Online Advertising Using Browsing Habits

It has long been talked – taking a users browsing habits and targeting online advertising to their special interests. Google is about to take the next step in this direction by rolling out a beta version of interest based advertising.

In the past, advertising was displayed on Google publisher sites based on a contextual or placement targeted basis. This has worked reasonably well although many publishers (and advertisers) complained that some ads did not quite fit the content.

What will change in the future is that the ads displayed will fit the user rather than the site. If your site is selling sport shoes and running Adsense units, a visitor that has a history of visiting sporting goods sites will have sports related ads displayed.

For advertisers, this will broaden the scope of ads displayed. Using the above scenario, the Adsense ad units in the past would display shoe related ads – now they will display sporting goods related ads. Will this help you – the advertiser?

Google doesn’t do anything unless they can see a profit in it. To make more money from this style of advertising means more click throughs. As an advertiser, more click throughs does not necessarily relate to more sales, however, if the click throughs are better targeted then the chances of gaining a higher conversion rate should improve.

This is an interesting move and one worth watching. You can bet Google will place a premium on this type of targeted advertising – they are already promising publishers a high click value. If this style of online advertising does lead to higher conversions then it could be worth the extra cost – at least for those that have a margin in what is already a somewhat inflated cost per click market. Online advertising is taking that next step – now we need to listen to the next wave of privacy complaints.

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