On Thursday, Alphabet, in a blog post , announced that starting February 2020, Google will no longer provide information to participants in its ad auction about the type of content on a website or page where an ad could appear. With this move, it will protect user privacy requirements.
A content category is a description of content type on a particular page, website, or application. For example, these categories can indicate whether the content is related to the news. Its purpose is to provide the advertiser with contextual information about the website or application for which the ad may appear. They can help advertisers avoid showing ads on certain types of content that are not suitable for their brand.
Another purpose, they may help advertisers identify the type of content they really want to advertise.This precise targeting is the main reason why Google can absorb a large number of online advertisements.
Google has not disclosed its revenue data from the online display advertising business. But it often uses programmatic advertising as a key driver of its revenue growth. However, Google has been criticized for its way of handling personalized online advertising data.
In May of this year, the Irish data protection regulator launched an investigation into how Google handled user data in advertising transactions. The regulator is trying to determine whether Google’s practices comply with the EU’s strict User Privacy Protection Act. As you know, the latter requires high transparency and minimizes data collection.
Now, Google will no longer provide content category information for the context in which an ad appears. However, it’s unclear whether some of Google’s advertisers have been able to establish such connections in the past, or whether they can do so now.