October 24, 2013

Online advertising has grown to a $120 billion market. The ability to target specific consumers has driven this growth. The driving technology for this approach is “cookies” – tiny trackers that companies attach to your website to monitor people’s browsing.

That’s why Google’s announcement that they are considering a switch to a system that would create its own anonymous identifier for each individual would be a huge game changer. As reported by the Wall St. Journal, Mike Anderson, chief technology officer of Tealium, a software company that helps advertisers track users, said advertisers might be willing to trade in cookies for an identifier because it could help them create more detailed portraits of consumers. Right now, advertisers may place cookies on websites, but each uses a different code, so they can’t tell whether they’re tracking the same user.

Mozilla has already announced plans to launch an automatic cookie blocking feature on its Firefox browser. Microsoft has also launched a “Do Not Track” feature on its latest Internet Explorer browser. Apple Safari browser has blocked cookies since 2003.

Bottom-line: By this time next year, the world of online tracking will be vastly different and so will online advertising.

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