Google roundup: Robots, comScore, Android, referral traffic

|By:, SA News Editor

The WSJ reports Google (GOOG) is "quietly working" with Foxconn on using robotics to automate manufacturing tasks. Google has been on a robotics M&A spree over the last year, and is reportedly eying manufacturing and retail applications (among others).

Google is partnering with comScore (SCOR) to provide the latter's vCE ad measurement data to DoubleClick's brand display ad clients. The move gives advertisers a better read into the performance of brand campaigns (not easily measured by clicks), and follows a December display ad pricing change created with brand advertisers in mind.

Android Police reports Google is set to begin requiring OEMs install a recent version of Android for a new device to gain access to Google's mobile apps/services. Android 4.2 or later will reportedly do for now; Android 4.3 or later will be needed as of April 24.

Such a move would both aim to guarantee Android hardware buyers receive a relatively modern version of the OS, and to diminish Android's age-old fragmentation problem.

A study by SEO firm Define Media (analyzes 48B page views and 87 sites) found 41% of traffic for the firm's publisher network came from search engines, and 16% from social media (the rest was direct).

Define argues the study, which follows headline-grabbing data from BuzzFeed showing the site's Facebook referral traffic has blown past its Google traffic, remains the dominant referral source for most (though perhaps not all) publishers. It comes after Google reported 31% Y/Y Q4 paid click growth.