With all those data point from the plethora of free Google products that website owners and users surround themselves with, we can only imagine what kind of ad targeting platform can be made but Google can actually make it.
Imagine if you had to make a sales pitch to that jack-ass manager from the rich company who never bothers to reply your mails but you could run a $5 ad campaign that targets only him. So that you can show your brand to him everywhere he goes, from his Gmail account to web searches or even when he is on this blog you could shout out “Hey Jack Ass manager -reply to my mails”.
Or it could have helped you target the crush of your life to be your valentine by throwing your name on every site that she visited. Yes that is what Google’s ad platform could help you do. Help you do right now, if only it wanted to.
Zoom out a little and say if the new Groupon clone could target ads to only SnapDeal users and say, “Hey, We got better deals”. Sounds familiar? Haven’t you done that already on Facebook? Did you not target your Facebok ads to all those who “Like” your competitor?
Google does allow you to target your ads to show on NextBigWhat.com but why not target the ads to show it to Pluggd.in readers where ever they go? Why not on your demography, why only context? Wouldn’t it perform like it does now?
Google ads have always been contextual and little about demography. When i am searching about a fridge doesn’t mean that i don’t have the house that i want to buy at the back of my mind. I am more likely to be influenced with this because i know it is not being pushed to me, and would help build the advertisers brand with me overtime. It may not have a high CTR but the brand message is conveyed.
Even with its strong hold on online advertising, what Google hasn’t been able to achieve is a mindshare of brand managers who want to build their brand and spend most of their ad budgets in “branding”. Google isn’t yet considered a branding or engagement platform but that is where most of advertising $ goes. Brand managers would love to embrace such a targeting platform even if they had to pay per impression and not per click.
So is it Evil to do that? Does it dis-respect your privacy?
Take another case of Google’s almost dying social network, Orkut. Google never released the data of Orkut users on Google search. Imagine the if your Orkut data was searchable by your potential employer on Google, wouldn’t you keep it clean. Wouldn’t Orkut still be a top of the mind recall when we looked for anyone?
Are the web users going to reward Google to maintain their privacy? Or is Google waiting for Facebook to take step 2 in killing privacy before it takes step 1?
Your take? Do you really believe there is anything private about the web anymore?
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]