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Behavioral Targeting in Search Engine Marketing

Oct 12, 2007
In Internet Marketing, behavioral targeting actually employs cookies to know about the tastes and preference of the prospects or the visitors. While visiting neutral sites like reading news, the web surfers are also able to see advertisements that pertain behavioral targeting is defined traditionally and utilized by Google and other search engines.

An advertiser reaches their targets by advertising beyond the relevant sites. Someone could just place a search for sports kits and end up visiting a mortgage site for home loans. But how does it appear on the screen when you are placing a search for a completely uncorrelated service or product? This is what behavioral targeting strategy of the search engines is all about. Unless the ad displayer is informed about your personal information, how it is possible for them to display such ads?

This is a debatable issue in Search Engine Marketing. Google, which actually claims to be a much-secured site and takes cares of customer's privacy, actually shares some information with the third party advertiser. This is what behavioral targeting aims to. Spilling of personal identifiable information could be a real threat to many Google users who are the subjects of Google's behavioral Targeting.

Sometimes we are not even consciously aware of the ads being displayed when we surf. Ads that have been placed in well coordination with the searches that we place, studying our online behavior and trends. Suppose you are reading news on the world cup cricket that is being held in some other country on the net, in the local newspaper of the same country, and you see ads of movers and packers of your locality. Isn't it strange? This is never coincidental but planned and targeted. The displayer of this ad is well informed about your of personal information, at least he knows where you live.

Even if you consider that, this is geo-targeting and the search engines are fairly employing this technique to expand their reach, this issue is non-acceptable to many users, who rightly consider this a breach of contract on privacy.

Google however tries to explain the fact that they are very careful about maintaining the privacy in a sense that information passed on the displayer is not stored or tracked later for use. It all happens within a particular session. Google's Vice President for product management for advertising, Susan Wojcicki, believes that what is important in behavioral targeting is task-based information of the user. She also confirmed that Google is very careful and selective about what personal information could be shared.

Google has also filed patents on behavioral targeting based on search history behavior/trend of the users and personalization. Yahoo also offers a post-search behavioral advertising facility to its advertisers. MSN's Ad Center provides and promises similar services for its advertisers.

Advertising.com, AlmondNet are other behavioral targeting networks that uses user-search trends. These networks use user profile information from previous search results, user interactions in previous search results, demographics and psychographic information, category and topic preferences, and web sites that are linked to these users.

Behavioral targeting has remained to a contentious issue until today. Google and other Search engines however, are trying to develop ethical codes of advertising and ensuring security of personal information of the users.
About the Author
Allen Thomason is an accomplished and established internet marketer. To find out how to expand your online knowledge and learn more about Internet Marketing, Advertising, and Proven Marketing Tactics visit http://www.TheProfitCombination.com
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