Google sidles up to behavorial targeting


googlesucks_small.jpgADOTAS — With the governmnet and privacy advocates already scrutinizing the practice, the search giant will start selling targeted ads.

Users will be able to view and change categories and manage their preferences. Google is calling it “interest-based” (no behavorial targeting mentioned here) advertising, which will be used on partner sites and on YouTube. The ads will associate categories of interests, sports, gardening, cars, pets, with a browser, based on the types of sites users visit and the pages viewed. The company says it may then use those interest categories to show more relevant text and display ads.

The details:

Transparency – It clearly labels most of the ads provided by Google on the AdSense partner network and on YouTube. Users can click on the labels to get more information about how ads are served, and the information used. It will expand the range of ad formats and publishers that display labels that provide a way to learn more and make choices about Google’s ad serving.

Choice – Ads Preferences Manager, which lets users view, delete, or add interest categories associated with a browser so that they can receive ads that are more interesting to them.

Control – Users can always opt out of the advertising cookie for the AdSense partner network. To make sure that a users opt-out decision is respected, and isn’t deleted if cookies are cleared from a browser, Google has designed a plug-in for the browser that maintains the opt-out choice.

(By the way, the New York Times says Google will be the first major company to give users the ability to see and edit the this information. But BlueKai says that since September of 2008, the data exchange has enabled consumers to see the information that has been collected about them through its data providers. Through its registry consumers have the ability to edit their online preferences or opt out completely. Maybe in the NY Times’ eyes, its not considered a ‘major’ company.)  

— Express your opinion, comment below.


  1. I personally think this is a game changer. Give the audience a choice in the ads they are going to see and they might pick stuff they have a chance of buying… Now if I could only do that with my TV….



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