Google Print Ad Barcodes and What It Means For Internet Marketing

I was recently in Japan and wrote an article about the cell phone barcodes that are common in Japan.

After I wrote the article I found out that Google has released print ad 2D barcodes

Here is what Google's announcement says:

What are 2D barcodes?
Print Ads barcode

2D barcodes are a way to encode information, just like conventional barcodes – but 2D barcodes can encode significantly more. This information can be read by devices with cameras, such as cellphones.

For example, the 2D barcode here contains the information "" When you capture a picture of it with your cellphone, special decoding software reads the encoded information, and, in this case, prompts your phone's browser to visit a URL.

2D barcodes have been common in Japan for a number of years. In fact, Japanese business cards often feature barcodes containing contact information. Such barcodes are starting to gain popularity in other countries as well.

Examples of 2D Barcodes from Japan

Here are an example of how these mobile phone bar codes are used in Japan:

Here is a reciept from a convenience store in Japan:

2D barcodes, qr barcode example from Japan

Here is a closeup of the barcode:

QR cell phone barcode

By taking a photo of that barcode with your cell phone, it will load the Web site of the business on your cell phone.

Implications for Internet Marketing

The implications of 2D barcodes becoming popular in the USA and elsewhere is that you will probably want your Web sites to be functional on mobile devices.

Once this technology becomes popular you can put your barcodes on just about anything — business cards, posters, newspaper ads (e.g., what Google is doing), books, Web pages, etc.

I think this is going to be a major way that Web sites are marketed in the future.

For more information see my previous post on QR barcodes.

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