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Google Ads Appear For Firefox, IE7

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Earlier today, an advertisement for Firefox appeared on Google’s homepage. While that isn’t really too remarkable, the ad featured an “optimized for Google” tagline, which is interesting. To complicate matters, an ad for an “optimized for Google” version of IE7 has appeared among certain Google search results, as well.

News of the Firefox development appeared on the Google Operating System blog. “This time Google is more pushy,” wrote Ionut Alex. Chitu – the banner ad appeared to users who were browsing with IE. “Google wants to convert Internet Explorer users to Firefox, but also targets Firefox users that don’t have Firefox 2.0.”

That reasoning works in light of Google’s traditional inclination towards Firefox, but the IE7 promotion confuses matters.

Philipp Lenssen documented the appearance of the IE7 ad. “When you search US-Google for IE7 . . . you may see a Google-sponsored advertisement for ‘Free IE7 Download’ on top, the snippet reading ‘Google recommends upgrading to the new, safer Internet Explorer 7.’”

Lenssen wasn’t too concerned about the unusual ad, however. “Nothing fishy going on here,” he wrote, “but I think someone at Google management is very concerned people might download a Microsoft product that doesn’t have any Google in it!”

It’s also worth noting that Google has now “caught up” with Yahoo, which has offered its own optimized version of IE7 for a while. Of course, as the Cybernet site documented, “What’s pretty funny is that . . . the Google and Yahoo IE pages . . . are obviously some sort of generic presentation that Microsoft gives to these distributors . . . . That goes to show how much effort the two companies really put into promoting their own ‘specialized’ versions of Internet Explorer 7.”

Still, it’s interesting to see Google promoting the Microsoft product in addition to its longtime pal Firefox. Perhaps the time for playing favorites is over.

UPDATE: Well, it seems as if Google might have been copycatting Yahoo in more than one way. A reader contacted WebProNews to say, “So you know, Yahoo! designed its original IE7 landing page, it’s not based on a template from Microsoft. If you look closely at the Google landing page, you’ll notice that it includes the same graphic of the Yahoo! toolbar, with the red Y! blurred out.” The reader was also kind enough to link to a post by Jeremy Zawodny that documented the situation.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Google Ads Appear For Firefox, IE7
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