Two months ago, we announced our plans to roll out a new design for the Google bar. Our goal was to create a beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google. Based on your feedback, we realized there were some elements of the new bar that we could improve, and with that in mind, we’re introducing an updated version that we believe will provide a better experience.
The new design retains many of the feature changes we made in November that proved popular, including a unified search box and Google+ sharing and notifications across Google. The biggest change is that we’ve replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.
We’ll be rolling out this new version of the Google bar over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we invite you to read about the new design in our Help Center, and send us your feedback.
Six months ago we started rolling out a new look and feel for Search, News, Maps, Translate, Gmail and a bunch of other products. Our goal was to create a beautifully simple and intuitive user experience across Google.
We’re now ready for the next stage of our redesign—a new Google bar that will enable you to navigate quickly between our services, as well as share the right stuff with the right people easily on Google+.
Instead of the horizontal black bar at the top of the page, you’ll now find links to your services in a new drop-down Google menu nested under the Google logo. We’ll show you a list of links and you can access additional services by hovering over the “More” link at the bottom of the list. Click on what you want, and you’re off.
In life we connect with all kinds of people, places and things. There’s friends and family, of course, but there’s also the sports teams we root for, the coffee shops we’re loyal to, and the TV shows we can’t stop watching (to name a few).
So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.
People + pages, better together
Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception. After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too.
For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.
For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you’ll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.
A number of pages are already available (see below), but any organization will soon be able to join the community at plus.google.com/pages/create.
Direct Connect from Google search
People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they’re looking for businesses and brands. Today’s launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we’re rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.
Maybe you’re watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town. In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy—even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you’re interested in (like +Angry Birds). We’ll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles.
Direct Connect works for a limited number of pages today (like +Google, +Pepsi, and +Toyota), but many more are coming. In the meantime, organizations can learn more about Direct Connect in our Help Center.
With Google+, we strive to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. Today’s initial launch of Google+ Pages brings us a little bit closer, but we’ve still got lots of improvements planned, and miles to go before we sleep. So stay tuned.
Posted by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering
Our advertising system is designed to show the right ad to the right person at the right time. Because ads should be just as useful as any other information on the web, we try to make them as relevant as possible for you. Over the coming weeks, we’re making improvements to provide greater transparency and choice regarding the ads you see on Google search and Gmail. Soon, you’ll be able to learn more about these ads by clicking the “Why these ads” link next to ads on Google search results and Gmail.
“Why these ads” gives you transparency
The perfect search ad answers your query and gets you what you’re looking for quickly. When you click the “Why these ads” link, you’ll find information about why you’re seeing a particular ad and how it’s personalized for you. If you’re searching for a local restaurant while you’re on vacation in Hawaii, you would see ads for restaurants that are nearby, rather than restaurants in your hometown. Or if you’re researching flat-panel televisions, and performing a series of similar searches in quick succession, you could see ads based on the query that you just entered, or based on a few recent and related queries within a single browser session. By considering the language you’re using, your geographic location and various other indications, we’re able to show you the best ads possible. We’ve been showing ads in this way for years as a way to help you quickly find what you’re looking for.
Ads Preferences Manager gives you choice
You can also go to the Ads Preferences Manager to make changes that improve the ads that you’re seeing, including blocking specific advertisers you’re not interested in or turning off ads personalization entirely (of course, you can change your mind at any time). Here’s a video from our lead software engineer, Diane Tang, with more background:
We regularly experiment with new ways to improve our ads to make them more relevant and to help marketers grow their businesses. When we run these experiments, we’ll continue to explain why the ads are showing when you click the “Why these ads” link.
As we’ve done with display ads, we’re committed to giving you notice and control over the ads that you see. We’re always working to deliver the perfect ad, and we know that it’s important to have a choice about the kinds of ads that are shown to you. If you don’t wish to see personalized ads, the choice is yours.