Why Gmail is great

I don’t always remember to look at the content-driven ads in the sidebar, but when I do it’s usually interesting.
One recent conversation that became a little raucous drew this ad:
Over Your Ex?
Find Out How To Get Over Your Ex With These Helpful Tips.
http://www.LifeScript.com

But right underneath was this:
How To Get A Girl Back
Get Her Back With These 5 Tips. Free Report – Instant Email Access.
http://www.GetYourExGirlfriendBack.com

Come on, man, that’s like links to a fertility clinic and a home vasectomy kit stacked on top of each other.
The interesting thing is trying to figure out what words or phrases in this e-mail string kicked off this pair of ads–this was no break-up chat, so I’m thinking that despite the contradictory content, the algorithm involved here is pretty sophisticated. Generally, as here, I can see how Gmail got its “ideas,” but were a human in charge of figuring out what to offer one or both people involved in this conversation, he or she probably would have provided ads for sedatives, George Carlin DVDs, and anthrax bacteria, in no special order.

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  1. #1 by Larry Ayers on March 4, 2009 - 2:19 am

    I also get a kick out of occasionally glancing at the Gmail sidebar ads. I’d guess that roughly three quarters of them have an understandable connection to the content of the message, but the ones where the algorithm “got it wrong” can indeed be amusing.

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