How Do These Ads Keep Following Me?

You know the saying, “Nothing is truly free?” The internet is no exception. You want to browse for free and companies want to sell you stuff. It’s a give and take. Sometimes ads showcase content that peaks your interests or pop up when you’re searching a related item, making the search process easier. The intention behind ads is to give the product more face time which increases sales for that specific product. The main question you’re having is, why in the world are these ads popping up everywhere I look?


Here’s what’s happening when an ad follows you:

  • You’re searching online for a new pair of shoes on a certain website. You like this pair of shoes but believe there’s a better price out there.

  • You add the shoes to your wishlist or cart then leave the site.

  • You open up another site to search for a different shoe option, then the company that is holding your first shoe choice pops up as an ad on the new site.


This is the process of a retarget ad. This can happen from one search engine to the next. You could be searching on Google and have an ad for whatever you searched on Google pop up on Facebook. Now the question is, how does this process actually happen?


Well here’s a breakdown of how it happens:

  • The website where you originally view the product implements a small code in their site that attaches to your IP address which serves as a tracking code for new and returning visitors.  

  • This allows the website holder to track and monitor your browsing history and habits.

  • Then, the company digitally follows you to other sites and display ads that sometimes display the products you searched or offers a discount on that item.


Lucky for us, Google and many other search engines are improving their retargeting ad process everyday. The content of these ads will be further refined to your interests and serve a purpose. The idea behind retargeting is to improve your searching process and, ultimately, your buying experience. This breakdown of why and how ads follow you, gives you a better understanding of your ads and help you feel comfortable when you’re searching.