For a while now I have seen an increase in certain kinds of advertisements on Adsense which have literally made me want to move to a different publishing platform.
What are these advertisements?
The ads which are targeted based on your past search history.
The reason I hate these are because they are generally ads which would only be useful to a person who had never visited the site before. However a lot of the time ads like Groupon, Evony, and most recently (in my case) Thesis have been popping up.
On each occasion they appear more frequently AFTER I have visited the site, after which I would have no reason to click on a banner advertisement for it.
Case in point, I recently went on to the thesis website as I was interested in buying their wordpress theme developer package. However whatever website I go on to now, I see Thesis theme advertisements for their website.
I have already visited the site, I have no reason at all to click on the advertisements, yet Adsense has decided that these are more relevant than contextual ads.
The bad news is that Google is dead wrong on what interests me. The worse news is if it is happening to me, chances are it is happening to all my other visitors too.
The other annoying thing is of course that lose weight ad which appears everywhere regardless of relevance OR past search history.
Ahem, rant over
I just feel as if it is a waste of space.
Wow, I agree.
I listen to a college radio channel and they have a segment speaking about Internet stuff. They often speak about SE.
Last week the radio channel had a 30 minute discussion about how google places ads they feel your interested in right in front of you. Needless to say the speaker/DJ whatever you want to call the person disagreed with the way google chooses to put ads in front of you when you do a SE or visit a website. I happen to find the topic very interesting and here you are speaking about the same topic.
Again, google does not know what I want to visit or view. You are so right. I feel it makes Internet browsing less interesting seeing the same ads over and over. I will never understand why google feel they know me so well.
Well, you may not click on those ads, but a lot of folks do. I looked into that type of advertising a while ago for a client, and as part of that, spoke with some of the advertisers. They did report good success. The basic premise is one of marketing's fundamentals: the more touchpoints that you have with a consumer, the more chance you have of converting them.
Although I have to admit, the first time I came across it I was a bit surprised. I was on a site like urbanlegends[dot]com or something like that, and an ad for Toys R Us popped up--totally not the type of advertiser you would see on that site.
while having a lot of intake points for an advertiser is good, for publishers such as you and me, and advertisement for say evony s not really worth anything when it is being displayed to people who have already visited the site and made their decision.
In my thesis example for instance, the ads for thesis began to appear AFTER I had already visited the website and had already made my buy/not buy decision.
There is little point in advertising to someone after they have bought a product, and I am seeing increasing examples of where this is happening on the Adsense platform.
See, that's where I believe you are wrong (although these really need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis). Putting my 20 years of brand marketing at risk here, not everyone makes a decision right away (particularly women) on whether to make a purchase or not. They may want to comparison shop first, not be financially ready to make that purchase right then, etc.
Think of the whole "mail order catalog syndrome." You get those Lands End or Sharper Image catalogs in the mail and think, "Hey, I really want to go through that. Let me set it aside." Invariably, a month goes by, you've never looked at it and you toss it in the trash.
Why do you think Victoria's Secret sends out almost daily catalogs to those on its list? Because the more touchpoints you have, the more chance you have of making a conversion.
But Victoria's secret offers a wide range of varying products which invariably wear out.
While I do see your point of reiterating adverts to people who are hesitant on a buying decision, I think it offers a poor return on advertising space for Publishers (Even if the advertisers get an overall benefit from it).
Say for instance someone is visiting my hub on DS games after searching for Best DS Games. They see an advertisement for Thesis, after they earlier decided not to buy the Thesis package.
While it might be good that the advert is there for the Advertiser, for me as a publisher it offers much less relevance to my visitors, I would be much more likely to get clicks from people if advertisements were displayed for DS games.
That is before even considering that the people who are viewing these advertisements have already bought the product.
I am not saying these techniques are a bad form of advertising for the Advertiser, but I feel that as a publisher they are taking up space which could have much more benefit for me with relevant contextual advertisements, not advertisements based on search history.
In the victories secret example,
Say I went in to a store for DS games, went to ask the sales person for some advice, and they handed me a victorias secret catalogue instead, simply because I passed by their store earlier.
I might buy something, but I am much more likely to click on an ad focused on the product I was looking for when I surfed to that page.
The discussion here is teaching me so much. You two are great. Your back and forth banter about this topic is eye opening.
Good point Oli. Do you know if those ads are paying per click or per impression? If they are impressions (which I think they are, or should be if they're not), then I'm fine with them.
I'm amazed at how quickly the ads adjust and how little it takes to get them to change. I had a friend email me some vacation pictures, and all I did was look at the email and pictures. For hours after that I all got was travel ads to his vacation spot, whenever I looked at hubs. Kinda creeped me out.
Oli, why do you think BigG is willing to lose millions just so they force you to lose a few bucks? They get a percentage, don't they?
Yep, it is kind of weird and it is the one point of my argument that is probably lacking, why do Google put ads like this up if they don't work?
To be honest I don't know the answer to that, but I distinctly feel as if ads such as this would be a little bit more effective if they were in some way at least a little bit related to my content, rather than what someone was interested in an hour ago.
Well, I am willing to bet that if they consistently put up ads like this they are making more money this way, even though you or people like you are less likely to click those ads. They have the capacity to test, and the incentive to maximize.
I really do agree with that statement, but when I logically think about what people on my site are going to click, things seem to fall apart.
Anyway, I am off to enjoy Hollywood! Be back in a bit!
it does happen quickly.. and is kind of creepy.
I was searching for wedding rehearsal invites and then I kept seeing wedding diva ads on pages that had nothing to do with weddings.
This is probably a coincidence but....
I'm an affiliate for Bose music stuff, after I visit their site and work on my affiliate links. I swear that I get more of their commercials on my televsion. I notice it because my ex-dentist is one of their testimonals on he ad. Could they be targeting cable ads this way?
Ha! I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Although I'm going to give it all up the day I decide to go and buy Cheerios, and I find an ad for HubPages or something else I do on it. That would really creep me out.
Although they already have those types of ads in the stores. You know those video ads that you see as you're walking down aisles? I haven't kept up with the technology, but ten years ago they were testing having those kiosks read the stuff you have in your cart, and target the ads just for you.
I turned interest based ads off three days ago. And so far they've been the three best days I've had in ages.*
* Although with the summer holidays winding down about now it may just be coincidence.
This is an area that interest me because you have the ability to block different ads that show up, at least on your own sites.
So it seems to me that tweaking the ads that show on your site is something you should do. I recently blocked those grouply or whatever ads from NY on my Orlando tourist site.
Why would they show up on my Florida site? But now is it just me that sees them because I visited a NY website? That makes it hard to know what others are seeing on your site.
I have just been placing my trust in Google to place the right ads because: 1- I have no idea what kind of ads my viewers are seeing; and 2 - once you know about online advertising it makes it really hard to second guess how a regular person might be behaving online.
However, if I see one more advert for Crystal Docks - a webpage someone posted in a comments box in one of my hubs - I might actually lose my mind.
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