Let Google Eat Their Own Ads

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Google makes a huge amount of money serving up ads, which funds a lot of interesting, though not always quickly successful, ideas. Most everyone tolerates these ads because their search engine is such a helpful gadget. But we wonder if it wouldn’t be more effective if it would serve up ads that we are more interested in. We suspect that they have already collected plenty of data about our habits that could be parsed to make both Google users and Google advertisers happier. Regarding the off-target ads, we advise: let Google eat their own ads.

Does it really make sense to keep hammering on us month-after-month to buy more of the same item we have bought? (The high-tech rubber duckie Edwin Duck that we bought for a Christmas gift appears daily … sometimes several times.) And although in general a repeat customer is the best customer, there are lots of specialty items that advertisers should know are bought only once by individuals and used for years, so isn’t it better to spend their ad dollars to chase non-owners? Strangely, Google doesn’t seem to have taken a lesson from Amazon, which does a far better job of suggesting stuff that actually COMPLEMENTS what we have recently bought.

We thought that Google had gotten religion recently when we ran across a link leading to an “Opt Out” headline. But the religion they had gotten must have been from insane or malicious gods, because you can only opt out of “interest-based” ads, i.e. ones related to your interests, previous visits to other websites, or demographic details. WHAT??!! It seems to us that those are the ads you might WANT to see. So apparently, after opting out, you will only receive ones that are based on nothing and even more likely to be irrelevant.

Allí no hay ni almuerzo grátis (inglés:“There ain’t no free lunch”)

Advertising Indigestion 596x449Most Internet users have been spoiled by so much apparently “free” content. Well, of course it’s free to them because advertisers are paying for it, and are putting ads next to that content, just like newspapers and magazines have done for many decades. However, some of the same sort of technology that have brought us all this cornucopia of useful (or at least entertaining) content, is now being employed to strip the ads off this content, as described in some detail by The Financial Times.

Google itself has already (very recently) started a small initiative that lets people pay to watch YouTube videos sans ads. Those are all or mostly for mass market entertainment content, so the cool creative stuff (“coolness” is in the eye of the beholder, so even cat videos count here) may still be afflicted with ads. But we suspect that millions of people would be willing to pay reasonable amounts of subscription money to use sites they value. One proof of that is the large total contributions per year that are made to support Wikipedia. So we can hope that other sites with value-added start to offer alternatives like this new one from Google.

The worst ads are ones that have video (or animation) or audio, which are REALLY intrusive. One of the worst sites in this regard that we personally use is spanishdict.com. (But despite this unpleasant behavior, spanishdict.com, is highly-ranked by Alexa, 1,818 in the world as of May 14, 2015 with a whopping 907 improvement in the preceding three months.) Ironically, when one narrows the viewing window, the ads—which are mostly on the right side—get chopped off. No wonder they have to resort to using audio, video, and animation to attract attention.