LinkedIn Selling Internet Ads Keyed to Your Profile
LinkedIn has been generating a signifigant amount of buzz in the last few weeks.
First, a lot of noise was made over the launch of the new LinkedIn Answers section, then Guy Kawasaki’s great ’10 Ways to Use LinkedIn’ post.
Where is the value of LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a network of over nine million professionals, with full profiles on them including their education, their industry, and their work histories. In short, LinkedIn has control over a staggering amount of data. This information is a goldmine for data mining purposes, market research, or any one of a thousand different uses.
But that is only the smallest part of the value of LinkedIn. The real value becomes apparent when you go to Account Settings > Advertising in your profile and read the following text:
LinkedIn is developing or has developed a method to serve ads based upon the content in your LinkedIn profile. Any time you are logged into LinkedIn, the ad code they are developing will likely read a cookie in your browser to gain the stored profile ID, then delve into your profile to pull out the information to serve ads.
Think of the value in this – they know your industry and your work experience. They could tune advertisements exactly to what you as a professional want and need to see. This technology could be worth potentially millions to the Google Adwords or Yahoo! Search Marketing programs. For all we know, LinkedIn is already licensing out this data to other companies for marketing purposes.
Before too long, we will likely see LinkedIn purchased by either Google or Yahoo! in order to get control of this data. It could potentially form a large part of the algorithm of either company when determining which ad to display on a site to a given end user.
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