Google powers on with updates and innovations across its smorgasbord of businesses, with tweaks to its ad network and getting ready for Windows 8. It has also added a Trusted Stores logo for Web merchants, but the company is still dogged by long-running legal wrangles over its Street View feature.
Adding Ads Together
Google has finally gotten around to integrating AdMob network inventory, for its mobile ad network, with the AdWords platform. This will enable targeted mobile app campaigns through the AdWords system, letting advertisers focus on specific types of smartphone (iPhone or high-end Androids for high class products, or BlackBerry for business executives, for example).
Advertisers can also target their adverts by mobile app category. Therefore, their ads could appear in suitable business, game or medical apps, getting closer to a particluar target market. Once, the service is up and running, it will be able to provide a breakdown of devices reach, to give the advertisers a closer look at the success of campaigns and other analytics.
Google claims that the AdMob network reaches 350 million mobile devices and runs on some 300,000 mobile apps. With mobile and tablet use rocketing ever-higher these numbers will only rise as mobile becomes the go-to format for advertisers in future.
On (Or Off) the Map
You might still be getting over the excitement of the new Google Maps app, but it seems the company may finally be getting over the trouble with Street View, with legal battles that has been going back years finally being resolved.
The latest to settle their issues with Street View is the normally placid Swiss government, which has ordered modifications based on privacy concerns. Reported in the New York Times, this could be among the last of the cases, in Europe anyway, against the company.
It allows Google to keep on using Maps in Switzerland, but will place restrictions on what can be shown, with respect to whatever is over citizen's garden walls, hedges and the like. Key is that the government accepted a 99% blurring of faces and car registration plates, not the 100% that the country's information regulator was seeking.
Your Trusted Store?
Online shopping is pretty much automatic for the Web generation, and a happy experience for many. However, there are still lots of users who feel concerned about security and getting their purchses safely when shopping online. Google has announced its Trusted Stores program to help calm those user's nerves.
Available for free to all U.S. online merchants, the badge scheme has been tested for some months now. When shopping online, the user sees the Google Trusted Store badge, which provides a grading for that seller's shipping and service feedback.
With many stores already on some kind of approval scheme, be it part of eBay, Amazon or tied to a credit card brand, there isn't much new in this, but everything that helps build consumer confidence is a positive move.
Chrome Goes Metro
Anyone worrying about being forced to use Internet Explorer on Windows 8 Metro, need not worry as both Google's Chrome and rival Firefox are both headed to the platform. On the Chromium blog, they say an early version will appear in the next update, which will run with Windows 8's basic functions, but will be developed in the months up to launch to be a smoother, smarter browser. Remember, this will only work on Windows 8, Windows RT is very Microsoft's domain and it won't allow other browsers to run on that OS, yet.