Online Advertising - wastage of advertiser's money?

Online advertisements now have become part of our online life. At times, those advertisements get your attention, many-a-times, they don't. Never bothered much so far with which advertisements are getting rendered on the web page that I am visiting.

However, off late, the pattern seems to have changed. Almost consistently I am observing that all my search queries are directly used by Google for serving the advertisement. To certain extent it DOES help, you get to know of another provider of the same service or similar service. But it has become so obvious now, that all the advertisements on any page that I visit are from those pages only. E.g.,, and a couple more.

I am not sure if someone has already thought about this or not, but serving the advertisements of an establishment to the regular user/visitor of that site is simply waste of money for that establishment. It is no-brainer that Google reads my mails (ok, not a human-read per se, but definitely it scans my mails for some keywords, subjects, themes etc - Otherwise, I wouldn't be served advertisements from monster and naukri when my mail contained the words "Good Job!!") Jokes apart, but if I have to see the advertisements of the sites that I visit often, usually through the daily mails that I get, it is royal waste of the advertisers money, IMO.

Few weeks back I was searching for SSL certificate providers. I knew about the provider which I wanted to select, but was just confirming some comparative studies. After 2-3 days, I suddenly started seeing the advertisements by the same provider all over the places. Now, if I knew about the provider, is there any point in serving me those ads? And that too after 2-3 days? May be this is okay, someone may say. I may not have bought the certificate and the ads may serve the purpose of reminding me of that provider. 

But how does one justify the ads getting served for the sites, which I visit regularly? Aren't those advertisers being cheated by serving advertisements to incorrect target audience? Do those advertisers care about this angle?

Biggest joke in this context is - Google serving ad to promote it's own browser "Chrome" to the users who are using Chrome as a browser!!

Unlike TV or Print or Radio or Signboards media, online advertising has a distinct advantage. Ads served to me could be very different from the ads served to someone else. It specifically depends on the sites that I visit, the google queries and many other factors.  The ad engine needs to be more of predictive nature than of reactive nature. Serving contents to a user 2-3 days after some search query, is definitely wastage for grabbing a new customer. By that time either I have chosen someone else or have changed my mind about availing that particular service. My feeling is that current ad serving business is in a reactive mode than predictive mode. And this essentially is resulting into ads which are useless to the user and hence reducing the ROI to the advertisers, probably beneficial only to the advertising engine provider!!

One point of view which is lacking from my side is the knowledge of how advertisers choose the target audience? Are they given flexibility to choose the audience or it is more or less rigid? If the ad engine providers are given full control over choosing the target audience, then probably the fault lies with the advertisers than the advertising engine. Any comments from the persons who have been the "advertisers"?


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