Monday, August 21, 2006

Seek (on the Web) and the advertisers shall find you

Seek (on the Web) and the advertisers shall find you - Business - International Herald Tribune: "Yahoo introduced a computer system that uses complex models to analyze records of what each of its 500 million users do on its site: What they search for, what pages they read, what ads they click on. It then tries to show them advertisements that speak directly to their interests and the events in their lives.

Advertising on search engines is already a $14 billion-a-year business because the ads can be so closely tied to what people are looking for. Internet companies call this behavioral targeting, and it is based on the insight that knowing what people do online can be more valuable to a marketer than knowing how old they are or what they do for a living. Technology from companies like DoubleClick and the unit of AOL allows marketing messages to follow people around the Web.

Most of these marketing systems use cookies, unique numbers that a Web site can place on a computer to spot return visitors. Cookies are also used by companies like that place ads and track visitors across many sites. Tacoda offered a service to allow companies to track behavior on their own sites. Now it runs a network across 3,500 sites, so, for example, can show lucrative auto ads to its users who recently visited

One believer is Panasonic, which has found that users do respond to such advertisements. It ran a series of ads for plasma televisions on entertainment and electronics Web sites. Then it used technology from Tacoda to show ads to people who had once visited those sites while they surfed elsewhere. The response to the ads increased when they were on a site unrelated to televisions."

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