Google classic homepage sports Motorola Droid ad

Notice anything different about Google's classic homepage? Yep -- there's an ad for the Motorola Droid smartphone on it.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Notice anything different about Google's classic homepage? You know, the one that's patented?

Yep -- Google's using the most recognizable website on the planet to push the Motorola Droid smartphone, which runs on the corporate giant's Android operating system.

It's no surprise that Google's pushing one of its own products, but as far as I can remember, it's the first second time it's using the site to advertise an Android handset. (Or am I wrong? Tell me what you recall in the comments.)

I wonder how HTC feels about this, since it's deployed the T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G, Hero and Droid Eris without such fanfare. Or Samsung, with its new Moment smartphone.

Update: Google did indeed advertise the G1 on its site for its launch, and defended the practice by not calling it an ad, but a "promotion." Others were suspicious, since it's not quite as neutral an action as simply promoting Google services.

(Google's reputation is to be unbiased in how it provides search results, but this is obviously a moving target.)

Overall, it's a minor thing, but it converts to real dollars for the companies involved. Google's really only 1/3 of the equation: Verizon and Motorola both stand to benefit from such ubiquitous advertising, as innocent as it is, just like T-Mobile and HTC did with the G1.

But that raises another question: which Android handsets get the limelight? Clearly, all of them aren't good enough -- perhaps because it marks the first device with Android 2.0 (G1 was the first with 1.0). Google also worked very close with Motorola and Verizon to develop the Droid, so it's presumably got more at stake.

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