When Google beta-launched GMail seven years ago, they brought some major disruption to the industry of free email suppliers with HotMail and Yahoo Mail only offering double-digit MB storage compared to GMail’s 1+GB. Google could offer this amount of email storage due to both the rapidly falling prices of storage over recent years and their AdSense algorithm that automatically matches “relevant” ads to the email message a user is reading, and those adverts were text ads, just as with the original AdSense for Publishers.
AdSense for Publishers has since evolved to offer both image, flash, and text ads, but the ads on GMail have remained a constant with only text based ads. But that is now changing with Google updating to “better ads” with them updating their ad-matching technology to better reflect their Priority Inbox technology allowing them to match ads based on the content of not just the email you are reading at the time, but also your interests from the emails you regularly read and the Bacn to which you are subscribed. All this is done, as before, without any human reading the content of your emails – it is all done automatically by a Google algorithm.
Along with this improved interest-matching technology, however, Google is also adding support for graphical ads within GMail. They have made it clear that the image ads will not be animated, with such distraction and annoyance being the main complaint from internet users seeing ads, and that they will only be displayed when an email already contains images – so if you are reading a quick text email, then you will only see text ads, but this is still a major change from the previously pure-text GMail interface.
Ads which are better targeted benefit everyone from users who may find them interesting to advertisers that obtain better ROI on their advertising spend, but we will have to wait and see as to how users will react to the graphical ads when they start to appear over the next few weeks.
[via NY Times]