Google announced today that they will begin a test of behavioral targeting through their AdSense network. This will be a significant change in how advertisers can use Google to target a specific profile on sites other than its search page.
To give you some background, AdSense is Google’s content network, where it places text and display ads on sites of other publishers; this enables Google to extend its reach and the publishers to generate more ad revenue. Until now, AdSense ads were targeted based on the content rather than the visitor. For example, ads for cooking products would appear on cooking, food and nutrition sites, and all visitors to these sites were served the same ads.
Now, with behavioral targeting, Google will collect site visitation data on individual users, analyze it to identify their interests, and then serve ads to them based on those interests – that is, ads will be served based on the individual rather than the site content. It’s possible that a person who visits cooking and golf sites would see a golf products ad when they visit a cooking site. The benefits to an advertiser are a higher level of targeting using Google’s efficient bid model and an increase in campaign ROI, with higher response and conversion rates. Google is addressing the general privacy concerns that come with behavioral targeting, and is not collecting personal data that the site visitation data can be linked to.
For ideas about how to take advantage of targeted marketing, contact Jim.