If you’ve used Gmail, you’ve probably noticed the ads running along the right-hand side of the screen when viewing an email. And you’ve probably noticed that these ads . . . well, sometimes they’re not to relevant to you, the email, or . . . pretty much anything else.
Gmail is admitting their shortcoming—and they’re working to make this better. Now, instead of serving only marginally relevant ads beside your emails, they’ll go back and look at the last email you viewed and use those ads again. (Because they worked so well the first time, when you were actually thinking about that topic?)
On the Gmail blog, Google explains:
[S]ometimes, there aren’t any good ads to match to a particular message. From now on, you’ll sometimes see ads matched to another recent email instead. For example, let’s say you’re looking at a message from a friend wishing you a happy birthday. If there aren’t any good ads for birthdays, you might see the Chicago flight ads related to your last email instead.
Of course, Google is also quick to reassure: this process is fully automated, and no humans are ever reading your email to match up ads. No advertisers are ever given your information. You’re safe.
As always, for visual learners, Google has a video:
In all, I suppose ads that are more relevant to users are always a good thing. I don’t really expect click through rates to go up, though, since it seems like most Gmail users are probably already pretty ad blind (and it’s only the truly irrelevant ones that catch my attention in the first place, ).
What do you think? Will this net more revenue for Google?