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Getting Fat on Cookies: How Websites Creep on You

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“I THINK MY PHONE IS LISTENING TO ME” YUMMMM!!! I love cookies! Especially chocolate chip cookies with fudge filling in the middle…and oatmeal raisin sometimes when i’m feeling like I…

“I THINK MY PHONE IS LISTENING TO ME”

YUMMMM!!! I love cookies!

Especially chocolate chip cookies with fudge filling in the middle…and oatmeal raisin sometimes when i’m feeling like I need to make healthier eating choices in my life.

Just like the cookie monster, your Chrome web browser – you know that thing you use on your phone to search for stuff…?  – yeah, it gobbles up cookies from websites that you visit. Gobble gobble gobble, all day long, gobble gobble gobble, from one website to the next.

And we are complicit in this gluttony of cookie munching our cookie monster of a web browser participates in. You see, we willingly give up our personal browsing information.

“What?!? No I don’t! How..?”

Have you ever seen that little window that pops up sometimes when you go to a website?

It’s usually a small popup window on the bottom of your phone screen or maybe at the top and it asks your permission for blah blah blah…and we hit “yes” or “continue” to make the pop up go away because it’s annoying and sort of interfering with my enjoyment. Right?

Yup, we’ve all done it. I’ve done it too. Heck, I did it while writing this when I was visiting a web page for research on the topic.

But what if I told you, what you just willingly did, with your own free choice, is give that website the permission to stalk you?

Yes, it’s true. That’s how the web makes money, off of you.

Websites use tracking codes called cookies that your browser deposits in exchange for information on you such as what type of web browser you use, the device you are using that browser on, time, date, approximate location, whether you are a male or female…the list goes on.

Google’s not even the worst! Facebook is just a treasure trove of information on you if you have an account…even if you don’t have an account…!

And Google collects all this information so that it can sell stuff to you.

That’s how Google is the giant that it is, that’s how it has made it’s money and become the one of the biggest and most influential corporations of the early 21st century…advertising dollars.

Clicks that translates to dollars. It’s that simple.

Why am I telling you this?

Good question. As somebody who’s been in this industry for a significant amount of time, I hear a lot of misinformation about digital marketing and advertising.

The truth is, most of the general population doesn’t know much about how advertising and marketing works on their mobile devices.

It’s complicated, technical stuff that’s boring.

Most people just want to get past the annoying pop up ads to what they really want, which is good content.

And I don’t blame them.

But it’s useful to know that most of the information gathering that search engines like Google are doing is related to serving better ads to you while you enjoy free content.

The best example of this is something that I think most people can relate to…

“I THINK MY PHONE IS LISTENING TO ME”

We’ve all experienced talking about buying something with our spouse, friend or loved one and suddenly there are ads related to the product everywhere you visit online with your phone!!

“IT’S TOTALLY CREEPY!!”

Ha, and yes, while this may be true, it’s actually not as insidious as you think.

Welcome to the Digital Advertising Practice of Remarketing

Remarketing is where that little cookie comes back to haunt you!

It basically works like this: you’ve searched or visited a site related to what you want to buy. You got served a cookie and your chrome browse gobbled it up like a good cookie monster.

Now Google is serving you ads because it thinks it’s being helpful.

Now, you might not remember the search…but Google remembers…oh, Google remembers everything…muhahahaha…

Okay, seriously though, it’s not as bad as you think. For the exchange of free information which is useful and valuable to you, you allow them to sell you stuff.

Is that reaaaallly so bad? 🙂

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