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Why Google's Privacy Changes Are Good for Advertisers

If your small business advertises with the search giant, you may soon find that your placements are even more effective.
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If you're a user of any of Google 's services -- including Gmail, search, Calendar, YouTube and Google+ -- then you probably received a notice this week explaining that the search giant is consolidating more than 70 privacy documents into one and making some significant changes to its privacy practices. Namely, Google said it may combine information users provide from one of its services with information from any of its other services.

In its announcement, Google said it wants to treat you as "a single user across all our products," and provide "a simpler, more intuitive Google experience."

While the changes have some users and lawmakers in a tizzy over how the company will store user data and whether this actually makes it more difficult for consumers to protect their privacy, there seems to be at least one bright spot for business owners who advertise with Google. Sharing user data across its products should enable it to target users more specifically with advertisements, in turn providing more effective results for the businesses that advertise, says web sales expert Perry Marshall.

"This new change will make ads convert to sales better, and reduce waste by not serving irrelevant ads," says Marshall, co-author of and owner of Chicago-based consulting firm Perry S. Marshall & Associates.

For example, YouTube is a great place to buy ads if you really know what you're doing with pay-per-click. "The quality of the traffic isn't as good as other places but there's a lot of it," says Marshall. "If Google is also serving ads on YouTube based on what people searched for and got emails about in the last few days, that's a significant advantage."

Conversely, Google could serve up more targeted videos to users based on their activity on YouTube. "Ads on your Gmail or on other sites based on YouTube videos you watched is also better and better targeting for advertisers," Marshall says.

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