Behavioral Targeting

September 24, 2008

This week’s show is dedicated to behavioral targeting and how the technology is changing the search industry as we know it. Bruce, Susan and Virginia start off the show by looking at how behavioral search may decrease the importance of rankings as the prime metric of successful SEO campaigns, a prediction Bruce shared in an interview with Ralph Wilson. Bruce makes the point that if 50 people search for the same query and everyone gets different results through behavioral search, rankings can no longer be a metric for SEO success.

Virginia then interviews Debby Richman, senior vice president at Collarity, a community-based search technology company. Debby breaks behavioral targeting down into three areas: ads, search, and recommended links. She explains that through Collarity, site owners can see users’ behavior grouped in anonymous buckets segmented by their usage patterns on the site. Information about those users’ behavior on other sites is not reported as it is not highly relevant.

Then Susan and Virginia discuss how to leverage behavioral targeting on your site. Through self-segmentation, you can improve conversions by giving the user what they want. Segmentation encourages engagement, provides opportunities to offer more focused content, and helps with market research. If you do chose to implement behavioral targeting, it’s important to remember that success takes time and that the different media of your online marketing campaign must work together.