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Google's Behavioral Targeting Affecting The Bottom Line?

Posted on 10.28.2007
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Last Friday, Eric Lander over at Search Engine Journal noticed what could be a big problem to Google advertisers. The problem involves Google's ability to serve search results and ads based on a users previous searches (behavioral targeting). Today, Tamar Weinberg at Search Engine Roundtable provides some excellent examples where a user first searches for "florida ford dealers" and then searches for "new york yankees". The "Yankees" search results include "New York Ford Dealer" ads. And as of writing this I get those same results.

An advertiser whose ads are served under these conditions may find that the quality of this traffic converts at a sub par levels because the ad is irrelevent to the search. This can have the effect of lowering an advertisers ROI.

So far there has been no word from Google about how to resolve this issue. Hopefully, in the near future they will provide a way to opt out of behaviorially targeted ads. For example, currently Google provides a way to filter your ads with broad match, exact match, phrase match, and negative match. How about a behavioral match option?

What do you think about Google's Behavioral Ad Targeting?
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