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Using Google History for Ads

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This has not really been Google’s day when it comes to people jumping all over them for things they have or have not done. Adding to the complex mix of everyone going off on the Privacy International report is an underreported report on Google Adsense that is being fed by Distilled.co.uk on how they have also changed Adwords/Adsense.

Today, despite their CTR having improved on the historic levels because of our negative keywords and an improved advert, they were nowhere to be seen…. Most of the time. Every so often, they would appear – exactly the kind of behaviour you would expect if their budget were too low compared to their CPC (but that isn’t the problem – the budget is set at more than double what they have spent on recent days). Source: Distilled

It is against Google Adwords to be clicking on your own ads, or have someone else click on your own ads, or any ads that you are not really interested in seeing the result of that click. But if they have changed the ad set to match your surfing history, and ad clicking patterns from their previous knowledge of you. This adds to the privacy concerns for the entire advertising industry.

Mind you this is not purely a Google issue, Microsoft has the same capability, we are not sure about yahoo, if anyone knows chime in. Probably your best bet is to opt out of any tracking via the Google search bar on your browser, and turn off everything that has a privacy implication. The bar will tell you if you turn on something that does have a privacy implication.

Google faces a hard long uphill battle, and their generic on line silence is going to add to the problems. As people discover things about how their system works, and what their system does, if Google has not already addressed it, then they will have uncontrolled communications from people who notice, and have the ability to write about it.

That is at least one good thing about Microsoft, they blog about everything, they are relatively transparent in what they do. If Google is going to restore trust in their company (and they are taking it hard on the trust issue this week already), then they also need to be blogging about what they are doing and how they are changing things.
The privacy implications of using past history, past ad clicking, to serve you ads means that they are comfortable enough in their information that they have on you.

While this is every marketers dream, target the right people rather than a generalized population, as the information gets out, it will be more interesting ot see if there is any backlash or not. Adding double click information to the mix at this point will just help pinpoint more than they can do already. Moreover, if Distilled is right, they already know quite a lot about all of us.

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Using Google History for Ads
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