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Real-Time Ad Bidding – How Often Your Online Behavior and Location Is Sold

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You check your Facebook feed and Instagram posts, do Google searches, and visit several websites every day. The places or things you search, the ads you click on, and more are all behaviors that, whether you know it or not, are tracked, shared, and then sold to advertisers hundreds of times a day. While you may think this is a major violation of privacy, ad bidding is legal and happening at an ever-increasing rate.

Companies targeting potential customers is not a new concept, but the way they are doing it has changed tremendously in recent years. It’s no longer about the postcard mailers you find in your mailbox or the newspaper ad placements you used to come across. Instead, there’s a new world of marketing and advertising, and businesses everywhere are on board.

Here are some things you need to know about ad bidding and how companies are targeting you as a consumer as well as how you can be taking part in a growing business.

What Is Ad Bidding?

Real-time ad bidding is the way that advertising space is sold and purchased, whether on a per-impression basis, at a fixed price, or more. It’s an automated process that works like an auction but at a much more preset, fast pace.

For example, let’s say you are looking to buy a new home in Los Angeles. You would probably do a Google search for “homes for sale in Los Angeles” and receive all kinds of results. Because you performed this search, Google now knows that you are interested in visiting California and that you’re in the market to buy a new home.

This information is recorded as well as your general whereabouts (using your IP address), and then Google can advertise that they have 10,000 people in New York (including you) looking to move to the West Coast. Then the bidding begins.

How much will companies pay to get their ad in front of these particular people? In real-time bidding, this is all done automatically, in seconds. Google has an automated ad-selling system that pushes this information out to advertisers. These companies have already set details about what they’re willing to pay for these kinds of ads targeted to their desired audience. Google’s software will look for the highest bidder, and the winner immediately has their ad placed and displayed.

In the case of your LA home search mentioned earlier, once you’ve hit the search or enter button, you’ll quickly see ads for hiring realtors in the LA area and an advertisement for cheap flights to California. It goes on and on and leaves the average person wondering, “how did they know I might be interested in this kind of information?” Strange, isn’t it?

Exactly Who Is Sharing Your Online Behavior Information?

Some of the biggest companies that are taking advantage of ad bidding are Google and Microsoft. In fact, according to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Google alone broadcasts personal data about what kinds of things people are looking at online or on apps about 31 billion times a day in the US. Pretty unbelievable, right? But when you realize that an estimated $100 billion per year is being spent on real-time ad bidding a year, it all makes sense.

Microsoft recently bought a major real-time bidding firm named Xandr from AT&T moving them forward in the bidding game. The demand is high and ever-increasing, so we will continue to see an uptick in information being sold and bought all over the world.

The Privacy Factor

You’re constantly being watched no matter what you’re looking at online. It’s just that simple. It could be a website or an app that is recording your every move. Companies are making money on you with what is being called the “biggest data breach ever.” And this data breach happens time and time again every day.

It’s a billion-dollar business, and so ad bidding will continue to evolve and allow companies even more information and insights into your world. Even though companies don’t know exactly who you are and what your name is, they know all about you, what websites you visit, and your general location. They may even know your race, health status, and sexuality in some cases.

Where does it stop, you might ask? When can we feel like our privacy is being protected? It’s a problem the world in its entirety is still trying to solve and possibly one that we might not ever have an honest answer for resolution.

Is Digital Advertising Hit or Miss for Your Business?

Advertising can feel like a shot in the dark for the average business owner. Even the best ads or messages can be a miss if not appropriately placed. An ad can perform well one week and completely change the next. However, there is a better way to advertise nowadays, and it’s time you and your company start taking advantage of them.

ARYU Advertising is your digital team ready to work with you and your business in creating an online digital presence that you can be proud of. We want your business to succeed just like you do, and we are committed to working hard as part of your already fantastic crew to learn about the vision you have for your company. Then we can plan together for digital advertising execution and victory.

Don’t wait another moment trying to understand all there is to know about advertising, ad bidding, SEO, ever-changing rules, web analytics, and more. ARYU Advertising has your back. As a leading digital advertising firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we can help you understand where these things can work for you best and when to use them for your benefit. So let us be your digital advertising experts and enjoy the rewards of doing it right. Contact us to learn more about the services we provide and how we can help with your digital advertising and marketing needs.