20 January 2006

Google - clever but not smart enough

You've got to smile at this.

Google, understandably, wants to ensure that its clients' adverts are seen in the best possible context, so the clever little algorithms that work out which adverts to display when a page using Google's Adsense is opened, also have a filter that is triggered when a page has too many words of a sensitive nature. (eg die, stroke, maimed, paralysed, electrocuted, bomber, terrorist, industrial action, prison, riot, heroin, cocaine, poker, casino & all the sex keywords we can think of).

When it is triggered it stops displaying normal ads and switches to Public Service Adverts (PSAs).

So in my case this means when I write news items about pilot's strikes or rail crashes the two advert panels on the left and right of the Travel Headlines page shrink to just one panel with one or two PSAs.

Clever but not 'smart'!

If you look at the New Holiday Ideas/Products page you can see that the subtleties of an item about Warwick Castle's special family events (
"Terrible Tortures and Potty Punishments") for February half-term were too much for the algo to cope with!

The PSAs have swept in like an overly fussy nanny at the mention of torture chambers, thumbscrews, dungeons and mis-trials!


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