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Google Turns to Your Past Emails to Make Ads More Relevant

Gmail Users Should See Increase in Ad Relevance

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Google has made some changes to the way ads shown to Gmail users are selected. If you use the service, you have probably noticed that Google often shows ads that are somehow related to the content of whatever piece of email you are currently reading. If you have noticed this, you have probably also noticed that sometimes the ads don’t seem to have anything to do with your conversation whatsoever.

Google has decided that instead of showing completely irrelevant ads in such cases, it will just dig back into another conversation from your Gmail usage, and show you ads related to that. This is illustrated in the clip below.

"Let’s say you’re looking at a confirmation email from a hotel in Chicago. Next to your email, you might see ads about flights to Chicago," explains Gmail Product Manager Steve Crossan. "But sometimes, there aren’t any good ads to match to a particular message. From now on, you’ll sometimes see ads matched to another recent email instead. For example, let’s say you’re looking at a message from a friend wishing you a happy birthday. If there aren’t any good ads for birthdays, you might see the Chicago flight ads related to your last email instead."

Google is careful to point out that it doesn’t store any extra information to show these ads. It just picks a different recent email to match. It’s all automated, and no humans are involved in picking the ads. The process is compared to Gmail’s spellchecker. Google also notes that no email or personal information is shared with advertisers.

The change will be rolling out over the next several days, so if you are still seeing ads completely irrelevant to any conversation you’ve had, you may not have the new system implemented yet.


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Google Turns to Your Past Emails to Make Ads More Relevant
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  • http://www.duran-seo.co.il Duran seo

    when google holds so much power, who can really tell if there is no human eyes going through suspicious emails in order to track Ntaional security matters ?

    with algorithms scanning our emails constantly, learning the language and trying to conclude who we are, is the big brother growing right under out noses ?

    how can we know that google as a financial business will know where the border is?

  • http://www.fixpcfreeze.com Fix PC Freeze

    I think it is a good move by Google. I normally receive an email because I opted to receive from the person or site. The point is that there will be more opportunity for the previous emails to the reader to trigger ads slightly different from the mail being presently read but had interested the reader before. Great opportunity for Google. But wait and see what the advertiser has to say after making or losing money. Time will tell.

  • http://www.hdforensics.co.uk/ SEO2010

    This maybe a good thing for many users but also disliked by some who are much concerned about their privacy. Google is trying to help the users to find the information as quick as they can. But also making a lot of money by showing the sponsored ads on that email page. Google knows the more relevant the ads are, the more the users will click on them. So at the end Google is just trying to increase its revenue:)

  • http://teakdoor.com Thailand

    Personally I think google is becoming too invasive into peoples lives, what with there tracking surfers habits to try and give content that the user may want, if it was done from your pc browser your anti virus would pick it up and class it as a data miner, yet everybody allows google to do exactly that.