Did Google Beef Up Their Interest Based Ads?

Jun 1, 2010 • 7:58 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

Yesterday I was searching for [ipad cases] and then have been noticing AdSense ads with ads for iPad Cases, even though the ads were not relevant to content on that page.

I then spotted a thread on WebmasterWorld from the AdSense moderator, martinibuster who said the same thing but dug deeper. First let me show you what I mean and then I'll share martinibuster's comments.

I was searching for [ipad cases] and clicked on a bunch of search results. I then was checking some feeds and web sites and noticed ads for iPad cases, such as this one:

Google Interest Based Ads

So it seems to work and work quickly. Try it yourself. Search for something that would generate ads in Google, then go to a web site with AdSense ads on them. They should show you interest based ads, which technically launched a year ago. I should note that AdSense publishers can choose to disable IAB (interest based ads) from showing on their sites.

Now, read martinibuster's post:

I have been clicking AdSense ads like a chicken on corn for the past two weeks. I've been researching fishing gear and keep seeing these ads for fishing outlets and sales on fishing gear.

I needed photos for a project I'm working on. Researched at different sites. Then I started seeing ads for discounts on stock royalty free photos at leading websites. My fingers started clicking on ads everywhere I went, chasing down offers like 10 free and 15% discounts.

I have never clicked on ads before. Since IAB rolled out I have clicked on dozens of ads. I buy stuff online. So yes, I have made purchases as a result of the IBA's. I was researching my purchases. Ads for discounts popped up. For me, as a consumer, IAB worked.

Is IAB resulting in an increase in earnings for me? No. I have not noticed a dramatic increase in earnings. But I'm not seeing a decrease either. Earnings are doing fine, but I can't say positively whether that is a result of IAB because I have not seen a dramatic lift in earnings.

I am not saying that IAB is a good thing. I am only stating that for the first time in my life I am clicking on AdSense ads.

Do you agree? I mean there is something a bit creepy about seeing ads on third-party sites based on your Google search query. But there is also something nice about it as well.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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06/01/2010 12:23 pm

Hah - spot on! I noticed this myself the other day. I thought it was really creepy when I discovered it. I did 3-4 searches for "HTC HD2" and clicked on a bunch of the results, then I went to read and print several recipes before I was going to make dinner. - Every article was stuffed with HTC HD2 ads!

Yehoshua Coren

06/02/2010 07:07 pm

It seems to me that what you're seeing are ads in the Content Network (Adsense) not based on your Google Search Query per se, but rather ads are dependent upon a tracking cookie that Adwords advertisers can now put on their sites. Google calls this 'remarketing' and lists of users who reach certain pages on your site as 'audiences.' So the 'stock royalty free photos' ads that martinibuster was seeing is likely be because certain pages on the website that he visited have a the Google Adwords tracking pixel on their site (and javascript called conversion.js) and it drops a cookie on his browser to allow for a specific 'remarketing' message to be displayed in the Content Network.

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