It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the big money in the online tech world is not hardware or software but in advertising. That’s right! After all, if you strip away all the bells and whistles from Google, its business model is very simple. It indexes a tunnel of information that people are looking for and pays ads around that information. Nice and simple, short and sweet. It’s all about advertising technology. This is true for both web based ads and mobile based ads. It’s all about drawing tons of eyeballs into a page and then plastering ads all over that page so advertisers can make money and the platform can make money.
The Achilles’ heel of this whole system is how you track which ads go to which page. On websites, this is very easy because it’s all done using browser cookies. Cookies are small text files that browsers use to remember certain features of a particular website. It also helps the browser navigate websites in a smooth and efficient manner. The problem (and the big opportunity) is mobile handles cookies in a very inconsistent way. There are many mobile platforms, browsers and mobile configurations out there. As a result, the big opportunity for making money online is how to come up with an alternative to the cookie. This is not as easy as you would think because ad tracking is a very political exercise and whoever controls the platform controls the ad tracking.
This is why Google has such grandiose four layer plan for ad tracking online. It plans to track through browsers, ISP and the operating system as well as social layers. As you can well imagine, Apple and other Google rivals can see the handwriting on the wall if Google’s plan pans out. This is why you should expect a lot of resistance both on the hardware, social and ISP levels regarding ad tracking based on Google’s rules. It’s all about who controls tracking online and we’re talking not just millions but billions of dollars on the line regarding who wins this battle royale.