Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another One of Those Incremental Improvements That Keep Google Ahead

Here’s something that shouldn’t surprise you: Google just keeps getting smarter.

Last week, the Internet frontrunner announced changes that will enhance its contextual targeting capabilities.

Contextual ads show up on pages of Google publishing partners. These AdSense ads are supposed to be relevant to various keywords on a given page. (Say you load a story about increasing new home construction. You’re likely to see an ad from a homebuilder.) When it works, it’s your typical, intuitive, don’t-even-realize-it’s-happening Google experience.

Trouble is, sometimes Google’s contextual targeting hasn’t worked quite right. Like when an ad for cheap airline tickets shows up on a page about a plane crash. Here’s an amusing slideshow of some of the most egregious examples of contextual targeting mishaps.

The changes Google announced this week should cut down on these embarrassing exceptions—once again keeping Google ahead of the pack in terms of creating an ever smoother, more customized Internet that works better for advertisers and users alike.

That’s not only good news for you if you’re an advertiser. It’s also a good example. The lesson? Never stop improving. The folks at Google never do, and that’s one of the ways they maintain a competitive edge.

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