Tell Google what kind of ads you want

Wed 11 March 2009 15:50, Bas van den Beld

Tell Google what kind of ads you want

Today I was invited to Google to get some news about a couple of new features Google will be rolling out. With the statement "Bringing the science of search to the art of display". Google introduced a 'new' way of looking at contextual display ads.

Google's interesed based advertising will be making sure that if you visit a site within the Google Content Network you will get ads based on what you're interested in. Google will be looking at your browser's history to find out what kind of ads you are getting served.

Google is using the knowledge it has gathered in search, where relevance plays a big part, to take a shot at the dispaly ads market. Google believes there is a lot to be gained in that area.

Google Content Network
Google will be using placement targeting and contextual targeting to help advertisers reach their targeted audience. They will be doing that in the Google Content Network. Everybody (yes everybody!) visiting a site in the Google Content Network will be getting targeted ads based on a cookie Google is placing in your browser.

But Google is looking at more than just your browser history. In the Ad Preferences Manager you can  choose which categories you are interested in and would like to see ads from. If you feel you don't want to participate in this Google is giving you the possibility to opt out.


The subject raises questions about privacy. Do we want Google to follow our entire browsing habbits? And what are they doing with the data?

Google tells us they are actually giving us more control over our privacy and want to be as transparant as possible. With the possibility to opt out and the possibility to tell Google which kind of ads we want or don't want.

Besides that Google is letting us know they are not storing the data on their servers. They are only placing a cookie client side. They are not collecting any IP-data.

This new feature by Google can mean a big step into contextual display advertising. Who wouldn't want to have ads based on their interest?

With the fact that everybody is automatically opted in and that presumably not many will take the opportunity to change their profile right away, it could be a long time though before this really 'kicks in'.

Google will be beta-testing the advertisement module in the beginning of April. The countries who will take part in the test are the Netherlands, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the US. The Ads Preference Manager is available right now.

UPDATE: More information can also be found on the Google Public Policy Blog where they also posted the video below.

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