Google Invades Gaming; Outer Space

Adding to its already-formidable AdSense product-line this week, Google [GOOG] announced AdSense for online Flash games. Comscore says that up to 25% of Web surfers worldwide play these games, so Google might be tapping a sizable market: 200 million computer-users.

AdSense’s new gaming platform will allow game-writers to incorporate text, image or video advertisements within their games, likely with a similar content-related algorithm that drives regular text-based AdSense to make sure you’re getting relevant ads.

Only a portion of the games online will be eligible, however. Google is requiring that games be Flash-based, have over half a million plays per diem, have the majority of its users come from the US or UK, and other nit-picky restrictions. It’s always possible, however, that once they float the program, they’ll expand it to include games that are outside the fovea of their target audience; rumors of allowing games with only 150,000 plays per day are afloat, too.

In more Google news, the company has just successfully tested its GeoEye1 satellite — yes, that’s a space-borne aerial camera — build by GeoEye, a “geospatial information company.” The space-cam was launched September 6th, and after extensive calibration, will send back high-definition images of earth’s surface. That will bring a whole new level of privacy-invading specificity to Google Earth, but OMG will it look cool. The first image taken was of a small college town in Pennsylvania.CD