Google to Stop Scanning Gmail Messages to Target Personalized AdWords Ads

Google unexpectedly announced on Friday that they will cease the practice of scanning inboxes of their free Gmail users to target those users with personalized AdWords Ads.  This move brings them in line with their popular G Suite which includes an enterprise version of Gmail which does not scan emails.

Google will make the change later this year.  For users, this means ads will be less targeted, at least as far as their email messages go.

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products.

But for advertisers, it will have a much larger impact, since they will be losing out on a significant source of personalized advertisements.  However, because Google has many other methods of targeting users, the loss may not be as significant as it may appear.

There will still be ads shown in Gmail, so Google isn’t eliminating the ads within Gmail with this change.  They are only changing the use of inbox scanning with regards to how those ads are chosen to appear.

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