Google advertises Nexus 7 on home page

August 28, 2012

An ad for Google’s Nexus 7 landed one of the sweetest spots in all of Internet real estate Tuesday — Google’s home page.

The ad for the seven-inch tablet reads:“The playground is open. The new $199 tablet from Google.” It appears below the company’s search box at Google.com, accompanied by a picture of the top of the tablet, which bounces once before settling back into place.

Google has added one-line advertisements for its own products to its iconic white search page before. And, of course, it’s known for its Google Doodles, which highlight interesting anniversaries or events. But the company famously tries to keep the page as clean as possible.

It’s right there in Google’s statement of its core corporate values: “Our homepage interface is clear and simple, and pages load instantly. Placement in search results is never sold to anyone, and advertising is not only clearly marked as such, it offers relevant content and is not distracting.”

The appearance of the ad raised quite the commotion Tuesday, with several bloggers saying that it shows how badly Google wants to make sure that its smaller tablet makes a big dent in the market.

“Google hasn’t said,” Forbes contributor Robert Hof wrote, “but it seems likely the ad push is looking ahead to Apple’s expected October release of the seven- to eight-inch iPad Mini, as well as to the expected announcement of Amazon.com’s new Kindle Fire next week.”

Over at CNET, Chris Matyszczyk said that the ad shows “Google’s just another business, searching for another dime.”

The ad follows another change to Google’s home page made last week: the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button now displays a variety of other sentences on mouse-over, such as “I’m Feeling Artistic” or “I’m Feeling Trendy.” Clicking on the new phrases will send you to other Google products such as the Google Art Project or the company’s page on trending searches.

Related stories:

Nook Tablet, Nook Color get a price cut

Microsoft tablet partners announced amid rumors of $199 Surface

Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ coming in October, report says

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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