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Google's New Personalised Approach

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4 replies to this topic

#1 trishH


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:46 AM

Have others noticed this? I used a site to get a quote for the value of my car - I entered the address straight in (oh the power of advertising!) and didn't go via Google. Not really intested in selling just yet, but just wanted an idea.

A week later I was browsing a News site whilst eating lunch, and noticed that the car valuation company had a Google advert on the page. It caught my eye as a pic of the same type of car as mine was on the advert. Then I noticed the car had a 'first registered date' underneath. Which was the date I first register my car.... It was showing the quote they had given me!

So Google's personalisation had somehow linked my direct enquiry with the company, to that company's Google ad that was presented to me. A bit too spooky for my liking!

I'm also worried about the effect on Google earnings. When I look at my website pages I no longer see ads relevant to that page, but to topics I've previously searched on. Now I may have given up looking for 10" widgets by now, but that's the information that's being shown to me. If site visitors no longer get site relevant ads I expect my revenue to go down.

Has anyone else noticed the bizarre effects of these latest changes?

#2 Jill


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:52 AM

I think that may be ad retargeting.

But yeah, the whole thing where they show ads related to previous searches doesn't seem to be in anyone's best interest.

#3 Mikl


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:18 PM

I think what you are seeing is called "interest-based advertising". In its simplest form, Google keeps track of your "interests" by recording the topics you search for. Then, when you visit a site that carries AdSense ads, Google chooses ads that match those interests.

In this case, you didn't use Google to visit the original car site, but Google nevertheless is aware of your interests. It could be that the site itself tracked it, or you performed some other action somewhere in Google that gave them that information.

The point to keep in mind is that, just because you are seeing the ad for the car on AdSense sites, it doesn't mean that other people will. So it won't have any effect on your own AdSense earnings. I believe it's also possible for an AdSense publisher to disable interest-based advertising, but I'm not completely sure about that.

#4 torka


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:09 PM

If you see an ad displaying information you entered on a third-party site, then that's definitely retargeting, and it's something the third party site is doing. Google allows this as an option in their AdWords accounts, which would then feed through to the Adsense ads you see. It will not affect the ads anybody else sees (if they've visited the car-valuation site as well, though, they'd potentially see their own personally retargeted ads with their information). It's a very hot topic in PPC advertising these days, because apparently as creepy as it comes across, it's also highly effective.

Not all retargeted ads are as specific and stalker-ish as this one (displaying the info you entered on their site is a little over the top, IMO). In some cases, you may just notice that for a period of time after you visit a site, it will seem as though you're seeing ads related to that site everywhere you turn.

When you see more general ads related to topics you've searched on, but not specifically related to sites you've visited, that's likely the interest-based advertising, where Google tries to serve you ads based on what they think you're interested in.

If you're concerned about interest-based ads being shown on your site, you can turn them off from within Adsense. Go to the "Allow & Block Ads" tab, and click "Advanced Settings" from the left-hand menu. If you want to make sure you've got the best chance of only showing contextually-relevant ads, you should probably turn off not only the interest-based ads, but also the option to allow advertisers to use audience information to deliver more relevant ads.

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#5 BuyFacebookFansSEO


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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:10 PM

Interest based advertising is completely creepy. I was searching for info on a holiday spot, then 3 days later, I saw an ad for a holiday package in the very spot (remote and not a hugely popular destination) that I had searched for. If anything, it puts me off. There is no way I would click on an ad or buy something knowing that I had been used/targeted/spied on in this way.

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