Posted:
Every day, the Internet helps connect shoppers around the world with millions of online stores. However, many shoppers are reluctant to buy from stores they don’t know. To help people shop online with confidence, we’re introducing Google Trusted Stores and AdWords seller ratings in Australia.

If you’re a store owner, read on to learn more about the program.

Boosting shopper confidence on your website and on Google 
Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program that helps shoppers discover online retailers that consistently offer a great shopping experience. Once certified, your store is recognised with a badge that highlights that your business is highly rated by your customers, offers reliable shipping, and delivers great customer service. Google Trusted Stores also increases the confidence of your customers by offering a free purchase protection for shoppers who opt in after making a purchase at your store. The protection will cover eligible orders up to AU$1,000.

We’ve been testing the program with selected retailers since the end of last year and we have simplified the implementation for retailers. And, as part of the program, Google now collects feedback from verified customers who opt in to take a survey about their shopping experience at your store.

This customer feedback contributes to your seller rating, which represents aggregated consumer reviews from multiple sources, including independent data providers and our own Google surveys. Your seller rating shows on your Trusted Stores badge, with your ads on Google Shopping and on your AdWords text ads.

Like other ad extensions and formats, seller ratings can improve your ad performance, including clickthrough rate and Ad Rank, which can help your search ads appear higher on the search results page. Today, we’re starting to roll out seller ratings to show automatically with AdWords text ads for eligible advertisers that have a rating of 3.5 or higher. Note that all businesses, not just retailers, can show seller ratings on their search ads.

i18n_flyover and badge_AU.fw (1).png


Example of Google Trusted Stores badge on website and the information shoppers see when they click on it 

unnamed (1).png

Example of the badge and seller ratings on Google Shopping 


Text-Ad_AU (2).png

Example of seller ratings on AdWords text ads 

Easy and free to get started 
The Google Trusted Stores Program and seller ratings are free and easy to set up, making them ideal for any merchant, large or small, that is interested in boosting shopper confidence. SurfStitch, THE ICONIC, and Styletread are some of the stores that already benefit from being Google Trusted Stores. If you’re interested in participating in the Google Trusted Stores Program, apply here. To learn more about seller ratings, including eligibility criteria and how to manage when they appear with your ads, please visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Michaela Feller, Product Manager, Google Shopping and Luke Swartz, Product Manager, AdWords

Posted:
When I was a tech entrepreneur striving to build successful businesses, I would rely on data to tell me how products were being used and how they could better meet people’s needs. The insights I gleaned were invaluable in refining and improving features, which ultimately helped my business grow.

Fast forward to now, and around me at Google every day I see data being used to help solve problems, do things better, or invent completely new things. We call this ‘data-driven innovation’.

In our lives as consumers, we make use of data-driven innovation every day. When we save ourselves hassle by using an app to see if our bus is running on time, or use Xero personal accounting to figure out where all our money went, we’re getting insights that would have been near-impossible to compute if we were left to our own devices. By gathering information from multiple sources (like buses) and using computing power to analyze them in real-time, we can unlock huge benefits.

We asked PwC to look at the role data plays in making Australia’s economy and society more productive and more efficient. The resulting report, “Deciding with data: how data-driven innovation is fuelling growth”, found that:

  • In 2013, data-driven innovation added $67 billion in new value to the Australian economy, or 4.4 percent of GDP - making it as big as the retail sector. 
  • Australia has substantial room to improve, and left an estimated $48 billion on the table in potential value from data-driven innovation 
  • Seizing this opportunity will require concerted action, especially by government which accounts for one-third of Australia’s economy 

The report also identifies that the health industry offers the biggest opportunity for Australia to boost data-driven innovation. The sector is not only growing in size and globally competitive, but Australia has the assets, such as good technology and talent, to win.

The MindSpot Clinic is a shining example of this. It’s a free online mental health clinic that has proven clinical success in using data to assess and treat patients. Three million Australians suffer from mental health problems each year, yet only one in five seek help. A third of MindSpot’s patients have never sought help before, and MindSpot’s smart use of data is improving the productivity of their therapists, and their ability to deliver concrete outcomes for patients. For example, MindSpot uses a detailed questionnaire with new patients which helps to more accurately assess their situation. Then over the course of treatment, MindSpot gathers data about how patients are feeling, which they use to provide appropriate care as and when it’s needed, rather than on a set schedule.

Working smarter with data to boost productivity and efficiency is a huge opportunity for Australia. This opportunity will require us to achieve a balance between using data for the benefit of society while ensuring that it is managed carefully and respectfully. If we can encourage all Australians to think about how data can help at their home, work, and in society, we will all be better off. That’s something we can count on.

Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director, Google Australia

Posted:
This week marks National Child Protection Week, which has been run annually for the last 20 years by NAPCAN. We thought it was a good time to remind people of the many tools available to keep young people and families safer when using the web. The Internet has brought us many opportunities, especially around education and entertainment, but with those opportunities comes the need for an ongoing conversation about how it is best used.

Earlier this year we launched the Google Safety Centre, and shared the following tips for helping kids navigate the web smartly and safely. For example:

1. SafeSearch in Google Search. If you want to hide explicit images, search results and videos, turn on SafeSearch, which keeps inappropriate results that you might not want popping up on the family computer out of your Google Search results.

2. YouTube SafetyMode. If you’d prefer not to see mature or age-restricted content on YouTube, scroll down to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the button that says “Safety”. You can also log in with a YouTube account and lock SafetyMode as your default setting on each one of your computer browsers.

3. Manage apps available to your family. You can decide which Google Play apps are appropriate for your family by looking at the ratings: everyone, low maturity, medium maturity or high maturity. You can control the types of apps that can be downloaded to your device. In the Play Store settings, select “User Controls”, then tap on “Content filtering”.

Google also supports a number of local nonprofits and partners who invest heavily in helping to create a safer environment for our kids online.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Carly Ryan Foundation provide schools across Australia with the necessary material and frameworks to prevent cyberbullying and help them to be esmart. 

The Inspire foundation has created Reachout.com, an Internet platform for kids to turn to with difficult questions. Immediate and personal help can be obtained from two direct helplines, Kids Helpline and Childwise’ Starting point.

We also fund research conducted by the Young and Well cooperative research center which explores the role of technology in young people’s lives.

Finally, this Friday is Bravehearts White Balloon Day which is about raising awareness and funds for Australian children affected by sexual assault. Share #whiteballoonday and let us know #whoRUprotecing on social media to support the cause.

We would like to thank our great partners for their determined efforts to keep our kids safe. Let’s all play our part during National Child Protection Week.

Posted by Ishtar Vij, Head of Public Policy, Google Australia

Posted:


Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we’ve always believed that it should be meaningful—not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you’re in.

Ten years ago, we started bringing Google’s consumer technology—along with the features, controls and services businesses need—to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google’s infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we’ve invested in what matters to our customers and partners—security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.



Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend—it’s a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google’s products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.

But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional “enterprise” business—we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier—Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more—work gets better. And that’s what we’re working on—the best of Google, now for work.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

Posted:
Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise blog.

When we introduced Classroom back in May, we asked teachers to give it a try. The response was exciting — more than 100,000 teachers from more than 45 countries signed up for a preview. Today, we’re starting to open Classroom to all Google Apps for Education users, helping teachers spend more time teaching and less time shuffling papers.

One of the first schools to use Classroom was Fontbonne Hall Academy in New York. Sister Rosemarie DeLoro, who has been teaching for more than 60 years, had never used computers with her students before Classroom was introduced at her school. Classroom made it easy for her to assign digital worksheets to students in her Italian class and provide direct feedback to help them learn. In fact, after just a few weeks, Sister Rosemarie was showing the other teachers how to use it. “You can’t stay in teaching and keep going to the old ways,” she said.

Teachers and students have been instrumental in helping us build Classroom. For example, we heard during the preview that teachers don’t want to wait until an assignment is turned in to collaborate with students. Now, with Classroom, teachers can view and comment on students’ work to help them along the way. We’ve also heard that teachers want a simple place to post information and materials about their classes, so we added an “About” page for each course, as well.

When teachers create assignments, they can attach files from Google Drive — including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Keynote, Google Slides, Excel, Google Sheets, and many others — then choose to automatically make a copy for each student. 
Teachers can review assignments from Classroom and provide feedback and grades to students all in one place. 

Classroom is available in 42 languages (including right-to-left ones, such as Hebrew, Arabic and Persian). It also works well on mobile devices and most popular screen readers. We’ll be rolling out to more users every day, so if you go to classroom.google.com with your Apps for Education account and don’t have access yet, please check back soon.

Hopefully Classroom will help you spend a little less time at the photocopier and a little more time doing what you love—teaching.

Posted by Zach Yeskel, Classroom Product Manager (and former High School Math Teacher) 

Posted:
Melbourne small business owners sharing tips at our Google Small Business Breakfast

Australia’s small businesses keep the country running. Baristas keep our bodies pumping with coffee, booksellers keep our ideas flowing, and sparkies keep the lights on.

It’s a tough gig running a small business, and small business owners can do with all the help they can get to grow. One place every small business owner can get a boost is online.

The internet is like a double shot of espresso for small business. It means small businesses can set up sticks in the world’s biggest shopping mall, for free (that’s the internet, by the way…). It helps new customers find them, and helps old friends write great reviews.

Yesterday, we got some small business owners together over breakfast in Melbourne and heard from some of them who are doing a great job online. For instance, Leon Mugavin, owner of the Leaf Store, in Elwood, said he thought of his online presence as being a direct extension of his shopfront. Karin Voelske, of Yarn & Co, in Fitzroy, said that the web helped create a sense of community among her customers. Chris Crouch of Happy Valley store in Collingwood, and Emma Moore of Clip 'N Climb in Richmond also had some great tips.

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Bruce Billson MP, and the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kate Carnell, joined us and reminded us of research from Deloitte Access Economics that shows that small businesses that are making the most of the web are growing twice as fast as those that aren't.  That’s great news for the ¼ million small Aussie businesses that Google and our partners will support this year.

We also took the opportunity to get an update from Deloitte Access Economics on the barriers and opportunities facing small business, and found that digital experts are tipping the mobile web as the next big opportunity for small businesses to reach customers.

But you don’t need to be a digital expert to make the internet work for your small business. Google has recently launched a new and easy way for small businesses to get online. And it’s free. To find out more, have a look at Google My Business.

Posted:
Most Aussies would say that a collaborative workplace is the sort of place they want to work. Most employers want this too, because collaboration can help employees share information, come up with ideas and reduce waste.

But what exactly is collaboration, and just how valuable is it? We decided to ask Deloitte Access Economics to calculate the value of collaboration to the Australian economy.

They worked the numbers and the results amazed us. Their report, The Collaborative Economy, shows that companies that actively encourage collaboration do better — by a lot. Companies that prioritised collaboration are:

  • Five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment 
  • Twice as likely to be profitable 
  • Twice as likely to outgrow competitors 

But collaboration is about more than the bottom line — it’s about happier, more efficient employees.

  • Employees who collaborate are ten times more likely to be satisfied with their job 
  • Over a third of respondents said collaboration helps them work faster 
  • And three quarters of respondents said that collaboration improves the quality of work they produce 

What’s the current value to Australia of all this collaboration? $46 billion. That’s more than the agricultural sector is worth. And that’s just today. If companies made the most of opportunities for employees to collaborate, we could add a further $9.3 billion to Australia’s economy.

But today, half of Australian businesses are leaving it to chance, with no dedicated collaboration strategy. There are plenty of things Aussie businesses can do to work more collaboratively — starting with the technology they use.

This first phase of research of The Collaborative Economy is available here. And to find out how Google can help your company collaborate more, visit the Google Enterprise website.