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Online ad startup drops cookies for behavioral ad targeting

Start-up ad agency Sequen­tial Media has announced that is has jet­ti­soned the cook­ie and dumped oth­er stan­dard track­ing mech­a­nisms like fin­ger­print­ing and IP address­es in favor of its new­ly patent­ed “Crowd Tar­get­ing™” technology.

In a move that will excite every adver­tis­ing sales man­ag­er and search engine mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist who has been fret­ting about the “Do Not Track” ini­tia­tive, Sequen­tial Medi­a’s new devel­op­ment can be deployed on PCs and mobile devices, and may just turn out to be a roy­al road to con­tin­ued online adver­tis­ing sales success.

The rise of Do Not Track

“Do Not Track”, which will appear as a default set­ting on IE10 and is already avail­able as a cus­tomer option on Apple Safari, Mozil­la Fire­fox and Google Chrome, requests appli­ca­tions to dis­able track­ing via a HTTP head­er field.  Many in the inter­net adver­tis­ing world have expressed con­cerns about the poten­tial impact on rev­enue and, by impli­ca­tion, the zero cost inter­net expe­ri­ence for con­sumers, but it seems cer­tain that the trend is here to stay.

But Crowd Tar­get­ing™ is dif­fer­ent to tra­di­tion­al track­ing; based on behav­ioral ad tar­get­ing, it har­ness­es data pass­ing between web pages in the head­er (so-called “HTTP-Refer­rers”) and sign­posts the des­ti­na­tion site the user has arrived from.  It’s already in use today for web ana­lyt­ics: the Refer­rer yields data on refer­ring SEO key­words and back­links (refer­ring sites).  In oth­er words, the Refer­rer is a high­ly effec­tive proxy for audi­ence based tar­get­ing, capa­ble of har­ness­ing data from bil­lions of web pages with none of the risks asso­ci­at­ed with cookies.

Is the cook­ie dead?

Cur­rent­ly, less than half (40 per­cent) of web surfers accept cook­ies.  By con­trast, Sequen­tial Media’s Crowd Tar­get­ing™ will reach 100 per­cent of the audi­ence, in real time, too.  It also works simul­ta­ne­ous­ly across mobile and deskbound devices and, as it’s not user based, there’s no per­son­al data col­lec­tion or track­ing, so user pri­va­cy is guaranteed.

Research by the com­pa­ny sug­gests that block­ing and dis­abling cook­ies is catch­ing on fast amongst inter­net users. As Sequen­tial media’s founder and CEO, Kei­th Piper, puts it, “Cook­ies have always been the ‘dirty lit­tle secret’ among those in the know — cook­ies are ter­ri­ble mech­a­nisms for tar­get­ing, track­ing and report­ing. From fre­quen­cy cap­ping to behav­ioral seg­men­ta­tion – the cook­ie is dead.”

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