Ads that follow

I always thought it was so interesting how when you are surfing the internet and an extremely relevant ad is on the side of the page or even on your Facebook newsfeed. One day I was searching for a very specific pair of shoes and literally searched every popular shoe site. After finding the shoe, I decided to think on it before committing. For a little while after that I would see these shoes on different sites, being advertised at discounted prices. These ads eventually helped me decide to buy the shoes and where to buy them from. This is known as re-marketing and has been proven to be successful and pulling in customers to finally make that purchase. Research shows that only 2% of potential customers make purchases on their first visit. This re-marketing technique keeps their interest and helps convert that other 98%. 

Google has some marketing programs that help do just that. It is estimated that Google reaches about 80% of all web users, making their programs the optimal choice for marketing strategies. One of their most popular programs is AdWords. Using AdWords, users can can tag certain pages of their site that visitors have browsed and create a campaign to reserve relevant ads that as the visitor goes to different sites. Google originally implemented this system on MySQL database engine, moved it to Oracle, and then switched it back to MySQL due to speed issues. Eventually they developed a custom distributed Relational Database Management System known as Google F1, specifically for their Ad programs. F1 is a hybrid database that combines high availability, the scalability of NoSQL systems, and the consistency and usability of traditional SQL databases. F1 is built on Spanner, which helps provide the scalability necessary that enables you to store a few trillion database rows in millions of nodes distributed to hundreds of data centers. The database not only supports the ads, but also the all of the support systems Google offers with its programs. 


How Do Some Banner Ads Follow Me from Site to Site?




Metasearch engines

Recently I’ve been looking at hotels and car rentals for a short trip to NYC over spring break. My favorite site to use is Travelocity. I’ve found some really good deals there in the past and they’re pretty helpful when you actually book it. Today I looked at Kayak and Priceline instead. Travelocity is considered an online “travel agency” while Kayak and Priceline are metasearch engines. While using these metasearch engines I began to wonder how they work.

Essentially metasearch engines use whatever you’ve entered into the site to query other main search engine databases such as Google. So instead of searching just that one engine you are receiving result from Google, Bing, Yahoo, or wherever other databases that particular engine reaches out to. They use virtual database methods to actually query the main search engine databases. The user asks a question the metasearch engine searches the other database, compiles the results, and displays the best and most relevant to the user. I found a good image from Bright Hub that depicts this.


Regular search engines, such as Google, take a users query and scans through indexes. These indexes are databases of information that are unique to each search engine which is why you don’t always get the same results. This is what makes metasearches so useful. They find the unique information for you. This also what makes them so popular for travel searches. They find the best prices and put them all on one page in a matter of seconds.