Google’s AdWords ‘Interest’ Targeting

By , November 1, 2013

I’ve long wondered how Google evaluates a person’s “interests” in order to display advertising that’s not displayed “in context.”

I think Google’s algorithms need tweaking, because Google has an unreasonably long memory regarding my “interests.”

In June and July, I did my serious research about buying a new car. On August 7, I picked up my new car.

Since then, Google has continued to show me new-car ads, quite often — way too often.

It’s been more than ten weeks since my last car-related Google search,* and yet Gmail continues to show me new-car ads (several times so far today).  

Earlier, I researched the cost of buying imprinted mugs, and I continued to see ads for those for many weeks — long after I stopped searching on that topic.  In fact, we haven’t yet ordered the imprinted mugs (though we plan to do so).

Apparently, Google doesn’t know that I bought a car on August 7, nor that I haven’t yet ordered imprinted mugs.  And yet, the new car ads continue ad nauseum, long after any reasonable person would think that I am currently “interested in” buying a new car.  I don’t recall seeing any ads for imprinted mugs in many weeks.

As an AdWords advertiser, I think I’d like to know how current Google’s “interests” are.  I’ve asked Google’s AdWords team directly about this, and they refuse to disclose anything about their algorithms.


*/ FYI, Google is NOT noticing any emails in my Gmail folder related to my new car purchase (follow-up emails from the dealership), as all those emails, and all the emails negotiating the purchase, go to a mailbox that Google does not see (unless the NSA is passing it along).




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