According to reports from companies selling adverts through Google, the search giant is beta-testing a system that combines location data pulled from smartphones with internet searches, in an attempt to prove that adverts really can drive people to visit shops and consume products.
The system, reported in Digiday, apparently uses Google app location data to track when people visit shops. This is then combined with Google web searches and advert serving stats to somehow "prove" that advertising works. The act of someone buying a thing after seeing an ad is known as a conversion, with Google now able to show that a drone who saw an advert then obediently went to a shop to buy it, as instructed by The Collective.
We suspect there may be a small amount of sighing and anger about Google once again doing something not entirely free from evil in order to raise its ad rates by a few per cent, before everyone calms down and carries on staring at their telephones in sweet oblivion, waiting for the next orders to come through. [Digiday via Telegraph]