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Internet Online “Ad-Stalking”
Ad Stalking - Remarketing - Retargeting and Database Marketing
Internet users are being exposed to product advertisements at some time or another when “surfing” the net for information or products. Last night I logged on to search a website and an advertisement popped up extolling the virtues of AOL and AOL’s relationship with Ancestry.com. This ad invited me to purchase a membership on Ancestry.com. The ad consisted of a text box which contained my old AOL internet address and my old user name from 1997.
I’d understand what happened better if I were still using the same old computer but I’m not. Since 1997 I have purchased 5 new computers. There shouldn’t have been any way to link my newest computer with previous internet search activity 14 years ago because the “cookies” are not hiding on this new computer.
“Cookies” are small text files which are imbedded in your computer by websites when you visit them... “Cookies” recognize you when you return for example, letting you stay signed in or immediately bringing up your past purchase information but mainly “cookies” allow the site to maintain any changes you may have done and these “cookies” are used for advertising.
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Online Ad Stalking
Ad Stalking or retargeted
I’m not a computer “geek,” I can only guess how I became a victim of “ad stalking.” I think the advertisement from AOL with my old information was linked by cookies somehow to the name of my ancestor. When I put in enough information for searching, full name, date of birth, parents names and birth location and parents date of birth, a cookie link was established back to me. These “retargeted or remarketed ads” are made to follow a consumer who may become unnerved because he or she feel stalked or tracked as they browse the web.
I was being “remarketed or retargeted” as a previous customer who might be willing to “purchase” again. This “remarketing ad” followed me when I went to other genealogy search websites. Even today, I was “retargeted” when I clicked on a website offering free search engines to use. “Ad retargeting” is an advertising strategy where an item to purchase must be shown at least 7 times to the customer before the customer will purchase. The “retargeted ad” item follows you around from website to website because the advertiser is betting on wearing you down enough so you will give up and purchase their product.
Because merchants can collect data from their websites based upon your online shopping or searches they expect to reap huge sales profits. Online spending for 2010 holiday season resulted in a record spending of $32.6 Billion which was a large increase over 2009 holiday spending. The heaviest online spending day of 2010 was Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 29) where online shoppers spent almost $1.03 Billion which shattered previous records to become the greatest single spending day on record.
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Avoid being Ad-Stalked
How can you avoid being “retargeted, remarketed or Ad stalked”? You could ignore those ads as I did. If you really want to put an end to being ad-stalked you can purge your Cookie cache. When signing on or before signing off the internet click the tool tab on the menu bar and activate the InPrivate Browsing. You could purchase and install one of the software currently on the market that blocks ads. Another effective method would be to contact the ad server and “opt-out”.