As you probably know, retailers and search engine companies mine your search history to build a creepy personal profile of your age, sex, religion, politics, sexual orientation, and marital status.
But Google is now convinced I am a gay conservative with a colostomy, and frankly I'm getting a little tired of ads featuring body builders in thongs and ads for ostomy supplies. How did this happen?
The gay thing is a play on words, because IRL my first name is also the name of a company that makes gay mens clothing. Let's say that the name is "Roger." They aren't selling Carhart overalls - I'm talking banana hammocks for the gay beach, and purple velvet waist coats for those days when a guy just wants to camp it up Oscar Wilde style. So my real life first name is also the name of a company, and my last name (for example "Beach") is the name of one of their models of thongs, so if I do a Google search of my name ("Roger Beach") , their gay crotch slingshot is the second thing that comes up on Google. For laughs I've shown this to friends, who get a chuckle from how the second Google result is the "Roger Beach Thong" over the pouty male model with a smooth college athlete's body. But because I clicked on this Google search result a couple times, apparently I am officially gay. Clearly this is a category in the Google database, and I wonder what the column name is for that field. "queer?" "poof?" "nancy_boy?" Anyway, now I'm being stalked by an advertisement with a really creepy looking body builder in a thong.
Of course, it's easy to see why they think I am a conservative, since I'll do site specific searches for content. Most people aren't aware of this feature, but if you want to see how the white supremacist feel about Ron Paul, you can Google this:
"ron paul" site:www.stormfront.orgSo right there, Google has probably concluded I am a white supremacist Ron Paul supporter. And they always give me a heads up when the latest Coulter book comes out.
Finally there is the colostomy thing. I was researching trademarks on the web and in the governments trademark database. Let's just say the possible brand name that interested me was something like "Prime of Life," and the only trademark was for "Prime Of Life Colostomy Bags." Then I looked at their online catalog and did lots of searches to see if my product would potentially have a trademark conflict with any other "Prime of Life" products. So for a while I kept seeing colostomy bag ads, because Google had obviously inferred that I have a colostomy.
At least the colostomy bag ads went away fairly quick, but this gay thing seems to be lingering. Of course the irony of this is that I am a 100% butch (well 95% anyway), and if Google was looking at the pages I usually visit, they would see that I am strongly interested in guns and vaginas. Or do they know something I don't?