Google Chrome: That's the Way Ad Cookie Crumbles

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by: Ilya Vedrashko

This must be the cheesiest headline of all 2,200+ headlines in AdLab’s almost four-year history.

So, Google Chrome (download yours). First impressions: fast, stable, bare-bones. Miss all the Firefox extensions. Was hoping for a tighter integration between the browser and the stable of Google web apps, especially with Lively, although that’s probably yet to come. Google Reader already comes with an offlline option that doesn’t require any additional installations.

What does Chrome mean for the advertising industry?

1. The Incognito mode, much like IE8’s InPrivate "porn mode", means that cookieless browsing is now much closer to the regular user who doesn’t hunt down esoteric options in the Advanced dialog box or install something like AdBlock Plus. If Chrome and IE8 grow about as fast as Firefox and get, say, 20% of market share each within three or four years, we’ll have about half of all users lurking around undetected at least part of the time.

Is display advertising headed the way of the pop-up? Probably not yet, but targeting methodologies that rely on cookies (like some flavors of behavioral targeting) will have to develop new alternatives.

2. PPC search campaigns are likely to become more expensive because of how Chrome integrates the address bar with a search box equipped with the Google Suggest feature. It is a new and tricky game: not only you’ll have to SEO your page up to the top of search results, you might need to architect search terms and then push them to the top of the suggestion list.

3. When search results load faster, people search more often (CNet). If anything, Chrome is fast. Naturally, more searches =  more money for GOOG.

4. Less "chrome" (toolbars and navigation buttons) in the browser = more space to display content = more space to display ads. On my PC, it’s six AdWords ads in Firefox (bookmarks + Google toolbar on + tabs) and eight in Chrome.

5.  Richer and, one would hope, more useful ad apps in JavaScript.  Also, Chrome comes with a pre-installed Flash plug-in.

6. One more browser to test microsites against.

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