Google Is Developing a Cloud-Based Measurement Service for Advertisers

Could help with cross-screen targeting

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Google has begun developing a cloud-based measurement tool that it says could help advertisers gain more insights while protecting privacy across devices.

In a blog post published today, Google said it's working to develop new measurement services for marketers that helps them better understand cross-screen campaigns and identify high-value customers. With the updates, Google said, a car manufacturer could gain insights about how YouTube ads influence various audiences across devices.

According to Google, more than 50 percent of YouTube views now come from mobile, prompting the company to develop new ways for advertisers to measure across more devices.

"As more viewership on YouTube shifts to mobile, we're making it easier for advertisers to deliver more relevant, useful ads across screens," YouTube product management director Diya Jolly wrote. "Now, information from activity associated with users' Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube."

With the updates, YouTube is expanding how advertisers can use customer data through Customer Match to reach those that have expressed interest in a store. (Customer Match was announced during Advertising Week in 2015.) 

While Google expands how advertisers can gain and use customer data, the company is also updating how users can control their own data across devices. The updates to My Account, which debuted in July, let users have more options for personalizing ads based on what's relevant or not relevant.

Google's also placing more focus on user IDs and moving away from cookies and pixels. That seems to be in line with what Google CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned last year, when he said the company is seeing a growing percentage of users signed into Google. On an earnings call in April, Pichai said all mobile users are signed in, with more than 50 percent of all Google users coming from mobile devices.

"While technologies like pixels and cookies still have a role in the broader ecosystem, most were built for a single screen—neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room," Jolly wrote in the blog post. "This can lead to inconsistent measurement and less relevant ads across screens, making it harder for people to control the ads they see or the data used to show them.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.