A week after reporting its second-quarter earnings, Google is facing a probe by 38 U.S. States. This comes on top of other potential lawsuits across the globe for its collection of Wi-Fi data. Separately, it is also being investigated for its AdWords policy by French competition authorities and by the EU for wider antitrust issues. And yet, it's more than ever 'business as usual' at the Mountain View-based company as it keeps unveiling new features and initiatives that are making good on its dented image.
Business As Usual: New Image Search Ads
Google has been repetitively attracting attention on new releases and enhanced features over the past few weeks. After its acquisition of Metaweb and its cursor-driven search relevancy patent granting, Google has just revealed its new Image Search Ads as part of its overall Google Images revamp. The new Image Search Ads feature allows to display photos alongside a traditional ad. It is part of Google Images' arsenal and, as such, will take advantage of its billion daily pageviews, the company said. "This allows you to reach hundreds of million of users who are searching on Google on a daily basis," TechCrunch quoted director of search products, Ben Ling, as saying. Marketers should expect to fork out more money as the service is a premium to traditional pure text ads. Ling also said that the company is looking into rolling the ads out to other Search products.
Making Good: Clean Tech
It's a completely different ball game and still, it contributes to Google's reputation management: the company said it will now power its data centers with wind power. Back in May, the Mountain View-based firm had invested $38.8 million in two NextEra wind farms in North Dakota. Yesterday, it agreed to purchase wind power from the same company for the next 20 years to power its data centers, in a move to "reduce its carbon footprint," it said in a blog post. The "Green Power Purchase Agreement" will be effective next week, July 30th ., said Urs Hoelzle, Google's senior vice president of operations.
How convincing is all this?