homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Gmail Advertising
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

Google Gmail Advertising Forum

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >     
The Competition Line up to game Gmail.
Optimized Email - a Brave New World of Optimization?

 2:03 pm on Apr 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is an interesting story from DMNews. It is the first place outside of webmasterworld I've seen raise the issue of targetting competitors ads. They do not go as far as I have and others here have in stating that is it probably a copyright violation, but they do present it as a concern.

They also raise a new privacy concern. They point out that gmail might violate provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) that deals with sharing of personal information in a financial context.


Bringing up the GLB got me thinking. I served as privacy officer for a website tracking company. GLB was only one of several specialty laws we had to deal with.

There is also HIPPA which deals with medical information. I think this would most likely prevent your insurance company sending anything to a gmail address, doctors sending you email appointment reminders, and maybe even your great-aunt Sofie asking how your cold is.

Then there is legislation many of you are familiar with - COPPA - The Children's Online Privacy Protection. I do not see anyway Google can give children under 13 a gmail account without their parents written permission. It is questionable whether they can even accept any email from children under 13.

The small company I worked for spent into the six figures on privacy issues. I do not understand why Google is so slap-dash.



 9:19 pm on Apr 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

If it is true that third party advertising will be placed on incomming email to GMail accounts it effectively means any replys to customers with a GMail account could include an advert from your competitor.


 2:52 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do I hear Gmail Optimizers starting up?

That appears to me, what it comes down too. Who is going to have the optimizers to out optimize Gmail.


 3:11 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's true, when some of my competition sends out bulk email I could cut/paste some phrases out of their emails for a new GMAIL campaign.

I guess I better start signing up for a lot of newsletters!

Truly, I have to admit it, I am salivating at the idea of advertising to all those Gmail users! I can not lie.

Here are some stats from alexa:

For #1 site yahoo, the top three URLs people spend time on:
mail.yahoo.com ~ 39%
news.yahoo.com ~ 5%
search.yahoo.com ~ 5%

For #2 site msn.com, the top three URLs:
hotmail.msn.com ~ 75%
search.msn.com ~ 7%
msn.com ~ 3%

Email really is the #1 most used application on the internet. Many people I know don't use the internet at large but do use email. The thought of being able to target them in a contextual way is a very exciting opportunity for ecommerce.

Still, it is good to recognize the downsides. Hopefully these discussions will continue in the forums, in the press, etc and some compromises are arrived at that make 80% of the people happy 80% of the time.

At the very least, Google should delete emails once they are deleted or an account is terminated. Not sure why that is so impossible..


 3:33 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

This pretty much illustrates how many unknown factors there are with GMail / GMailAdSense.

Is it dead before it's born?

Oh, will we see people warning their friends by GMail about this damn bad mesothelioma? Who controlls if they have an aff account with the best paying lawyers? I can smell a new gold mine for spammers. ;)


 3:38 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

So how would gmail optimizing work? Are you trying to optimize the email content so the your adwords ad shows up?

If you're sending someone an email, why would you want them to click on your adwords link and have to pay for it rather than having them click a link in your email body?

I'm not really grasping the concept here yet.


 3:39 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems that gmail could never get off the ground. Spammers don't have to worry about advertising their stuff any more they just have send a bunch of emails filled with keywords to gmail users and Google could put the spam on their for them. Google would get in trouble and not the spammer.


 3:48 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Couple ideas on how to optimize:

- get registration emails your competitors are using and cut/paste key phrases to trigger your AdWords ads
- get bulk emails your get competitors are using and cute/paste key phrases to trigger your AdWords ads

The unfortunate part is lets face it, if the Ads are relevant enough the users might almost get confused and actually think that the links are a part of the email message itself..


 3:51 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just to point out that while the original post in this thread is mine, the topic and sub-topic were put in by the admins.

I currently have no thoughts on gaming Gmail, I just wanted to direct members to what I thought was fairly novel article in the overall worldwide discussion of Gmail.


 4:18 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

>just wanted to direct members to what I thought was fairly novel article

Absolutely - thanks for that. But the (modded) thread title might activate creativity on how to game GMail. ;)

How to:

- know that competitor xy is sending newsletters to GMail users (uhm, there may be some stupid who'll do this)
- make some AdWords advertizing exactly the same product the competitor is selling and check: "display at GMails" (future)
- target your ads to convince the competitor's clients that your product is better
- enjoy your dream meal chez Paul Bocuse


 5:53 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

How many parasites can climb on top of each other?
Before the host dies?


 6:02 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

excuse me.

surely advertisers will 1st decide whether they want their ads show on gmail!

or am I missing something?



 6:21 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

This has turned into a discussion about how to take advantage of a product / system that:

1. none of us (to my knowledge) has seen in person
2. none of us (to my knowledge) has used, and
3. has been terribly explained by the service provider (G), leaving most of us with more questions about it than answers.

And yet there are several posts in here from people explaining how to game the system.

Back during the G dances/updates, we were always encouraged to avoid posting until everything settled down and we could start drawing some real conclusions. Given the three conditions above, maybe we should stop posting about how to game Gmail until we see it, use it, or Google does more than a half-arsed job of explaining it.

Just a thought....


 6:29 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lets hope that that when it is rolled out that advertisers have to opt-in to instead of having to opt-out of it. Then advertisers will really make the choice to allocate their advertising dollars to it or not. Otherwise a bunch of em' will just not say no because they don't really understand what is happening kinda like content syndication.


 6:46 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Debating Gmail now lets Google employees get much needed feedback on the system they are proposing to go live with.

Google employees regularly post how they read these forums quite often for feedback.

They are trying to build the infrastructure for ecommerce on the web and I am sure they are very interested in how we think people might try to game the system.


 6:53 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

pleeker, several people here have seen it and used it. Screen shot links were dumped on the board earlier in the week.

>Oh, will we see people warning their
>friends by GMail about this damn bad mesothelioma?

Lets say -- for purely the sake of argument ;-) -- that I have a program that can generate pages. Not mindless gooky looking pages, but quality ontopic, unique macro content pages (remember, this is just a hypothetical). Unless you studied very close, those pages would even read pretty good and would even fool the uneducated eye. So, lets further suppose, that it can generate those pages uniquely at will to the tune of 15k a day.

How is google going to stop spammers from putting that sort of load on the system? There is no known spam filter that can touch that type of generated content.

Is that the end of game for Gmail?


 7:06 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett that sounde like the sort of tripe-mail I get from supposed yahoo msn et all accounts already!

So no that would probably not be the end of gmail but just make it no better than the rest! which is why I dont know why they have bothered to do this "me-to" thing ...


 7:12 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett_Tabke, how does this optimize for gmail adsense? You're making a connection that I can't see here..

In fact, this sounds like a recipe for spamming, which is an issue general to all email systems, and there are a variety of solutions to this problem in the pipeline which seem a tad OT to this thread.

I think people will be more focused on optimizing their Ads to show up in a way that is relevant and non obtrusive to the email user - ie, besides non-spam email.

Mark_a .. google needs to be more sticky to compete with msn/yahoo and they're going to make money off of AdSense..


 7:15 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I forsee many newsletters and purchase confirmation emails switching to graphics so as not to trigger those adword ads

Blaze's idea of bidding on cut/paste from popular/competitors newsletters is interesting - this was the first i thought when i learned about gmail :)


 7:27 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

>In fact, this sounds like a recipe for spamming,

Exactly it is. That is the point - it is going to get so fined tuned, that there is no way to stop it.

>emails switching to graphics so as not to trigger those adword ads

Very good point.


 7:38 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

There will never be any GMail as it is proposed right now:

- legal problems: internet users sending email to GMail might claim a portion of the $ generated by their email - their`intellectual property. Some smart organization or individual will file such a lawsuit sooner or later... probably just before G's IPO. Due to the immense media attention they would win whatever the outcome - and G could loose billions. G must have realized this immense risk by now and that it's not worth to pursue gmail any longer.

- MS and sendmail and other mail providers (Y Mail, ...) will warn users (or even have to warn them since gmail's practices could be illegal in certain countries) not to send email to GMail and offer an option to bounce email from GMail right away (some companies are already doing that [webmasterworld.com], see an other thread on WebmasterWorld)

- most of all: people are smarter than G thinks... right now 1G storage might sound amazing but soon nobody will care about it anymore. People will do care if there are intrusive ads next to their personal email and people will do think twice if they send email to an 'evil' @gmail address and have ads added to it. GMail's reputation is already so bad that G has to dump it ASAP and move on with their core business. Next time they try to launch something "new" they should do their homework first and research it.


 8:01 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google would have to be crazy to put ads on emails coming into Gmail from outside. I can see the uproar now. Outgoing email from a signed up Gmail account holder is a different thing entirely. No great difference from the current stuff you get from say a Yahoo Group, just contextualised.



 8:31 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree. If they keep the ads to outgoing emails only, I see no problem. It is really no different then the signatures that yahoo and hotmail place on thier outgoing emails, just targeted. Also anyone who signs up for the service has to agree to the GMail terms and conditions so google really has no exposure with that route.

As far as placing ads on incoming emaisl, that is a huge can of worms. Google will definitally have some issues if they go that route. But here again, google may be in the clear because anyone who signs up for the service agrees to the terms and conditions. In there they will be agreeing that they will see ads from google on the subject of the email. It technically has no int. property rights issues. This type of service is the same as with the scumware out there that shows ads on websites like you get when you install Gator. It is the person signing up for the email service that is saying they want these ads. It has no real effect on the actual content of the email, it just ads something to the end of it.

In the end I think GMail will only do ads on the outgoing mail, but only time will tell.


 9:48 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jeremy: I am pretty sure that G already announced that they won't attach ads to the (outgoing) emails - they said they would only list them on the right hand side at gmail.com - please correct me if I am wrong.

If they would attach ads to outgoing emails it would be an easy thing for MSN/Y/Outlook to offer an "Google Email Ads Blocker" (similar to all the popup blockers which are currently advertised as the best feature ever invented)


 9:54 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

A cynic could start to think that there can be no dount that at G the money men are now king ...

as its more and more money now that buys relevance ..

so perhaps most of what was "spouted" at their start turns out to be "just spout" :-)

Odd then that sites which also pay for adwords were still penalised since florida ..


 10:15 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


Yea I haven't kept up with all the hoopla. I thought they were going to be adding the ads like signatures. If it is just an add on the gmail.com website placed beside the email, then I do not think that google has any liabilities. If users don't want the ads, then they don't agree to the terms when they sign up, and they are therefore not able to use the service.

As far as the spam issue goes, thats a whole nother issue.


 12:18 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I thought they were going to be adding the ads like signatures."

Nope. Gmail doesn't add any ads or signatures to outgoing email. And it doesn't insert any ads into incoming email. If you're using Gmail to read your mail, you'll see ads on the right-hand side of your browser page separate from the emails themselves.


 12:36 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>If you're using Gmail to read your mail, you'll see ads on the right-hand side of your browser page

So you'll see ads targeted to the content someone sends to the reader, right? Isn't this a golden goal for spammers? How'd you controll connections between advertizers and content creators? <I intentionally don't use the word senders since the sender is unimportant for emails.>

Let's face Brett's example - fire out 15k "content rich emails" a day to XY k google accounts ...


 12:46 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was thinking about the spam issue and there is one way gmail can avoid most of the test/spam plots. They can offer a service that no other free email service has so far.

I can't think of the program/service name but there is something out there that when someone sends you an email, the sender is sent an auto response with a verification email. If the sender doesn't click the link in the auto response the email is never delivered. If they do, they are added to a safe list and can send emails freely from then on with no verification needed. The user of course can remove people from the safe list. And if the person was on the safe list and is a stealth spammer they could be banned.

I think that would take care of most of the issues.


 12:59 am on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>If they do, they are added to a safe list

I'd have tons of free GMail accounts if i were a spammer and auto confirm all such emails using the script my 10 years old brother would write for me ...

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Gmail Advertising
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved