Why You See the Advertising You do

Are you being targeted?

Understanding how targeted advertising works is a critical part of how domain traffic is monetised. In this article I’m going to attempt to unpack online advertising and to help shed some light in what has changed over the years.


Back in about 2002, when I first started investing in domains, I made sure that every one of my domains had an appropriate keyword attached to it. I had an underlying assumption that keywords influenced the advertising results and ultimately user behaviour via the click-through-rate (CTR). This approach seemed quite logical and I spent hours researching each domain and setting an appropriate keyword.

I remember attending a conference and hypothesized with the Google domain team that just because you owned pizza.com doesn’t mean the advertising should be about pizzas. I suggested that with an appropriate amount of research I discovered the advertising should be about raising a loan to start a pizza shop.

This was a hypothetical situation (I didn’t own pizza.com) but it did illustrate the importance of researching domains. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was actually crossing the boundary between context sensitive advertising (ie. domain content) and psychographic targeting (ie. the user).

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Thanks M.
14 May 2019
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