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Google serves up preferential ads

Goes live with interest-based advertising on YouTube and the Google content network

Google has just gone live with interest-based advertising on YouTube and its own content network, which reaches 80% of global internet users.

The company, which bought video content sharing favourite YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, believes that displaying ads based on user preferences is a win-win situation.

"We believe that ads are a valuable source of information that can connect people to products, services and ideas that interest them. By making ads more relevant and improving the connection between advertisers and our users, we can create more value for everyone,” said Husni Khuffash, Google’s country business development manager in the UAE.

"Over time we expect our ability to get the right ad in front of the right person at the right time to improve as we build interest categories with the help of our users and publishers,” Khuffash added.

Interest categories are assigned based on a user’s previous YouTube video views and Google content network views.

For example, if someone spends a large proportion of their time online looking at videos of cars on YouTube and other car-related sites on the Google content network, they will be categorised as a car enthusiast and will be automatically served with more motor-related ads.

In an admirable move, Google is keeping this entire process transparent with the help of the Ads Preferences Manager. It enables anyone to view, add or remove, and even completely opt out of receiving interest-based ads. Anyone can access their Ads Preferences Manager by typing in www.google.com/ads/preferences

Furthermore, the search giant promises not to store personal information such as names and addresses of users, or track health and other sensitive categories as part of the new service.