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British Politician Falls Foul of Interest-based AdSense Ads

   
7:15 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Summary: On Twitter, Conservative MP in UK criticises a Labour Party webpage with "Date Arab Girls" ad at the top, Labour responds by pointing out he saw the ad only because of his previous interests/history/searches. Hilarity ensues.

[guardian.co.uk ]
7:19 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Love it ..:)
7:36 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Exactly one of the reasons retargeting should be banned.
8:52 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Er... why? Because politicians have enough opportunities to make fools of themselves and don't need yet another?
8:52 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Without clearing my cache, I went to the guardian site to read the story. That site too has adsense running. I saw adverts for broadband comparison, brain exercises and heathrow airport - three things I have never searched for.
8:56 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think you have to have actually searched for anything - it can go off your browsing history too if you've been on other sites setting Google cookies.

I was on a guitar site recently (never searched on G for anything related) and was interesting to see the ads over the following days: singing lessons, piano tuning, that type of thing. The ads aren't always directly related to anything obvious. It's possible that poor guy just did some searching for Cairo or Damascus flights and suddenly he's interested in wooing Arab women!
9:45 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I don't think you have to have actually searched for anything - it can go off your browsing history too if you've been on other sites setting Google cookies.
That's not it either. I've never been to such sites for them to follow me around.

Plus, i've just looked on the wife's craptop. She doesn't browse on it, and hasn't used it for months. Clean cache and no history to go with. I emailed her the URL. Installed a new browser.

Still got totally off-topic adverts.

This really is a non-story. Google will show whatever adverts they want (unless you block them.)
10:44 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



yep, I don't think it necessarily means he visited or searched for "Date Arab Girls" sites... but obviously it can be spun that way by the opposing political parties... good on them for spinning it this way!
1:49 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's possible that poor guy just did some searching for Cairo or Damascus flights and suddenly he's interested in wooing Arab women!
Doesn't his resulting silence suggest otherwise? ;)
2:34 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Has this guy ever been involved with legislation for anything internet related? I hope not.
11:38 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What this proves is that you need to keep a good watch on exactly which adverts appear on your site. You can't control interest based ads but many others you can. I received complaints from viewers about mature dating ads appearing on one of my sites. They clearly weren't interest based.
11:49 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



What this proves is that you need to keep a good watch on exactly which adverts appear on your site.

The problem with that is, you may not see the same adverts as other people.

I would like to have something on my site to say "if you see an offensive/inappropriate advert, to contact us"

But doing so will be a breach of the TOS.

Bring back the old days when you had adverts related to the subject matter.
2:58 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It's not going to happen, nor will retargeting be banned, ever, because it works. Advertisers want it.

Your best bet is a big honking notice that you're happy to sell direct ads.
3:02 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Can You imagine to buy color to paint a brake light?

This was only a bahvior commeon in the German Democatic Republic GDR before 1989, because a new lamp was expensive, so people painted them red again, when the color dimished.

A friend from me in earlier East Germany searched for such a color, and saw some weeks advertising for it.
6:10 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm not sure they are all IBAs. I clear my cookies and I still see ads for topics i've not searched for.

Either way, for me, IBAs are often too late as I already made the purchase.
8:23 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



They probably can't show IBAs for every person for every search or on every site. So if they can determine in a split second that they have one available, they show it, and if they can't, well... they're still trying to sell *me* Russian Brides.
8:44 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"Either way, for me, IBAs are often too late as I already made the purchase."

Ditto. Double ditto. Triple ditto.
A few days, sure.
SIX WEEKS? Insane.
10:09 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Metadata.

There are things you buy once, and things you buy over and over. There are things you buy right away, and things you research for a long time.

Was I looking for a restaurant or a real-estate agent? Was I looking up cheap flights to Aruba, or nursing homes in my area?

Advertisers may not know the difference today, but they will.
10:21 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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IBA's follow me everywhere which is pretty stupid because I've already made my purchase on eBay, having satisfied myself on the specifications and suitability for my purposes elsewhere on the net.

So weeks, even months, of IBA's are completely wasted impressions on me.
11:22 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The pounding and pounding and pounding, every day, for weeks on end. Not good at all.
If I have seen the ad 100 times, how likely is it that I will click on #101?

And what about the fact that the penalty for clicking on your own ads is EXECUTION.
How hard is it for the algo to ask -
1. AdSense user? 2. Then don't serve Interest-Based ads.
How elemental is THAT?

Why try THAT HARD to get AdSense servers to commit hara-kiri?
I don't get it. What am I missing?
.
12:00 am on Mar 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



What am I missing?

Didn't you know? they are going through a rebranding process. They are changing their name from Adsense to Nonsense.
12:51 pm on Mar 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The stuff that follows you around after a site is retargeting, and it's *not* the same as IBA. That's the advertiser's fault, because they don't configure it properly and set impression caps, and it's Google's fault for not properly training the advertisers.
10:05 pm on Mar 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Getting back to the original post:

It doesn't really matter whether the politician in question has or has not been studying "Date foreign girls whose standards are lower so they will be happy with anything you give them" sites. What matters is that he didn't know that the ads are determined by the visitor, not the site. That's what makes g1smd's question so pointed.
3:41 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Some sites can cause IBA, for example I visited direct a site of a notebook vendor.

I see now everywhere Adsense ads for this vendor
5:19 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Right. That's probably NOT IBA, it's retargeting.
6:37 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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maybe it wasnt an IBA. how can we know without looking at the page? any arab-related word might have triggered it. its not unreasonable to think they might have mentioned an arab country on their political site.
10:35 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Keep in mind the Guardian is a left wing paper and the politician is right wing.
The story seems to be looking to score some easy points. It generalises about personal interest ads as if that's the only reason he saw those ads.
11:13 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The story seems to be looking to score some easy points

It was the politician who was trying to score the easy points in his Tweet: "I know Labour are short of cash but having an invitation to 'date Arab girls' at top of your press release?"

Pointing out that he was utterly clueless seems reasonable.

...
2:05 am on Mar 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



^ Agreed! ^
 

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