Clearly, when we login to our Gmail account for example, we will see ads that relate to what we like. After all, you are more likely to click on something of interest, right? That is what the Internet can do--it is able to track our online activities to better serve our experience. However, what happens to this stored data? Who uses it? You may have already guessed--search engines and advertisers. Together, the two parties are able to create the unique experience for the consumer.
With the rapid change of the Internet’s design (think Google's +1 project) also comes the rapid change of how it targets consumers online. According to a recent report in NewScientist.com, "it is possible to track computers to a much closer physical location than previous methods were capable of. Before the new method was discovered, the closest IP address-based tracking attempts could get was in the neighborhood of 20-plus miles. With the new technique discussed at NS, this distance has been staggeringly lowered. Instead of miles, we’re talking meters — within 690 meters, if the numbers are to be believed. The technique, developed by a Chinese computer scientist named Yong Wang, uses landmarks, Google Maps, data packet inspection, and IP addresses to complete its task. In order to factor the distance of the computer being targeted, Wang’s method monitors the time it takes to send a data packet to the computer being tracked, and converting this time into the corresponding distance" (Richardson).
690 meters? Correct. The report also indicates that this technique can get within 100 meters of a user's physical location. Moreover, even if you do not want your location being known, it still works. Yes, this brings up privacy concerns, but that is something we cannot avoid in this day and age. What does this new method mean for you, the business owner? It means being able to better reach your target market. Mr. Wang's process enables you to physically locate potential customers with the highest degree of accuracy available today.
How do you feel about Mr. Wang's innovative technique? Do you see this process becoming a part of your online marketing strategy? Why or why not?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
Want to read more? You can access Chris Richardson's full article at http://www.webpronews.com/geotracking-techniques-getting-closer-and-closer-2011-04