Posts tagged Tool

Just How Creepy Can Targeted Ads Get? New Tool Promises To Tell You

Ever find yourself scrolling through a website and seeing an advertisement that’s a little too well-targeted? You know, as if the advertiser knew you recently twisted your ankle and need to buy some sturdier shoes? 

Columbia University researchers are working on XRay, a tool to help innocent Internet users make sense of those ads that stalk us, sometimes in ways that are worse than creepy.

Climbing In Your Inbox, Snatching Your Searches Up

As most people know by now, your personal data is the price you pay for “free” services such as Facebook and Google. When it comes to targeted ads, Google bots scan Gmail accounts looking for keywords to then serve up tailored marketing. Facebook does the same thing with “likes,” status updates and other info. 

How that information is analyzed to create personalized Internet advertising is the mystery the Columbia University researchers want to help solve with XRay, the Web transparency tool they’re currently working on.

XRay, still in development, “detects targeting through input/output correlation.” An Internet user’s “inputs”—email, searches, etc.—are compared to “outputs,” or ads that user is shown. As you can probably guess, most of the ads were largely predictable. If “shoes” shows up in an email you’ve sent, you’ll likely see an advertisement for a shoe sale at a department store.

Targeting, however, doesn’t stop at shoes. In developing XRay, researchers also found invasive ads targeting sensitive topics in user emails, including depression and pregnancy. What’s more, targeting based off such health-related keywords is potentially dangerous. For instance, one test showed that inputs containing the word “depression” would deliver ads for questionable quackery such as shamanic healing.

XRay also demonstrated the danger for consumers when companies misuse such keyword targeting:

Imagine an insurance company wanting to learn about pre-existing conditions of its customers before signing them up. The company could create two ad campaigns, one targeting cancer and the other youth, and assign different URLs to each campaign. It could then offer higher premium quotes to users coming in from the cancer-related ads to discourage them from signing up while offering lower premium quotes to people coming in from the youth-related ads.

XRay is still a prototype. Researchers tested it with Gmail to predict ads based off of email correspondence, and YouTube and Amazon video and purchasing suggestions based on previously viewed items. When widely available, XRay is expected to work across multiple platforms. In initial testing, XRay accurately predicted the types of ads that will be displayed in the future with 80 to 90% accuracy.

XRay’s code will be open source, and eventually this tool will be available to everyone with an Internet connection. Such insight could help the average Internet user better understand how companies use their data. It might also help privacy watchdogs call out malicious advertisers who abuse keyword targeting.

The team will release its research paper this week at USENIX Security 2014, a top security conference in San Diego, Calif. XRay is supported by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Google and Microsoft. 

Lead image by Asja Boroš

View full post on ReadWrite

Google Creates Shopping Campaigns “Upgrade Tool” for AdWords Advertisers

After announcing AdWords would retire its Product Listing Ads product in August in favor of Shopping campaigns, Google is trying to motivate advertisers to switch.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

As PLAs Come To An End, AdWords Rolls Out New Shopping Campaigns Upgrade Tool

With Product Listing Ad campaigns coming to an end this month, Adwords has launched a new tool to help users upgrade their PLA campaigns to Shopping campaigns in what it claims is just a, “…matter of clicks.” According to the announcement: Google offered the following screen shot…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Google Merchant Center Adds Shipping Tool

The Google Merchant Center has added a shipping rates tool that allows sellers to display more accurate total prices to consumers.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

For More Accurate Shipping Rates In Google Shopping, Merchant Center Gets Shipping Configuration Tool

Google launched new features today to help merchants customize the shipping rates that display in Google Shopping. The shipping configuration tool is now available in Google Merchant Center, and a new shipping label attribute can be used in product feeds to group products with similar shipping…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

How To Use LinkedIn As A B2B Link Prospect Development Tool

It’s no secret that LinkedIn is widely considered one of the top social media platforms for B2B marketers. As illustrated in the fourth annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, put out by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 91% of B2B content…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Ten Years Of Local Search Data Accessible With Yelp Trends Tool by @mattsouthern

Yelp was founded in 2004, making it 10 years old this year. In the decade since being founded, Yelp users have contributed over 57 million local reviews to the site. Today, Yelp announced that they will be giving everyone a look at ten years worth of review content with a new tool called Yelp Trends. From food trends to popular slang to short-lived beauty fads (Brazilian blowout anyone?), Yelp Trends searches through words used in Yelp reviews to show you what’s hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off. The wealth of data availabile in Yelp Trends is […]

The post Ten Years Of Local Search Data Accessible With Yelp Trends Tool by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

Yelp Trends Tool Reveals Ten Years Of Local Reviews Data

Yelp is ten years old this year. Since 2004 the company says that it has collected 57 million reviews from users in nearly 100 cities in more than 20 countries. Yelp is now making that data accessible through a new Yelp Trends tool. Similar to Google Trends but more narrowly focused, the Yelp tool…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Imgur Launches The Ultimate Search Tool For Viral Images And Memes by @mattsouthern

Today, Imgur began rolling out an update for its search tool that’s poised to take Imgur from being just a site to upload and share images, to a place where people can go to find the Internet’s hottest images, Imgur’s new search tool uses a system of tags that users can add to an image when they upload it. From there, anyone can add new tags and vote on the relevancy of the tags that have already been added. For those unfamiliar with Imgur, it has already gained plenty of traction in amongst certain niches of web users. 1.5 million […]

The post Imgur Launches The Ultimate Search Tool For Viral Images And Memes by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

Tool Time: A Breakdown of SEO PowerSuite [Sponsored] by @inspire_video

First, an overview… SEO PowerSuite consists of four software-based tools. They are laid out in an orderly, progressive fashion that takes you from point A – knowing where your site ranks – all the way to point Z - managing your linking strategy. Step 1. Where do you rank? - RankTracker Step 2. Get your site in shape – Website Auditor Step 3. Make a plan – SEO SpyGlass Step 4. Implement the plan – LinkAssistant So let’s start at the beginning. Where do you rank? Rank Tracker allows you to enter in your own keywords to see where your site ranks, then it suggests relevant […]

The post Tool Time: A Breakdown of SEO PowerSuite [Sponsored] by @inspire_video appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

Go to Top
Copyright © 1992-2014, DC2NET All rights reserved