Google stops personalized advertising

Starting next year, Google will refrain from sending its users personalized advertising via tracking. What sounds like a surprise, experts saw coming.

In Silicon Valley, the surprising news from Google has to be digested first. In a blog entry, Google Product Manager David Temkin announced that, from next year on, they no longer want to track users across multiple websites - in other words, to track their surfing behavior.

Experts saw it coming

The German-born tech blogger Frederic Lardinois from the Techcrunch industry service in Portland says he rubbed his eyes in amazement when he read the message. But then he understood that if you had thought about it, you could have understood that Google had actually been preparing this step for several years.

"It's a huge step for them to say: 'No, we don't do this tracking anymore', because that's how Google makes its money in the end. But if you've listened to Google over the past few years, you've noticed: Okay, they are also withdrawing a little from this area and trying to focus a little more on privacy. " It started with the Chrome browser and the trackers were slowly being removed, says Lardinois.

Google is the largest digital advertising company in the world. The company from Silicon Valley combines a good 52 percent of all advertisements. In absolute terms, that's 292 billion US dollars a year. The company had already announced last year that it would no longer allow cookies from third-party providers. And in the past few months there have been repeated rumors that the group wanted to address data protection concerns more intensively. What is new now is that Google no longer wants to develop alternative tracking methods.

A real problem for advertisers

Many advertisers, agencies and branded goods companies are likely to forge crisis plans with immediate effect. Because Lardinois sees a big problem for the companies concerned: "I assume that they - perhaps together with other big players on the Internet - will now rely on a new technology." This is already being discussed, the blogger said. The Unified 2.0 software is based on e-mail addresses and similar technologies. But without Google it would be very difficult: "If the advertising industry cannot measure how well the advertising is received, that is of course a huge problem."

From next year onwards, Google wants to offer its advertising customers profiles of user groups. Means: It divides its users into categories. A group interested in fitness products, for example; another who likes to vacation in the Caribbean. Conversely, this means: Individual users could no longer be targeted by tailored advertising - only groups of like-minded people.
Pressure comes from all sides

Google's U-turn is no coincidence. The parent company Alphabet has been under pressure for months. There are three antitrust investigations underway against the Mountain View group in the USA alone, explains Lardinois: "In the USA, it is the antitrust proceedings, but also the politicians, that are slowly taking action against Google - but also the users. That was a long time - straight in the US - not the case. But users now really expect to get more privacy online. " Pressure comes from the competition: "Other corporations like Apple now have the chance to say: 'Our products create privacy. Don't use Google's products!' And of course that also increases the pressure on the company. "

Experts like Lardinois from Techcrunch are now watching Google's neighbor Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg's blue giant is number two in global digital advertising. And unlike Google, its business model is based solely on spying on user behavior.