, Tom Daley and Jessie J celebrating the #AndProud parade

In addition to #AndProud and our floats in SF, London and NYC, we’re celebrating Pride in our offices around the world, and in all sorts of ways across our products. We’re excited to be able to extend the celebration and give people around the world a new way to share their Pride.

Hope to see you at the parade!

Posted by Eddie Kalletta and Rich Terry, #AndProud parade marchers


Your Google companion awaits you this Ramadan

Category: Google | Jun 17, 2015

Today, more than a billion people around the world begin observing the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to sunset, gathering with families and loved ones for meals, laughs and stories.

Growing up, the best part about Ramadan was eating way too much lentil soup with my family and catching up on the latest episode of our favorite series, “Bab Al-Hara.” Today, living more than 1900 miles away from my family, I rely on technology to get close with them during Ramadan. Whether it’s sharing moments on Hangouts, my sister sending me pictures of the iftar spread of the day, or receiving an avalanche of recipes from my mother for me to save and try out, technology helps us stay connected and celebrate Ramadan together even when away.

In fact, technology helps more than 200 million Muslims living away from their families connect and share moments with loved ones. People look to Maps to navigate traffic and make it home from work for Iftar, download Google Play apps to plan their day around the sunset and sunrise, and look up Ramadan opening hours of their favorite local shops and restaurants.

To help you get the most out of Ramadan, we’ve launched My Ramadan Companion (, which gives you customized and locally relevant information, tips, and other content highlighting the richness of what the web can offer during Ramadan around you. You can find out the sunset time in your location and plan your day accordingly, check out the traffic in your area, navigate to the closest charity Iftar, find and share recipes, and enjoy Ramadan content on YouTube ranging from drama series and comedy sketches and health tips to stay fit during the 30 days of fasting.

Depending on your location, Google Now will show you a range of relevant cards with popular YouTube videos, latest Ramadan news and information, and recommendations for apps that alert you to wake up for Suhur, enable you to design greeting cards for Ramadan to share with the family, find Halal restaurants around you, and countdown to Iftar time.

With My Ramadan Companion, we hope we can help you take care of the little things, so you can focus on the big things. Ramadan Kareem!

Posted by Zain Kamal Masri, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Middle East and North Africa


A new window into our world with real-time trends

Category: Google | Jun 17, 2015

Every journey we take on the web is unique. Yet looked at together, the questions and topics we search for can tell us a great deal about who we are and what we care about. That’s why today we’re announcing the biggest expansion of Google Trends since 2012. You can now find real-time data on everything from the FIFA scandal to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign kick-off, and get a sense of what stories people are searching for. Many of these changes are based on feedback we’ve collected through conversations with hundreds of journalists and others around the world—so whether you’re a reporter, a researcher, or an armchair trend-tracker, the new site gives you a faster, deeper and more comprehensive view of our world through the lens of Google Search.

Real-time data
You can now explore minute-by-minute, real-time data behind the more than 100 billion searches that take place on Google every month, getting deeper into the topics you care about. During major events like the Oscars or the NBA Finals, you’ll be able to track the stories most people are searching for and where in the world interest is peaking. Explore this data by selecting any time range in the last week from the date picker.

A new story-centric homepage
On the new, you’ll find a ranked, real-time list of trending stories that are gaining traction across Google. In addition to Search, we now look at trends from YouTube and Google News and combine them to better understand what topics and stories are trending across the web right now. The redesigned homepage is now available in 28 countries around the world, and we’ll continue to add more locations in the coming months.

Better coverage for deeper insights
We’ve also increased the breadth and coverage of Google Trends data to allow for in-depth research on more niche topics in smaller geographies.

Curated data sets
To help you understand the data behind the headlines, our News Lab team examines trending topics every day and finds interesting nuggets of data that bring news stories to life. You can follow us on Twitter to stay up to date. And for data journalists who want to do their own analysis, starting today we’ll publish data sets on specific topics to our Github page.

Many newsrooms are already using Google data to inform and shape their reporting. Here are a few examples:

  • The Washington Post launched an interactive data visualization on climate change where viewers can discover the most pressing environmental issues in various cities.
  • The Guardian and Buzzfeed used Trends data to tell the story of the recent U.K. election; Buzzfeed produced a map of most-searched party leader in each constituency, and the Guardian used trends during the campaign to showcase what voters were asking Google about the candidates.
  • HLN integrated Google Trends data into their television programming during LGBT Pride Month to explore when terms like “transgender” became widely used around the world.
  • CNN Politics published monthly updates on search interest and top questions around U.S. Presidential candidates as they announce their candidacy.

We’re excited to contribute to the growing trend of data-driven storytelling. Watch our video to hear from some of our partners about the role data plays in their work, and how they’re helping shape the future of the field:

Without further ado, we’re going to dive into the minute-by-minute search interest around Steph Curry after last night’s Warriors’ win. No matter what your interests are, we hope you’ll visit the new Google Trends to explore your favorite topics and better understand the world around us.

Posted by Nimrod Tamir, Google Trends Team


Through the Google lens: Search trends June 6-11

Category: Google | Jun 12, 2015

LeBron and Steph. Marge and Homer. Matt and Sweat. These duos had people searching this week. Read on for more:

Two prisoners made headlines this week after escaping from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. People are coming to Google to learn how the two broke out of the prison and about the status of the manhunt, which is still ongoing. In addition to more than 100K searches each for [prison escape] and the facility itself, people are asking questions like “How often do prisoners escape?” and “How many prison escapes are there per year?” The incident has also sparked interest in other prison escape tales; search interest in “The Shawshank Redemption” spiked 8X in the past week. And in happier, more fictional prison news, Netflix dropped the third season of “Orange is the New Black” six hours early yesterday, leading to a jump of 500,000K searches for the hit show.

High stakes
Next, the NBA Finals are heating up as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are now tied at two games apiece, and searchers can’t get enough. There were more than 2 million searches for the Finals on Saturday, when the Cavs beat the Warriors in Game 2, and another 5 million when the Warriors went down 2-1 in Game 3 as people looked for scores, news, and players. There were more than 500K searches on Thursday for LeBron James, who got stitches after colliding with a cameraman during the game. Meanwhile, league MVP and Warriors point guard Steph Curry has been a hot topic on Search throughout the playoffs, but as his performance in the Finals faltered in the first few games, search interest in several of his teammates has risen. People have been looking for info about Curry’s fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson and about Andre Iguodala, who started his first game of the season on Thursday and may have poked some fun at LeBron James in the process.

Off the court and onto the pitch, it’s also a great time to be a soccer fan, between the Champions League final, the Copa America, and the Women’s World Cup. The latter drew more than 5 million searches on Saturday alone, and as the U.S. faced off against Australia Monday, interest was high in players like Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux. Finally, we’d be remiss to write about sports this week without mentioning the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, American Pharoah, who won the Belmont Stakes last weekend and ran home with a million searches in the bargain.

Change is in the air
Beyonce was trending this week after revealing that she has adopted a vegan diet on Good Morning America. Many of Queen Bey’s fans were disappointed that her announcement was about her eating habits, and not the release of a new album or baby #2. Giving up cheese would be hard enough. But this week pop culture fans confronted the potential loss of something else dear: the long-running (fictional) marriage between Homer and Marge Simpson. With the 27th season of “The Simpsons” on deck in the fall, the show’s executive producer had hinted that TV’s longest-running couple might separate. Amidst the outrage and worry, searchers turned to the web to ask “Why are the Simpsons getting divorced?” Luckily, it seems the rumors are just that—the show cleared the air on Twitter and in chalk.

Tip of the week
Keep up with Hope, Alex and the rest of the Women’s World Cup on your phone. To get updates on all the matches, just open the Google app and click Customize (Settings in iOS) → Sports → Add a team. Goooaaalll!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [flights from sfo to lhr] and [izombie max rager utopium]


A YouTube built for gamers

Category: Google | Jun 12, 2015

As a kid, I spent hours on the living room couch playing video games with friends, taking turns trying to beat Ganon in “Ocarina of Time” and trading Pokémon until I had all 151. Soon controller passing and Game Boy link cables gave way to network multiplayer and PC LAN parties. Eventually, my living room became a virtual one, with a network of gamers sharing experiences and discoveries. 

Today, the gaming world is much more diverse than the one I grew up with, and the community has created new formats that have made gaming more collaborative and interactive. On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let’s plays, walkthroughs, and speedruns to cooking and music videos. Now, it’s our turn to return the favor with something built just for gamers.

This summer, we’ll launch YouTube Gaming, a brand new app and website to keep you connected to the games, players, and culture that matter to you, with videos, live streams, and the biggest community of gamers on the web—all in one place.

YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else. From “Asteroids” to “Zelda,” more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You’ll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators.

Keeping up with these games and channels is now super easy, too. Add a game to your collection for quick access whenever you want to check up on the latest videos. Subscribe to a channel, and you’ll get a notification as soon as they start a live stream. Uncover new favorites with recommendations based on the games and channels you love. And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing “call” will show you “Call of Duty” and not “Call Me Maybe.” 

Live streams bring the gaming community closer together, so we’ve put them front-and-center on the YouTube Gaming homepage. And in the coming weeks, we’ll launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube. On top of existing features like high frame rate streaming at 60fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video, we’re redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time. We’re also creating single link you can share for all your streams.

YouTube Gaming will be available this summer, starting in the U.S. and U.K. We’re building this just for gamers—so we want to hear from you about how we can make it the best way to connect with your community. If you’re at E3 next week, come by our booth for an early look at everything we’ve been working on. If not, tune in live from home at, head over to and follow us @YouTubeGaming and you’ll be the first to know when YouTube Gaming is ready for you to play with.

Posted by Alan Joyce, Product Manager


Through the Google lens: Search trends May 29 – June 5

Category: Google | Jun 5, 2015

From a seriously groundbreaking “Vanity Fair” cover model to a sporting trifecta, see what the Internet was searching for this week.

“Call me Caitlyn”
Caitlyn Jenner topped the trends this week, with more than 10 million searches since she introduced herself to the world on Monday with a “Vanity Fair” cover story. Her high-profile transition has put Jenner at the center of an active national dialogue about transgender equality and rights. The news dominated headlines and news feeds for several days—in fact, searches for Jenner were nearly seven times higher than than searches for Kim Kardashian, who announced her second pregnancy with husband Kanye West over the weekend.

Remembering Beau Biden
Another well-known family shared the search spotlight this week, although for very different reasons. Beau Biden, Delaware attorney general and son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer on May 30. Searches for news about his life and death topped 100,000 ahead of memorial services held in his honor on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

All the sports
With the NBA and Stanley Cup finals underway, and the Women’s World Cup set to kick off over the weekend, it was a particularly sports-heavy week on search. People wanted to know where and when to tune in for the NBA games, and while “How many times has Lebron James been to the finals” was one of the top questions, searches for Warriors star Steph Curry were higher than searches for James in nearly every state.

On the hockey front, the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently lead the series 1-0, are also dominating the search trends over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, soccer fans are heading to Google to search for Women’s World Cup teams and players as they await to see who emerges from the tournament’s group-stage.

Summertime sadness
It may not be June 21 yet, but school is out, temperatures are up and Memorial Day weekend is practically a distant memory. Summer is here, and for everyone looking to get out of town, Southwest Airlines had just the thing: a 72-hour sale. With plane tickets at less than $100, turns out too many people wanted to get out of town—traffic from would-be travelers crashed Southwest’s website for two days, while searches about the sale and the site topped 500,000.

Tip of the Week
No time to watch the game this weekend? Find out what you missed—just ask the Google app, “Who won the Warriors game?” to get box scores, video highlights and more.

Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [Biden photo gallery] and [can you make fried rice in the microwave].


A changing playing field for women

Category: Google | Jun 5, 2015

There’s no question the world is wild about football. Last year, we watched in awe of the 2.1 billion search queries related to the World Cup. And regardless of whether it’s a tournament year, football (or soccer if you please) crushes the competition as the most-searched sport worldwide.

But here’s something that surprised us: the world searches three times more for girls’ soccer (and football) than for boys’ soccer—yet, only 1 percent of global searches for professional soccer are for women’s teams, while the other 99 percent are for men’s teams. That’s not for a lack of amazing performance on the field by women athletes—rather, it’s because women’s sports have historically been paid less attention than men’s. For instance, women’s football was banned by the English FA (and other European organizations) until the 1970s, and it didn’t become an Olympic sport until 1996.

We care deeply about inspiring the next generation of girls to become leaders—whether they’re in the technology field or on the soccer pitch. So we got to thinking about how Search can help people discover all the amazing stories of women’s soccer that have historically been overlooked. During the 2015 Women’s World Cup, we’ll share search trends, stats and more to help you get to know these athletes and their talents on the field.

Here’s how to follow along and cheer on the remarkable women of pro soccer:

Check out our homepage Doodle. Today’s Doodle celebrates the start of the Cup. Check back for more as the tournament progresses.

Follow the tournament in search. Search for [womens world cup 2015] on your Android phone to get brackets, game times and updated scores.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ to find out more about women’s soccer, its history, rising stars and the major trending moments during the tournament. Google Search can also help you discover more about women’s football, past and present. For instance, try asking the Google App “when was the first Women’s World Cup held?” The answer may surprise you.

That’s just the start—we’re also teaming up with official sponsor Adidas to share more from the players throughout the tournament. See you at the games!

Posted by Madeline Kane, Social Impact Team


Keeping your personal information private and safe—and putting you in control

Category: Google | Jun 1, 2015

We’ve all been there at some point or another…
You just lost your phone and want to wipe your personal information.
You attend an event, and you want to share your photos with some people (but not everyone).
You hesitate as you download another app that’s asking for a lot of information.

Everyday, we make choices that affect our privacy and security online. Most people, however, don’t feel they have the right level of control to make these important decisions. According to a recent Pew study, 93 percent of people think it’s important to control access to their personal information, and 90 percent care about the type of information that’s collected about them. But only 9 percent feel they have “a lot” of control over it. We want to change that.

Google builds simple, powerful privacy and security tools that keep your information safe and put you in control of it. At Google I/O, we announced that people will have more control over the information they provide to mobile apps in the M release, the next version of Android. Today, we’re rolling out two significant improvements to our privacy and security tools: a new hub for managing your Google settings called My Account, and a new site that answers important questions about privacy and security on Google.

Privacy and security controls, all in one place
Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin: if your information isn’t secure, it certainly can’t be private. My Account gives you quick access to the settings and tools that help you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide what information is used to make Google services work better for you. It also provides more context to help you understand your options and make the right choices for you.

Here are some of the things you can do with My Account:

  • Take the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, our simple, step-by-step guides through your most important privacy and security settings.
  • Manage the information that can be used from Search, Maps, YouTube and other products to enhance your experience on Google. For example, you can turn on and off settings such as Web and App Activity, which gets you more relevant, faster search results, or Location History, which enables Google Maps and Now to give you tips for a faster commute back home.
  • Use the Ads Settings tool to control ads based on your interests and the searches you’ve done.
  • Control which apps and sites are connected to your account.

We built My Account to be a resource for everyone, even if you don’t have a Google Account. Check out your controls at

Answering your questions about privacy and security
We listen to feedback from people around the world to better understand their concerns about privacy and security. In addition to My Account, we want to help people find answers to common questions on these topics, such as: “What data does Google collect? What does Google do with the data it collects? What tools do I have to control my Google experience?”

Our new site,, candidly answers these questions, and more. We also explain how we show relevant ads without selling your personal information, how encryption and spam filtering help keep your data safe, and how your information helps customize your experience on Google. Visit this site often to learn about new tools, features, and information that can help you make the choices that are right for you.

When you trust your personal information with us, you should expect powerful controls that keep it safe and private as well as useful answers to your questions. Today’s launches are just the latest in our ongoing efforts to protect you and your information on Google. There’s much more to come, and we look forward to your feedback.

Posted by Guemmy Kim, Product Manager, Account Controls and Settings