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Did Digg Really Improve Their Ad Targeting?
Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider has an investigative post today where he analyzed the advertising that is running on Digg. At the end of his investigation, he noted that Digg is clearly running targeted ads now because he viewed ads that matched three of Digg’s categories. He concluded the investigation by calling the change a, "christmas miracle".
Clickety Clack disagreed with the Carlson investigation, noting that the ads were just run of network ads. I decided to take a look into whether the ads were now, in fact, being targeted. Assuming they are, it would certainly be a good step for Digg because frankly I wonder sometimes who is in charge of their business plan. In our test back in March, 52% of Digg’ers blocked ads when visiting CN through a link on the Digg frontpage. Ads alone will never be enough to keep Digg afloat.
What did I find? To test, I used three computers, two logged into Digg, one anonymous on three different Internet connections. Below are a few of the screenshots I grabbed from the pages that Carlson notes are now targeted. As you can see, the ads in my testing are not targeted. Looking at the source code, it also doesn’t appear that there is anything but the typical run-of-network ads running on Digg. At this point, without any confirmation from Digg, I can only infer that Carlson was just lucky in his page load timing in viewing targeted ads on category pages.