Google Streamlines Ads System

Dennis Faas's picture

Google is to introduce close integration between its two main advertising systems. It should mean better targeted ads, though it will lead to extra tracking information on users' computers.

The changes involve both Doubleclick -- an online ad company Google bought for just over $3 billion last year -- and Google's own Adsense system. They work in different ways: Doubleclick tracks the browsing history of a user and builds up a picture of their interests, while Adsense ads are specific to a particular website's content (though they do take into account a user's geographical location to provide relevant ads).

As part of the benefits for running both systems, Google is now planning to merge the two databases. The company is selling the idea as a boon to advertisers, arguing that they'll be able to produce more accurate and detailed reports about how many people have seen an ad, how many times each person has seen it, and how many then followed links in the advert. (Source:

Google's also bringing in a system to allow advertisers to place a limit on the number of times an individual views a particular advert. This should prove a great benefit to advertisers who believe people need to see an advert a certain number of times before the message 'sticks'. However, marketers also realize that there's a point at which repeating a message stops being effective and may even start to put customers off a brand or product.

As part of these changes, Google will be adding an extra 'cookie' (a small text file stored on a computer which is read by web pages to produce relevant content) to the computer of anyone visiting a site with Doubleclick advertising. (Source:

Though the second cookie could be viewed as more intrusive, it's unlikely to make much practical difference. It will only be added to those computers owned by people who've never previously visited a Doubleclick-enabled site (which will likely be a minority).

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