Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gotcha, Google!

We live in a world where making money seems to be everything (more on this later, hopefully!) We are now targets of targeted ads. I noticed this about a year ago when Google searches on places to visit in New Zealand dominated my existence on the internet and I'd suddenly have ads on tour packages to go sightseeing in Waitamo, or blackwater rafting while I was surfing. 

A few days ago, G-mail sent us users an e-mail giving an in depth explanation on how now Google will incorporate all of our activity with their various accounts to allow them to advertise us with more relevant ads based on our interests. 

While browsing earlier today, I came across this article (linked below) from another blog and figured I'd just check it out: 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/01/25/google_ad_preferences_manager_does_it_accurately_guess_your_age_and_gender_.html

According to the article, all you've got to do is click this site and it will attempt to guess your age and gender based on your cookies unless you unleashed a cookie monster on them first. I thought this would be fun (I am a sucker for things like this, by the way. A long time ago, I took another test in which they were supposed to determine my gender by my writing - they told me I was of indeterminate gender, much to my amusement) 

This was what they had to say of me and my searches:


Your categories
Below you can review a summary of the interests and inferred demographics that Google has associated with your cookie. You can remove or edit your categories at any time.
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Rock Music
Business & Industrial - Small Business - MLM & Business Opportunities (seriously????)
Finance
Food & Drink - Restaurants
Games
People & Society


Your demographics
No demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far. You can add or edit demographics at any time.

Sorry Google, but this is what you get when more than one user uses the same laptop.

20 comments:

  1. We live in a world of ads and I tend to fall for ads a lot of the time. Hehe.

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    Replies
    1. LOL. I tend to ignore them most of the time, but some just catch your eye.

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    2. i either ignore them or don't see them

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  2. Well they were able to guess my age and gender at least. Time to get the tinfoil hat! Though I obliterated my cookies last week and I haven't used Google much since then. Or plan to.

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    Replies
    1. At least they could guess your age and gender properly. I think I want to confuse them a bit more.

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    2. I want to confuse them too. I need to watch more MLP, but then they'll probably just say I'm a male in my forties.

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  3. LOL you confused poor google, that is grand the cat gives you a hand. I avoid those damn ads too.

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    Replies
    1. Unintentionally, of course, though after this, it's going to be a bit more on purpose.

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  4. This is kind of scary...

    Time for me to clear out all the cookies on my computers!

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  5. Maybe I need to routinely clear out cookies.

    I did the gender test - mot of my blog posts were judged to be written by a man.

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    Replies
    1. Probably, if you're totally not cool with the ads.

      Ha ha... no idea how they could come up with that. It was fun. though.

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  6. Hm, maybe this is the answer - share computers. I find it horrible and a bit creepy to find ads targeted to things I've just searched for, as well as useless, because by the time I see the ads I've already bought what I want. Ugh!

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    Replies
    1. True, they are kind of useless. I think I ended up just searching for the item that was advertised instead of clicking on the ad.

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  7. It got my age and gender right. It was mostly right on guessing what I spend my time looking at on the internet as well - apart from one topic - "Beauty & Fitness". They missed horribly there.

    I'm not spooked or particularly bothered that online sellers can do this sort of thing. On balance, in an environment that's essentially free because there's advertising, I suppose I'd rather have targeted ads than completely random stuff thrown at me. It's a small price to pay and I don't recall ever clicking on an ad anyway.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't decided if the ads bother me or not, but I have to admit I get a bit surprised when they do appear. I do agree though that we'd not get as many things/info free if there weren't ads.

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  8. Haha... I just clicked that link. Google thinks I'm aged between 18 and 24!!!!! Go Google!!

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    1. I'd love to know how they actually come out with the results - for instance what is the key difference between an 18 - 24 year old female to a 25 to 31 year old female.

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  9. Replies
    1. They could just ask us what we want to see, right?

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