Google is currently testing a new feature that will allow advertisers to track users from their web browsing activities. Google’s vice president of advertising, David Bailey, revealed the news at a conference in San Francisco. Google plans to start monitoring users’ internet activities with a new system called AdSense.
According to Bailey, Google will use the information about how visitors navigate around its site to help improve its advertising products and services. He further added that the new system will work in conjunction with the Google search engine and Gmail email service.
Google’s decision to begin displaying users’ internet surfing activities comes in response to intense privacy concerns raised by both the European Commission and United States Federal Trade Commission.
Google to Soon Start Tracking Users
These groups have questioned Google’s ability to effectively measure the value of its ad revenue. They have also pointed out the fact that the company does not provide any information on how it makes money from displaying advertisements on its search engine pages.
Google states that it will only use the data it gathers from users to improve its current advertisements and expand its range of products and services. Google will not be collecting data such as which web pages users visit and which advertisements they click on. Google will only use the information it gathers for recommending relevant ads. Google’s primary aim is to provide relevant content to its users.
The company claims that this will go a long way in improving its AdSense program’s performance. However, Internet users can still choose to stop the advertisements from running by opting out of the advertising network.
What exactly does Google intend to do with this new tracking technology? It is unclear whether Google will start tracking users’ Internet activity in order to target or sell advertising to them. The company did, however, mention that it will implement the new system alongside its existing ad networks. The programs could then help advertisers better target their ads.
Google has been criticized for having an unnecessarily aggressive approach to its ad revenue. Concerns have been raised that the practice may result to discrimination against certain Web sites or demographics. To avoid such practices, Google has been accused of not taking a hands-off approach to the collection of information on Internet users.
The Internet privacy advocates are particularly worried about the fact that Google will soon start to track users’ activities even when they are not directly involved in the online marketing process. It is also worried about the future of the Internet itself, given the rise of “spiders” to track user behavior and increase the company’s profit through illegitimate means.
A few months ago, the advertising network said that it will no longer be carrying out Internet advertising targeting using program code or individual keywords. Instead of targeting individuals who have accessed a particular site through search engines, it will start tracking Internet users according to behavior and interests.
According to CNET, this could mean, “The search engine giant is left with fewer options when it comes to creating ads.” For instance, a website that offers financial advice may not be suitable for advertising according to a particular demographic because people with similar concerns would be more likely to become interested in it.
In addition, Google will start tracking users from “keywords relevant to the advertisers’ websites” only for two specific, targeted advertising products. In a blog post, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt indicated that the new policy will not change the way that the company does business, saying, “The focus of our advertising is the advertisers’ sites and their products. We will continue to focus on that.”
The news may mean one thing for Internet users. If you are concerned about privacy and are particularly concerned about Google’s plans to start tracking users, you should visit the Privacy and Internet Awareness Center at Google dot com to find out more.
Among other things, you can register your email address for notification of any monitoring activities. You can also unsubscribe from all such lists at any time if you wish. You should realize though that the changes are primarily cosmetic and won’t have much impact on the effectiveness of AdSense.
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