Gmail Now Taking a Bigger Interest in Serving You Ads
Article by George Norman
On 26 Jan 2010
Like it or not, Gmail will display ads in the right hand side of the screen, right next to the email you’re trying to read. As the Mountain View-based search engine giant explained, it has always tried to make these ads relevant and unobtrusive. The ads must be related to the email your viewing and they must be useful. For example if the email you’re reading is about computers, you might see ads about computer shops.

The catch is that sometimes an email does not focus on a specific topic. Hence Gmail has a tough time deciding which ads to display – keep in mind that the ads should be useful and relevant. So the team behind Google’s email client has decided to tweak things a bit. So if there aren’t any good ads to match to a particular message, Gmail will just display ads related to recent emails instead. So when you read a new email you might see ads for computer shops because the email you read 5 minutes ago focused on computers.


“To show these ads, our systems don't need to store any extra information -- Gmail just picks a different recent email to match. The process is entirely automated: no humans are involved in selecting ads, and no email or personal information is shared with advertisers. With this change, we hope you see better ads in Gmail -- more of what you're interested in and less of what you're not,” commented Gmail Product Manager Steve Crossan.

If all this text did not clear things up for you, a video detailing this change has been posted on YouTube here.

In related news, there is a little trick you might be interested in: you can get rid of Gmail ads with a custom signature (see this article). If you include certain keywords in your signature, then Gmail will not display any ads. This works because Google avoids “showing ads reflecting sensitive or inappropriate content.”

Tags: Google, Gmail, Ads
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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