Bill Slawski analyzed a newly published patent application by Google named Rendering Advertisements with Documents Having One or More Topics Using User Topic Interest Information.
In short, the patent application documents methods Google can use to make Google’s contextual ads, AdSense, more behaviorally relevant to the user based on Google Toolbar data. Of course, this is just a patent application. It does not mean Google is using any of the methods listed in the application, but it does mean Google has deeply looked at using such methods.
Based on a user’s behavior, Google may adapt the AdSense ads in one or more of these methods:
(1) Change the number of ads to show (2) Change the type of ads displayed (3) change the style of the ad displayed, including the age of that content and the type of content (e.g., text, graphics, video, audio, mixed media, etc.), (4) Previous queries may be used to be better associated geographic information to the ad (5) Or more information
Bill isolates behavior Google says they may monitor in this patent application, including cursor positioning, cursor dwell time, document item (e.g., link, control button, etc.) selection, user eye direction relative to the document, user facial expressions, user expressions and/or user input (e.g., increasing the volume of an audio segment), and more.
We know Google already allows demographic targeting on the contextual side, but Google may also use behavioral targeting to change factors for advertisers, including:
(1) Ad price information, (2) Ad performance information, (3) Targeting criteria match information, and (4) Advertiser quality information.
Let’s not forget any privacy implications of using a patent application like this, especially when Google has said they are not ready to behavioral target any time soon.