Uncle Google Now is watching you !

Publié le 1 avril 2014
5 min

The right information at the right time: this is the commercial motto of Google Now. What does he know about us? What features are related to the travel industry?

Our loyal readers have noticed how often we evoke Google in this blog. We invited other bloggers, Ludovic Renoult and Jonathan Vidor, to deal with organic SEO on Google and pay-per-click strategies (Google Adwords).

After attending “Voyage en multimedia” in Saint-Raphaël (South East of France), Ludovic Dublanchet told us about Google French CEO Jean-Marc Tasseto’s conference. In February, Ludovic wrote another article about Google, focusing on Google Glass. By the way, the project is named Glass, instead of Glasses: we assume that it will go much further than simple spectacles… I bet future screens will be made from the same Google Glass technology, such as windscreens equipped with automatic pilot… You think I am crazy? Guess which company is planning to propose cars that need no human drivers within 5 years?

Thanks to Facebook Connect and Twitter Sign In, users can now register or log in a website or an app without having to create an account. Google has now entered this digital passport war when it launched Google Sign-in, its own identification service. Google has an advantage over its competitor: its sign-in is directly linked to Android platform. Google’s future laptop Chromebook Pixel is already named “MacBook Air Killer”. Several announcements from Google fuel the web craziest rumors such as the creation of Google Stores (real stores, like Apple Stores…). Google denied this rumor. But Google cannot stop: the company is about to build a whole airplane terminal, dedicated to its own planes so as to make the trips of its Executives easier.

In short, we cannot escape from Google and its numerous services and I don’t want to scare you with Google’s growing place in the tourism sector. But still, it is real. Who haven’t, during one whole day, received a Gmail alert on his mobile, prepared a ride to the afternoon meeting on Google Maps, seen the current buzz video on Youtube, clicked on an Adwords link? The list of Google’s services we use everyday could be much longer. And that is without mentioning Google’s supremacy in the world of Search Engines: each month, more than 100 billion searches are made on Google, that is almost 3,3 billion each day, or 40 000 each second! (Source: Google-August 2012). I am sure that you have a Google tab opened on you computer right now.

Google’s Knowledge Graph smartly gathers several contents dealing with one similar subject. With this tool, Google gets closer to universal knowledge, and already handles the explosion of big data. Yes, Google is here, is watching you, is learning to know you, is spying on your web behavior, is keeping your keywords in its memory, the websites you have been on, is analyzing the contents you publish on your Google+… The Company is not even ashamed of it: you can check how much Google knows about you on Google Dashboard.

So yes, you are very upset because you are being spied on. Your private life and your data are not secret at all. You are worried because you don’t know what Google exactly knows about you, and you don’t want Google to know your deepest secrets…

Yet, there is one famous marketing phrase: if you don’t see or pay for a service, that’s because you are the product. And up to now, Google has not done worse than Facebook and other similar companies… Who said the Web was free? Users’ data are the only real wealth of the web: they are the main stakes of future e-marketing. We could almost say that this situation is a win-win partnership: you provide your data and your personal needs and tastes, and in exchange, you will see an add of a matching product. The time of instant, personalized and localized ads has come, whereas mass advertisement is dying. 

Mobile fits exactly in this phenomenon: it is instantaneous, personalized and localized. The “2013 Mobile Future in Focus” study by Comscore confirms that iPads still are the most sold tablet in United States, but that Android is not bad either, with 4 different items among top sales. On the US Smartphone market, Android is way more successful than Apple, with 53% of market shares, as 36% goes to iOS. Other markets, such as Japon and 5 European countries, confirm these figures. It is a proof that not only is Google all around us, it is also present our pocket (Smartphone), or in our living room (tablet).

I had the idea of this article when I saw this advertisement while I was waiting for the bus in Saint-Raphael.

Have you recognized it in this Nexus ad? Google Now is on!

Imagine the owner of this smartphone “OMG, I almost forgot my date with Margaux at 1. Good news, the weather is great, no need to take my umbrella. I can get to the restaurant by following this map. Let’s call to tell her I will be there in 30 minutes. That is great, I even have some time left to stop by a flower shop.”

Google Now right information right time

The right information at the right time” : this is the commercial motto of Google Now.

Easy like a childish game: whenever you need something, you have the solution. Google has now 25 different solutions to your needs, and there will be even more in the future. All these are a response to your needs, at every step of your trip: it manages your day, keeps you inform, and makes you feel like you are at home everywhere.

Obviously, the most discerning readers will be able to understand which solution responds to which need: Google Calendar for your calendar, Hotel finder and Flight Search to book your trip…

Manage your day

Stay aware of what happens in your everyday life, including what you have to do, where you have to go and how to get there: calendar, itinerary, weather, traffic, flight or hotel bookings…

Stay inform

Depending on your interests, stay inform of the news and information while you are not at home: sports result, movies, concerts, weather or breaking news…

Feel like you are at home everywhere

Be aware of everything that is happening, even when you are far from home: bus stops, tourist sites, things to do, events…

As users, we are seduced by this service, and that is what Google shows in Google Now video presentation on the official website or even in the video about virtual boarding pass.

As DMOs, travel agencies, booking platforms, public organizations or companies, whatever the destinations, we have to wonder how we will be able to propose different tools to our costumers. We cannot compete with Google, especially on mobiles, where it has already overtaken all our dreams of innovation, convenience, user-friendly experiences, instantaneity.

Another wonder pops up: are we able to provide information other than ours? Can we use big data, gather and give contents from users, whether they are on Wikipedia, photo and video sharing platforms, review websites, social networks…? Major actors such as Google are already able to take and manage these outsourcing and real-time updated contents.

Google Now is only the tip of the iceberg. The game has just begun. And the winner will be the one who provides added-value contents.

And, to quote an old friend of mine, “it is not quite common to close with the introduction. Yet, that is what I am going to do”. Let me introduce you to Google Now:

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Directeur marketing et communication à Clermont Auvergne Tourisme. Enseignant vacataire à Clermont-Ferrand, Perpignan et Lyon.
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