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Google reads the content of my pages, then serves up ads that match the content of the page.
But on a few sites (like MySpace), I've noticed something a bit different. It seems that the ads have nothing to do with the content, but instead are related to other sites that I've been to recently or other topics. For instance, I may have been viewing a site recently that's about widgets, and another about thingamajigs. Then I get an email via MySpace, and while reading it I see ads for websites selling widgets and thingamajigs, which is completely unrelated to the email I'm reading.
How is this working? Do regular publishers have access to this, or is it something that certain sites like MySpace have negotiated with Google? It would seem to be a great way to display ads on pages which are private and only accessible once a user logs in.
I'm wondering if Google is tracking me. I have the following cookies in my browser that belong to Google (googleadservices.com and google.com):
I'm sure I can probably clear out all of my cookies, then go specifically to this page and see which cookies reappear. But I was hoping someone might already know what's going on.
What I'm wondering is how this works from a publisher standpoint. Do you get to choose between content-targeted ads and history-based ads? Is this something that Google does on its own with all AdSense ads (my sites still show content-based ads only)? Is this something available only to a select few publishers?
If publishers have an option, what experiences have you seen if you choose this option? Higher, lower, or the same click-thrus?