May 27, 2024

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Google Chrome’s Topics API test going public July 1

“A small percentage of traffic” will soon see the initial testing of Google Chrome Topics API go live on July 1. The new feature will enable users to enable interest-based advertising without having to track the site a user visits. 

Interest-based advertising. According to recent developer documentation, “IBA can help advertisers to reach potential customers and help fund websites that cannot otherwise easily monetize visits to their site purely via contextual advertising. IBA can also supplement contextual information for the current page to help find an appropriate advertisement for the visitor.”

The Topics API. The Topics API has three main tasks:

  • Maps website hosts to topics of interest. For example, a yoga website would be categorized under “Fitness”
  • Calculate the main topics for a user based on their browsing history
  • Provide a JavaScript API to help select appropriate ads based on the user’s interest

Review the official developer’s documentation. You can find the entire developer’s documentation on the new Topics API test here.

What Google is saying. Google states that this initial test is to validate that their systems are operating as designed, and no revenue or performance impact is expected. But advertisers who prefer not to be included in the initial test can opt out using Chrome’s Permissions-policy header. 

Why we care. When Google announced the API trial in January, advertisers were less than enthused. Marketers from various agencies raised concerns around the 350 topics outlined not being sufficient enough to provide relevant targeting. Less topics means more competition around less targeted ads, which is a problem for everyone involved. Google may already be aware of the issue, but unless they have significantly improved this list in advance of the test, we may not see a change advertisers opinion or projected outcome. There is no word on how long the trial will go on.

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About The Author

Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.