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Thread: Your digital footprint and who's tracking it: A question..

  1. #1

    Your digital footprint and who's tracking it: A question..

    Logged on here earlier this morning, and posted a reply in JDf's golf thread opining about how you really don't need to reach for the driver every time you hit the ball.

    Later over a cup of coffee with the papers, typed a query into my phone on how to pronounce 'patina', and opened a Youtube link on it. Immediately below it the first recommended suggestion is a link to a recommended video from Ben Mason Golf (whoever he/they might be) titled "Hit the Driver further with this simple exercise". I haven't googled or looked at anything on the subject of golf online, or anywhere else for that matter for 2 or 3 years, or maybe more.


    I know this has been posted before, but HTF has some algorithm made the connection so quickly - does Google trawl the text in forum postings ?
    Last edited by -alan-; 11-10-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
    That’s how it is.... it’s not a coincidence

  3. #3
    All your devices with microphones are also listening in to suggest relevant ads.
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  4. #4
    Your Google account is probably connected to your browser too.

  5. #5
    I've been very careful to make sure I've opted out of personalized ads as much as possible and I've gone through my phone's app permissions to turn off some unnecessary ones. and you should see the ads I get, Grow it yourself magic mushrooms, some kind of pig dosing medication on tinder, random little Centra's two counties over, Agricultural Machinery Auctions and Factory automation equipment. I'm was getting the Trading 212 one a lot but that stopped after I bought an ad free copy of Among Us.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter-E36 View Post
    All your devices with microphones are also listening in to suggest relevant ads.
    I don't think that's the case.

    Personally I'm all for targeted ads. - Anything's better than the fcuking ads I get before every youtube I watch. I'm not going to mention them here because to do so will probably only reinforce them, but it's clear that clicking on them and saying "don't show this ad" has Ab So Lute Lee no effect whatsoever. If you ask me, ads aren't half fcukin smart enough yet.

  7. #7
    So I'll take it from the general responses above that's a yes then

    Forgive my naivety, but how does it happen in practice - ie what is the actual process / chain of events whereby I post a piece of text on here (or any forum) and the next time I click on a youtube link on my phone, I get targeted with a related ad ?
    Last edited by -alan-; 11-10-2020 at 03:01 PM.

  8. #8
    The whole infrastructure behind it is quite complex but it still comes back to the simple cookie. The thread that was about golf likely had Google ads on it, or some other ads provider. Google would have profiled that thread and seen the key words around golf and drivers, and served ads specific to golf and drivers on that page. That’s the fairly traditional targeted ad model. The personalized tracking model you experienced is called retargeting.

    When you posted on that golf thread, the ad that was on the web page requested a google cookie from your browser. That cookie uniquely identifies you. It doesn’t necessarily know that you are -Alan-, although it could. So the google ad requests that cookie and uses the unique value to identify you and now knows that you have recently visited a page that it is currently targeting with golf ads. Now when you go to the Google search page and search for “patina”, Google requests that same cookie. It now sees that you are the same user that recently visited the page it targeted with golf ads and will now pepper your results page and YouTube with targeted ads for golf and drivers. Google does not give us anything for “free”. 🙂

  9. #9
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    I was talking to a mate about power tools, and in passing he asked me about cleaning his exhaust manifold.
    I recommended a Zircotec coating.
    He'd never heard of it, it's 5 years, and several phones since I had anything done by them.
    I hung up, typed ZI into the search bar... And a direct link to Zircotecs website was the first hit. Now call me a conspiracy theorist... But there's a lot more common searches on stuff starting with z i, than Zircotec surely.
    www.PatHoranMotors.com

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by injeejay View Post
    The whole infrastructure behind it is quite complex but it still comes back to the simple cookie. The thread that was about golf likely had Google ads on it, or some other ads provider. Google would have profiled that thread and seen the key words around golf and drivers, and served ads specific to golf and drivers on that page. That’s the fairly traditional targeted ad model. The personalized tracking model you experienced is called retargeting.

    When you posted on that golf thread, the ad that was on the web page requested a google cookie from your browser. That cookie uniquely identifies you. It doesn’t necessarily know that you are -Alan-, although it could. So the google ad requests that cookie and uses the unique value to identify you and now knows that you have recently visited a page that it is currently targeting with golf ads. Now when you go to the Google search page and search for “patina”, Google requests that same cookie. It now sees that you are the same user that recently visited the page it targeted with golf ads and will now pepper your results page and YouTube with targeted ads for golf and drivers. Google does not give us anything for “free”. ��
    Understood. Excellent info. Thank you sire

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