Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Google Health

Went to a presentation on Friday that included the phrase:
"The battleground will be over our data"

Google are definitely continuing the offensive. Here's Google Health. Why not trust google with the details of your various illnesses? Allow Google to know what's wrong with you and then serve you ads in relation to this.

Google say:
"Certain features of Google Health can be used in conjunction with other Google products, and those features may share information to provide a better user experience and to improve the quality of our services. For example, Google Health can help you save your doctors’ contact information into your Google Contact List."

At the moment Google place our adverts against words that are not necessarily relevant to what we are bidding against. This means that Google is using it's own information to decide that the ad is relevant. If you are an advertiser, you can see the results of this within the query report contained within adwords. There will be some words you appear against that are not remotely relevant.

We discovered this working for a previous client whereby we were appearing against competitor's keywords despite the fact we'd never entered bids against those keywords.

I suspect Google Health will allow Google to begin putting these adverts in front of people who will be searching on related terms, but will give Google a justification to put more specialised ads (with higher effective CPMs) in front of people who it knows will have an interest in the relevant drug \ product.

It's cunning, but if people don't realise what Google are doing, they will never notice. The perfect crime? We'll see.

In general, the public will happily exchange their privacy for specific benefits. This case shows a good example where the public are merrily engaged in this exchange.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Poor Gordon

The Economist has done a particularly good cover this week. One of those times where a picture does say a good number of words!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

7p per gigabyte

The internet moves ever onward. As many of the commentators are beginning to point out, we are moving inexorably towards a point where storage of data and computing power are essentially free.

The fact that developers are being offered storage at this sort of price indicates that we will see more and more things being stored all over the place. Why store something on your PC hard drive, where it is vulnerable to corruption when you can store it online too?

Apple's time machine product has shown that consumers can see the benefit of having a well designed backup solution. I suspect it won't be very long before we'll be seeing a similar product that backs up your data online and then serves you adverts based around the content that you are uploading.

As with all other products along these lines, we will be seeing some people moaning about their loss of privacy. However I think the majority of the population will be willing to sacrifice privacy for ease of use.

I would be willing to put a bet on that we will see a consumer friendly version of time machine appearing on the internet reasonably soon. The question is how deep they'll be willing to go with their profiling of users.