Online ads have deeply-rooted in our lives and dealing with them became a necessity now.
It’s no more a secret now that online Ad Networks harvest all your data and use it to show the relevant ads.
The Internet is a huge place which needs a tonne of money to run and maintain. Who is going to sponsor the servers and maintenance?
We live in an era where piracy cannot be eradicated, forget about the sponsorship. If we cannot pay for what we use then how can we pay for what we don’t?
The most reliable and popular source of knowledge, Wikipedia, had to come and beg for donations simply because it does not have ads and its maintenance costs a lot.
[Pune Mirror Report: Wikipedia seeks donation from Indian readers to keep encyclopedia thriving]
I know this is sad.
Hence, online ads prove to be the savior. They actually run the Internet and allowing it to be free of cost.
However, it is not really free. The Internet is free because it trades your data. So, why not deal with it for our own advantage?
Dealing With Online Ads Require Patience
Understand it – almost every advertisement that you see on the Internet is a targeted ad. Some are highly targeted while others are less.
In the end, every platform is monitoring at least some basic details like location, device, browser, OS, and most importantly the IP Address.
I am sure you mostly come across Google Ads and Facebook Ads. They are highly targeted ads.
So, why not utilize this as an opportunity to explore?
Like and engage more with the content whose ads won’t bother you. Spend more time in such products, websites, and pages.
Train the dragon. Manipulate the algorithms.
I’ll demonstrate a few examples.
The first ad is the direct advertisement from Quora and it is not dependant on user data. It is contextual and more based on what I like and follow on Quora.
Since I read a lot about online platforms and digital products, it is showing me an ad for software.
Meanwhile, the second ad is coming on Quora from Google. How do I know that? Ahem!
Anyway, it is targeting me because I recently searched for domains for a client. This domain service is trying to give me a 25% discount. Isn’t it beneficial for me?
This is just an example of a tool that I got to know from an Ad! I have noted too many handy tools that I get to use now because I got to know them from online ads.
Do you think I would have searched them otherwise?
Facebook & Instagram Ads
I am in love with Facebook Ads and especially, the Instagram Ads!
Because they don’t scream on your face, “Hey you! I am an Advertisement! Close me quickly”
They just blend in your feed without making any noise.
These are some ads on my Instagram feed because I have searched and liked such posts recently.
- 1st Ad = Being a content marketer, that tool might help me in my content
- 2nd Ad = During this pandemic, that company is delivering fresh vegetables from the farmers directly
- 3rd Ad = I have taken note of it because it will help me publish a book whenever I want
- 4th Ad = I love reading magazines and newspapers because it helps in my content creation so that the app is helpful for me
It doesn’t matter if I am going to use the same product or not. I can always find alternatives.
Since I am not traveling due to the current lockdown, I am not searching for anything. However, travel ads are my personal favorite. They generate ideas creatively.
Similarly, I am sure binge-watchers get frequent advertisements from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other platforms. Even they can get useful shows to watch from those ads.
The important thing is that such ads help in creating awareness that such products even exist. The best part? They are highly targeted and modified according to our interests.
Other Options While Dealing With Online Ads?
1] Cut Down The Crap
Other than manipulating the algorithms, cut down the inappropriate ads.
I see most of the people not following this simple technique. If an advertisement is not relevant to you then just close it with a reason.
You will mostly find the option at the top-corner of the advertisement.
Use this option aggressively. Teach Google & Facebook about your choices. Let them know what you don’t like about their ads.
2] Use Private Networks
Use Incognito Mode while researching because it won’t save your cookies in the browser.
It means that you won’t get highly targeted ads by using incognito mode. However, it does not ensure 100% prevention of data tracking. Basic data is still tracked like your location and device.
[Read more about: Cookies]
You can switch to VPN or TOR browser for enhanced security.
[Recommended: How To Remain Anonymous on the Web]
3] Ad Blockers
That is a harsh step but you can do that if you absolutely don’t want ads. However, Instagram ads or social media ads cannot be blocked using ad blockers as well.
Hence, dealing with them is the best option you can have!
4] Pay For Subscriptions
This can be the best option if it is affordable for you. Premium content is mostly good and clean from the point of users because you won’t see any ads.
Just another way to sponsor the Internet 🙂
You remain away from even dealing With online Ads and all the complications.
[Related Article: 6 Ways To Make Money With Your Website]
But Pritesh, I see completely irrelevant ads sometimes…
Haha! Then it is due to the poor decision making power of that Digital Marketer who is running that ad campaign.
Even if the ads are targeted, they are still managed by Digital Marketers like me and many others.
Audience segmentation and targeting are the most important things.
If that advertiser has targeted the wrong set of people – RIP client budget.
He is literally setting the client’s money on fire.
Ah! The poor client!
It is not an issue with companies taking the data because it is a type of business model.
Let’s say Google starts charging you $5 for every search you make on the Internet. Can you pay for every search made on Google?
I am currently working and studying in the online advertising industry and I see too many misconceptions among the people. Let’s debunk them later.
But understand 3 points:
- Your individual data holds no value. Data analysis and harvesting are done at a mass scale.
- No human is monitoring your data. Bots are doing it. Now AI.
- The problem arises when companies don’t handle data properly and it goes into the wrong hands.
To protect yourself from 3rd point, you just need to become aware and implement a few things. I have written that in another article. Check it out.
[Further Read: How Spammers Get Your Data]