A new Google service will track web users’ activity to help companies target ads, raising concerns about conflict of interest, the Wall Street Journal reports. The free tool will use server data to track hits, a plan that threatens current industry giants comScore and Nielsen Online. Those paid services employ user panels and surveys, methods that can be ineffective.
Advertisers are worried about the plan because Google is also a leading seller of ads. “For an advertiser, the last thing you want to do is to have your adviser be the same person you are spending your money with,” says one CEO. As it expands into the world of advertising beyond the Internet, Google also plans a service following users’ responses to ads.