Ad Targeting Failures

So, as I wander the intertubes in search of exciting consumer products to buy, I've noticed a weird phenomenon. I accept, albeit grudgingly, that my computer keeps track of what I'm doing online*. It then communicates these facts to the mighty server farms in Mountain View, or wherever the hell Google has them stashed these days. These servers then reply with appropriate advertisements based on what I've been browsing on the net. I accept this as part of the price I pay for living in a free society accessing free content.

Here's what I find odd: the ads are for the same websites I've already been shopping. Now it may be that these very same websites are the only people paying the Goog for ads about monocles and top hats, or it may be that the ad algorithm could use a little tweaking. I'm not sure which. In any event, showing me the exact same websites I'm already going to doesn't make me inclined to click on the ads. Since getting me, the hapless and foolish consumer, to click on the ad is the point of the whole exercise, I'm inclined to think it fails.

Perhaps showing me ads for similar websites might be a thing? Instead of the 1400 banner ads for Warby Parker and Guitar Center, you might throw one up for someone else in the same line of business. I think somebody else in the consumer marketing biz has a website where they show me similar items I might be interested in purchasing based on all that data they harvest.

Oh, and just an FYI: I only click the links for Elizabeth Warren to cost her campaign money, so keep putting those up. That's money the campaign doesn't get to spend more intelligently or effectively.

*Note to the privacy rabid: Yes, I know how to avoid this and am perfectly capable of doing so, but a majority of the time I'm at work and doing funny things to the work computer makes my IT department peevish.

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