I did go to the Vonage site to view some of their services, so I understand why the Vonage ad is following me around. This is because Google allows Remarketing, which means that if you visit a website Google will enable ad’s from that website to be displayed on other websites you visit.
Back in 2003 I developed a platform that enabled site to site content mediation called Script Stream Technology or S~S for short! The basic idea was to enable small collectives of websites to share traffic with each other. Whichever site was responsible for bringing the viewer into the collective will then be able to display their ad’s throughout the collective in addition to the ad’s of the website that the viewer was currently on. This was a platform that fostered synergy between sites rather than competition. The changing landscape of advertising and lack of resources ultimately led Script Stream technology to not realize it’s full potential. However the concept of having specific agents that bring you content based on the context of your viewing history is nothing new. Google is doing this with ad’s now, and to some extent it is doing this when we use their search engine. It is in our best interest to have as many agents as possible actively seeking to bring us the most relevant content. Otherwise we will end up living in an information bubble. Those that use Google as their primary source of information gathering should be aware of information bubbles that they might be living in caused by the combination of their viewing history and Google’s search algorithm.
If you are concerned that you are living in an information bubble and your search results are being filtered, you can use DuckDuckGo.com as your search engine. It does not use metrics such as your personal information, IP address, etc… to bring you their search results.
As a point of interest, the Vonage ad that was shown to me had an additional feature. It had the Indian flag on top of it. As I am a Canadian citizen and I have never been to India, I was curious as to why Google and RocketFuel choose to superimpose the Indian flag on their ad. Now what follows is pure speculation however I wouldn’t be surprised if they used my last name “Jeyanandan” as part of their algorithm to bring me that ad. It is something that I might do my self if I were writing such an algorithm.
Our company Obsidian Delta runs Google AdWords campaigns and for one client in Mississauga we are constantly optimizing our ad campaign to target individuals that would benefit from their services. So in this case there are human agents and Google’s algorithms working very hard to bring you the right ad’s / information! If you company needs to run an ad campaign then it is worth allowing professionals optimize the campaign for you. Contact us and we will happy to help. Also if you have a local business check out Tips For Marketing Your Local Business Online.
As the internet continues to evolve you will see more emphasis toward creating agents that bring you content that is uniquely relevant to you. How ad’s are brought to you are perhaps the most visible way now, however there is a trend toward creating agents that are constantly working in the background to bring you relevant content. The future is exciting!