Google makes 500 changes to its search algorithm yearly. In the past two weeks, the Mountain View, Calif. company made updates to cross-language information retrieval, page titles, rich snippets for applications, date-restricted queries and queries that contain non-Latin characters, and more.
Google even retired a signal in image search that no longer appears to have a significant impact on queries. And it sent a software update to Sony TVs and Logitech boxes equipped with Internet connectivity. The updated Google TV interface provides access to the building blocks that allow third-party developers to build out applications.
A variety of app developers and companies quickly began to take advantage of the changes. Companies like Vivid Entertainment, which apparently believes there's a market for porn on Internet-connected TVs. After all, Apple made an exception for channels related to Playboy. The V-Chip embedded in set-top boxes should provide parental controls.
The adult movie studio, Vivid, plans to launch a TV app designed to make sexually explicit content available through Google TV, but search marketers shouldn't expect content to become entwined. The channel will stream content in high definition to subscribers on the television set and computer screens that have subscribed to content on its Web site at no additional charge.
Some companies simply get caught up in the Google hoopla. LG Electronics already offers a Smart TV, but a rumor has the company partnering with Google to launch a new television. The two could make the announcement at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January.
But rather than partnering to provide Internet-connected televisions such as the ones offered by LG, the link to the rumor could become a partnership allowing Google to tap LG's Smart TV ad-serving platform. An embedded software development kit from YuMe allows developers to build applications that integrate ads.
Earlier this month, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said it would become the first video advertiser for the Internet-connected TVs. The campaign will launch this quarter. The ads will appear connected with searches and apps in the Internet-TV part of the platform.
LG offers a search engine on its Smart TVs through property technology. Matt Durgin, director of North American content partnerships for LG Electronics, told MediaPost the company built a search engine for its Smart TVs that allows consumers to search across the Web and through content and applications.
Others have gone down a similar partner path with Google, but choose to retreat. Logitech, which lost $100 million on the Revue set-top Google TV boxes and sales in the EMEA region, does not plan to introduce another box when inventory runs dry. Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca called last year's launch a mistake.