Gmail Contextual Ads...Need a Bit of Work?

So I have been getting some of the Gmail feeds and ads recently. Hopefully I answered this question correctly or you the reader will call me dumb...

Bad Call #1:

Here is an example thread
title:

Question from Search Marketing Info

question:

Which internet search engine was co-founded by a math major who chose the name to imply a vast reach ?

Thanks in advance,
Chryss

answer:

Google was a mispelling for Googol, which means a 1 with a million
zeros behind it.

Larry Page founded it and Sergey Brin was his co founder.

and here was Google's contextually targeted Gmail ad:

Head Gasket Blown? - www.rxauto.com - Repair It Yourself Guaranteed ThermaGasket The Mechanics Choice

That is data stored on Google's servers and that is the best that they can target it? When you couple that in with all the AdSense spam sites and click fraud it really makes you wonder why Google assumes anybody would want that traffic.

Bad Call #2:

One of the default feeds was Engaget. Presumably because they run AdSense? Don't get me wrong here, its cool to help smaller publishers, but if you put Engaget in there you should put Gizmodo there also unless you want people to quetion you motives.

Placing random off target off topic crap I don't want in my email is being evil. At least the old Hotmail dating ads would occassionally show pictures of cute girls ;)

I know that I can unsubscribe from feeds, but I shouldn't have to opt out. Maybe off the start you could just promote Google News, Froogle, and your other portal pieces up there?

Bad Call #3:

Google actually places feeds in your spam folder. How stupid is it to place contextually relevant feeds near stuff that was deemed as being unwanted useless junk? What better way is there to turn users off?

Another thing that is really weird is most (maybe all) of the spam feeds were for spam recipies:

  • Spam Vegetable Strudel - Bake 20 minutes or until golden, serve with soy sauce

  • Savory Spam Crescents - Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
  • French Fry Spam Casserole - Bake 30-40 minutes

They may place the spam ads in there to try to push the cute and innocent corporate culture, but I don't buy it.

After bogusly adding the Google Toolbar Autolink feature which directed B&N customers to Amazon many people started to become increasingly suspicious of potential hidden business partnerships. Is Google partnered with Hormel Foods now too?

Published: April 23, 2005

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Comments

bj
April 23, 2005 - 7:12pm

Oh, sheesh, yeah! I've been noticing those bizarre ads for awhile now. Might make for a fun humor page. If that humor page then makes it into the top ranking maybe Google will get the hint that this particular part of their formula needs some tweaking.

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