December 27, 2006

Google fails to find own software

by Brian Turner

Google

Google is showing ads on its homepage for people to download the Google Toolbar – even if they have already installed it.

The ads are being shown to users surfing with Internet Explorer, which is the only major internet browser compatible with Google’s toolbar.

However, Google is failing to run simple checks on users to see if they already have the toolbar installed.

The result is that the company is left targeting a product at users who already have it.

It’s a curious marketing faux pas – the Google Toolbar, with all features enabled, allows Google to record which websites users are visiting.

It has been suspected for some time that Google may then process this data to help improve it’s other products and services.

The blanket display of the toolbar advert suggests that Google are more aggressively trying to get users to download the toolbar, in order to collect more extensive behavioural data.

However, it remains a curiousity that a company famous for trying to target the right information at the right people, not least via search and Adwords – is unable to target users on the basis of whether they are actually using Google products or not.

Google Toolbar

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