Google View Thru Tracking: Has Big Brother Been Watching

Google announced they are making view-through conversion tracking for banners on the Content Network last Wednesday. So if someone sees your banner on a publisher’s site running AdSense and comes to your site within 30 days you can capture the conversion.

Ok we know they have always been able to know when the banner runs – it gets called from Google – but to be able to track if the people who saw the ad convert takes the loading of a cookie when the banner loads in the browser.

This seems a little intrusive and given Google noted they were testing this months ago so they could launch it – “Earlier this year, we mentioned our plans to improve the measurement of conversions for display advertising campaigns on the Google Content Network” – means they have been tracking people’s activities for some time.

When it was a method of tracking numbers of clicks to number of conversions, you had the click and the load of a cookie based on the action, but to start tracking just from the banner being seen – while a boon to marketers calls privacy issues in to the mix.

The bigger question is how long has this tracking been in place and what type of information has been captured?

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