Google Ads will now follow you around the web

Ever get the feeling you are being followed?  Well Google has announced that they are ready to release a new method to display ads to customers.  Google has been testing the system since March, and is now being rolled out to Adwords customers.

The “Retargeting” market allows Google to display the same advertisement multiple times to a single person, even on different webpages.  Google believes that this program will finally get users to click on an advertisement to something that interest them, based on a cookie of your search history.

The retargeting program tracks your recently visited websites, for example, a hotel company could retarget specific users for Caribbean hotel offers, if the user was last visiting the Caribbean section on their site.  Once the user has left the website, special deals will begin to follow users around the web, depending if the site has Google Adwords displayed, trying to entice the user to click on the offer.

Google believes this will help users find what they are looking for, in return, helping advertisers get to their target market.  The retarget program might be useful to a small group of users on the Internet, but for everyone else, there is an Opt Out option on Google’s Ad Preferences webpage - which also displays all your interests.

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86 Comments

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Advertisers are probably going to be happy to pay more for targetted ads if they do help generate more income - which they are sure to do.

If my mum is on some blog website and sees an advert that is selling horse supplies, she'll be more likely to click that than some random 'find horny singles near you'. Well at least, I hope so. Maybe she won't click on it everytime, but there will be times, like just after payday, when she'll be more receptive to it than usual.

Since we're all being tracked anyway, I don't see what the fuss is about. They want to use the information more intelligently to make more money.

The fact that it's only really tied on a per browser/per computer basis means it is only loosely tied to your identity. If you use multiple computers during a day, they will get a less complete picture.

Everything you do on a computer, and the internet, can be tracked and traced. If you don't like it, don't use them.

I don't like the idea of adverts following me around, because that just gets boring and annoying, even if they were initially vaguely interesting. I can see why it would work though - it's the 'nag' tactic..

Hmm.. I wouldn't mind ads, but the number of BS ads are plentiful in number. If I could enter somewhere in Google what my interests are and they actually are relevant to me and not like "YOU WON a PSP!!! CLICK HERE LOL!!11! SCAM" then I wouldn't mind. I click on the ads on penny arcade and ctrl alt del sometimes because I like their ads sometimes and they don't put up random stuff. It's a site host's own fault that people block ads because of how many crappy ad links there are.

i think maybe most of you are a little confused about what your crying about...

Ever been to a page with Google Ads? Same thing, but they show you ads that pertain to your searches....

I think a big "WHO THE HELL CARES" is good right about now.

All you people worried about privacy... every company tracks stuff with cookies. If you are that worried about it, turn them off.

AdBlock doesn't protect your privacy in the least. You are still being "tracked." The cookies are still there. You just don't *see* the resulting ads.

Personally I don't see how this is a privacy issue anyway. And again, it's not just Google doing this.

This is based on the old crazy marketing idea that people want to see ads, they just haven't seen the 'right ad' which of course is fantasy. Perhaps in the old days, people found this interesting. Now, advertising is so over saturated and is so in your face all the time, people now avoid it from pure irritation.

Tracking users like this will be nothing more then cyber stalking except it's by google.

crashguy said,
This is based on the old crazy marketing idea that people want to see ads, they just haven't seen the 'right ad' which of course is fantasy. Perhaps in the old days, people found this interesting. Now, advertising is so over saturated and is so in your face all the time, people now avoid it from pure irritation.

Tracking users like this will be nothing more then cyber stalking except it's by google.

Maybe a "crazy old marketing idea" to you - but it apparently still works, and well. I don't think I am hugely influenced by ads, but I will readily admit there are times I say "hey, that looks kind of interesting, I'll check it out." And by check it out, I mean do some research on the product.

The purpose of advertising isn't always to get you to "buy this instant" it's to let you know "hey this product is available." And it works.

Just proof that their stupid Chrome browser is nothing but spyware also. The biggest problem with Google is the fact they have this stupid idea that they need to save your tracking information forever. It almost looks like they have some kind of deal with the Government/FBI.

If I didn't click on the ad the first time I saw it, what makes Google think that I will click on the ad when I see it again? If anything they should intentionally show different ads on different pages.

> Google believes this will help users find what they are looking for, in return,
> helping advertisers get to their target market

The assumption with that proposal that I use Google to buy crap. I'm a developer and primarily use Google to look up sample code, figure out some API, etc. No advertiser can provide me a "solution" they can profit off of. If someone wants to charge me for answers, I'll just follow a link to a different forum.

_dandy_ said,
> Google believes this will help users find what they are looking for, in return,
> helping advertisers get to their target market

The assumption with that proposal that I use Google to buy crap. I'm a developer and primarily use Google to look up sample code, figure out some API, etc. No advertiser can provide me a "solution" they can profit off of. If someone wants to charge me for answers, I'll just follow a link to a different forum.

You are one user out of .. millions, perhaps billions. A LOT of people do a LOT of online spending via online stores, gambling sites, paid for porn, etc etc etc. And they search for the stuff they're interested in via Google..

Edited by Laura, Mar 26 2010, 1:11pm :

Man, when did the Anti Google bandwagon roll in? Must be the flavor of the month. I dont have any problem with Google targeting me with ads based on my search cookies, if anything, it would be nice to have ads that are at least relevant to what I do on the internet instead of the "3 Secrets to whiter teeth" and "Lose 40lbs using one easy step" ads. Seriously guys, stop being such sheep. Your all clearly tech savvy for the most part. This is not meant to target "Us" its meant for average users who are actually dumb enough to click on random pop-ups and ads.

ffs, learn how the internet works from a business stand point, not from an IT one.

The anti-google bandwagon got a whole lot more members pretty much as soon as the whole Google-China problem escalated, hell, I know that's when I started to hate them.

Haegr said,
The anti-google bandwagon got a whole lot more members pretty much as soon as the whole Google-China problem escalated, hell, I know that's when I started to hate them.

And I still fail to understand why people expect a company to make decisions based on their personal politics, instead of based on business. Do you hate Apple, Microsoft, Nike, and every other major company. Because they all do business in China as well, and they all "play ball" with the Chinese Government for the privilege. So I hope you only use mom-and-pop stores.

Alright so for everyone who's complaining about googles advertising methods which is one of the only ways they make income how much are you willing to pay for all their free services?

Have any of you ever tried running a company that needs to make profit? Their ads they're not coming into your house and spying on you watching every move you make. Simple ads just ignore them so what if the cookie follows you? Is it reporting back information to google telling them every place I go to and storing it in a massive database that's tracking me in a plot to one day take over me and replace me with a clone?

Also the sites you visit are the ones who choose to use these ads so why not bitch to the sites or pay the sites you visit for free everyday so they don't have to have ads?

Edrick Smith said,
Alright so for everyone who's complaining about googles advertising methods which is one of the only ways they make income how much are you willing to pay for all their free services?

Have any of you ever tried running a company that needs to make profit? Their ads they're not coming into your house and spying on you watching every move you make. Simple ads just ignore them so what if the cookie follows you? Is it reporting back information to google telling them every place I go to and storing it in a massive database that's tracking me in a plot to one day take over me and replace me with a clone?

Also the sites you visit are the ones who choose to use these ads so why not bitch to the sites or pay the sites you visit for free everyday so they don't have to have ads?

This might be an amazing idea, but I think it is rather simple... They could actually charge for those services instead. Wow amazing I know...

Frazell Thomas said,

This might be an amazing idea, but I think it is rather simple... They could actually charge for those services instead. Wow amazing I know...

Would you honestly pay for email?

Edrick Smith said,
Alright so for everyone who's complaining about googles advertising methods which is one of the only ways they make income how much are you willing to pay for all their free services?

Have any of you ever tried running a company that needs to make profit? Their ads they're not coming into your house and spying on you watching every move you make. Simple ads just ignore them so what if the cookie follows you? Is it reporting back information to google telling them every place I go to and storing it in a massive database that's tracking me in a plot to one day take over me and replace me with a clone?

Also the sites you visit are the ones who choose to use these ads so why not bitch to the sites or pay the sites you visit for free everyday so they don't have to have ads?


They can provide ads without any tracking information whatsoever. Please stop trying to defend their illegal invasion of privacy.

Simon said,
Would you honestly pay for email?

Do you have an email account with your ISP? I'd safely assume that you do, so you are paying for email.

TC17 said,

They can provide ads without any tracking information whatsoever. Please stop trying to defend their illegal invasion of privacy.

Illegal invasion of privacy? You need to read up on your law. This is in no way illegal.

what makes them think that showing it multiple times will mean people will click it?? if i didnt click it the first time why would i click it a different time??

Wow. It looks a lot of people do hates ads!(yes me2) At least Google is making them more "relevant' to you...
Tracking cookies though.. *cough*

It's interesting to see what they think your interests are, in my case...

Food & Drink
Food & Drink - Nonalcoholic Beverages

It's like um... Alright?

Mine are way out of reality, too. They are:
Games
Games - Video Games
Games - Video Games - Online Games

I am not a gamer, and I run Linux, so not that I really *could* run an awful lot. I expected more geeky and less lazy/gamery.

We shouldn't have to go to their site to "opt-out". And I disagree this is good for the market or for end users. Google does not own the market.

Edited by JohnCz, Mar 25 2010, 6:01pm :

Nehemoth said,
What part of Opt out you don't understand?
http://www.google.com/ads/preferences

Is good for Google, is good por companies, is good for the market and is what ever you want for you.
Just Opt out.

Got to love the new generation. You should have everything crammed down your throat and be forced to find a random button to make it stop. As if everyone reads NeoWin and will know where that opt-out button is...

Not to mention you need to jump through so many hoops to make the opt-out work, like be signed into Google for starters...

I'd prefer it was an opt-in system, but they don't need to do that when people like you exist who sit there waiting with your mouth open.

Kookaburra said,

Funny, I'd rather opt-in than have something just arbitrarily forced on me.

This is nonsense. They aren't giving you MORE ads than you already see, just DIFFERENT ads. So in place of a random banner, they'll give you a targeted banner. If you don't looks at the ads anyway... why do you care what ad is showing?

Nehemoth said,
What part of Opt out you don't understand?
http://www.google.com/ads/preferences

Is good for Google, is good por companies, is good for the market and is what ever you want for you.
Just Opt out.

"Cookies are disabled


Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser."


Nice to see it's not a true opt-out. Guess they hope you opt-out once and forget about. Switch browsers, get a new IP, clear cookies, etc. and your back in... WHooooo!

Edited by war, Mar 26 2010, 2:48am :

war said,
"Cookies are disabled


Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser."


Nice to see it's not a true opt-out. Guess they hope you opt-out once and forget about. Switch browsers, get a new IP, clear cookies, etc. and your back in... WHooooo!

I'm having the same problem. The opt-out page says "Cookies are disabled" (when they're not) so I can't opt-out.

war said,
"Cookies are disabled


Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser."


Nice to see it's not a true opt-out. Guess they hope you opt-out once and forget about. Switch browsers, get a new IP, clear cookies, etc. and your back in... WHooooo!

Their page does mention this, right after you opted out. It helps to read hmm

"If you are using a brand new computer or otherwise do not already have a DoubleClick cookie, it is possible that you will have a DoubleClick test cookie in addition to your opt-out DoubleClick cookie. The test cookie, which is used only to verify if your browser is accepting cookies, will self-delete within 24 hours. Once you have opted out of the DoubleClick cookie and the test cookie has expired, no other test cookie or DoubleClick cookie will be set again."

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ad+block&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

Roger2 said,

I'm having the same problem. The opt-out page says "Cookies are disabled" (when they're not) so I can't opt-out.

Wouldn't that stop you from being 'opted-in' in the first place?

este said,
Smart for them but sucks for us

Why does it suck for us? As I said elsewhere... we aren't seeing MORE ads, just DIFFERENT ads. And hell, targeted ads arguably may be marginally more useful than random ones.

If the ads are more relevant, they will be less annoying. It only sucks if you don't have much self control in terms of avoiding clicking on stuff that temps you (and then spending money).

Google believes that this program will finally get users to click on an advertisement to something that interest them, based on a cookie of your search history.

Wishful thinking...

When will companies finally realize, that those kind of forced ads on the internet are absolutely untrustworthy and put them in a bad light?

Seismo said,
When will companies finally realize, that those kind of forced ads on the internet are absolutely untrustworthy and put them in a bad light?

Not completely true. Some ads are completely un-trustworthy, agreed. But, for web advertising at large (not talking about popups, pop-unders, or "you won 1,000,000 dollars") are a huge source of traffic to companies. Just as I write this I see a very appealing "Google Apps" ad to my right that looks absolutely trustworthy.

Seismo said,
When will companies finally realize, that those kind of forced ads on the internet are absolutely untrustworthy and put them in a bad light?

You do realize that if companies ever "realize" this there will be NO free web anymore, right? Oh there will be free web sites - sites for companies so you can get info on their products. Everything else will require a subscription.

Thankfully, web advertising DOES work, and it works well. EVERYONE says ads do not effect them - regardless of type - TV ads, web ads, radio ads.. "none of them effect me." Yet they work. So they do effect people, they just don't realize (or admit) it.

vaximily said,

There is no god... thank the developers instead.


BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.

TC17 said,

BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.

I'm sick of a lot of things

TC17 said,

BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.

so get off the internet already, you're slowing it down for everyone else.

TC17 said,

BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.

That doesn't make any sense.

TC17 said,

BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.

And i've been sick of all the religious fools cluttering up the world too, so i guess that makes us even.

Dude, go do something God wants you to do then... get off the net....


TC17 said,

BS if there is no God. I'm sick of all these Atheists on the Internet anymore.