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Interest Based Ads

Personal Observation - Seeing more IBSs lately

     
8:18 am on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have been noticing quite a dramatic increase in the amount of IBAs (interest based ads) that have been following me around lately. I haven't changed anything with regards to my browser settings etc.

Anyone else notice this? Or perhaps not?
9:01 am on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Difficult for me to judge as a lot of my web use is on the subject of my site.
1:29 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Five days ago, I was researching reading glasses. I'm all done, and have everything I want.

Now, every single Google ad on every single subject, on every single site, including my own, features a "reading glasses ad" as the top ad. GO AWAY ALREADY!

It is SO easy to understand how IBAs halved my CTR. Cluelessness. There is NO WAY that this continued dogging is effective.
PEOPLE MOVE ON, WHY CAN'T GOOGLE?

Lingering Interest-Based Ads are frustrating, ill-conceived, and ineffective.
Blind adherence to a crazed ad serving policy is costing me money, and most certainly costing Google money. If they would simply run the numbers, they would drop this failed experiment straightaway. Or perhaps their ability to properly measure this phenomenon is severely flawed (since it was invented here, it MUST be good).


Early task completion is not part of the algo. (50-60%)
Early information satisfaction is not part of the algo. (25%)
Webmaster working on website is not part of the algo (5%)
Sudden distaste for the product is not part of the algo. (5%)
A bored, fleeting whim never-to-be-duplicated query is not ... (5%)
Those STILL interested days later (5%)

Compared with -
Subject searched for - Those interested NOW (100%) contextual
.
2:29 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Advertisers love 'em though; apparently they convert. Maybe not for you or me, but in general.
2:30 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just one ditzy broad's opinion.
8:57 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Actually Sally, I'm rather inclined to agree with you. Recently whilst conducting a search I was bombarded with interest based ads for building products I did not want. Yes, I was researching some information relating to the building industry earlier that day but I was not looking to buy any building products at all. Yet these ads persisted and did not subside for quite some time.

Subsequently, when conducting other searches on that same day I was seeing building related ads left right and centre, yet by this stage I was searching for a specific product not at all related to building. So any opportunity for Adsense to deliver more relevant ads was an opportunity forgone in this case. Yes, it's just my experience, just another anecdote, but I do know for certain that I did better before all of the most recent algo tampering began.

"If it ain't broke then don't fix it", I believe goes the old saying.
6:06 pm on Oct 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Last week, I was researching some online banks, then every site I visited with advertising displayed ads from those banks....even at my own site, which has absolutely nothing, nada to do with banking.

Sally, you said: "Those interested NOW (100%) contextual."

Forgive my ignorance, but does that mean you disallow Google certified ad networks. I was wondering if my income would improve if I shut them off (I'm too nervous to try). But I'm seeing more and more ads that are not at all relevant to my site. I mean, I feature an electronics gizmo, not breakfast cereal and the like!
3:36 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"... does that mean you disallow Google certified ad networks?"

I have never enabled Google Certified Networks.
I understand that they are all CPM image ads, most of which wiggle.
I turned off CPM ads years ago. Why have ANY CPM ads, when I can have ALL CPC ads, which pay far more?

I have never enabled image ads, because I cannot specify "static ads" only. I HATE any screen movement not caused by me, and I go to extremes to avoid it. I am not going to saddle my visitors with the very thing I hate the most - wiggling, flashing, gyrating distractions. I feel like I am being poked in the eye with a stick, until I go away. So, I do just that - I go away, if I cannot easily shift the gyrating ad off-screen. I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO READ ANYTHING IF THERE IS ANY SCREEN MOVEMENT OF ANY KIND. MY COMPUTER IS NOT A TV! (I also never watch TV commercials - my remote is always in my hand - I mute or change the channel, 100% of the time).

After 67 years of being beaten to death by TV commercials, I refuse to suffer another one, ever.
As you can see, this has spilled over into my Internet surfing.
6:15 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Last month I needed house insurance so I bought some on line. Now since I won't be buying house insurance again for another 12 months why would I still want to see ads for insurance ?
6:23 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Agree with a lot of what I just read. 2 months ago, we added a popular web-based 800 number phone service to our company profile.

- We searched for competitive offers
- We did our research
- We SIGNED UP and bought it based on our research.

Today, even 6 weeks later, we (Yes, 2 other people also) still see the same advertisements [for the company we already signed up with] in sites that have google ad blocks on them. I know I can click and say the ad is not relevant, but why do their job for them.

MH
7:03 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have never enabled Google Certified Networks.


I've had them on since their inception. As mentioned, I'm a bit nervous to turn them off BUT...

In a matter of a few months, Panda cut traffic to my site in half (ouch), and income is down about the same. I'm wondering if I'm better with CPC ads only and should turn off the Ad Certified Networks. If so, what happens to the targeting?

Any thoughts; suggestions?

ALL CPC ads, which pay far more?


You used a question mark. Do you mean that CPC ads pay more?

Thank you.
7:38 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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i'm not sticking up for interest-based ads, because i wish they would turn them off as well, but do you remember PSA ads? (is that what they were called, i cant really remember -- the charity ads that people clicked for free)

with the economy the way it is at the moment, im guessing that we should be seeing a load more PSA ads, because there cant always be enough ads to go round, surely. the reason were not, im guessing, is that they have been replaced with interest-based ads. and given a choice between PSA and interest-based ads, i'd rather have the IBA's -- because at least then you have the chance of making money (even if it is sometimes pretty small)

but when google show IBA's in place of contextual ads, when there are plenty of contextual ads available, i think that is a bad move on their part. i wish they would give us the option to turn them off properly.
8:19 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I was researching some information relating to the building industry earlier that day but I was not looking to buy any building products at all.


Thanks. :) That is a good example of a flaw in the IBA algorithm. In the above scenario (which happens to me a lot) Google's algorithm is failing to predict searches or site visitations that are on the buy cycle. In the above scenario, the IBA algo is making wrong assumptions about user intent.

It also demonstrate how IBAs can have a negative impact for advertisers and possibly for publisher earnings. If IBAs are crowding out ads that would be clicked on, even if the eCMP his lower than the CPM price the IAB is bidding, then it is possible to lose the greater earnings we could have received from the clicks than from the impression based IABs shown on the site. Publishers lose out completely if the IABs are CPC in the scenario Scurramunga posted.

We as publishers are a unique sub-set of people on the Internet. Our experience differs from the average Google user. But I have heard negative accounts from non web workers about the ads following them around. No one has ever told me what a wonderful thing they are.
8:53 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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But I have heard negative accounts from non web workers about the ads following them around.


Likewise and they have used the exact same language to describe what is happening i.e. "following them around" or "stalking them" and in general they don't like it.

People are starting to wise up to how much they are being tracked whilst they are browsing and if the interest based ads (AKA "we know what you have been looking at ads") become more prevalent then I can see a growth in ad blocking software.

I am sure it has been mentioned before but there must be plenty of situations on shared household computers where showing IBAs is less than desirable.
9:07 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If IBAs are crowding out ads that would be clicked on, even if the eCMP his lower than the CPM price the IAB is bidding, then it is possible to lose the greater earnings we could have received from the clicks than from the impression based IABs shown on the site.


So then, it wouldn't hurt experimenting by turning off Google's Ad Certified Network? I don't get the impressions like I used to, unfortunately.
9:18 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What about negative user experience on your site caused by IABs?
9:21 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You used a question mark. Do you mean that CPC ads pay more?


More than CPM ads? Yes. About 30 times more, on average.
9:47 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What about negative user experience on your site caused by IABs?


I'm not sure what you mean. Can you clarify?
9:23 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sally, I have the same thing happen with these stupid IBA's. I looked for flat footed running shoes for my sister a few months ago and it took a couple of months to be able to go to any site including my own sites (which have nothing to do with running shoes). I get SO sick of seeing them. And if I get sick of them, I know my website visitors are sick of seeing whatever they searched for months ago!

Since these IBA's, my earnings are less than a third of what an average month used to be. Traffic is still as good or better as it ever was. CTR and therefore eCPM is way down. It turns me off to see these IBA's. I know I'm not the only one turned off by them.

Wynter
9:40 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm not so sure that IBA's are causing as much trouble as some mentioned in this thread.

At least in my case, they respond for less than 5% of all ad requests, so they don't really make that much of a difference.
11:31 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Earlier today I was seeing ads for a service I already subscribe to. And I was faced with ads from a site I had recently made a purchase from. That appears to be a waste of advertising money if it was CPM and a waste of an ad impression to the publisher if it was CPC.

I believe the algorithm for Interest Based Ads has room for improvement. Is it possible for an advertiser or publisher to lose money because of those bugs?
9:49 am on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I believe the algorithm for Interest Based Ads has room for improvement. Is it possible for an advertiser or publisher to lose money because of those bugs?


I believe you make a good point. One would assume that preventing irrelevant impressions should be a priority for Adwords/Adsense. After all, advertiser performance is largely dependent on CTR.

Advertisers could well be loosing out because their ads are displayed in situations where they are are completely out of sync with the visitor. I am almost tempted to take up one of those Adwords offers for free credit just to test out this hypothesis. I wonder if Adwords metrics contain data on IBA impressions and clicks.
1:51 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is it possible for an advertiser or publisher to lose money because of those bugs?


From an individual experience it's easy to assume that.

But from a larger perspective, I think the advertisers are probably doing well with IBA's.


FarmBoy
2:31 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Advertisers could use a lot more training in how remarketing and IBA works, that's for sure. I remember when I bought some new boots online last winter, I was shown ads from the same store for the very same exact pair of boots for about three weeks after I purchased them. Now I didn't click, so possibly it didn't cost them anything. But it didn't earn them anything - except my mental note not to shop there again.
7:39 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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so possibly it didn't cost them anything.


What about effects of a higher click cost and poorer positioning due to a lower ctr?