Google Aims to Bridge the Gap Between Mobile Web and App Targeting

Google SearchGoogle is testing a method aimed at overcoming the ad-targeting gap between mobile web site visitors and mobile app users, reports suggest.

Until now, advertisers have been unable to connect mobile browser profiles with app user profiles, meaning they are forced to treat an individual mobile user as two unconnected people. Googles new method will enable marketers to connect the separate tracking mechanisms for each area and provide a single, unified profile for a user.

“As an alternative to less transparent methods, were doing some tests to help businesses run consistent ad campaigns across a devices mobile browser and mobile apps, using existing anonymous identifiers, while enabling people to use the established privacy controls on Android and iOS,” said a Google spokesperson when asked to comment.

Google reported almost a year ago that it was working on a replacement for the cookie, the primary current technology that tracks web users across sites and uses that information to target ads. Cookies have grown increasingly ineffective as people spend more and more time in apps, which they cannot track.

While this new mobile ad-targeting method isnt that replacement, it does solve one of the key issues with cookie technology, enabling marketers to show the same ads to consumers whether theyre using a mobile browser or an app, or retarget consumers whove already seen an ad in a mobile browser while theyre using an app.

Like existing methods, Google has confirmed the new mobile ad-targeting method doesnt involve individuals personal information, and will enable people to opt out of tracking on either or both mobile browsers or apps.

The method will be tested this autumn in a private beta program, involving select automated ad-buying companies that Google has invited over the past few weeks. These companies will test the method on Googles ad exchange and elsewhere, and will monitor both the effectiveness of the bridging method, and the improvements it brings.