Google's Ad Network, Now With Double the Cookies

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As part of the ongoing integration of its DoubleClick acquisition (yesterday it sold off Performics), Google will be placing an additional DoubleClick cookie on the browsers of everyone who visits a site that is part of Google’s current AdSense network. This will allow Google to more easily serve up display ads from DoubleClick across that network of sites. It will also allow it to introduce some basic improvements such as frequency capping (letting advertisers limit how many times the same person sees the same ad), and better reporting and conversion data.

All of that is great for advertisers and great for Google, which will be able to leverage its vast, existing Adsense network to push more display ads as well. This is what scares the hell out of Microsoft and Yahoo, and was the prime impetus for Microsoft seriously getting into the online ad business in the first place with its acquisition of aQuantive last year and its attempts to buy Yahoo this year.

For consumers, it means even more cookies on their browsers and more attempts to target ads to them. From the Google Blog:

We are enabling this functionality by implementing a DoubleClick ad-serving cookie across the Google content network. Using the DoubleClick cookie means that DoubleClick advertisers and publishers don’t have to make any changes on their websites as we continue our integration efforts and offer additional enhancements.

On the bright side, for those who of you who have enough cookies on your browser, Google is letting you opt out of cookies for both AdSense and DoubleClick ads with one click.

Clarification: If you already have a DoubleClick cookie on your browser, and you probably do, then you won’t get a new one. That one will just work with Google’s ad network. And Google’s ad network has been able to serve display ads from DoubleClick and others since May, but this strengthens that capability with respect to DoubleClick ads in particular.

(Flickr photo by scubadive67).

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