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May 17, 2011

Gmail's New Ad System

I've previously reported about Gmail's experiments with image ads and personalized ads, but it seems that these tests are two pieces from a puzzle: a new ad-matching system for Gmail.

New York Times reports that the new algorithms try to find better ads. "Alex Gawley, Google's senior product manager overseeing Gmail, (...) said Gmail's revamped ad-matching system, now in limited tests, analyzes context as well as the content of an individual message. It looks at what he calls 'signals in your inbox,' like whether you open messages with particular keywords and don't open those with other keywords."

Gmail will also include static image ads. "For example, an e-mailed offer for a ski package showing a skier on the slopes could be accompanied by an ad on the right side of the screen, showing a competing offer, replete with another skier coming down another slope. Mr. Gawley said the image used in the ad would be static, not animated, and would be used only in cases where the e-mail message itself showed images."

Gmail's new ads will still be related to your messages, but Google will add other signals that will make the ads an extension of your inbox. Just like Google shows small images ads next to images search results and uses your preferences to personalize ads, Gmail's contextual ads will improve using more data.

As long as the ads are relevant, moderately useful and they aren't distracting, Google is still on the right track. It might take a while to get used to the image ads, but the ad displayed below the messages and the list of messages will be the most obnoxious. "Gmail presents a single text ad when you look at an inbox view and haven't selected a particular message," according to the New York Times.

8 comments:

  1. yeap. the ad below the messages is pretty darn annoying. but then sidebar ads are easy to ignore and replace with services like rapportive.

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  2. I occasionally get an image-based ad in Gmail and I can't say that I mind it. However, I'm not sure if I like the ad below the message.

    I also use Windows Live Mail 2011 to send/receive messages, so I don't see a lot ads like I would if I used Gmail's website.

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  3. Putting up with ads is important. Remember, if Google's efforts to be an effective marketer fail, there goes the best email and cloud computing platform out there. Gone. Imagine that.

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  4. Adblock solves all.

    I should note, should Google implement a paid service to remove adds from Google sites I would get it in a heartbeat.

    For now, they will just have to do with my one single user paid Google apps account.

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  5. There are ads in Gmail? Man, I love Firefox with AdBlock Plus. lol.

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  6. Static image ad example here: http://twitter.com/#!/jonoellis/status/68766195603607552

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  7. I've been on Google for so long that I've not kept up with Firefox.. Maybe I'd better look into it, again.. What I get tired of and whine about, and it's probably partially due to my slower than average internet connection, is my computer grinding and grinding on some operation that I have no idea of what it's grinding on, when I click onto G-Mail... Point being, my computer is dedicating time and resources to things that I haven't authorized it to do.. and I'm fairly sure are NOT for my benefit... and I'm guessing it's grinding away trying to get all the ads in place for that particular page.... or, I get to thinking maybe it's some virus grinding away and maybe crawling through my hard drive... I don't like that much crap going on.... If ads show up to the side, no biggy... but I don't want performance sacrificed..

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  8. chromeadblock.com and safariadblock.com remove these quite nicely.

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