Cardinal Path’s response to COVID-19 Cardinal Path is sharing all we know to help marketers during COVID-19.  Learn more.

I recently came across some great examples of how computer-generated content can deliver bizarre, confusing and even hilarious results.

First up is a CAPTCHA that co-worker Kent Clark encountered on a Twitter account sign-up. (Thanks for sharing, Kent.) Check out the “word” on the right:

Even assuming I know where to find the “pounds” symbol on my North American keyboard, I'm still going to have a heck of a time finding what appears to be a “7/8” character.

My other examples come from Adwords. And whom can we credit for supplying these classic Adwords groaners, but that most venerable of Adwords advertisers, eBay.

Now, I'm used to seeing eBay show up in the sponsored results of most unlikely searches. I've even searched for “life and death” and found eBay ads offering great deals on these events:

Who'd have guessed: apparently even God shops on eBay! (Hey, we're all counting our pennies these days…)

But for me, the funniest example came up when I was researching baby adoption. (No, I'm not in the market. It was research for a client.) Look what eBay offered me:

Wow, I knew eBay had branched out. But they're auctioning off babies now? And how comforting it is to know I can save money on my next baby purchase, by dealing with Canadian sellers!

Funny as these examples are, there is a more serious side to this. Some people may actually click these ads, just to see where they could possibly lead. So you have to wonder: how much money is eBay wasting on ads for products and services they simply don't list?

It appears that eBay is taking huge lists of keywords, then using Dynamic Keyword Insertion and bidding on all of them — without getting rid of keywords that are completely irrelevant to their business! If they actually spent some money optimizing, they could save a bundle.

These are great examples of what can happen when you let computers control your content, and take humans and common sense out of the equation.

Sharing is caring!

Popular

COVID-19 Crisis Navigator​

In partnership with Dentsu, Cardinal Path helps you distill the overwhelming news and information into a bi-weekly report highlighting emerging trends and insights during the pandemic.

EXPLORE THE REPORT

Analytics Rising Logo

FREE VIRTUAL EVENT

October 14

Practical Strategies Delivered By Top Minds in Digital Marketing

Register for #AnalyticsRising and get a Starbucks Gift Card when you share the news.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Click here to download access the tool.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Success!
Your message was received.

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for registering.​

Paid media spend by Government websites increased a whopping 139% YoY in 2020.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for registering.

Cardinal Path is continuing with its series of free training. Next we are conducting training on Google Data Studio. Check it out here.
Cardinal Path hosted a live session to connect with you and answer all your questions on Google Analytics.
Get all the expertise and none of the consultancy fees in this not-to-be-missed, rapid-fire virtual event.

Message Sent

Success! Thank you
for reaching out.