In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Overall, the changes could allow retailers to better target ads to shoppers.
Kevin Lee, CEO of search marketing firm Didit, said today that the policy reflects Google’s desire to tie together the various web access points used by consumers in order to better target ads. For instance, a consumer logged into Google Accounts might search for a television on his iPad—visiting product review sites along the way—and then, upon returning home at night, go onto his laptop while still logged into Google; Google could use the data from his previous activity to show him ads for TVs and related consumer electronics products.
“The most likely impact on this from a retailing perspective is the ability of Google to target ads across as many screens as the user has, based on data gained from one of the other screens,” Lee says. “Consumers will see more relevant ads on all their devices and we as marketers will have an opportunity to place those ads there though Google."