Google ramps up mobile search, eyes cross-device tracking

Google has refreshed its iOS search app with improvements on how users can request results using their voice, according to the online services giant, after recently updating its analytics service to track consumer journeys across devices. 

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The online services giant formally unveiled its voice search iOS app coinciding with the Google House event hosted earlier today (6 November) in London where it showcased updated features.

These updates work on the same technology as Google Now and include “nutritional search”, “smart reminders”, which can remind users to buy a certain item when near an appropriate outlet for instance, plus directions which remember locations a user visits. 

Google also claims the updated feature understands the concept of a question. For example, a user can ask: ‘What is the weather like in Liverpool?’, then follow-up with ‘How long does it take to drive there?’, and it will provide appropriate results.

The features have been available on the same version of the Android app. They also come a week after Google unveiled its updated Google Analytics service that lets advertisers track signed-in Google account holders across their purchase path.  

For instance, Google’s updated tracking code lets brands measure referral traffic, such as search terms, and more importantly between desktop and mobile devices.

Speaking at yesterday’s (5 November) Mobile Tablet and Gaming Summit in London, Fintan Costello, Google’s head of eGaming, said: “This means that you can see which devices users are transacting on once they are logged in [to Google] and the real benefit is that it’s pre-registration data.

“So if someone researches a product at work, and then they go home to buy, then Google’s [Universal] Analytics can help show a brand that user’s journey.”

Cross device tracking can then help marketers better calculate their customer acquisition costs, as it will give them a ‘single customer view’, according to Costello.

He added: “Previously, digital marketing teams would have a desktop CPA and a mobile CPA. This can give digital marketing teams more data about their customers.”

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