I’ve noticed lately that while reading my set of RSS feeds I’m getting lots of ads that I don’t consider well targeted at me as a vegan:

Ads by Google, in Google Reader

I’m reading feeds in a site-specific browser using Fluid, which means in essence I’m reading them in a browser using Google Reader.

The ads are clearly powered by Google Ad Sense, but look at the tags of the blog post to which this one was linked: business, collaboration, journalism, Media, news. Which one of those suggests I’d be interested in something called “Herd Management Software”?

I remembered that once upon a time, I checked out Google’s Ads Preferences Manager and opted out of targeted advertising. Revisting the site now, it looks like that only applies to the browser in which you did it, not all browsers.

Thus it looks like my SSB (which I use to visit Google Reader) still doesn’t have its opt-out cookie set, and is getting served targeted ads. Ok, that much I get.

But why does Google think Herd Management will be a good category for me?

Visiting the Google Ad Preferences Manager in the browser I actually use to view Google Reader, I find the following listed as my interests:

Computers & Electronics – Hardware – Peripherals – Printers
Computers & Electronics – Software – Operating Systems
Industries – Agriculture & Forestry – Food Production
Industries – Agriculture & Forestry – Livestock

Well there it is. Certainly I can see how reading lots of vegan blogs might suggest I’m interested in what the industry euphamistically calls “Food Production” (ie, the breeding, captivity, and slaughter of non-human animals).

But isn’t Google smart enough to recognize that a vegan’s interest in these things is different than a cattle rancher’s?

The fix is to opt-out in that browser as well, by the way.