I'm Just Talking About Washington, Man!

Hmm… Sometimes it’s interesting to follow what gets advertised on the Google Ads on my right sidebar as my discussions shift from writing, to movie and television reviews, to Canadian politics, or to American politics.

I guess it’s no surprise that if I write about abortion or same sex marriage, I’ll pick up ads by groups opposed to abortion or same sex marriage. Google isn’t selling my blog to these groups, after all; they’re merely selling keywords. If my articles contain a set of keywords that matches their clients’ request, then Google assumes that my site will be read by individuals who might be interested in paying a visit to the advertised sites. And if I’m talking about abortion and same sex marriage, it is indeed possible that it will be read by individuals with an interest in (either supporting or opposing) the causes that these sites represent. Hey, as a revenue model it seems to work for them, so it must work for their clients as well.

But just minutes after I posted my travelogue about the Washington Mall and my visits to the Washington, Lincoln, World War II and Vietnam memorials, I get the following advertisements:

  • Global Warming is a Myth (by ConservativeBookClub.com)
  • Ann Coulter’s Column Free
  • Bush stickers (an eBay auction)
  • (also two ads promoting teacher resources)

Later, the campaign to elect John McCain posted a full-length photo advertisement in my Google AdSpace.

I have to wonder what made these groups think that my article about the Washington Mall might provide them with readers sympathetic to their causes. What keywords are they using, I wonder? America? Washington? Lincoln? Vietnam (are the conservative groups still obsessing about blaming liberals for that?!)? Or are these advertisers going after my jab at Liberal party supporter Jason Cherniak?

I’m not sure what to say. Targetted ads work best when the clients, you know, actually do some targetting? But if you’re going to approach every page that contains every mention of Washington or America or even “Liberal”, a part of me suspects that you are spamming. And, ultimately, spammers don’t seem to have confidence in the products they are selling, given how desperate they are to shove their advertisements in their face by any means necessary.

I wonder if this says something about the bill of goods these groups are trying to sell…

Lord of the Rings: Abridged Version

Matt Grady sent me this link. It should be noted that in the story itself there are dozens of reasons why this route was impossible, but the video is still worth a smile.

Here’s a funny YouTube video about book text support, sent to me by Heather Burt.

Defining Canada: Dundurn’s New Blog

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Dundurn Group is taking its promotional efforts into the blogging world, with a new blog entitled Defining Canada. It’s a full blog, with comments, an RSS feed and everything.

It should be an interesting and eclectic read too, since this covers the whole Dundurn catalogue, young adult fiction and mystery and history alike. Rather like my plan to tour with Bob Tarantino, which combines two different audiences in what I hope will be interesting ways.

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