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Google AdSense Starts Behavioral Targeting  (View post)

Julian Bark [PersonRank 0]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
13 years ago6,018 views

It becomes very annoying when you see 'embarrassing' ads everywhere... You know what I mean...

Alex Ksikes [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Which means they already had this system internally. Which also means the governments can have access to this data. Which basically means that privacy no longer exists.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I guess Google wouldn't have needed to buy DoubleClick if they weren't planning on doing this kind of evil.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The FAQ link on their opt-out plugin page appears to be broken:

The FAQs link points to:

DiGi [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

So... Behavioral Targeting...

Finally no ads for me? :D I never clicked...

Surly Teabag [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

If we never accept cookies, will that block the behavioral tracking? Or is the tracking done through cookies?

For people who a) don't always use Firefox and b) sometimes delete their cookies, there ought to be an easier way.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

>> For people who a) don't always use Firefox and b) sometimes delete their cookies, there ought to be an easier way.

You can opt-out here:

OR Google says:

"To make sure that your opt-out decision is respected (and isn't deleted if you clear the cookies from your browser), we have designed a plug-in for your browser that maintains your opt-out choice."

Install opt-out Plug-in here:

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I can see an advantage for the content provider. If I, as a website owner, put AdSense on say my FAQ or Acknowledgements page the ads currently aren't particularly useful because there's no good context for targeting. This change would increase the chance that the ads on those pages would be relevant to the viewer.

DiGi wrote:
> Behavioral Targeting ... :D I never clicked...

I guess that's the next step. Google could show whatever kind of ads the viewer has previously clicked on.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The "Interests" are only extracted from the domain – the URL redirects over to<somevalue> which in return redirects to the actual<somevalue> that has opt-out and set preferences.

The preferences are similarly only set as cookies in the domain.

Finally, the opt-out is only set in the domain.

This would mean that the profiles and targeting would not be accessible on the domain used by adSense.

This is, at least, as far as I can see. Anyone see any different?

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Oh, and look at that – the script is now loading content from That's the bit that I was missing.

Yv. [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Surly:
[put at-character here]mrbene:

Only doubleclick cookies.

Zim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I don't like this.

George R [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Adbusters has started a campaign to automatically click AdSense ads.
They seem to think this might cause Google to adopt a pro-privacy policy.

Greasemonkey script to click all AdSense ads:

Greasemonkey script to click random AdSense ads:

Wouldn't it make more sense to make a cookie pool and have a script that changes your ID?

Kirby Witmer [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I just got this email:


We're writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site's privacy policies. You'll also see some new options on your Account Settings page.

Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user's previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. "sports enthusiast"). To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network. As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the "sports enthusiast" interest category. To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Center at

As a result of this announcement, your privacy policy will now need to reflect the use of interest-based advertising. Please review the information at to ensure that your site's privacy policies are up-to-date, and make any necessary changes by April 8, 2009. Because publisher sites and laws vary across countries, we're unfortunately unable to suggest specific privacy policy language.

For more information about interest-based advertising, you can also visit the Inside AdSense Blog at

We appreciate your participation and look forward to this upcoming enhancement.


The Google AdSense Team

Email preferences: You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your AdSense product or account.

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043>>>

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Ironically, Gmail stuck that email in my Spam filter.

Jim [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

For those who want to opt out across all of the big ad networks, there's a wizard now:


Plug-in coming soon ...

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