Firstly, Google doesn’t care about you. I’m sorry, but they really don’t care that you just looked at My Little Pony, watched a cat video on YouTube and then read an article on “10 ways to know if you can satisfy a woman”. Google deals with vast amounts of data about billions of people worldwide. All they care about is trying to show you an ad to something you might like to buy.
It seems most people neglect the fact that much of this “personal” information which companies use, mostly purely to help advertisers show more relevant ads. Like it or not this is vital to everyone involved, and here’s why…
In the online advertising chain there are usually 4 main parties:
Company with product/service they want to sell -> Advertising Agency -> Website Owner -> You
In an ideal situation, all of these people – Yes, you included – benefit from GOOD and well targeted online advertising.
Companies want to spend their advertising budget in the most effective way possible, they want to know that their ad $$ are going to showing the people who might actually want their products their ads. There really is no point showing Men an advert for Tampons for example.
Because of this companies want the advertising agencies they use to target their ads at their products target market as effectively as possible, so that their money is spent showing their ads to people who are more likely to click & buy.
It’s then the advertising agency, like Google AdWords/Adsense job to try to show that ad to people who might actually buy it.
They do this through a variety of means, in the case of Google this includes things like what you search for and perhaps even the sites you look at. This helps them build up an idea of what kind of person you are and the types of things you like.
For example if you were just searching for something like “Nokia Lumia 800” and then clicked on GeekTechBlog.com and read our review on the Nokia Lumia 800 it would make sense for Google to then show you an advert to buy it.
If you read our review and thought, yes this does indeed sound like a fantastic phone I’ll buy it! Click the advert and buy the phone from the retailer you have then experienced useful relevant advertising.
In this process you have also helped the website owner as they can then earn money from the advertising agency for displaying the advert to you and is able to make some money which will likely help to pay for the expensive servers, domains and content producers required to run the site.
Without this ad revenue many site owners simply couldn’t afford to provide their content/sites/services for free to the end-user.
At the end of the day this is one of the small trade-offs of using the internet, and in reality the better it works the less you see pointless adverts and the more you see things you actually want to buy and this can only be a good thing.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts, so please do share them in the comments.