Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Counterproductivity of Keyword-Based Advertising Selection

Sometimes it is not a question of how Yahoo! decides what is news.  Rather, the issue is how the news is handled once it is posted.  On Thursday Yahoo! News ran an Associated Press story by Joe Mandak whose lead was guaranteed to attract curious readers to pursue further:

A white man claims he was fired as manager of a suburban Panera Bread shop for repeatedly having a black man work the cash register instead of putting him in a less visible location and having "pretty young girls" be the cashiers.

The shop was located in Mount Lebanon, a relatively upscale suburb of Pittsburgh, which made the story all the more interesting.  From Yahoo!’s point of view, however, it is only about placing advertising based on keywords.  So here is a snapshot of the “Sponsored Links” section on the story’s Web page:
So who will be interested in coupons for buying from Panera after reading this story?  I suspect Panera would like to know as much as I would (although probably not for the same reasons)!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is one of my favorite instances of this same marketing behavior: