Forget Demographics Google May Soon Offer Psychological Profiling

Okay this is just getting more and more science fiction like. Google has submitted a patent for psychological profiling of users. The patent outlines the ability to profile game users by their chat conversations and other text based interaction with the games.

"The company thinks it can glean information about an individual's preferences and personality type by tracking their online behaviour, which could then be sold to advertisers. Details such as whether a person is more likely to be aggressive, hostile or dishonest could be obtained and stored for future use," The Age reported earlier today.

The patent says user dialogue may be used to characterise the user as, for example, profane, blunt, polite, cautious, aggressive, non-confrontational, stealthy, honest, cooperative or uncooperative.

The information could be used to make ads that appear inside the game more "relevant to the user", the patent stated.

I guess we can gather whatever information we want all for the good of better marketing. We joke about this quite a bit, but Google is fast changing into Big Brother. When our screens record what we are doing I think it will be all over - hey it does that now.......

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.