Yahoo! Advertising Interest Manager (Yahoo! AIM !?)

Yahoo! just launched a page where you can manage how they classify your interests based on your search and other activity on the Yahoo! Network.

http://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/opt_out/targeting/

Mine was blank, and then I did two searches, one for “powerball” and one for “cars”. These are the categories I am now flagged as being interested in:

Interest Categories:

Automotive

Entertainment

Entertainment > Movies > Animation

Entertainment > Movies > Childrens

So I can see how that the lottery/entertainment categorization could go along with it being a move title etc. But what was odd was then the next list which was Categories you search:”

Automotive
Consumer Packaged Goods > Contests and Sweepstakes
Entertainment
Entertainment > Games
Entertainment > Games > Hardcore Gamers > Genres
Entertainment > Movies
Entertainment > Movies > Animation
Entertainment > Movies > Childrens
Entertainment > Music
Entertainment > Music > Rock
Travel > Air and Charter

At which point I have to say, “huh?” – this is really what I’m searching for with those two keywords? Categorization is dangerous – but it is really difficult to create an ad product that takes keywords as an input because you need tens or hundreds of thousands unless you’re only focusing on the “head” keywords and as we know people don’t only search that way. Fascinating though, now you can do some searches, clear your cookies and start again and see how Yahoo! classifies you. Or opt-out of it all of course.