Earlier in the week Google announced changes to its privacy policies. The main changes are that:
- Information you give Google’s various different services can be combined.
Google still promises not to sell personal data, but to only share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information. It hasn’t announced that it’s collecting information it wasn’t before, just that it’s combining what it has differently. You can preview the new policy here.
And now, some speculation on what this may or may not mean for PPC and SEO:
- Interest-based targeting may improve. Currently Google uses DoubleClick cookies to place users into interest categories based on the sites they visit – you can see what Google thinks you like here. The changes mean Google could infer interests from searches or Google+ activity as well, which should improve accuracy.
- Demographics targeting might be available more widely. Currently targeting by age-group and gender is only an option on sites where users supply that information. But Google’s demographic information (from YouTube or Google+ accounts) could be used for targeting on other sites as well.
- New ways of targeting Display Network advertising may appear. For example it could be possible to target people based on what Google Products they use – advertise Analytics training to Analytics users, say, or push Google+ users to circle your Google+ page.
- New ways of targeting Google Search advertising may appear. AdCenter already allows targeting based on age-group and gender when advertising on Search: Google could do the same.
- There will be even more changes to the SERPs – Google’s announcement says the change will let them “better understand which version of Pink or Jaguar you’re searching for”. But perhaps it will also add more than help with disambiguation, adding to the personalisation of the SERPs we’re already seeing with Search Plus Your World.
Have you any idea what Google is (or could be) planning? Share your thoughts in the comments.