Google may soon start showing you ads that you actually want to click on, just in time for Advertising Week. The tech giant has introduced a new addition to its arsenal of tools for advertisers: Customer Match will let marketers–only those to whom you have already provided your email address–show you relevant ads if you are signed into your email while browsing Google search, Gmail, or YouTube.
“Customer Match allows [marketers] to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way,” Google wrote in a company blog post.
A second new feature, called Similar Audiences, allows advertisers to target people who share interests and behaviors with their existing Customer Match audience.
As Google wrote in a blog post announcing the new ad products, Customer Match would give, say, an e-commerce site the ability to send you ads for items based on previous purchases you have made with your email address. Google explains how this might work with a travel company:
Let’s say you’re a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for “non-stop flights to new york” on Google.com, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they’re looking to fly to New York. And when those members are watching their favorite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.
Facebook has had similar email-based advertising since 2012, which explains why the ads that flank your news feed can skew eerily close to your browsing activity.
Another product, Universal App Campaigns, will target advertising for apps to audiences based on their activity across the Google Play store, YouTube, Google search, and Google Display Network, through which AdWords ads are allegedly displayed on about 2 million sites.
Google’s ad updates come on the heels of Apple’s release of iOS 9, which supports ad blockers and has invoked a huge outcry from publishers; one of the most popular ad-blocking apps for the iPhone, Crystal, even appears to be blocking page elements on the e-commerce sites of major retailers.