For those of you with free e-mail accounts, like Gmail, which rely heavily on advertising… have you ever noticed that your e-mail providers always seem to choose ads which “relate” to your message or sender?
God-mail? The omniscient Spirit.com?
Not exactly, as a note from Shannon would bring up ads for “Flights to Shannon, starting at $99″…
Some people may believe this is part of the government’s Conspiracy in conjunction with the criminal cesspool (which is the Internet) to rob you of your identity and steal your banking info by hacking into your personal e-mail, and gathering information, while hiding beneath the cloak of innocent seeming advertisements.
Of course, the government already has access to our private records, which we are required to disclose to them before we can get a license to sneeze.
You are absolutely right, however, that someone is watching you online.
You see, big companies pay BIG MONEY for search engines to advertise their products. They pay for relevant “AD WORDS” – either per impression (the ad appears in your results) or per click (when you’re curious enough to click the link). Per click ads are more expensive, of course, because they are more likely to result in sales.
Pertinent ad words, for me, might include “cat” “portrait” “painting” and “art”… and I might have to pay anywhere from 50¢ to $3-$4 per impression depending on the popularity of the word (what my competitors are willing to pay for it).
So you set a daily budget… I might be willing to spend $10 per day (at the rate of 50¢ per impression) to get my message “out there”, and it’s the job of the search engine to troll the vast Internet looking for victims to torture with these “relevant” ads. Anywhere advertisements are allotted space, such as free e-mail accounts and search result pages, the system picks out key ad words (those it feels are most relevant to you) and pops in a few paid ads.
The system is a bit flawed, however, as it cannot tell whether my Shannon was a person, place, or thing. Hence the enticement from a travel agency, offering trips to Shannon for $99.00 (that was money wasted!)
If there are, in fact, human beings sitting in their parent’s basement and reading our private conversations…. it seems like they’re conning the big businesses who pay them for promotion, rather than any nefarious scheme to steal Shannon’s chicken-salad recipe.
Here are a few examples from my own e-mail correspondence proving that some marketing plans are hitting way off base:
A note from Shirley, resulted in this gem:
“If you like Shirley, Try this free spiritual newsletter written via a deep trance channel”
A Facebook reply to Lance’s photo:
“Huge selection, great deals on Lance items…Yahoo.com”
(what are Lance items? I clicked… and some slimy dude got paid for my curiosity!)
I discovered “Lances – Cheap Prices – Get the Best Value for Lances”
(cheap Lances turned out to be Lance Armstrong T-shirts)
The name Crystal conjured up:
“Crystal skulls from Caretaker of the Ancient Crystal Skull Synergy”
Kinda creepy considering her message mentioned a recent surgery.
The fantasy artist, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, brought up ads for her own website.
You go, girl!
A reply from Beth about my coupon offer – resulted in “Free Grocery Coupons….”, which was to be expected.
But also strangely enough:
“Howard Stern’s New Wife? (Beth Ostrosky) Check her out Here. www.The Frisky.com”
and also an ad for “Nipple Rings. www.BodyCandy.com Yummy! :P
In another Facebook reply notice, someone remarked on a child’s photograph, asking “What Lullaby is she singing?”
The answer: “Baby Born With Two Faces In India”
Andy comments on my portfolio: “cool artwork. Love it” prompted this advice:
“How to Keep a Man in Love… Learn the Secret Psychology to Getting a Man Hooked for Good. from CatchHimandKeepHim.com”
Was it his “love” comment? I wonder if that includes “getting a man hooked for good” on my artwork? Keep them coming back for more!
Lily’s comment about my cute kitty photo, had Google begging me to purchase water lilies – great selection of strong bloomers, beautiful varieties (pre-order for August shipping)
But I also received these oddities:
“Don’t Be Like Gollum, Pick your favorite hero: Frodo or Harry Potter?”
“Jump Into The Spirit World – You are One Jump Away from Changing Your Life Forever www.quantumjumping.com”
From the mundane:
Jennifer Green’s artwork brought up a slew of environmental ads for Green tea, green cleaners, solar panels, architecture firms specializing in sustainable/green practices…
To the truly nonsensical:
Jay R comments, “Congrats!” equals – Sarah Palin and Cheap Leaf Blowers.
Lesson to Companies purchasing ad words… save your money! Seriously, $100 or $100,000 worth of impressions won’t convince me to “jump into the spirit world” or purchase a crystal skull.
However, I will occasionally get a chuckle at your expense:
My ultimate favorite ad word result from today’s experiment must be the following:
Lesliesosaap is following me now on Twitter… (I have no clue who she is, her profile was blank)
However, according to Gmail, she might deserve a closer look:
“Trust Ur Girl in Ukraine? Two Tests Reveal if U Can Trust Her Put Her to the Test Now… sponsored by www.RussianDatingGuide.com”
I groaned… more Russian Brides, right? I have a tendency to attract them all…
But then it gave me this additional tip:
“look up Timothy’s Email address, phone number, address and more”
Is Leslie really Timothy?! Hmmm….. now THAT might be worth clicking on. :)