Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stealthy selling

It's spooky.

I'd read that Google uses our search terms to direct advertising at us, but I hadn't thought much about it until it started happening to me.

About three weeks ago, I Googled "porch light," as ours is one of those crappy little jam jar things that builders stick up to cut costs, knowing that most people won't pay much attention to it when considering a house purchase. Builders spend money where it will be noticed.

Anyway, after almost seven years here, that light fixture is looking a bit tired, so it seemed time to find something a bit nicer. Hence the Google search.

Well, guess what. Almost immediately, I started noticing ads for an online lighting store showing up on websites I visited.

Now it seems that these damned ads are everywhere. I can't escape them.

My immediate reaction was that I didn't like the idea that someone, or something, was paying that much attention to what I was doing online. But upon reflection, I realize it's also a bit helpful, reminding me that I still haven't bought a porch light, and that this outfit might be a good place to look for one.

I might not feel that way if I had been Googling "incontinence" or "dementia," though.

One of these days, I just might click on that ad.

1 comment:

  1. I keep getting ads for single men and I've never been to a dating site - So don't kid yourself that it's because Google is tracking what you are doing on line that you are seeing ads for porch lights. It's much creepier than that. I'm beginning to think Google reads your mind.