Thursday, April 5, 2012

Google's dating fantasy from breakfast leftovers.

I never expected to make a fortune when I set up Google Adwords on this blog - since it only gets the kind of traffic that older residents of Beijing remember fondly.

But I'm disappointed that not a single click has been registered on one of the ads you see to the right or below this blog. According to the optimistically-named "Monetise" tab on my Blogger Dashboard, 691 people have so far chosen not to click.

And it gets worse, because the ads Google has decided to display have taken a rather sleazy turn. Like this:

Or this:

Sometimes it's obvious how Google's scanning of my blog posts produces results. So when I wrote about walking on a frozen river in Hamburg, there were ads for fixing burst pipes. When I mentioned finding a coin in the road, there were ads for currency trading. And when I talked about Virgin cable, there were ads for Virgin cable:

On closer examination, I think I may be to blame for the current outbreak of  'mature dating' ads.

You see, the post on which I spotted the ads was a rather pointless little group of pictures of the Today programme breakfast trolley. No mention of dating.

But - and I'm only speculating - it may have been the conjunction of certain words in the paragraph I wrote that triggered this result:

No danger that guests on the Radio Four's Today programme are being treated too lavishly if the  breakfast trolley (seen when I was doing an interview in the show's Green Room) is anything to go by. Licence payers can relax...

I fear that to an intelligent algorithm, it may have looked like the description of a romantic night out.

(And of course, I'm probably encouraging even more dating ads by all the words in this one.)

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