Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do Google ads target the user's web history?

Just chatting with a friend today about a particular website's Google ads and we discovered that the same webpage was displaying different adverts for the two of us simultaneously. Now I know that Google looks at the actual content of the website in deciding what particular advert to display but it does raise the question as to whether they are also analysing users specific web histories?

1 comment:

EasyTom said...

Yes, they do. I noticed it recently when I was advertised a product I'd browsed only an hour or two before. It's all a bit 1984 isn't it? Except that we're offering up the information ourselves, no cameras required, we just transmit all our interests gladly all day!

There's a plug-in 'opt out' for Firefox and Explorer apparently or a cookie based 'opt out' preference here: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/
However, this opt out clears if you clear your cookies.