Google+ Launches “Pages” for Organizations

For all those organizations wanting to launch their business presence on Google+, your wait is almost over. Google today announced Pages for Google+, their answer to Facebook for Business. The new feature is only available to select organizations, but soon it will be open to all. From Google’s Pages announcement:

So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.

There is a list of 20 example Pages—like The Muppets, Pepsi and Save the Children—available now on the announcement page. They also have a video demoing the new feature, which is embedded below for your convenience.

Google Lawyer Discusses Patent System

The SF Gate—the online home of the San Francisco Chronicle—interviewed Tim Porter, Google’s patent counsel, on his perspective of the current patent system. Written in Q&A style, the article tackles topics including the patent system, Android, Apple, Microsoft and whether he thinks software patents make sense.

The article really focuses on Microsoft more than any other competitor. When pressed about Microsoft’s recent tactic to pressure Android partners into signing lucrative license agreements, Tim responded:

Unfortunately, the way it works is you don’t know what patents cover until courts declare that in litigation. What that means is people have to make decisions about whether to fight or whether to reach agreements.

This is a tactic that Microsoft has used in the past, with Linux, for example. When their products stop succeeding in the marketplace, when they get marginalized, as is happening now with Android, they use the large patent portfolio they’ve built up to get revenue from the success of other companies’ products.

It’s an interesting read on what Google’s legal team is currently facing, and their perspective on today’s patent system.

Google Claims Siri a Threat to Their Core Business

While attempting to convince the U.S. Senate antitrust committee that Google is not a monopoly, Google chairman Eric Schmidt stated that Apple’s Siri could pose a serious threat to the company’s core business. From AppleInsider:

Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and former chief executive, admitted to the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that Apple’s new Siri personal assistant technology is a “significant development” in search and could pose a threat to his company’s core business.

This should come as no surprise. The U.S. government is investigating whether Google classifies as a monopoly, so it makes sense for Google to defend itself with whatever they have available. As it stands, Siri is only available on a single device, so Google citing the fledgling technology comes across as an act of desperation to get the government off their back.

If Apple decides to implement Siri on more devices, and continues to pull results from non-Google sources like Yelp and Wolfram|Alpha, then Google may have a valid reason to be concerned. Considering that 2/3 of all mobile searches on Google come from iOS devices, having Siri pull the results from alternative sources could hit Google hard.

Google Introduces AdSense Transparency Tools

On Monday, Google announced a new set of tools to help users determine and control which ads they see while using Google search or Gmail. From their announcement:

Ever been searching Google for something and you saw an ad displayed and thought, “How the hell is that relevant?” Now with a single click you can see why Google paired that ad with you and block others from annoying sources.

While I feel this is a step in the right direction, I still recommend logging out of Google services before using their search tool and clearing your cookies religiously. This will help ensure your search results are less biased towards previous activities and searches you have performed on Google.

Their announcement also included a video giving an overview of the new tools, and how to use them. I have embedded the video below for your convenience.

Google Wallet Marketed in Questionable Way

Google Wallet seems like a cool idea, making it easier to pay for your purchases by simply swiping your phone at the counter. Considering more people are sporting smart phones, you would think this new technology would be welcomed with open arms. Problem is, it appears Google is experiencing issues convincing people to use the technology. From The Next Web:

From now until January, Google will be visiting stores in the five key cities where Google Wallet is live – New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It will set-up half-day events to demo Google Wallet and actually help customers pay for goods with the service. Participants will be motivated to take part too, as they’ll receive $10 towards their purchase when they pay using one of Samsung’s Nexus S demo phones.


The series of events follow hot on the heels of another promo initiative Google held a few weeks back, as we reported when employees decked out in Google Wallet gear headed into stores such as Duane Reade, Toyrs R Us and Macy’s, approached customers with Android phones and pitch the Google Wallet experience whilst offering to pay for their purchases in full.

Does anyone else feel like Google is approaching this wrong? It could be that its rollout is limited to one phone and one carrier, but giving out money sounds desperate. If your only incentive to use something is because you’re being paid, why would you continue to use it when the money runs out?

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