The search giant has implemented a feature dubbed ‘remarketing’, which enables advertisers to tailor online ads based on users’ web habits.
The feature works by detecting when users visit a brand’s website and then targeting them with ads for that brand on other sites they visit within Google’s Content Network.
The nature of the targeting may not be uniformly popular with users. However, Bruce Daisley, agency leader for YouTube and display advertising, said that while users can opt out if they feel that the ads are too personalised, most do not.
‘If Amazon were to use it, for example, it would only be people who had visited Amazon that are targeted with ads, so, in effect, by going to Amazon they are opting in to these ads.’
Already dominant in search, with about 90% of all queries, Google’s adoption of this feature is part of its plan to become similarly strong in the online banner ads market, which has no single leading player at present.
Google is not the only on-line ad network to use remarketing, but its Google Content Network incorporates more than 1m sites on which it can run ads.
‘Until now, this type of remarketing has been pretty exclusive and charged at a premium,’ said Daisley.
Google plans to offer the facility to all its search advertisers. If a significant number of them opt to use it, personalised ads could become the norm online.
The company is also trialling a campaign insight tool that tests the branding effect caused by ads. It is intended to at-
tract advertisers to Google’s network by demonstrating its effectiveness in raising brand awareness.
In addition, Google is developing a TV set-top box, which will reportedly enable access to the entire internet. This could help it offer more creative advertising formats than its current direct-response model, which relies heavily on paid-for links that run beside search results.