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5 Things You Need to Know About Behavior-Based Internet Advertising

Aug 12, 2008
Did you ever stop to wonder why those internet ads you come across while surfing almost always have something to do with a product or service you've recently been researching? Well, there's a good reason. Internet marketers are focused on getting their products in front of qualified potential buyers. Notice the word "qualified" in that last sentence.

They're not randomly advertising to just anyone. They're advertising based on what they know interests particular consumers. And how do they know what particular consumers are interested in? That's where behavior-based advertising comes into play. Internet marketers and SEO experts are tracking your activity. They know what you type into a search engine and they know what sites you frequent. Here are five more things you need to know about behavior-based internet advertising (BBIA).

1. Cookies Are the Internet Marketers Best Friend

Computer cookies are small files that are saved onto your computer when you visit websites, so there's a constant record of sites you've visited located in your machine. Let's say you visit a particular website onto which an internet marketer has placed a blank spot. As soon as you log on to the website, the advertiser searches your computer for your recent searches. Then the advertiser fills that blank spot with information tied to your online behavior.

2. Government Regulations May Eventually Make BBIA an Opt-In Enterprise

At present there doesn't seem to be any push for government regulations on behavior-based internet advertising, but it never hurts to be prepared. "Opt-in" advertising means that a user would have to sign up with an advertiser in order to receive targeted advertisements. "Opt-out" advertising means that users would receive targeted ads unless they specifically requested not to receive them.

If the government were ever to make BBIA and opt-in enterprise, internet marketers would have to fill the advertising void that would most likely result from such regulations. To prepare for this possibility internet marketers might consider consulting with an SEO expert or internet marketing firm.

3. You Can Prevent Being Tracked

It's simple. Go to Start, then Settings, then Control Panel, then Internet Options. Click on the Privacy tab. Slide the bar to Block All Cookies. But be aware that some webpages will not load properly if you've disabled Cookies on your machine.

4. Do Not Track

Remember how everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief when the government enacted the "Do Not Call" list that enabled a country to finally eat dinner without being interrupted by telemarketers? Well, some advocacy groups are pushing the same kind of regulations for internet marketing.

5. NebuAd

NebuAd is a Silicon Valley internet startup that claims to have new technology that doesn't require Cookies. A typical scenario looks like this: A company that wants to provide targeted ads based on consumer behavior teams up with an internet service provider.

NebuAd installs equipment at the internet service provider's facility that allows the company to track the searches and habits of all of internet service provider's customers, but with no Cookies. It's hard to say at this point whether any internet service providers will be willing to participate in such technology. That will depend on user response to such a proposal.

Behavior-based internet advertising is, without a doubt, changing the way SEO experts and internet marketers get their products in front of potential customers. The future of BBIA will largely depend on how the everyday user responds to it. If there is a great outcry against BBIA, then the future may bring governmental regulations and other changes to the ways BBIA functions.

But if users remain oblivious or indifferent, internet marketers may be able to continue using BBIA to target customers. Internet marketers should be prepared for both scenarios, either by creating their own strategies or by consulting with SEO experts.
About the Author
Seomul Evans is a senior SEO Services with "SEO 1 Services" a Dallas firm providing SEO Marketing and free internet marketing articles .
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