Monthly Archives: April 2009

Google user-agent detect fail

So I was using Chrome to check my gmail account and noticed a message at the bottom of the page by the stats that I could download the latest Google toolbar. I was pretty excited to see this and give it a go, so I clicked the link, which took me to this page:

gtoolbar-msg

Ok it only mentions ie and firefox, but I kinda skimmed over that and just saw the first blue link to download the toolbar, so I clicked it:

gtoolbar-download

Ok it mentions firefox, but I thought, Chrome is still fairly new and there’s still a lot of sites out there that are not recognizing it and classifying it as something else. Anyway, I thought I’d continue just in case, so now, 3 clicks later I get presented with this:

gtoolbar-sorry

Ok, now it detects my browser, but it took 3 clicks for me to discover this. If this was an ecommerce site trying to sell a product, it would have been a really disappointing experience for a user. And as we’re aware, once you give a user a disappointing experience, it’s really hard to win them back.

Now I’m assuming that the rotating message that appears at the bottom of the screen is served by some type of ad serving application, so why could it not have detected my Chrome user-agent and bypassed that ad?

It makes you wonder how many companies are buying ad inventory which is being served to users who cannot convert.

If you’re buying ad inventory, make sure you have an exclusion list, so you can work with whoever serves your ads to maximize exposure to your specific audience, however you define it.