March 1, 2006

How Google can better live up to its share price

The NYT reports:

"Google's share price tumbled more than 7 percent yesterday after the chief financial officer told investors that the company saw few further advances in a technology that had allowed a substantial increase in its advertising revenue."

C'mon, these ads are the best that Google can do? I don't know what ads you'll be seeing in the column to the right of this when you are reading this, but I'm sure half of them will be an insult to your intelligence.

Google apparently sells ads by keyword, not by demographics o visitors or past experience of what sells on this site. For my individual articles, where most readers come via Google searches, that works fine. For instance, my magnum opus essay on golf course architecture always has, sensibly enough, advertising for golf course real estate developments.

But here on my main page, the ads jerk around ridiculously based on whatever I've blogged about yesterday, as if people will suddenly seek out my website just because I mentioned a keyword in passing. By this point, Google has months of data on what interests visitors to the home page are interested in. Google should be able to increasingly figure out what to advertise to you, but instead, the ads, if anything, seem to be getting dumber.

Compare the Google ads to Amazon's listing of other books bought by buyers of the book you are looking at. For example, on the page for Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, Amazon's lists three other books by Pinker, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Robert Wright's The Moral Sense. I suspect Amazon sells more product that way than Google sells Envirolet Compost Toilets advertising them on iSteve.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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