A Search Engine Watch Forums thread, started by moderator Discovery has experienced something very concerning. In short, he said that he was browsing the web in order to buy a PC. He did not conduct any searches that were 'buying PC' related. All he did was navigate directly to sites such as Fry's, Circuit City, HP.com and Best Buy.
After finishing some of that research, Discovery opened a new browser window and search in Google for comparison engines. The search ads that came up were ads all related to selling PCs, not the generic shopping search engine ads from Shopzilla or Google Product Search but real ads selling PCs.
Hence, Discovery asked if Google is using behavioral targeting techniques, today - to target ads based on your direct browsing behavior.
Is Google using behavioral targeting already? I had heard there were announcements that this would happen with the acquisition of DoubleClick, but I have had no notice that it was in practice?
I did report at Search Engine Land that Google: Not Ready To Behaviorally Target. Basically, Google doesn't see a need to target search ads based on direct web browsing. Instead, Google said they do and will customize ads based on your previous search, which is now a de facto. But this is new behavior, which is currently unconfirmed by Google.
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.