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Old 08-02-2007   #1
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Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

Just wrote a piece about this and gave my opinion at the end. Anyone else want to weigh in?

Last edited by AussieWebmaster : 08-02-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 08-02-2007   #2
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

I've discussed quite a bit about stuff such as data mining, database marketing, behavioral targeting, etc. with the guys in the web analytics yahoo group (that's basically where all the web analysts go as they only really have one big plattform as opposed to SEO/PPC - as their industry is still a bit smaller it seems).

I think it was Jim Novo (one of his areas of speciality is database marketing) who once stated something similar about demographic data not going very far on the web (If it was somebody else I hope he forgives me for misquoting him).

Maybe it's a really great predictor in the finance space, but not too good for predictions in many other fields?

I really have no clue, Im just stating what Ive heard :-).
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Old 08-03-2007   #3
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

I see your point and felt the same way when I read Nick Fox's quote but, the more I thought about it the more I can see his angle.

If used properly, it seems "the database of intentions" or behavioral targeting could be much more powerful than traditional demographics. In theory BT should return not only relevant search results but also more highly targeted advertisements regardless of the users demographic. It seems like this would help advertisers advertise more efficiently and save money.

As far as finance, it wouldn't make sense to serve a 45 year old male searching for "IRA information" results and advertisements related to "Individual Retirement Accounts" if you knew his previous query was for "Irish Republican Army info".

Just my take, but I'm really interested to hear what everyone else has to say!
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Old 08-03-2007   #4
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You liked those ads? OK, try this one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster View Post
Just wrote a piece about this and gave my opinion at the end. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Nice piece. I read google's comments to mean they don't plan to try and build user domeographic profiles (male/female/age etc.) but that does not rule out "Behavioral Targeting", or as I prefer to call it "adaptive ad serving".

For example, if you have the google toolbar installed and use that for searching you can be pretty sure that google is going to "adapt" to your search behaviour by serving appropriate ads.

They do *not* need to know you are a 30 year old male to target you effectively - all they need to know is your past search behaviour. In fact, you could argue that's far more effective than demographic data - and it can also adapt to the case where multiple people use the same computer. Google is thinking
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Old 08-03-2007   #5
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

Funny this was written before most of the others started writing asbout how Google was saying it was not doing behavioral targeting.... but if you jump from tennis lessons to travel packages and get tennis camp ads they are watching your behavior if only at a simple level.
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Old 08-03-2007   #6
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster View Post
Funny this was written before most of the others started writing asbout how Google was saying it was not doing behavioral targeting.... but if you jump from tennis lessons to travel packages and get tennis camp ads they are watching your behavior if only at a simple level.
Yes indeed. And the search history from a given *computer* can be "multi-threaded" to "identify" each user of that computer. For example, if I walk away and my daughter sits down it would not take long before her thread is identified and the appropriate ads served. Now, that's adaptive ad serving, and beats simplistic "demographic" targeting anyday
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Old 08-03-2007   #7
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Re: You liked those ads? OK, try this one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abbottsys View Post
Nice piece. I read google's comments to mean they don't plan to try and build user domeographic profiles (male/female/age etc.) but that does not rule out "Behavioral Targeting", or as I prefer to call it "adaptive ad serving".
Yeah, they may say they aren't building demographic profiles!
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Old 08-03-2007   #8
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

This one is going to get more scrutiny as it goes further ahead.
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Old 08-07-2007   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

Google Patent #20050222901 seems to include a number of elements related to this topic."Determining ad targeting information and/or ad creative information using past search queries" http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...DN/20050222901


Think they are working on some sort of time sensitive "sessioned" targeting based on behavior but, where demographic data is also considered prior to ads being served?

Last edited by beu : 08-07-2007 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007   #10
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Re: Opinions on Google's Behavioral Targeting

I am not sold on behavioral targeting. I agree with a certain level of refinement and targeting, but what if it goes too far?

Ultimately by reducing the search results we see down to what they think we are searching for will diminish the greatest thing about the web - anomalies that lead to discovery, unintended exploration.. Chaos theory is a beautiful thing. And if you look at chaos theory on the surface you would think its a vast number of random events that have no relationship to each other, but that is not the case, the relationships are there but at a micro level, unique to each smaller entity. (stick with me folks, its early).

Again it is about the proper balance, to what degree will they implement BT. I think there is a danger in over reaching with BT. Clearly understanding somebody’s intentions is rarely done with success in the real world, how can we expect to program our way to success on the internet?

There are so many ways to blow a hole in BT. Our target audience for financial services are women between 25-45, a large % of these women have young children, Children need new shoes about once a month per child. How can I show my financial ads in a string of searches that have to do with Sketchers? My relationship to the BT pattern is there, but not visible to the engine. I need to target the demographic, not the behavior.

If G allows me to advertise in this string of searches then we are back at square one with millions of seemingly unrelated ads being shown to visitors. Perfect Chaos. If G has a strict BT system they end up having a very flat and predestined user experience determined by the engine not the user. Not a recipe for growth.

Stick to demo targeting and allow for a more dynamic offering of products and services.

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