Saturday, March 14, 2009

When "Targeted" Ads Fail

I've been hearing a lot of talk lately about Google's decision to start using AdSense to deliver ads that are targeted not only based on a web page's content, but also on each user's history and interests. The tactic isn't new, only the pervasive, widespread reach of Google is.

The privacy concerns of this have been talked about endlessly, and I'm not writing to add to that discussion. My question is: privacy aside, how many companies actually have the intelligence to even use such a system effectively? Theoretically, the more information you have on someone, the better your targeting should be. Given this logic, a service like Facebook, which knows a lot about me, should have very-well-targeted ads.


I mean, come on. This isn't rocket science, people.