Behavioral Ads are Bad According to Consumers [Infographic]

By: Shawn Hess - April 19, 2012

Consider the following question: If a search engine collects information about your searches and then uses it to rank your future search results that’s, a). Good, or B). Bad? Next consider this question: If a search engine keeps track of your searches and uses that information to personalize your future search results, that’s, a). OK, or b). Not Ok? These are the exact questions Pew Research asked consumers.

What they found was that 65% of people thought ranking searches based on previous searches was bad and that 73% believed using past searches to personalize search results was not okay. So it sounds like an overwhelming majority, in both cases, valued privacy more than customized search results.

This next infographic from Loeb & Loeb LLP. illustrates some key finding in regard to gathering and protection of our personal information and the ability to opt-out of the collection of our behavioral information. It’s a hot issue right now and there are many protection in place to protect consumers, but like any system it can only be trusted as well as it is enforced and that’s most likely where we are coming up short.

It’s loaded with information so read carefully and enjoy:
behaviral advertising

About the Author

Shawn HessShawn Hess is a staff writer for WebProNews and an expert procrastinator. Follow Shawn on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, and .

View all posts by Shawn Hess
  • Steve G

    Even I have opted out from personalized ads. I want to see ads relevant to what I’m looking at, not based on my interests 10 minutes or whatever ago. Not to mention that more people tend to read and click on ads that are relevant to the page. The problem is Google wants to make the most money it can and exploit publishers in any way they can. After all if an interest targeted ad doesn’t get clicked on one site, Google’s ad network is so huge that it will get clicked on somewhere.

    As for using past history to better come up with relevant results, I’m a bit on the fence about that. I think that should be an option that a user can set. Imagine turning that option off and seeing more relevant results to what you search for while others might turn it on and see more relevant results for what they search for. Not everybody searches in the same way and for the same things and I think Google is trying to cater to the majority and fails to allow users to explore and set things how they want it. I mean if Google is really interested in personalization why not actually allow somebody to personalize it how they want it? I think Google should come up with a standard and more advanced users can modify those options to tweak the search to better fit their preferences. I don’t like the guessing game that Google is playing based on signals that are riddled with what they call signal noise. When somebody says something is personalized to my liking, that means I’ve specifically told them what my likes are. Google is simply guessing on browsing history and to be honest, I’m not the only person who browses while logged into the same Google account and I do a lot of searching that is related to my work and has nothing to do about me. So imagine all the signal noise I’m sending to Google in which they interpret as an interest of mine and it’s really not.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I’ve read reports that say the majority of users are against personalization, but they also want more relevant search results. You can’t really have one without the other. The search engines don’t seem to be easing up on their personalization efforts any time soon though.