Google is doubling down on cookies. I like cookies as much as the next guy; I've got a box of linzer tarts next to me as I write this. But when a company as powerful as Google starts force feeding you with tracking agents, some might see that as unpalatable.
Much of Google's revenue is based on targeted advertising based on the browsing habits of searches of its Web database. This was accomplished through its AdSense network, which places a cookie on the systems of anyone visiting a site in its AdSense network. Now, Google will place aDoubleClick cookie too, as it integrates that Web pattern tracker's network with its own. The strategy was announced in a Thursday post on The Official Google Blog:
Today we're announcing some key enhancements on the Google content network (partner sites for which we provide advertising) that will offer a better experience for users and better value for advertisers and publishers.
Some of the capabilities to be enabled "in the coming months" according to the blog include frequency capping and reporting, which allow advertisers to control the number of times a user sees a particular ad and access pertinent reports. Advertisers also will have access to "view-through" data, which helps show ad effectiveness by reporting how often people visited their sites after seeing an ad. Google also claims improved ad performance of its content network.
We are enabling this functionality by implementing a DoubleClick ad-serving cookie across the Google content network. Using the DoubleClick cookie means that DoubleClick advertisers and publishers don't have to make any changes on their websites as we continue our integration efforts and offer additional enhancements.
To be fair, Google's opt out policy permits users to choose not to accept the cookies with a single click. Personally, I don't really care if my Web patterns are tracked; I have nothing to hide. Hey, you might even benefit from being shown stuff you didn't know you needed.