I recently logged into LinkedIn and noticed Google Ads on my profile page. The fact that Google is trying to make money off ads is not interesting to me. I think it’s a great business model that works for them, but I couldn’t help think that they could earn much more if they actually tried harder. Here’s what I saw:

3 text link ads.

  • The first one was for Flash UI design services. Apparently Google thought that since I’m a Flash guy with UI skills, that I might be in need of Flash UI design services. Seriously? FAIL.
  • The second ad was for a Master Yu’s martial arts classes. While I commend Google for at least getting the martial arts style of interest to me right, I TEACH martial arts classes myself. What use are his classes to me? FAIL again.
  • The 3rd ad was for Illinois Shotokan Karate. See, any human with an ounce of intelligence, after looking at my LinkedIn resume would gather that I only do Chinese martial arts. Well at least they got the region right, but this ad does not interest me at all. It’s like showing a Formula 1 guy info on Nascar. Gee, it says you like cars so you must like all cars. FAIL.

Basically those ads were a waste of my time. I was so offended at how off their algorithms were that I’m now inclined to install ad blockers altogether. This serves to show you that showing ads based on contextual data doesn’t necessarily work. Google’s better off mining my interests on Facebook and my blog and showing me ads that pertain to me wherever I go (based on IP or whatever). Even showing ads for movies would have been better.

Looking at my LinkedIn profile, I see it now tells me stuff like what my status message is, what my twitter is, what slides I’ve favorited on Slideshare. Why not get at that data? This is all stuff I like and am interested in. By being smarter about it, you might actually get a click out of me instead of this post.

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