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Windows 7 - possible scam - John C. Kirk
Feb. 26th, 2010
03:26 pm -
Windows 7 - possible scam
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February 26th, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC)
An ad appearing on a google-managed site isn't like an ad appearing in a newspaper. It's likely that no human being at google has read the ad.
The way it works is that you log in (you can use your regular google account), and upload an ad. You tell the system what search terms you want that ad to be associated with, and how much you're willing to pay per-click-through.
When someone searches for that term, the system works out how it can make most money from that search. It analyses your previous behaviour (and that of other similar people) and guesses the probability that you would click on an ad if it presented it to you. Multiply that probability by the amount-per click that the advertiser offered, and you have a figure for expected income which you can use to decide which ad to run.
At no stage does the automated system run a background check on the moral character of the advertiser. Many people might consider that a bit creepy. However if you believe that a google customer is doing something illegal with google's service, there may well be a way to report that activity.
If you're interested in the google ads process, you can take a gander at "adwords.google.com" or if you're interested in more technical details, you can google for "adwords" and look for academic papers. There's a lot of fun game theory and stuff in there.