Ads Based on Past Searches & Web Visits: Creepy or Relevant?

Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust and safety at Google, explains how searches and site visits can alter the ads you see (see video below). Folks, as a marketer and consumer, I love this. It’s less waste for the marketer and more relevant to the customer.

Of course some find it creepy, but I find the name Ghosemajumder far more terrifying. In fact just typing it makes me think of a goose that has returned as a zombie, and can dive off buildings and pound me down several layers of the stratosphere but only after sucking away what’s left of my brain. I’ll bet Shuman got made fun of at school, and now takes secret solice in knowing that he’s at Google and his classmates are at some dying dot-bomb or unemployed financial advisors.

Youtube ad settings

YouTube now has the ability to opt out of these ads (Google ad preferences), but I hope people don’t. They’ll make Google and YouTube creators better money, and they’re less annoying than ads for something stupid that we’d never buy. Even better, you can tell Google what interests you, and get even more relevant ads. I’m looking forward to the ads for digital cameras, percocet and poop.

Did you know that if you search a specific term (travel) and visit a travel site, the ads that you see on certain sites for a hotel aren’t coincidence. Advertisers have found that you’re far more likely to purchase if you’ve started to enroll on a site (say, airline) and that if you abandoned a purchase than an ad with an offer/discount is highly likely to get you back. It’s called site retargeting, and it sometimes confronts you with a mirror into your soul. Oh dear, why all the ads about male-pattern baldness?

Hey- I’d rather see a Wawa ad on my YouTube video than a stupid text ad for “learn Japanese via audio tapes.” I’m SO sure I’m going to learn another language at my ripe age. Not even if a zombie ghost bird made me.

zombie goose

14 Replies to “Ads Based on Past Searches & Web Visits: Creepy or Relevant?”

  1. this is a good idea, Not crept out by it, there is so much information out each person in businesses that this doesn’t worry me (I’m talking about store cards, etc, where businesses can use your purchase choices to target products or coupons ) Now to give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. OH, forgot the important stuff. It’s interesting that I intentionally don’t look at on line ads — anywhere, but I get irritated when my advertisers get plenty of views but few readers click through. Lesson learned, look at some ads and learn what is interesting. I use PhPAds which is capable of tracking.

  3. Sadly, I once gave my actual demographics to Yahoo, and now my Yahoo mail always displays insulting cream ads. My only consolation is that I’m not male and getting Viagra ads.

  4. Wait. You’re trying to tell me that someone named Shoeman Goosemurderer is in charge of trust at Google?

    Hahahahaha! Nice try, you prankster you! Next you’ll be telling us you signed Casper The Friendly Ghost to Hipviews.

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