Online tracking on 50 of the most-visited websites has risen sharply since 2010… The average visit to a Web page triggered 56 instances of data collection, up from just 10 instances when Krux conducted its initial study, in November 2010.
The article refers to results from Krux’s most recent study, in December 2011.
The use of (automated) online auctions by advertisers competing to purchase website visitor’s behavioral data is disturbing. Certainly the sharp increase in usage of this method is disquieting.
In real-time bidding, as soon as a user visits a Web page, the visit is auctioned to the highest bidder, based on… the type of page visited or previous web browsing by the user. To make the auctions work, advertising companies are racing to place tracking technology on as many websites as possible. That technology gives them user and Web-page data to sell.
A lot of energy and effort is being focused on what seems to be a shrinking pool of potential customers:
We’ve moved from a traditional advertising model of buying 1,000 impressions. Now you evaluate and buy a single impression.
This could be due to improvements in big data (“data harvesting”) and analysis methods.
It DOES seem odd to me, that for such a huge growth area as e-commerce, there would be competition at a single-user impression level. This is especially curious, given that it was three orders of magnitude higher, just a few years ago.
Is it due to a diminishing pool of potential customers? Fewer clicks on banner ads overall? Or something else that I haven’t even thought of.