Google Ad Tracker To Use Homebaked Cookies
September 18, 2013

Google Ad Tracker To Use Home-baked Cookies

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Google plans to release its own brand of ad trackers and ditch third-party cookies, according to a USA Today report.

Called AdID, this Google technology is said to give users more control and privacy over who tracks them and the search titan more control over how advertisers promote their products. More than the world’s largest search engine, Google also accounts for one-third of all online ads. As such, this change could make significant waves ripple throughout the online advertising industry. According to USA Today’s source at Google, the company could begin pitching AdID to advertisers soon, “in the coming weeks and months.”

The single source also declined to give his/her name as Google has not yet announced this new advertising protocol.

When asked about AdID, a Google spokesperson replied: “Technological enhancements can improve users' security while ensuring the Web remains economically viable. We and others have a number of concepts in this area, but they're all at very early stages.”

Online advertisers, like others, are interested in delivering pointed and specific ads. Third-party cookies are strings of text which can attach data during a visit to a website. This data may contain the type of browser being used and the geographical location.

Third-party cookies and ad tracking software have been sticky issues for many years. When Apple launched Safari in 2003, it took the somewhat controversial stance and blocked cookies by default. Microsoft wanted to take a similar approach last year in the months leading up to its Windows 8 launch. After the software giant announced the latest version of Internet Explorer would automatically have the Do Not Track switch flipped by default, advertisers — including Google — launched a complaint to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Even as the complaint was lodged against Microsoft, the W3C had not not come to a compromise on how ad trackers should work. The issue was even taken to Washington as privacy advocates and marketing groups met to lobby for their respective sides. Just this week the effort has shown signs of failing. Following the departure of a privacy advocacy group from the effort, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) did the same.

To change the way advertisers watch the Internet habits of consumers could be a large disruption for a large industry. USA Today claims online ads are a $120 billion business, one in which Google is a major player. As this is the majority of their business, it behooves Google to both be ahead of the curve in terms of any pending regulatory measures and to control the flow of data between where people go on the web and who sees this data.

The company was also recently granted a patent that not only knows which ads have been viewed, it also lets the advertisers know how the consumer responded to them emotionally. This technology could be built into Google’s Glass eye-wear as a way to monetize the device. With AdID, Google may be in control of more than just clicks; they could sell advertisers emotional responses.