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Cross-posted from the Google Shopping Blog.

Are you an Elsa, Olaf or Anna? Judging by the top trending searches for Halloween costumes on Google, you’re going to see a lot of each on the streets this October 31. The characters from Disney’s animated blockbuster make up three of the top five trending costumes this year.

While last year’s list featured popular choices from TV (Breaking Bad) and the viral video “What Does The Fox Say,” movie-themed costumes are dominating this year. Maleficent and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes round out the top five. Costumes from Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and The Avengers take places 6 through 8, while video-game Assassin's Creed and pet costume were the only non-movie themed costumes trend to make the Top 10.


With more than half of their traffic coming from Google, online retailer BuyCostumes.com anticipated the surge in interest around these top costumes and tailored their Google Search advertising to ensure that they’re connecting with consumers as they’re looking for this season’s popular costumes.

“We watch the trends with a keen eye, especially around this time of year,” said Jennifer Dominiquini, chief marketing officer for BuySeasons, Inc., parent company to BuyCostumes.com. “It is important to us to leverage the trends and ensure those searching for them are finding our brand in their search.”

Trick or Doggy Treat? 
It’s no surprise that canine companions frequently join the family as they take to the streets, going door to door, but more and more people are looking to incorporate their dogs into the Halloween spirit. Searches for dog costumes are trending nearly 15% higher than last year, and one pet even costume managed to crack the Top Ten trending costumes. At number 9 on this is ‘spider dog’, no doubt inspired by the viral video sensation ‘Mutant Giant Spider Dog’, which has generated more than 99 million views on YouTube since the beginning of September. BuyCostumes.com has been seeing a surge in interest around pet costumes this season, with people also looking for ways to incorpoate their animal friends into themed costumes for the whole family.

Halloween, The DIY Way 
Halloween is one of those holidays filled with the do-it-yourself spirit, particularly if the DIY costume and general Halloween trends on Google Search are any indication:



But nowhere is the the DIY Halloween spirit more alive than on YouTube. Last year, nearly one out of three Halloween costume searches on YouTube were for DIY costumes. Searches for DIY costumes on YouTube grew more than 200% in 2013 compared to the previous year.

One DIY area on YouTube that sees a significant seasonal spike every year for Halloween is in makeup. Searches for makeup on YouTube hits a high each October as millions of people search for Halloween inspiration and tips.

Whether you’re looking to show off your inner Elsa, are searching for the best outfit for Fido, or are looking to wow your friends with your DIY prowess, there are tricks and treats available for everyone this Halloween.

Posted by Danielle Bowers, Data & Trends Manager

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Ah, fall. It’s a time for apple cider, crunchy colored leaves and cozy sweaters (unless you’re here in California). It’s also the start of a busy time of year for most people— with kids to drop off at school, Halloween costumes to sew and holiday travels to plan. This year, Google can make your season a little less hectic. A few new updates to the Google app on your phone make it easier to plan anything—whether it’s an after-work happy hour or a romantic weekend to get a break from it all.

Let’s say, optimistically, that you’re planning a last-minute getaway weekend (hello, leaf-peeping!), but all you’ve got so far is a hotel reservation. Don’t despair—with the Google app in your pocket, the rest is easy.

Step 1—Find a spot for dinner. Just say, “Ok Google, show me restaurants near my hotel”—et voilà, you’ll get a selection to choose from. (You don’t even need to remember your hotel name, as long as your hotel reservation is saved in your Gmail, so Google has something to work with.) Is your date dessert crazy? Quickly make sure the restaurant has a good selection by just asking “Ok Google, show me the menu for the first one”.


Step 2—Make a reservation. When you’ve found the restaurant you like, you can just say: “Ok Google, make a reservation there for 7 p.m.” If the restaurant is on OpenTable, you’ll see a reservations screen pop up with the details already filled out - no need waste those precious moments on hold with a restaurant.

Step 3—Once the bill is paid and you’ve set your napkin down, find the perfect place for that after-dinner Manhattan. Just say “Ok Google, show me some bars near here” then follow up with a simple “give me directions to the first one.” You’ll be good to go.

Step 4—Don’t fret the small stuff. The Google app can help you with the rest of your trip, too. Get reminders on where to pick up your rental car or (if you’re really getting away) when it’s time to leave to catch your flight. (It’ll even give you alternate options should your flight be delayed or canceled.) You might see your hotel reservation pop up as you walk out of the airport, get a notification about your dinner reservation—and even fun spots to explore and take photos.

Nothing ruins a great weekend like, well, having to plan it. So let Google help with the planning, so you can kick back and enjoy.

Posted by Pravir Gupta, Senior Engineer, Conversational Search

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For many people out there, speaking just one language isn’t enough. More than half the world’s population speaks two or more languages—and now Google can keep up. With the Google Search app on Android, you can speak in multiple languages and Google will understand you no matter which one you choose. So you can fire off a search for nearby restaurants in English, then dictate a text to your friend in French.

You can use voice search in more than 50 languages and dialects already, but previously you had to change your settings if you wanted to switch languages. Now, you can just make a small, one-time change to your settings, and then you can switch back and forth easily. Google will automatically detect which language you’re using. (For now, you need to stick to one language per sentence though.) You can select up to five languages total—enough to satisfy all but the most advanced polyglots. Whether you get a spoken response from Google depends on the language you use and your query (and you’ll see more languages and features added over time).


Give it a try on your Android device—make sure you have the latest Google Search App (version 3.6) from the Play Store. Then, open Google Settings from your device’s apps menu, tap Search & Now -> Voice -> Languages, and select your languages.

Posted by David Eustis, Software Engineer, Android

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Cross-posted on the Translate Blog.

Google Translate helps billions of people communicate and learn new languages, but it could always use a little help. Luckily, there are a lot of multi-lingual people around the world who have offered to pitch in.  We’ve just launched a new Translate Community where language enthusiasts can help us improve translation quality for the 80 languages we support, as well as help us in launching new languages.
In the new community, you'll find options to help with a variety of things, including generating new translations and rating existing ones. Over time, you’ll find more ways to contribute, as well as get more visibility into the impact of your contributions and the activity across the community. We will also localize Community pages to support your preferred display language. If you have feedback and ideas about improving and growing our community, we'd love to hear it so please don't hesitate to submit it via "Send feedback" link on the bottom of the page.

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Even if you don’t have time to dedicate towards Translate Community, we want to make it easier for you to make translation corrections when you find a problem. We’ve recently made it possible for you to suggest an entirely new translation directly in Google Translate.

When you spot a translation that you’d like to edit, click the "Improve this translation" pencil icon and click "Contribute" to submit your suggestion to us. We plan to incorporate your corrections and over time learn your language a little better.  

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So help us fine-tune and launch languages you care about: join our community efforts and make translations more accurate when you use Google Translate!

Posted by Sveta Kelman, Program Manager, Google Translate

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Yesterday, Germany won their fourth world championship, and, over the course of the last month, the world watched them do it—in Brazil, in bars and living rooms around the world, on their phones and laptops and tablets. This World Cup was the most digital, most connected, and most searched global event we've seen to date. There were more than 2.1 billion tournament-related searches on Google, many of which we shared on our trends hub.

Looking at the trends from each match, you’ll see some topics that you’d expect to catch the world’s attention, such as top players and highly-anticipated matches. But who would have guessed that there were 10x more searches in the U.S. for the World Cup than for the NBA Playoffs? Or that Clint Dempsey, American soccer star who also has a rap single, had 2x more search interest than Jay-Z? Or that after Ángel di María's divine goal against Switzerland, he netted 4x more global searches than his fellow countryman, Pope Francis?



Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa was the most searched goalie in the tournament, but Tim Howard’s heroics could hardly be forgotten. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer not only snagged third place in search, but took home the 2014 Golden Glove award and a World Cup championship to boot.



The Germany vs. Brazil semifinal was the most searched match throughout the tournament, leaving many people around the world asking, “What is the biggest win in World Cup history?” Meanwhile, some countries were ready to move on to the next opportunity: after the third place game, Brazilians searched more for “World Cup 2018” than for the final game between Argentina and Germany.



No World Cup would be complete without a few surprises—and the creative people of the web were ready to weigh in. Uruguay's Luis Suarez was the most searched player meme, and at the time of the Uruguay-Italy game, there were 20x more searches globally for “Suarez Bite” than for snake, spider, tick, fly, dog and mosquito bites combined.


And if a search Dream Team was created, you’d see these 11 players strutting their stuff on the field. While German star Mario Götze didn’t make this list, he was a favorite on search. Even before his goal won it all in the final, he attracted 4x more search attention than Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who presented Germany with the championship trophy.

Beyond the impressive stats on the field, we’ve got some numbers of our own to share:
Our team watched 107+ hours of football (we didn’t even need a water break!) and spent 250+ hours bringing you regular insights from our first ever World Cup trends hub. We hope you enjoyed the excitement of the tournament as much as we did, and for more trends, visit google.com/worldcup or check out our Google+ album.

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Whether you’re getting the latest news about the World Cup or trying to find showtimes for 22 Jump Street, many of you kick off your search with a simple “Ok Google” from the Google Search app or the Google home screen widget. Now voice search is going to be even easier to get to.

Starting today, you can say “Ok Google” on your Android device whenever the screen is on or your device is charging. If you’re reading your email, browsing the web or using any app that doesn’t actively use the microphone, saying “Ok Google” will get you the answers you need and let you take actions like set an alarm or call a friend.

So the next time you’re in the Google Maps app looking at places to visit for your upcoming trip, just say “Ok Google, what is the weather in Dallas?” and Google will display the weather forecast right on your screen. Once you’ve decided to pack shorts this time around, you can tap the back button to finish what you were doing in the Maps app. So feel free to say “Ok Google” anytime and anywhere—and Google is there to help.


Give it a try on your Android device running KitKat -- make sure you have the updated Google Search app (version 3.5). Then find the “Google Settings” icon and go to:

Google Settings -> Search & Now -> Voice -> “Ok Google” Detection and check “From any screen”.

To respond to your voice better, you’ll be prompted to turn on Audio History and then say “Ok Google” 3 times. This way, Google will do a better job recognizing your voice and helping out when you ask.


Finally, if you’d like to be able to search even when your device is locked, just enable the “From lock screen” option.

“Ok Google” from any screen will be rolling out on most Android devices running KitKat over the next week, and will initially be available in the US for English speakers.

Check out this page to learn more about what you can do with voice search.

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Sometimes the best answer is on a website, and sometimes it's in an app. That’s why since last December, when you search with Google on your Android device, you may see results from your apps that let you jump right to relevant content in those apps.

We added more apps with this capability in April and May, and this week we’ve just enabled our biggest batch yet, including apps like ABC News, Airbnb, AutoTrader, BuzzFeed, CBS, Cookpad, Crackle, Daily Mail Online, Dailymotion, The Economic Times, Fox News, francetv info, Hot Pepper Gourmet, Houzz, KASKUS, Kompas.com, musiXmatch, NDTV, Orbitz, RetailMeNot Coupons, Shazam, Strava, Subito.it, The Guardian, The Washington Post, ViewRanger GPS, Viki, and many more. We’re also announcing today that any Android developer can now participate in app indexing, which means that even more of your favorite apps will soon become search-friendly and can organically appear in search results—just like websites.

In addition to seeing more app content in Google search results, you may also notice that the apps now appear differently: app result title links take you directly to the content inside the app. This makes it even easier to access apps from Google. You can tell if a result will take you to an app by looking at the green text just below it. If the green text is the name of an app you've installed and has an app icon next to it, then you’ll know the result will link to an app. If the green text is a website URL, then you know the result will link to a webpage. (Remember that you have to sign in to Search in order to see these app results.)



Sometimes you may prefer to go to a website instead of an app, even though you have the app installed. To do this, just tap on the link to the website below the result snippet.

Finally, if you’re looking for new apps to install, you’ll now be able to find more apps through Google. We started clustering app results together in the U.S. last December, and now we’ve rolled this feature out globally. For example, if you’re searching for photo editors in Japanese [写真編集], you’ll see results for apps like the following:


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