It's often hard to know what to make of new online advertising techniques that claim to produce ads that are better targeted at the reader, but we'll give Yahoo's new scheme the benefit of the doubt for now.

The Japan-only 'Interest Match' program is due to go live any day now, offering the next step beyond simple context-sensitive ads or the type of privacy invasion utilised by the likes of Phorm.

Cookies in place

Instead, Interest Match places a cookie on participating PCs and tracks what websites users view over time and how long they spend on individual pages.

That's not particularly new, but what Yahoo Japan hopes is that advertisers will be drawn to the subsequent ability to target people at specific times of day, as well as by the usual demographics of age, gender and location.

Small folk too

Ultimately, if Yahoo's proprietary technology can deliver relevant advertising, then it will generate more revenue for everyone from bloggers to big publishers.

Alternatively, we could all continue to ignore advertising on websites and maybe one day we'll see an end to those little boxes pushing stuff we already have.