Tips to help you shop safely online

6/28/11 | 8:00:00 AM


(Cross-posted on the Google Public Policy Blog)

Ten years ago, the vast majority of Internet users said they wouldn't use the Internet for any financial transactions. Today, more than 70 percent of Internet users access their credit card account via the Internet, and worldwide e-commerce spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2013. And it makes sense why – the Internet provides not only vast product and service information, but also the opportunity to buy those goods right away.

For consumers and businesses to continue to benefit from online commerce, it’s important to keep it safe and secure. That’s why today we’ve posted a new Shopping Safety Tips page. Just as when you’re shopping offline, it’s vital to be a careful and informed buyer on the web.

We work hard to prevent fraud across our services and keep consumers safe online, including recent improvements to keep counterfeits out of ads. However, no individual or company can completely stop these activities on their own. Your help in reporting catch abuse and fraud are critical, and this page also provides links to where you can help us by reporting violations of our policies.

19 companies create innovative products with Google technologies

6/27/11 | 9:15:00 AM

(Cross-posted on the Google Code Blog)

Every year at Google I/O, companies arrive excited to demo their coolest new products in the Developer Sandbox. In the past, these demos were only accessible to I/O attendees. This year, we wanted to help spread the love and knowledge from these innovative companies to developers who were unable to attend the conference and to attendees who want to relive the excitement or check out companies they missed.

In addition to the "Who’s at Google I/O" guest posts you may have seen from some of our developers on this blog, we’ve created video case studies from 19 of the companies that demoed their products in this year’s I/O Sandbox. These videos highlight innovations that span the entire range of Google product areas, from Android to Google Apps and Google Web Toolkit to Google TV.

Did you know:

  • that CardinalCommerce is working with Google to enable alternative payments on the web and mobile devices?
  • that you can see what your town looked like in the 1800’s using HistoryPin’s photo layer on Google Maps?
  • that you can now play Angry Birds in Chrome? (OK, you probably knew that!)

Here are a few videos to get you started:

Watch the full playlist of videos here. As always, you can visit Google Code to learn about Google technologies you can use to build your own amazing new product.

Google eBooks Affiliate program - Open for business

6/16/11 | 11:50:00 AM


(Cross-posted on the Inside Google Books Blog)

Retailers, bloggers, book publishers and other website owners in the U.S. can now become Google eBooks affiliates. Affiliates can link to Google eBooks on their sites for any of the hundreds of thousands of titles available for sale, earning a commission for referring sales to the Google eBookstore.

We launched the program as a limited beta in December with our first affiliate, Goodreads. Goodreads is a social reading site, who after becoming an affiliate was able to refer their avid book reading fans to the Google eBookstore. When Goodreads users buy a Google eBook, they’re gaining immediate access to their book and supporting Goodreads in the process.

Starting today, we invite all interested site owners to apply to join the expanded Google eBooks affiliate program. Participating sites gain new revenue streams by giving their book-reading audiences an easy way to buy Google eBooks.

Google eBooks affiliates become part of the Google Affiliate Network (GAN). After joining GAN, you can subscribe to the Google eBooks product feed to get links to the full set of available Google eBooks. If you want to query a more targeted set of ebooks you can use the new Google Books APIs.

For more information and to sign up to be a Google eBooks affiliate, please visit our partner Help Center here.

Google Offers beta launches in Portland, Oregon

6/15/11 | 9:20:00 AM


(Cross-posted on the Google Places and Google Small Business blogs)

Nothing beats a good deal, and during these couple weeks we saw that first hand. We teamed up with Floyd’s Coffee Shop in Portland to launch the Google Offers beta, a new product that brings Portlanders daily deals from local businesses.

On launch day, we asked Portlanders to sign up for our first deal: $3 for $10 worth of drinks and treats at Floyd’s, a local favorite. And you guys wasted no time! Starting at 7:30 a.m. the following morning, customers rolled in to Floyd’s to redeem and even scored Google Offers t-shirts.


Since Floyd's, we've also had Offers at the Uptown Billiards Club, Karam Lebanese Cuisine and with Le Bistro Montage, Ground Kontrol and Mississippi Studios and Bar Bar. And there are plenty more awesome deals on the way — in Portland and soon in other cities. Subscribe to our e-mails at to learn more about new Portland deals, and to find out when we’re coming to your city. If you’re a business owner who wants to set up an offer, just send us a note.

We’ve had an exciting first couple weeks, and we look forward to many more! Stay tuned to us on Twitter for more news and deals.

Posted by Kim Cianci, Account Manager

From acquisition to in-app payments in less than one year

6/6/11 | 1:50:00 PM


(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

This is the latest post in the Official Google Blog series profiling entrepreneurial Googlers working on products across the company and around the world. In this post, you’ll read why one team decided to sell their company to Google, and how they went from acquisition to product launch in less than a year. - Ed.

The decision to sell your company is one of the hardest an entrepreneur can make, and as the CEO of Jambool, I thought long and hard about Google’s offer to acquire us when they came calling in August 2010. Ultimately, we decided to join Google for two reasons: one, we shared the goal of offering consumers and merchants unified online payment solutions, and two, we realized that Google was serious about helping us integrate our technology into their digital tools by providing us with infrastructure and other support. Less than a year later, we’ve already taken a major step to help Google deliver on this vision with Google In-App Payments, which we announced last month at Google I/O. In-App Payments enable web application developers to receive payments for digital and virtual goods without the user ever leaving the application.

Me on stage at Google I/O introducing Google In-App Payments

When we first joined, we expected to spend a lot of time ramping up, meeting people and learning Google’s technology. In reality, our shared vision for the product enabled us to quickly partner with teams across the company to build out our product at scale. As a startup, you spend the majority of your time building teams from scratch to focus on functions like product, sales, marketing, operations and legal. At Jambool, I’d divide my time across operations, raising funds and meeting with outside developers. But at Google, we were able to combine our efforts with teams already in place who could manage those areas while we focused on the core product.

We set an ambitious goal of launching in-app payments nine months later at Google I/O, which motivated us to work quickly. We worked with Google’s established teams—especially Chrome, Android and Google Checkout—to build a simple API and intuitive user interface. During the last few weeks before Google I/O—when we were still working around the clock just to finish the product—we were invited to announce our launch as part of the day two keynote. That gave us even more drive to finish on time. And, thanks to the Chrome team, we found partners like Angry Birds and, which really demonstrated the product’s usefulness and got developers excited about our broader vision of seamless digital payments.

As a startup, we never imagined we’d stand on a stage like the one at I/O and instantly reach consumers, businesses and developers around the world. In the first 24 hours after the announcement, thousands of developers signed up to use the API. This is something we wouldn’t have been able to do so quickly on our own, and it’s a testament to the big things a startup can accomplish by joining Google. We’re already looking forward to what the next year brings as developers around the world start to build great businesses on our platform.

If you’re interested in integrating your apps into Google’s In-App Payments API, we invite you to sign up and send us feedback.

Introducing +1 on Google Product Search

6/3/11 | 1:00:00 PM

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This summer, we’ll be celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday by taking her on an African safari, fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams. She’ll need a new camera for the trip, and since I know very little about cameras, the first person I’ll turn to is my friend Andrew, an avid photographer. I trust that he knows his stuff and will make a good recommendation.

When it comes to making important purchases, friends are often the first people we reach out to for advice. That’s why, starting today, we’re showing the +1 button on Google Product Search -- so you can +1 to make product recommendations and see which products your friends and contacts have recommended. By adding +1 to Google Product Search, we hope to make it even easier to make informed purchase decisions.

Here’s a snapshot of what I might see when I search for ‘digital cameras’ on Google Product Search. As you can see, Andrew has already +1’d the Canon EOS Rebel.

If I click on the camera, I’ll end up on the product page, where I can see the total number of people who have recommended this particular camera.

Users in the US with their language set to English will automatically begin seeing +1 on Google Product Search soon. To view recommendations from your friends and contacts in Google Product Search, make sure you’re signed into your Google Account.

While this camera is a bit more than I was planning to spend, my mom’s worth it and we’ll enjoy her photos for years to come. If she likes it as much as I think she will, you’ll know by our +1’s.

Google I/O Commerce Recap

6/2/11 | 10:00:00 AM

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With Google I/O 2011 still fresh in our minds, we want to thank everyone who joined us for the Commerce track sessions at the Moscone Center in San Francisco or watched the sessions online from around the world.

This was the first time that Google I/O had an entire track devoted to Commerce and we are very pleased by the enthusiastic response from the developer community. The presentations covered a wide range of monetization topics and e-commerce tools from Google Checkout and a developer preview of In-App Payments for the web to Shopping APIs for content and search, eBooks and solutions for publishers who choose to charge.

All the sessions were recorded and are now available to watch on YouTube. If you weren't able to attend I/O, missed one of these great sessions or want to review a session again, please follow the links below for videos and session content:
And of course, we have also had several exciting new Google Commerce product announcements since I/O:
We’re just getting started with many of these Commerce developer products, so stay tuned and keep following us @GoogCommerceDev for more news and announcements.