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Google's Wireless Advertising Plans
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 13:12:36 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne () warpspeed com>
Date: April 8, 2006 10:02:10 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <dewayne-net () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Google's Wireless Advertising Plans
Reply-To: dewayne () warpspeed com

April 7, 2006
Google's Wireless Advertising Plans
By David Miller


The price of a free citywide wireless network planned for San Francisco may be increased advertising for users.

A patent application filed recently by Google details a method of pushing highly targeted advertising to users of wireless hotspots, and sharing the ad revenue with the wireless service provider.

On Wednesday a San Francisco city commission approved a bid by Google and Internet service provider EarthLink to provide free wireless access throughout the city. The Department of Telecommunications and Information Services will now begin contract negotiations with EarthLink and Google.

What makes the Google patent potentially attractive to service providers is the search giant's ability to serve up personalized ads. According to the patent, the advertising a wireless user would see is based on the "geographical location of the WAP, an operation of an entity providing the WAP, selected by the entity providing the WAP, and a profile of the WAP."

In other words, such a system would allow, for example, a bookstore in New York city to push ads for newly published novels that appeal to their local customers, or perhaps even ads that suit the shoppers buying habits as gleaned from his or her customer loyalty card profile.

Providers of wireless hotspots could also sell advertising for stores in a specific vicinity, allowing retailers who run businesses not conducive to wireless use to market themelves.

Technically the process works like this: The wireless access point directs all traffic to Google through a virtual private network. Google's servers process the information and insert the correct ads into the datastream that is sent to the end user.

The advertising could be displayed on browser's toolbars, on separate interstitial pages, or as part of the content of a Web page.

The patent states that a Web browser's appearance could also be altered to display logos or other brand information associated with the wireless access provider. It also notes that customers would be asked to agree to receive the ads in exchange for free wireless access.

According to the patent, which was filed in 2004 and published by the U.S. Patent Office in mid-March, the advertising can be refreshed and changed even when the user is not moving from Web page to Web page.


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