Google running banner ads targeting Windows 8 users [Update]

As Microsoft takes Google to task for its search and paid ad mingling, Google has also been trying to promote its own support for Microsoft's new Windows 8 OS in the past few weeks. In October, Google launched its own Google Search app for Windows 8 which can be downloaded right now in the Windows Store.

What Google didn't say, at least not openly, is that the company is also running a banner ad campaign on a number of web sites that promotes the Google Search app. This would be unremarkable except for one thing; the ads, such as the one shown above which was found on Forbes.com, can only be seen by people who have Windows 8 installed on their PCs.

The banner ads appear when a user is accessing a website on Windows 8 on the "Modern" version of Internet Explorer 10 as well as on the desktop version of IE10. The ads also appear if you run Google's Chrome web browser on Windows 8, which indicates that this ad push is tied into Windows 8 itself, and not just for one specific web browser. If a user clicks on the banner ad, he or she is sent to the GetyourGoogleback.com webpage, which shows them how to install and use Google services on Windows 8.

We have sent an email to Google asking for more information about this somewhat stealthy banner ad campaign but as of yet we have yet to receive a response.

Update: One of our readers says he has seen this ad when he goes to websites on Windows 7 PCs as well. However, in our own experience using both Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs over the past couple of weeks, the Google Search Windows 8 ad has appeared for us exclusively when we use Windows 8 and has yet to appear on the same sites when we use our Windows 7 PC.

Image via Google

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19 Comments

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I've got them appearing here on Neowin, on THIS particular page for that matter, and I'm using Windows 7. I have a screencap I'm gonna try to upload and post a link....

And this just in the Microsoft website promotes Microsoft products!! and OMG iTunes and the Apple App Store promotes Apple....I know MS bashing has gotten old and we need a new whipping boy but come on.

Richeemxx said,
And this just in the Microsoft website promotes Microsoft products!! and OMG iTunes and the Apple App Store promotes Apple....I know MS bashing has gotten old and we need a new whipping boy but come on.

You should probably go back and actually read the article before you make a fool out of....-too late. This isn't about Google advertising on their own website.

How shocking! A targeted advertising company using the browser string to target ads to Windows 8 users promoting said company's products for Windows 8. /sarcasm

This article is false. At least partly anyway. I have seen that ad MULTIPLE times right here on Neowin, on both my Windows 7 machines. In Firefox and Chrome.

nekkidtruth said,
This article is false. At least partly anyway. I have seen that ad MULTIPLE times right here on Neowin, on both my Windows 7 machines. In Firefox and Chrome.

I have Windows 7 and Windows 8 and never saw this ad on Neowin on my Windows 7 PC

John Callaham said,

I have Windows 7 and Windows 8 and never saw this ad on Neowin on my Windows 7 PC

I've seen it approximately 5 times over the last week. On Windows 7, two different machines on 2 different ISP's as well. *shrug*

nekkidtruth said,

I've seen it approximately 5 times over the last week. On Windows 7, two different machines on 2 different ISP's as well. *shrug*


I will update the article..however,, I have to say on my Windows 8 PC this ad pops up a lot on websites but I have never seen it when I use Windows 7 which I use a lot more.

John Callaham said,

I will update the article..however,, I have to say on my Windows 8 PC this ad pops up a lot on websites but I have never seen it when I use Windows 7 which I use a lot more.

I believe you It's definitely odd. I'll continue to keep an eye out and if I see it again, I'll be sure to take a screenshot. I didn't realize it was meant to be seen by only Windows 8, or I would have taken one sooner

greenwizard88 said,
They're using browser detection to direct users to download their own metro apps. I don't get how this is news.

They are somewhat abusing their dominance in the online advertising space to cross-promote their other products. They did the same to promote Google Chrome. I wonder what rate they pay the ad publisher... they're probably cutting themselves a great deal.

Anyway, I've seen these ads on plenty of websites recently. I pretty much get exclusively ads for Windows 8, the Nokia Lumia 920, or this Get Your Google Back.