Online advertising is big business, in case you didn’t already know. Our top search engines would argue that it benefits us to have ads delivered that are specifically tailored to the user – and of course, we can all see that.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, consumers are becoming increasingly worried about the amount of personal information required – albeit retrieved by algorithms and bots, rather than humans – in order to deliver these oh-so-relevant ads.

While Google puts out a lot of PR to let us know just how it is refining our general search results day by day, I was surprised to see how openly Yahoo is trumpeting its research into Computational Advertising. It calls it “a new scientific sub-discipline”, and has its latest papers online for all to see. Fair enough, it’s a fascinating subject – and, just maybe, this degree of transparency will overcome the doubters and engender trust.

Meanwhile, as small business owners, of course, tailored ads – both content-wise and geographically-speaking – will only benefit you. Oh, and those search engines, of course.