Systems would analyze how different individuals and groups react to ads of varying formats and contexts, and then deliver the ads to the right places in the right formats. Some of the format attributes that Google mentions include:
• particular layout
• specific placement on a user interface
• time of ad delivery
• behavioral tendencies of users
• geographic region
Interesting stuff which will likely, on some level, be another red flag for privacy advocates since having the right information about a potential advertising target in order to format an ad to their personal tastes, requires having data about that target. Behavioral targeting has been on the privacy police’s hit list for quite some time and that will not go away any time soon. Every time a push is made further customize ad delivery there are cries of stepping on privacy. I suspect this case will be the same.
The article quotes that an analyst from IDC
…….. said that at first blush, the system sounded like Yahoo’s Smart Ads. “What is not new about this is creating an ad on the fly, custom tailored to a particular user,” he said. “Let’s say they know you’re looking for a car, so you only see BMW ads. Because you’re in San Francisco, you only see ads for BMWs in San Francisco.”
What is new is using data to drive aspects of the format. “It fits into the greater ad scheme of ad tailoring,” he said. “We’re seeing a whole lot of initiatives in that field.”
You can read the application (U.S. patent application 20100138553) here for much more detail.