The Department of Justice is preparing to conduct a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into Google's business practices, multiple sources have said to news agencies. The scope of the sweep looks to include the company's primary search and online advertising operations. The speculation comes in the wake of a series of penalties and further awaiting trials in other parts of the world on Google's anti-competitive behavior.
Google AdMob is basically the company's equivalent to AdSense, but for mobile apps. Somewhat ironically, the mobile-focused service didn't have an app to call its own. Now Google's finally delivering AdMob app for Android devices, though it’s currently in beta, and the early access seats on the Play Store are full.
If you have a Windows PC, you're probably familiar with Microsoft's aggressive marketing tactics when it comes to its browser. The company automatically adds Edge to your taskbar after some updates, and it even sends you popups when you still won't use its Internet Explorer successor. It looks like Google is considering to introduce a similarly aggravating "feature" to Chrome for Android, as 9to5Google found out. It's working on push notifications that encourage you to use its browser when you haven't opened it in a while.
Regardless of what side of any particular issue you're on, political ads kind of suck — and on top of that, it's not even clear how effective they are. The brass at Facebook is acknowledging that fact, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a piece published recently in USA Today that users will soon be able to opt out of seeing them entirely.
YouTube is one of the most popular destinations on the web, and like so many sites out there, funds itself by displaying ads to viewers. While you could easily banish them by paying for YouTube Premium (or going all rogue with an ad-blocker), no workaround is quite as weirdly simple as this method discovered by — who else but a Redditor.
Given how much many of us depend on Google's services, its in the company's interests to ensure its platforms don't serve us bad ads that could be out to fool us. With such a sprawling portfolio of products, that's no mean feat, and in 2019 that meant a total of 2.7 billion ads blocked and removed by various teams at Google. If the scale of that is hard to fathom, it works out as 5,000 ads per minute.
Google is an integral part of the modern world with products like search, Gmail, Drive, Android, and Stadia. Okay, maybe not so much that last one. The point is, Google makes a lot of things, and most of them are available free of charge. That's because Google's real business is selling ads. It has long offered tools to manage the ads you see, and it's adding a new one called identity verification. Soon, you'll be able to see information about the advertiser that's showing you an ad in just a few clicks.
Google joined the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group intended to make online advertising less annoying, back in 2017. The news made headlines because Google also revealed that it would potentially block any advertising in Chrome that violated the group's ad guidelines. While there never seemed to be any high-profile takedowns, and there are still countless sites that violate the existing standards, the group has now created new rules for video ads.
There's a very delicate balance when it comes to targeted advertising and violating user privacy — some folks even think it isn't possible to have both at all — but Google would like to establish a new set of standards for browsers that can allow the former without too much concern about the latter. The company is calling this initiative "Privacy Sandbox," and the company hopes it might help prevent privacy-violating workarounds like so-called "fingerprinting."
Do you like seeing massive ads that take up half of your TV screen? No? Too bad, because you'll soon be forced to watch the company's signature Masthead ads on your television's YouTube app. This is bound to be a huge moneymaker for our pals at Google.