So where is this engagement for Google+ coming from? Turns out that Google has a not-so-secret weapon with which to bash Twitter: search results.
If you click on the image [on the search results page] associated with that info box on the top right of the page … you end up on Google+
Remember when there was huge backlash the last time this was tried at scale? The question is whether this time, it’s different.
Google is testing a way to measure whether its online search ads spur sales in physical stores, working with data companies including Acxiom and Epsilon.
The data companies have been doing similar work with other online giants. Acxiom has worked with Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, says Josh Herman, Acxiom’s vice president of partner and product strategy. Acxiom acts as a central store of data from advertisers and websites. The advertiser dips into its database of existing customers for a group of shoppers it wants to target. It sends this group to Acxiom, which scrambles it into an anonymous list. Acxiom then matches this to another anonymous list of users shared by the website, creating a master group of consumers.