The final sentence on that help page reads as follows: “Note: Clips of your favorite RSS and Atom feeds are displayed randomly, and aren’t targeted to the contents of your mail.” The emphasis is theirs, not mine. That’s neat and all, but I noticed this in my Gmail Inbox today after I ordered a pizza through PizzaHut.com:
Aren’t targeted? I don’t buy it.
Personally I don’t care. The ads on the side are already targeted based on the content of emails. There was a brouhaha over these targeted ads potentially invading Gmail account holders’ privacy, but it seemed to blow over. It never bothered me. Who cares if an algorithm reads my emails? I trust Google. I don’t think Google is going to collect all my personal information and sell it to anyone. But I wish their help pages were more accurate — there’s no way this pizza ad is a coincidence.