How You’re Still Being Tracked on the Internet

When the meta is adjusted, some small businesses start looking for other ways to advertise. Sean Baker, owner of Baker Softwash, an outdoor cleaning company in Mooresville, NC, said he had previously taken about $ 6 Facebook ads to identify a new customer. It now costs 27 because ads can’t find the right people, he said.

Mr. Baker has started spending $ 200 a month on advertising through Google’s marketing program for local businesses, whose website surfaces when people in the area search for cleaners. To offset that high marketing cost, it has increased its prices by 7 percent.

“You’re spending more money now than you used to spend doing the same things,” he said.

Other tech giants with first-party information are capitalizing on the change. Amazon, for example, has a rim of data on its customers, including what they buy, where they live, and what movies or TV shows they stream.

In February, Amazon announced the size of its advertising business – revenue of $ 31.2 billion in 2021 – for the first time. It makes advertising the third largest source of sales after e-commerce and cloud computing. Amazon declined to comment.

Amber Murray, See Your Strength in St. George, Utah, who sells stickers online to people with anxiety, began experimenting with ads on Amazon after Facebook ads failed to perform. The results were remarkable, she said.

In February, when customers saw textured stickers, she paid Amazon around $ 200 to display her products near the top of search results. Sales total $ 250 a day and continued to rise, she said. When she spent $ 85 on a Facebook advertising campaign in January, she made only $ 37.50 in sales, she said.

“I think the golden days of Facebook advertising are over,” Ms. Murray said. “On Amazon, people are looking for you, instead of telling people what they want.”

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