SN 856: The “Topics” API

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Topics doesn’t seem to be any better than targeting the website you are visiting.

Given that I’ve never seen any benefit from targeted advertising - I bought a washing machine from Amazon last week, I now get daily deals for additional washing machines from Amazon! This seems to be the standard targeting of advertising from Amazon: what did the user just buy from us? They must want more of the same! If I’m buying disposable nappies or plates etc. that might be fair enough, but, you bough a smartphone? You need more smartphones! (The last 3 times I bought smartphones on Amazon, I was followed around with ads for more smartphones for a couple of months). You bought a dishwasher? You need more dishwashers (I bought a new dishwasher from them 2 years ago and I was followed around with adverts for more dishwashers for 4 months.) Now the same seems to be happening with washing machines!

Google/YouTube? Their “targeted” advertising is even sillier. They seem to think that I am a retiree with arthritis, at risk of shingles and I have a newborn baby! (I’m not retired, I don’t have arthritis (adverts for Voltaren ibuprofen cream), I am not at risk of shingles (adverts for getting a shingles vaccination) and I don’t have a newborn baby (adverts to get my baby vaccinated against meningococcus).

Targeted advertising is just a waste of my time, as none of it is actually targeted at me! And it is pure fraud on the part of Google, when they sell adverts from their clients that are “specifically targeted” to the audience, because they are absolutely not targeted!

There is a much better chance that an advert targeted at the article I’m reading is going to be more relevant than any of the so-called targeting that I currently see.

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