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Posts tagged Google

Why well targeted online advertising benefits you

Image © Daniel Afrahim

Firstly, Google doesn’t care about you. I’m sorry, but they really don’t care that you just looked at My Little Pony, watched a cat video on YouTube and then read an article on “10 ways to know if you can satisfy a woman”. Google deals with vast amounts of data about billions of people worldwide. All they care about is trying to show you an ad to something you might like to buy.

It seems most people neglect the fact that much of this “personal” information which companies use, mostly purely to help advertisers show more relevant ads. Like it or not this is vital to everyone involved, and here’s why…

In the online advertising chain there are usually 4 main parties:

Company with product/service they want to sell  ->  Advertising Agency -> Website Owner -> You

In an ideal situation, all of these people – Yes, you included – benefit from GOOD and well targeted online advertising.

Companies want to spend their advertising budget in the most effective way possible, they want to know that their ad $$ are going to showing the people who might actually want their products their ads. There really is no point showing Men an advert for Tampons for example.

Because of this companies want the advertising agencies they use to target their ads at their products target market as effectively as possible, so that their money is spent showing their ads to people who are more likely to click & buy.

It’s then the advertising agency, like Google AdWords/Adsense job to try to show that ad to people who might actually buy it.

They do this through a variety of means, in the case of Google this includes things like what you search for and perhaps even the sites you look at. This helps them build up an idea of what kind of person you are and the types of things you like.

For example if you were just searching for something like “Nokia Lumia 800” and then clicked on and read our review on the Nokia Lumia 800 it would make sense for Google to then show you an advert to buy it.

If you read our review and thought, yes this does indeed sound like a fantastic phone I’ll buy it! Click the advert and buy the phone from the retailer you have then experienced useful relevant advertising.

In this process you have also helped the website owner as they can then earn money from the advertising agency for displaying the advert to you and is able to make some money which will likely help to pay for the expensive servers, domains and content producers required to run the site.

Without this ad revenue many site owners simply couldn’t afford to provide their content/sites/services for free to the end-user.

At the end of the day this is one of the small trade-offs of using the internet, and in reality the better it works the less you see pointless adverts and the more you see things you actually want to buy and this can only be a good thing.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts, so please do share them in the comments.

Live London Underground updates on Google Maps

Google have now incorporated live service data for the London Underground from TFL (Transport for London) into Google Maps.

If you’re like me and plan out your journey using Google Maps this is a great tool not only including live tube time data, which now also accounts for line closures and delays  as well as being able to suggest alternate routes for commuters.

The new integration will prove useful not only to Londoners making their way across the capital but also the millions which will be flooding London this summer for the Olympics, with travelling in a foreign country additional information and service data at the finger tips of tourists will hopefully be of benefit and help those tech savvy enough navigate the chaos of London transport and ease pressure on the already straining London Underground.

It’s great seeing better use of live data like this being integrated into real-world systems like Google Maps enabling the everyday user to make real use of public data.

Google Multitask Mode – Get more done!

Google have launched a great new tool called “Multitask Mode” which allows you to be more productive online with multiple mice so you can actively perform numerous tasks at once.

Yes, we know this is an April fools – But fun isn’t it? 😉

G.CO, the Official Short URL for Google

Google announced yesterday that it has now acquired, which it will now be using as a new private short URL for Google products and services. This means what when you see short URLs which start you can be safe in the knowledge that it leads to an official Google page – so no need to worry! Google has previously used its public URL shortener, which the company launched in 2009 to help shrink long URLs and to get a foothold in the URL shortening market. has proved extremely popular URL shortener and is now widely considered a major competitor along with and others. Google did stress that the shortener has no effect on their shortener and it appears they are going to keep the shortener private for their own use to provide a guaranteed trust factor to the shorturls. Read the initial announcement from Google on the Google Blog

Tom’s Weekly Rant: Why the internet needs to be governed.


Society relies upon a system of governing in order to maintain control and peace. Notably, this is something the internet lacks and instead relies upon physical governing. Needless to say, this creates problems where physical legislation simply doesn’t apply to virtual issues. (Superinjunctions anyone?)

So it’s all good and well saying that users of the internet need to be held to account regardless of anonymity, but who actually wants to be regulated on a network that is designed to promote freedom of speech? The foundations of the internet were of course based upon ‘net neutrality’ and the theory that everything online is equal and cannot be owned (YEAH RIGHT MURDOCH!), and is hypothetically collectively owned. Clearly, this no longer applies thanks to the like of News Corp whom formally own MySpace, Times Online, the Sun, and the Washington Post, not to mention Fox; all with their own independent websites. Now, that’s fine that they own these various groups, just as long as they’re controlled effectively. Last week for instance Fox’s Twitter was hacked resulting in the ‘R.I.P Barack Obama’ tweet, with no one being held to blame. If someone had hijacked CBS’s studios and said the same thing, you can bet the CIA would be round in 10 (Kettle on in 15). Just yesterday, Skype and Facebook announced a joint video chat venture which saw instantaneous sharing of information between the two companies at YOUR expense. In reality, this is totally illegal, under no circumstance could the likes of Microsoft sell your data to Intel if the two started manufacturing Windows PC’s together, without your consent.

But, who would implement internet law, when the internet is controlled by said groups? Government. Well, at least partially the government. Now I say partially, as the government has close ties to the likes of media moguls like Murdoch. In fact, the first person British PM Cameron met with upon becoming Prime Minister was Murdoch. Suspicious? Not really, it’s always going to be an elitist system. Importantly, when I say government; I mean the likes of world governing bodies such as the UN or EU (UN is more favourable). It would be relatively easy to enter it into the Declaration of Human Rights, considering that May saw the introduction of internet access as a Human right.

Okay, so we’ve established why and who, but how? How’s the most tricky based purely upon the anonymous nature of the internet, which in turn means that the likes of average Joe can pretend to be Paris Hilton on Twitter, claiming that they’ve been killed in a car crash with 50 Cent. There effectively needs to be 1 main category to protect users online,  importantly the removal of identity protection. As the internet continues to become an everyday part of society, surely the veil should be removed? Yes. Usage of actual names, in a similar fashion to Facebook; not for instance Drop Dead Darcy on Xbox LIVE (Yes, that is my tag). Now, the reason I put the anonymity issue as number 1 is purely because it’s the foundation of everything. For instance, anonymity results in the protection of individual users from online persecution. Because people can hide their identities, they have an ability to free roam, which results in piracy, paedophilia and other illegal actions.

Now, you might be wondering why I’ve only included this almighty one pillar of law, when the likes of say the US Constitution has 27 separate pillars, so to speak. The internet was never meant to be governed; Bill Gates once said had they known about the security threat the internet poses, they would never have promoted it in the way they did. As such, I don’t think it’s moral to place limitations on the internet based upon this. It’s a infinite index of everything, and to an extent should not be aggressively policed, unless you’re China. That being said, there of course is a huge concern in terms of online grooming, and general illegal activities, which can easily be thwarted if the removal of avatars was introduced.

After all, you don’t visit Whetherspoons, booking a table under the name OrkRaid99; do you?

Google adds +1 to search

google 1It seems to be a select roll out at the moment but Google seemed to have added their +1 button to search results allowing you to plus the results for all your friends to see, if any of your friends use +1 which I doubt. The only time you ever see this is if you search the same thing as your friends and the could actually be bothered to +1 it. So pointless and I’m sure it will be gone soon but oh well we thought we would let you know anyway.

Google set to release new photo sharing service “Photovine”?

PhotovineGoogle have recently applied for a trademark in the US for “Photovine”.

I think it’s safe to say that this will be some sort of service involving pictures and has been officially identified as “Communication services, namely, transmission of visual images and data by telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks”. So this is obviously a new way of sharing photos over the internet and judging by a further identifications as “Non-downloadable computer software” and “On-line social networking services” it is probably going to involve sharing photos with your friends and your Google account.

So it seems Google is now trying to take some of the market involving Flickr, after all we all know Picasa isn’t exactly a great photo sharing tool so maybe this will see Google enter yet another part of the social networking, lets just hope this works better than buzz.

You can view the original trademark here(United States Patent and Trademark Office)