Friday, December 17, 2004

Ironic ads by Google

Google needs to start a new service: Ironic Ads by Google.

We've all seen the ads Google placed on both its search results and content pages in the web. When I visit some web pages that have a deal with Google, keyword searches against the page content are used to select ads "the reader will potentially be interested in".

This seems to make sense. I go to a page talking about an product, and might get ads offering that product for sale.

Where this gets to be more amusing is when the content page (in Google parlance) is actually a negative reference. A bad experience report against a consumer product. An argument against a public policy. Google's keyword search of the page identifies the same keywords, and then offers ads for the product being discussed.

I got thinking about this today in reading MinkBlog's article on RFID and privacy, which article I recommend by the way. The article points out that if RFID tags aren't disabled when they leave the sales/delivery chain, they can go on being used to track individuals.

The irony is that in an article about the perils of RFID for privacy, the ads placed by Google are for ... you guessed it ... RFID providers.

I can't help it. It's funny. Google should figure out a way to detect negative pieces, and then offer this service deliberately.

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