Google: Not Ready To Behaviorally Target

We explained last week how Google was using search history to refine the ads it shows to searchers. But for now, Google says that’s as far as it plans to go to behaviorally target people.

Google wary of behavioral targeting in online ads from Reuters goes into more about this, from a talk between reporters and Susan Wojcicki, Google vice president of product management for advertising. Reuters summarizes:

“Google was shying away from the industry race to deliver tools for advertisers that stitch together a user’s various online actions into one profile.”

Susan told Reuters:

Specifically, Wojcicki is quoted as saying:

“We believe that task-based information at the time (of a user’s search) is the most relevant information to what they are looking at,” she said. “We always want to be very careful about what information would or would not be used.”

Google’s ad strategy dissected from reported on the meeting as well. It covers how Wojcicki explained how behavioral targeting can get a bit too much into your privacy.

She was quick to add that no data is stored or remembered, as opposed to behavioral targeting, which serves ads based on a user’s online activity over time and which rivals Yahoo and Microsoft are experimenting with… “If you wanted to buy a car two weeks ago and you bought it, you don’t necessarily want to see ads for cars today.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Search Ads: Behavioral Targeting


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • MattC

    I remember on one of the Daily Search Cast shows, Danny & Co-host were talking about how G wanted to use search history to target ads better or serps (cant remember which) .. anyways, if I remember correctly, they went into how its a poor use of user data to get what Google thinks will be the desired result. Case in point is multiple users on one computer. Say the family computer, or a library? So by using that search history, who are you delivering content for?

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