Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 18:27, mcrilf wrote...

Google "launches" (shhh) behavioral targeting...or not, as the case may be

Not if you ask Google, that is, since it is trying to distance itself from the term behavioral targeting. But what they are doing amounts to something not a million miles from it though...stitching together different search queries to produce search results that become increasingly focussed, based on the combined terms used in the different queries.

Try searching for Paris and then hotel. You'll notice that on the second search, the ads are for hotels in Paris.

As Enquiro reports, the launch of this new functionality was kept low key. There were a couple of articles written about it on ClickZ and SearchEngineLand.

Is this behavioral targeting? Sounds to me like it is. But as Reuters reported, Susan Wojcicki, Google vice president of product management for advertising is distancing Google from this term. Reuters quote her saying:

"That is not something that we have participated in, for a variety of reasons," Wojcicki told reporters at a briefing at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"We believe that task-based information at the time (of a user's search) is the most relevant information to what they are looking at," she said. "We always want to be very careful about what information would or would not be used."

Although on the face of it, this is a useful technology, I'm sure there are many people out there who will become even more uneasy about their privacy and just how much the mighty Google knows about them.

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