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9:36PM

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Cookies are annoyingly broken.

Particularly when you're going about your business and up pop supposedly targeted Google ads from competitors. And all because genius marketeers inside competitors make Google ad assumptions which conclude that people who visit websites of their competitors are likely to be thinking about buying new accounting software for example, so let's be ultra targeted and serve them ads for our alternative.

And so, because I visit xero.com as a user and an employee, the cookie tracking cruft that builds up in my browser cache tells ad servers that I ought to see adverts for competitors of Xero.

Even if I'm watching something entirely contextually inappropriate.

Reader Comments (2)

This is actually likely because you visited Sage's website recently rather than because you visit a competitor of Sage's (Xero for instance.)

It is not possible to specify to Google that people that visit certain sites should later be targeted with adverts.

Google can target/retarget you using your profile or cookies. But those cookies have to be placed there by the company wanting to display the advert. I assume Xero are not placing cookies for Sage.

So it is far more likely that you recently visited Sage's website and got put on their retargeting list. It's easy to remove yourself, just click the little triangle in the top right.

May 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Johnson

I prefer my explanation. It sounds more spy thriller.

But I did (entirely ignorantly) conclude that the advertising placement organisations who arbitrate online advertising on behalf of the advertisers were using their own cookie tracking logic.

May 14, 2012 | Registered Commentergary

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