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YouTube advertising is about to get spookily specific

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The ads you see on YouTube are about to get much more specific – and, if you're lucky, perhaps even useful – as Google finds new ways to target promotions with laser precision.

At the Advertising Week (opens in new tab) conference in New York, Google explained that YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the US, behind only Google Search. That means it has a vast, currently untapped pool of info on your interests and habits.

"About 60 per cent of people who search for a product on Google then go to YouTube to do more research," said Tara Walpert Levy, the company's vice president of agency and brand solutions.

Eyes forward

Google is also introducing some new types of advertising, including 'ad extensions for video'. According to CNBC (opens in new tab), these might include banners on movie review displaying showtimes near you, or download links on Let's Play gameplay videos. These links will appear underneath videos in YouTube's mobile apps.

The increase in ads comes as no surprise – in March, YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen said the site hoped to "frustrate and seduce" users who use it as a free streaming service into paying for its new YouTube Music subscription service.

Despite its huge audience, Google only began letting advertisers target YouTube users based on their search habits last year. Beforehand, ads were specific to the type of video you were watching, but not influenced by your behavior.

Via The Verge (opens in new tab)

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)