Those Gmail ads are a hoot

Does anyone seriously look at the ads in Google's Gmail? In theory, Google scans my email and serves up relevant advertising.

Does anyone seriously look at the ads in Google's Gmail? In theory, Google scans my email and serves up relevant advertising.

The reality is a bit different.

To wit:

In a Mozilla email update (I'm subscribed to the Mozilla Google Group) I get the following:

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Now I'm interested in most of the ads here. I have no clue what they have to do with Mozilla or technology. And my Wall Street related emails go to my Yahoo account. And I did try yoga after repeatedly pulling hamstrings--but Gmail doesn't know about that.

And then there's this bunch of ads that came with an email about deleting posts in WordPress. Google saw blogs and bam you get advice on what to do if mommy is a Democrat. Ask Ann Coulter for the answer.

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But not all targeting in Gmail is amiss. When it comes to Google stuff, Google's algorithms are dead on. This email notes:

You will still be able to earn free transaction processing if you use Google AdWords – for every $1 you spend on AdWords, you will be able to process $10 of sales through Checkout for free.

And the ads are on target.

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But more often than not you get some oddball choices--especially when its a Gmail email informing me of features on Yahoo's KickStart service.

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Yahoo? Band? Bassist? What was that algorithm thinking?

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