Google REALLY Wants You to Buy This Product

You know Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is serious about promoting a product when an advertisement appears on the most ad-free area of the Internet: The Google Search home page. The company is currently running an ad on Google.com for the Nexus 7, its newly launched tablet, showing an image of the device bouncing up and down under the main search box. It also announces: “The playground is open. The new $199 tablet from Google.”

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Clicking the link takes the user to the Google Play store where the Nexus 7 can be bought and where there are further ads for associated apps, games, books, music, and TV shows. The ad for the seven-inch tablet first appeared on Tuesday.

While Google has previously added clean, one-line advertisements for its own products to the search page, this is one of its more flashy examples of marketing. The push is being interpreted as a desperate measure to make a dent in the tablet market dominated by Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. Apple is also predicted to launch a smaller, cheaper iPad Mini soon, which would compete more directly with the Nexus 7 and Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire.

“Google hasn’t said, but it seems likely the ad push is looking ahead to Apple’s expected October release of the seven- to eight-inch iPad Mini, as well as to the expected announcement of Amazon.com’s new Kindle Fire next week,” Forbes contributor Robert Hof wrote.

The Nexus 7 is the first tablet Google has worked on the hardware of, though Asus was involved in the development. The device runs Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.

Last week, Google changed its “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the search page to direct more users to other company products, such as the Google Art Project.

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