Making search more secure: Accessing search query data in Google Analytics

As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, particularly for signed in users, we believe that protecting these personalized search results is important. As part of that effort, today the Google Search team announced that SSL Search on will become the default experience for signed in users on (see the Official Google Blog post to learn more). Protecting user privacy is important to us, and we want to take this opportunity to explain what the Google Analytics team is doing to help you continue measuring your website effectively in light of these changes.

How will this change impact Google Analytics users?
When a signed in user visits your site from an organic Google search, all web analytics services, including Google Analytics, will continue to recognize the visit as Google “organic” search, but will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site. Keep in mind that the change will affect only a minority of your traffic. You will continue to see aggregate query data with no change, including visits from users who aren’t signed in and visits from Google “cpc”.

What is Google Analytics doing about it?
We are still measuring all SEO traffic. You will still be able to see your conversion rates, segmentations, and more.

To help you better identify the signed in user organic search visits, we created the token “(not provided)” within Organic Search Traffic Keyword reporting. You will continue to see referrals without any change; only the queries for signed in user visits will be affected. Note that “cpc” paid search data is not affected.

Our team continues to explore ways that we can surface relevant information, like search query data, to help you measure the effectiveness of your website and marketing efforts, and as always, we welcome any feedback or comments that you have. Thank you for continuing to help us improve Google Analytics.

A fresh start for Google presentations

A year and a half ago, we released completely new document, spreadsheet and drawing editors. Google Docs has been picking up speed ever since with more than 60 new features and millions of new users. Today we’re rounding out the suite by previewing a new version of presentations with faster collaboration and more features.

A collaborative approach
Presentations are made to be shared—whether it’s presenting your thesis to your professors or inspiring colleagues at a conference. And the best presentations are made together, collaborating with others to build a compelling story that captivates your audience. Creating presentations together is easy because you can:
  • See exactly what others are working on with colorful presence markers
  • Edit with your team members simultaneously from different locations
  • Use revision history to see who made changes or to revert to earlier versions
  • Say hello, start a conversation or share new ideas using built-in chat

More than 50 new features
In the new presentations, we’ve added many of your most requested features, including:
  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

What’s next
We’re gradually rolling out the new presentations. To get an early start, click on the gear icon in your document list, and select Document settings. Then, from the editing tab, check the box to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.” Learn more about getting started with the new presentation editor over at our Help Center.

Many of the new features were built using technologies that are only available in modern browsers. If you’re using an older browser you’ll be able to view, but not edit, the new presentations.

With today’s launch, the Google Docs suite is now built on a single, solid foundation. Now that the groundwork is in place, you can expect more useful and collaborative features, delivered faster than ever before.

Posted by: Steven Saviano, Software Engineer

An enhanced Google Docs experience on mobile tablets

Earlier this year, we introduced the Google Docs app for Android. Since then, many users have downloaded the app and enjoyed the benefits of being able to access, edit and share docs on the go.

Today’s update to the app makes Google Docs work better than ever on your tablet. With an entirely new design, we’ve customized the look to make the most of the larger screen space on tablets. The layout includes a three-panel view, which allows you to navigate through filters and collections, view your document list, and see document details, all at once.

Looking at the details panel on the right side, you can see a thumbnail to preview a document and its details before opening it. From the panel, you can see who can view or edit any doc.

New 3-panel view for improved browsing

Autocomplete makes sharing with others on the go even easier

These features are now available in 46 languages on tablet devices with Android 3.0+ (Honeycomb) and above.

You can download the app from the Android Market and let us know what you think in the comments or by posting on the forum. Learn more by visiting the help center.

Experience the new look of Docs and Sites

Starting today, we’re rolling out the new design for Google Docs and Sites to everyone.

We began rolling out these improvements in early August with the documents list and have since upgraded our entire collaboration suite. You may have noticed that our new look matches other recent Google visual updates, which aim to bring a consistent, improved experience across our products.

Your content is what’s important, and we aim to highlight it with this new design. You’ll see clean menus and toolbars, prominent action buttons, and colorful presence that pops when you’re editing with others.

To people who opted-in to try the new look — thank you. Based on your feedback, here are some of the improvements we made:
  • We made it clearer that your document is always saved, by showing “Saving...” right after you make a change and then “All changes saved” once it’s fully saved.

  • We added an icon to the Share button so you can tell if your document is shared at a glance.

  • If you’re looking for options that were previously under the Share button (e.g. “Email as attachment...”), you can now find these in the File menu.

  • By default, the documents list automatically fits a comfortable number of documents on your screen (large desktop monitors show more, smaller laptop screens show fewer). We also added density options to give you more control:
If you’re not quite ready for the new look, choose Help > Use the classic look (or in the gear menu, for some products). We’ll support the classic look for at least a few more weeks, but encourage you to use the new look, get settled in, and send us any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy this refreshed experience.

Posted by: Vance Vagell, User Interface Software Engineer

Visualize your data with charts in Google Sites

Ever since we launched the chart editor in Google spreadsheets, many of you have asked us to integrate charts into Google Sites as well. Today we are making this possible. Now you can display charts in your Sites by going to Insert Menu and choosing Charts in edit mode.

Once you select a spreadsheet, the editor picks existing charts from the spreadsheet to embed into a Site.

You can also create a chart by specifying the sheet and range and customize the chart by changing various properties such as color, axes, labels and more. Choose which chart type best expresses your data or let the chart editor recommend one for you.

You can decide to choose between two modes Live and Snapshot to show the data.
  • Live provides you with dynamic charts. Whenever the chart is loaded in the Site, the chart will display the most recent data in the spreadsheet. This is very useful in cases when the spreadsheet data is updated manually or using a script.

  • Snapshot means just that. It’s a snapshot at a point in time, so the chart will store and display the exact same data, regardless of whether you make changes to the underlying data sheet.

Changes made to charts in Sites are independent to the specific chart, so the same spreadsheet data can be applied across multiple charts.

To learn more about how to express your data more visually with Sites, visit the help center. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

This week in Docs: Import/export and paste special improvements

Yesterday, we announced the vertical merge feature in Google spreadsheets, and today we’re happy to share two new features that we hope will make analyzing data a little more efficient.

More import and export support in Google spreadsheets
Now you can convert most pivot tables between Microsoft Excel files and Google spreadsheets for powerful data analysis in whatever file format you prefer. Additionally, filters that help you better visualize and organize your data are now supported in our import and export conversion tools.

To import a pivot table you created in Microsoft Excel, click the File menu in Google spreadsheets, and select import, then select the file from the import options, and click the import button. If you’ve created a pivot table in Google spreadsheets, go to File in the spreadsheet, then click Download As, and choose Excel.

More paste special options in Google spreadsheets
Sometimes you need to copy data in cells that have lots of formatting and formulas, but you don’t always want to paste everything in the cell. For instance, you may want to copy and paste the data in a range of cells, but not the borders that you placed around the cells.

We’ve added four new paste special options including: paste all cell contents except borders, formulas only, data validation only, or conditional formatting only. You can find these new options in a list under “Paste Special” in the Edit menu of Google spreadsheets.

We hope these latest features make working with Google spreadsheets more efficient and productive. As always, let us know what you think in the forum or in the comments.

Merge cells vertically in Google spreadsheets

There are many times when you want to format your spreadsheets in a certain way to make your data easier to read and understand. Starting today, we’ve extended the merge functionality to let you create vertical merges across several rows of data.

In the spirit of the NFL season, let’s say you want to host a football tournament for your friends. To make it easier for them to cast their votes on the winning team, you organize the NFL teams by conference and division in a Google spreadsheet. Using vertical merges, you can assign headers to sets of rows. Simply select the set of cells you’d like to merge, then click on the down arrow next to the merge icon, and select Merge vertically.

In the NFL spreadsheet, you’ll see that some of the team names don’t fit on one line in the width of the cells of Column C.

To improve the formatting, select the cells across all the rows of teams in the AFC (rows 2-17) and 2 columns (C and D) and click Merge horizontally. You’ll have 16 merged cells that span 2 columns for better formatting.

After applying vertical merges to all of the conference and division headers and horizontal merges across the team names in each conference, you’re ready to share with your friends for the tournament!

To undo a merge action, select a merged cell and click Unmerge in the drop-down menu.

We hope you enjoy customizing the formatting of your spreadsheets with this feature. Let us know what you think in the comments.

+1 button in Google Sites

We have been thrilled with the response to the launch of the +1 button on websites all across the web, but we also heard that you’d like a simple way to add the +1 button to your own Google Sites. Adding the +1 button to your site will allow your visitors to recommend it to their friends and contacts, which helps more people discover it via their personalized search results.

Starting today, you can add the +1 button to any individual page by choosing +1 Button from the Insert menu, or you can add it to your site’s sidebar and have it appear on every page instantly by editing your Site Layout under Manage Site.

Try it out and let us know what you think in the forum.

Improved Accessibility in Google Docs and Sites

Today we announced some of the updates we’ve released recently to make Google’s applications more accessible to the blind community. For Google Docs and Sites, we’re pleased to announce new keyboard shortcuts and better screen reader support for our blind users.

Screen reader support in Google Docs and Sites
To help blind users read, edit and navigate content, Google Docs (including documents list, documents and spreadsheets) and Sites now support two screen readers: JAWS and ChromeVox. Here are a few examples of how screen readers work in Google Docs and Sites:
  • In documents, you’ll hear feedback when you format text or insert tables, lists or comments in your document.
  • In spreadsheets, you’ll hear the cell’s location, contents and comments when moving between cells.
  • In both documents and spreadsheets, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate to areas outside the main content area, such as the menu bar, chat pane and dialog boxes.
  • In your documents list, you’ll hear feedback when you upload or download a file, organize collections or move between files in your documents list.
  • In Sites, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate and manage your sites, create and edit pages, and navigate through menus and dialog boxes.
For a complete list of screen reader-supported features and instructions for how to use them, visit the Docs and Sites help centers.

New keyboard shortcuts
We’ve also added new keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to use Google Docs and Sites. In your documents list, for example, you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the files in the list, and you can open the selected document by hitting Enter. For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, please refer to the help center articles for spreadsheets, documents, documents list and Sites.

With these new accessibility features, we hope to make it easier for everyone to use Google Docs and Sites. Please use this form to share your feedback directly with the accessibility team so we can continue to improve our products.

This week in Docs: Format painter, Google Fusion Tables, and drag & drop images

This week in Docs, we’re introducing three new tools that put the fun in functional.

Format painter in Google documents

First, we’ve added a format painter to help you copy formatting within Google documents. The new format painter allows you to copy the style of your text, including font, size, color and other formatting options and apply it somewhere else in your document. To use the format painter, select the text for the formatting you want to copy, press the paintbrush button in your toolbar, and then select the text where you want to apply that formatting.

If you double-click on the format painter icon, you’ll enter a mode that lets you select multiple sections of text so you can apply the same formatting to each section.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts for format painting. To copy the style of your selected text, press Ctrl+Option+C for Mac or Ctrl+Alt+C for Windows. To apply any copied styles to whatever text you have selected, press Ctrl+Option+V for Mac or Ctrl+Alt+V for Windows.

Google Fusion Tables in documents list

With this week’s update, we’re also integrating Google Fusion Tables into your documents list. Google Fusion Tables is a data management web application that makes it easy to gather, visualize and collaborate on data online. Now you’ll be able to store and share your Fusion Tables with the rest of the files in your documents list.

Recently, people have used Google Fusion Tables to:

Go to Create new > Table from your documents list menu to get started visualizing or sharing tables of data in .csv, .xls or .kml files.

We're working on making Google Fusion Tables available to Google Apps customers and will let you know as soon as they are. Take a tour to learn more about Google Fusion Tables.

Drag & drop images in Google drawings

We also made it easier to add images from your desktop to Google drawings. If you’re using the latest version of Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, you can now drag an image from your desktop and drop it directly in the drawing canvas.

Give these tools a try and let us know what you think in the comments.

Updated 9/13 to add shortcuts for Windows