Feb. 10th, 2015

emgrasso: (raptors logo)
I have detected a flaw in the algorithms used to decide what ads are presented to me. If I browse a site where I don't have ads blocked (there are a few where I allow them) I see ads for store I have brwosed and items I have googled for over the past couple of months.

As a case in point -- I currently see a fair number of ads from Jos A Banks, especially for leather jackets. The trouble is (from their point of view) that I have a new leather jacket that I bought from Jos A Banks, and it is very unlikely that I will need to buy another one any time soon. The same problem happens with other items I have googled, especially mid-range durable items like electronics gear and small appliances.

I typically search online for things for a day or a few days, and then buy what I was looking for. So ads based on things that were the subject of a cluster of browser hits that have stopped are the least likely things that I will buy.

Showing me ads for a blender (I just replaced my 10-year-old one) or a leather jacket, are a waste for both the advertiser and the sites on which the advertisements appear. Non-durable goods are less of a problem, of course, but I am less likely to buy those on-line. And even then, trying to sell me shoes or undergarments when I just bought some is kind of self-defeating.

And the ads for things I just bought fill space that could be used for things I might actually buy... though I can't predict what those might be.

I'm not sure what anyone can do about this.

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