Google to roll out Topics to replace FloC

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A logo is seen on the New York Google offices. New York City, US, July 29, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kell

Google has made key changes in the pattern of showing advertisements in Chrome. The existing Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC ) system has been replaced with, Topics. Topics will be more effective in showing the kind of advertisements that cater to the taste of the Chrome users.

When a customer uses chrome, the web browser will identify their area of interest. The interest of each customer will be identified by analysing their browsing history during the last three weeks. In the beginning, the interests of each customer will be divided into 300 different topics. Then, suitable advertisements coming under various topics will be shown.


Over 300 subjects
Google is planning to introduce more than 300 subjects in Topics shortly. A Google blog post said topics that aid racial and gender discrimination will not find a place in Topics. If you go to a website that does not come under any of the 300 Google topics given, the most suitable topic will be found by Google using Machine Learning Algorithm.


Ads based on 3 select subjects
When you enter any website which shows Google advertisements, Google will be showing you advertisements in three subjects selected through Topics. Google makes a selection based on the web browsing history of the last three weeks. Google says it will show advertisements on any single subject selected from among the five leading subjects selected every week.


Transparency and control
Google claims its new advertisement policy will be transparent. It will also give customers more control. Customers will be given the option to remove subjects from the Topics which they don't want. There is also an option to completely switch off Topics.


Trial to begin before April
The trial run of Topics for Google developers will begin before April. During the trial, Google advertisers will also get the opportunity to use Topics. Topics will be finally delivered to the customers after making necessary changes based on the inputs received from the Google developers and advertisers.

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