I have a hub on furniture and on the sidebar listed under Latest in Home there is a discussion listed about immigrants? What does that have to do with furniture? I thought things on the sidebar had to relate to the Hub.
If that's a google ad, google knows what a person was last searching for or read on the web and voila', an ad for your interest appears. It feels invasive, but I remember sitting on an airplane 20 years ago and an ad-man for Newsweek told me that the ads in Newsweek were different in various publications depending on the demographics of the zip code. I almost choked on the peanuts I was eating! It feels disturbing, but marketing has been doing this for years. I really don't like seeing an ad for RVs in an article on politics that I might be reading; it feels invasive to my privacy, BUT.... When I read a fellow hubpager's article, if the ad is something I MIGHT be interested in, I do click because ads are where the money comes from, and I like to support fellow writers. (I don't click on ads that don't interest me, so I don't feel as if I'm doing anything unethical in supporting writiers this way). I have clicked on ads that have been beneficial to me and brought me to information I didn't know.
As an off-shoot to this question, I created an app that I had to put up for free because even my brother-in-law was reticent to buy it for 99 cents, saying, "I've never paid for an app in my life." The content of that app took me weeks to create and after I changed it to list it for free, I got over 6400 downloads. There is advertising on it, but few of us click on ads ANYWHERE, so I made 14 cents in about two years. But, I digress...
So those ads you see, I'm thinking, are just a way for advertisers to try to get people to click . They create algorithms that search for what a user searches for or reads online, and they know their interests and create ads related to those interests. (That's what I think anyway)
You're right, Billie, and it applies to everything we use on the web. Once my son emailed me something on gmail and I replied, "Oh shit!". Would you believe an ad for toilet paper came up the next time I booted up my email. I am not joking. But it was funny.
The sidebar now includes three "latest" hubs from the same general category in addition to the five supposedly related hubs. You are probably seeing that bad topic match in the latest section.
On one of my math hubs the sidebar offered me "Is Alexander the Great gay?" because the author of that piece categorized it under education.
The "more by this author' seems to be automatic and keyword based--sometimes not quite on target.
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