This is just a wild-assed theory, but Google could use it’s search history data to start behavioural targeting across the DoubleClick ad network it has just acquired.
Behavioural targeting companies like RevenueScience have (so I hear) struggled to get much uplift in CPMs because they are working with limited amounts of data. The way their business works either they do technology deals with websites and target ads based on where users have been on that single website (data is limited to where people have surfed on the one group of sites – e.g. the FT Group) or they become ad networks in which case the data is limited to the network, which might have a larger number of sites, but each site would likely have less traffic.
Limited data wouldn’t be a problem at Google. They have search history data for nearly all of us and as market leader DoubleClick has a lot of inventory to work with.
There would be lots of hurdles to overcome before this idea could be implemented – not least we would all need to opt in, but Google might just find a way to make it worth our while.
I hope they find a way to do it. A lot of money is being left on the table through ads not being targeted as well as they could be and that isn’t good for anybody.
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