Google on Wednesday updated its Google Search / Google Now app for Android with new voice commands that will supposedly let users take pictures and record videos even faster. Instead of looking for the camera app, users will be able to say one of the two new commands, including “Ok Google, take a photo,” and “Ok Google, take a video,” to quickly launch the appropriate camera mode. More →
Google has been caught again breaking privacy laws, this time in Canada where the search giant targeted Internet users with health-related ads, which is illegal in the country. The Canadian Office of the Privacy Commissioner began investigating Google when it learned that a man who used Google Search to look for information related to medical devices that treat sleep apnea was subsequently targeted by behavioral advertising on websites that were not related to his medical condition. More →
What do Google (GOOG) searches and video games sales have in common? More than we thought. According to a report called “Understanding the Modern Gamer,” there is a lot of insight on game sales that can be gleaned from video game-related searches. For example, using tracked search data from 2010 and 2011, the white paper reveals that “if a game accrues 250,000 clicks in the 10 months around launch, it will likely sell between 2 and 4 million units in the first four months after release.” The report claims it can predict 84% of game sale just from using Google searches.
According to legal documents for its upcoming hearing with Oracle, between 2008 and 2011 Android generated less than $550 million in revenue for Google. Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, which use Google Maps and search, generated more than four times as much revenue for the Mountain View-based company during the same time frame, The Guardian reported on Thursday. Roughly 100 million Android devices have been activated since the end of 2011, with an average of 850,000 devices activated each day, suggesting that Google pulls in slightly more than $10 per Android handset each year. Google CEO Larry Page said during an earnings call in October that the company was “seeing a huge positive revenue impact from mobile, which has grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months to a run rate of over $2.5 billion.” Page’s comments indicate that a large sum of Google’s mobile revenue comes from services outside of its Android ecosystem. Since the release of the iPhone, Google has had a deal with Apple to offer its Maps and search services on the popular handset, which may contribute largely to the company’s $2.5 billion in mobile revenue. More →
Mozilla announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Google in which Google Search will remain the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years. “Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come,” said Google’s senior vice president of search, Alan Eustace. While terms of the agreement remain confidential, Mozilla reported in October that its partnership with Google helped the company achieve a large portion of the $123 million in revenue in reported last year, CNET said. More →
Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission in regards to Google’s search operations in the European Union. “Our filing today focuses on a pattern of actions that Google has taken to entrench its dominance in markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of the European consumers,” said Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith. “Google has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” Smith added that Google has a 95% grip on the search market in Europe and that the company has aimed to stop any other firms from creating a competitive search alternative. Smith also argued that Google, since acquiring YouTube in 2006, has restricted other search engines from properly accessing YouTube videos for search results. More →
Google has announced an update to its Google Mobile App for iOS that adds several new features and gives the application a shorter name. Henceforth to be known simply as Google Search, the new application adds Google Apps shortcuts, gesture support, and a new toolbar, that make hunting down that nugget of Internet gold even easier from your iPhone or iPod touch. The application is available for free in the App Store immediately. There is a video demoing some the new features after the break. More →
Google on Thursday announced the availability of a new feature that allows users to block specific domains from appearing in their search results. Google has taken several measures lately in an effort to improve the quality of its search results, which can often become devalued by “content farms” and other sites that make it their business to game Google by churning out low-quality search friendly content. Beyond changes that Google has made to its algorithms, users can now take it upon themselves to weed out the junk that Google misses. When users click on a search result and then return to Google, they will now see an option to block domain that was clicked. The result is a customized search experience that will continue to improve over time as users block more domains. Google is currently in the process of rolling out the new feature, which should be available to all users soon. More →