How did Amazon find that out?
March 24, 2008 6:12 AM   Subscribe

A few days ago my wife and I decided to pop down to Brighton for a break. She booked the trip on her home computer and I looked at a few pictures on flickr and checked askmefi for what to see using mine. Today, Amazon is recommending me Brighton travel books. How did they know?
posted by srboisvert to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
On the recommendations page it tells you why it recommended a certain item.
posted by zeoslap at 6:30 AM on March 24, 2008

Also if you click the Fix This link on the recommendations page it lists all the items that produced the recommendation. Hope this helps.
posted by zeoslap at 6:31 AM on March 24, 2008

Did one of you search on Amazon for Brighton-related books and maybe you forgot having done so or didn't know that she did?
posted by Maias at 8:15 AM on March 24, 2008

Best answer: You probably visited a page about Brighton that was showing Amazon ads. Some sites which display Amazon associate ads pass a keyword to Amazon so that targeted ads are shown. (Amazon has an advertising mode called "Omakase" in which they choose what product ads to display on third-party sites based on the page topic or keywords, instead of the web site author choosing specific products to display.) If your browser has an Amazon cookie, Amazon can associate that keyword with your account, so that they can show suggestions related to that keyword the next time you visit Amazon.

This is not to say that's definitely what happened in your case, but it is one possible way it could have happened.
posted by drew3d at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2008

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