Apple and Google: Beacons Beckon and Inform

May 17, 2018

I read “Apple News Officially Lets Publishers Use Google’s DoubleClick to Serve Ads.” The main idea is that a couple of large companies are teaming up in a way that matters: Advertising or at least keeping some folks happy. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the news, if accurate, reminded me that making money is a goal which makes bad experiences like appointing some individuals to a company’s Board of Directors go away.

The write up asserts:

The ad-targeting options break down into two categories: context-based targeting and audience-based targeting. Contextual ads can be aimed based on the article’s publisher, its content category within Apple News and the tags a publisher appends to the individual article as well as according to whether it appears on an iPhone or iPad. Audience-wise, the ads can be targeted by a person’s location (though only at the designated market area level), their gender and their age group.

What’s this mean? A partial answer can be excavated from the glorious prose of these public documents:

  • US7039599, Method and apparatus for automatic placement of advertising
  • US7085682, System and method for analyzing website activity
  • US7349827, System and method for reporting website activity based on inferred attribution methodology
  • US7844488, Method of delivery, targeting, and measuring advertising over networks.

These documents can be downloaded from the USPTO. Think of the link as a beacon which is a heck of a lot less effective than the inventions disclosed in these patents.

Stephen E Arnold, May 17, 2018


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