Posted March 29, 2011 8:50 pm by with 2 comments

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And you thought Google’s awesome Priority Inbox feature was an altruistic attempt to help Gmail users better manage their email.

Hah, the joke’s on you.

All along, it was just a sneaky way to get us all to help Google test a new algorithm that will ensure better quality ads in our inbox. All targeted based on the same technology used by Priority Inbox.

OK, so I may have given this a more sinister spin than it deserves, but Gmail users are hearing about new ads coming there way:

With features like Priority Inbox, we’ve been working hard to help sort through the ‘bacn’ in your messages — the unimportant messages that get in your way. Soon we’re going to try a similar approach to ads: using some of the same signals that help predict which messages are likely to be important to you, Gmail will better predict which ads may be useful to you. For example, if you’ve recently received a lot of messages about photography or cameras, a deal from a local camera store might be interesting. On the other hand if you’ve reported these messages as spam, you probably don’t want to see that deal.

I don’t use Gmail–I use Google Apps Mail–but I’m pretty sure you can just turn these ads off anyway. Still, if the thought of better ads in your inbox excites you, then you need to seek medical help can watch the video below for more details.

UPDATE: Apparently Google officials would like you to know…

…Priority Inbox definitely wasn’t conceived with the intention of serving better ads, and that we only recently realized that similar signals could help reduce the number of useless ads. The new ads have no effect on Priority Inbox.

So, now you know. 😛

  • Oh my goodness. They dish out priority inbox claiming that it will help us manage our mail properly and now it seems, they are beta testing their new ad-interface. Well, Google is smart and which is why it is still managing its numero uno position.

  • Our office is in the process of migrating from M$ Exchange to Gmail.

    I’ve noticed “interesting” spam as of late, stuff I’ve already clicked “report spam” on that still comes thru.

    My thought was Google was taking money to ensure this spam got delivered no matter what.

    It seems I was right. Blech.