Now, if the some of my past Articles/Blog Posts are any indication, it seems to have become increasingly clear to me that: a) no one in the tech industry has any idea what they’re doing anymore, and b) tech companies are innately a dumb kind of evil. And no matter how many times Google says “don’t be evil” at me it is still obvious that it’s a vampire that feeds on people’s souls through data collection.
But, as I’ve talked about before, for as much data as Google collects, as wide a range as its audience is, and as powerful as its (self-driving cars, and painting computer) technology becomes, it is still really bad at doing things. I’ve talked before about how bad their various interfaces are, and it’s pretty accepted that most hacking is most easily done through ones Gmail account. But even the one thing that they are supposedly doing really well, making tons of money with targeted ads, doesn’t really work for me. As a matter of fact I would say that the Google ad system, as I’ve interacted with it, is broken to the point of being unable to convince me to but a product.
I do recognize that part of that is due to my more sporadic and oddball nature. I do recognize that the things I like are on the fringe of society, and that perhaps people who in general like more popular stuff would be more susceptible to Google’s methods. But I have never once had a “targeted” ad be for something that I was looking for, or rather, something that predicted the item I was trying to buy. I have had some ads that give me photos of items I had looked at several hours ago from the same site in the ad, which, if anything, made me want to purchase it less. I’ve also gotten many more ads from sites I’ve already signed up to, as opposed to ones I hadn’t heard of but were interested in.
Because I’m in Texas, and sometimes near the border, I’ve gotten ads for a salon in Spanish. Not only can I not understand what is being said, I really have no use for a salon at all. I’ve gotten information about services I don’t use, in languages I don’t speak, from my city, and a whole number of random things that are “popular” that I care about not at all.
In short, I’d never consider advertising with Google, because they have done such a poor job of advertising to me. I consider the targeted ads of today a failure, but I don’t really want them to get better. I’m fine figuring out what I like on my own, because “don’t be evil” is relative.