It’s going to be big.

Google announced today that it will begin using ‘interest-based’ advertising techniques in order to provide advertisements that are more relevant to you.  This means that, instead of visiting a puzzle website and only see ads about puzzles, Google can now show ads that are relevant to what you previously viewed.  If you were just browsing a music website, Google can see that and can then show music related ads on the upcoming websites you visit.  However, Google does allow you to change their preferences in their preference pane.

With Google being such a large company, and profiting a huge amount on their Adsense/Adwords advertising programs, this is going to be interesting to see what impact it will have a year or two from now.  I bet the conversions and CTR’s will shoot up quite a bit once this is in full throttle.

Update: Today I received the following email from Google about this topic. It was sent out to all Adsense account holders in regards to their privacy policies:

Hi,

We’re writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site’s privacy policies. You’ll also see some new options on your Account Settings page.

Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user’s previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. “sports enthusiast”). To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network. As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the “sports enthusiast” interest category. To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Center at http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/topic.py?topic=20310.

As a result of this announcement, your privacy policy will now need to reflect the use of interest-based advertising. Please review the information at https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=100557 to ensure that your site’s privacy policies are up-to-date, and make any necessary changes by April 8, 2009. Because publisher sites and laws vary across countries, we’re unfortunately unable to suggest specific privacy policy language.

For more information about interest-based advertising, you can also visit the Inside AdSense Blog at http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/03/driving-monetization-with-ads-that.html.

We appreciate your participation and look forward to this upcoming enhancement.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

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