Google is finally rolling out the ability to target ads to users by interest — based on their previous browsing activity, or behavior — to all of its advertisers. The company first announced a beta test of this capability more than two years ago, back in 2009, and it has slowly been introducing it to larger groups over time. The company says the capabilities are available today.
The announcement marks Google’s full entrance into the world of behavioral targeting in AdWords.
The system looks at the types of pages that a user visits, considering how recently and frequently the person visits those sites, and associates that browser cookie with the appropriate interest categories. Users can view and edit the categories they’ve been associated at Google’s Ad Preferences page, and opt out entirely, if they so desire.
Advertisers can choose from over 1,000 interest categories. Google says advertisers testing the capability were successful, citing one advertiser increasing brand lift by 40% and a shoe railer driving 400% more conversions at a lower cost-per-sale. Pricing is on a cost-per-click model with an auction.