Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't Like Being Followed

Last week I visited three different online retailers: the Wolverine boot company, Zappos shoe store, and BackCountry outdoor products. Within a couple of days of visiting these three sites I began seeing ads for the very products I had been shopping for at each retailer popping up when I visited other online sites (CNN, USAToday, etc.). In other words, I was being followed around the web by these three retailers, presenting me with ads for the products I had looked at on their sites. I know targeted advertising is not new on the web, but I have never seen it like this -- ads for the exact products I had looked at on a retailer's site -- three different stores in the same week. It was as if somebody flipped a switch.

So I went to my Safari preferences and did three name searches in the Cookies directory ("zappos," "wolverine," and "backcountry") and deleted the 30+ cookies set for these three sites. We'll see if that throws them off the trail. Not sure I like being followed and hounded so persistently.

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