Sunday, June 26, 2011

Google AdWords "Interests" Graduates

Google AdWords has graduated an experimental feature known as "Interests" to mainstream availability. The feature lets advertisers target users by their broader interests, regardless of the context of the current site.

The What and How of AdWords Interests

Normally, an advertisement in the Google Display Network will only show up if it's directly relevant to the content on the page. However, the "Interests" feature lets advertisers continue to target users on outside sites based on their established behavior and overall interests. The price remains the same for Interest-garnered impressions and clicks, but the mechanism gives you more advertising opportunities.
Over a thousand different categories have been established, ranging from "ecotourism to mobile phones," according to the Google AdWords blog post. Since the Interests beta started in March 2009, more than 500 million users have been categorized into one interest or another.
But how have they been categorized? Google's explanation is that "Our system looks at the types of pages a user visits, taking into account how recently and frequently those pages have been visited, and then associates their browser with relevant interest categories." In other words, users are tagged in a browser-based element – probably site cookies or other stored data – and are advertised to accordingly.
Did you miss the beta on this AdWords feature? Want to learn more about AdWords, including veteran, beta, or nubile features? Good news: Google just launched a dedicated AdWords YouTube channel.

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