5
Aug/03

Will Targeted Advertising Create A New Kind of Word-Stuffing?


The NY Times (free subscription required) has an article on targeted advertising where Google or Overture serve ads that are triggered by the content of a website. For example:

. . . on Weather.com’s golf forecast page for Norfolk, Va., Google’s service — which it calls AdSense — can deliver ads for marketers who had bid to have their ads appear above Google search results whenever users type “Norfolk Virginia golf courses” or some similar phrase”

However:

The online edition of The New York Post, which is owned by the News Corporation, ran an article last month about a murder in which the victim’s body parts were packed in a suitcase, and Google served up an ad for a luggage dealer.

Idle thought: will knowledge of most-searched for terms influence the editorial content of websites?  The media understands that it has to be provide interesting content in order to attract circulation in order to attrack advertisers.  But does knowing in advance what keywords advertisers target change the equation slightly?  Will a website consult the Lycos Top 50, and then go out of its way to mention Kobe Bryant, Dragonball Z and Clay Aiken (or some other valuable keyword) in each article? 

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