Will Google Profit From Reading Our Minds?

Google has been banking for years by charging advertisers based on users’ actions- we’ve all heard of pay-per-click, and the recently patented “pay-per-gaze” technology, which, through an eye-tracking device, would charge advertisers any time a Glass user physically looked at their ad.

It’s probably going to take a few years for Glass to build up enough of a user base to make pay-per-gaze really profitable.  In the meantime it’s been said that Google is already working on the next level of this technology, in the form of charging advertisers not based on users’ actions, but… wait for it… their reactions/emotions.

“Pay-per-reaction” is the closest that Google has gotten so far to reading users’ minds.  It sounds so futuristic, but it could be right around the corner, as it is currently in beta.  With this technology, advertisers would no longer be charged based on users’ actions (clicks or gazes), but rather their thoughts.

How does this “pay-per-reaction” work, you ask?  In addition to gazes, Google can measure the level of a user’s pupil dilation and thus gauge his/her emotional response.  Let’s say you look at an ad through the Glass- the advertiser would be charged.  But if the ad interested you and your pupils dilate- the advertiser would be charged even more.

While I’m still figuring out what exactly the purpose of making advertisers pay more for reactions is, I do believe that this new technology could give advertisers a much better understanding of consumer reaction to marketing.   This insight will likely make them want to work harder on the emotional pull of their ads, but they would also be paying more for these ads if they’re successful.  Will these ads with more emotional pull lead to an increase in sales or conversions is the big question.

One thing I do know is that if “pay-per-reaction” happens, Google will make tons of money off of advertisers whose ads feature pretty shoes, juicy cheeseburgers and cute baby animals.

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One thought on “Will Google Profit From Reading Our Minds?

  1. [...] month I read a rumor that I dubbed “pay-per-reaction marketing.”   In addition to gazes, Google could measure the level of a user’s pupil dilation and thus [...]

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Casey Kurlander, Search marketing Specialist, BMI Elite