February 12th, 2013


Fun with Google Ads (212.6)

Yesterday, I started seeing "Your shopping cart is lonely! Come back to Zappos and finish your order!" ads on 14850 Today, and soon realized it was because Zappos was buying Google AdSense ads to be shown to people who happened to have an incomplete-order cookie set in their browser. Clever! But misguided, as I switched to a different Zappos URL the other day to get at my VIP account, since they still haven't figured out a way to just recognize that you're a VIP customer and give you free overnight shipping if you start at the main page. I was even impressed to see that my shopping cart was intact on the other site, and I completed my purchase. Guess it didn't clear that cookie, though.

Then, last night, I started seeing want ads for truck drivers from trucking companies, and truck accessory and truck stop ads. I wondered if it was because we had an article about Route 79 being detoured, but eventually figured out that it was because I'd Googled truck route mapping sites to answer a question on Twitter. Google must now think I'm a truck driver, and is going to keep showing me these ads.

What does seem to be related to our content is the Harvard alumni credit card offer showing up on our "Cornell women's hockey aims to pack Lynah for Friday game against rival Harvard" article. :-)

In fact, I'm seeing the same ads on other sites, too, and have clicked through a couple on sites I feel I should support. Naturally, I'm not going to click them on our site. I'm often tempted to follow an ad to see where it leads, but that's against the rules!

Next trip...

Usually I go to both Dartmouth and Harvard for hockey games in the same weekend, but this weekend I'm going to save money by skipping the Dartmouth game on Friday night in Hanover, and staying with a friend on Saturday night in Boston.

That means I get to see the women's game in Ithaca on Friday, but it also means less time for shenanigans and relaxing with friends in Boston. Ah well. A lot of the usual travel crew is just not going this time around, and I might have decided to skip it entirely, except a) the Devins and Whitneys will be at the Harvard game, and b) it's the Harvard game!

The Devins and Whitneys are among my favorite of the hockey families to hang out with, and it's great that they're interested in coming to the games even though their sons have all graduated. We still see the father of one of my favorite players who graduated in 2003, at one or two games a year. (He lives in Rochester, so that's not so nutty.)

I feel a little silly driving all the way to and from Boston for one night, but there are people I really do want to see. My hope is that the hockey team will redeem themselves on the road; they're on a seven-game losing streak. It's the first time since the 1992-93 season, which ended with an eleven-game losing streak and then a single win. For a long, long time, we simply didn't win at Dartmouth, no matter what else was going on, but Harvard, while no sure thing, is a little more often a good outcome. As Beeeej put it, though, Cornell and Harvard are battling for the cellar this season, so that may be a tough game to watch, too.