March 15, 2010 (@8:59 am)

Google Ad Algo: Still Dumb or Getting a Sense of Humor?

A silly little find from someone who rarely uses the Gmail interface: I was initially surprised to learn that the context-sensitive ads on my Gmail spam box included mostly canned-ham recipes like this one for “Spam Vegetable Strudel”:

Gmail Ad Shows Spam Recipe Link

After all, shouldn’t a smart Google algorithm differentiate uses of spam as canned ham from spam as unsolicited email? Wouldn’t it be better for Gmail to serve ads related to the content of the spam itself, vulgar as it might me, in the hope that at least a few clicks on the word “vicodin” get tracked and paid for?

Maybe. But it’s hard to deny the comedic value of “Spam Vegetable Strudel.” That’s worth a click right there.

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