Dan Frommer reports in Alley Insider that Google is testing 2D barcodes in its Google Print Ads for newspapers. This makes a lot of sense, because the URL can be as long as you wish within reason – but long enough to accommodate tracking tags as happens in AdSense ads. Google is using the Kaywa QR format seen on the left (correction and more information in the comment). Nokia uses a different format (right) and my N95 phone can read such code. Both images show the URL of this website. This enables my mobile phone to store a URL very easily and it helps Google and the advertiser to track the success of their campaigns. The QR format seems to better facilitate vertical identification, which might be important when reading a barcode stuck to some object such as a parcel. Vertical orientation would not seem as important in a print ad, which I expect to be oriented correctly.
Would Google want a barcode that can be read easily, regardless of image orientation? Nokia’s site shows T-shirts with barcodes. Where else might Google print ads? On pub coasters? On candy wrappers? Milk cartons?
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