Gmail is free — but Google makes money from it by scanning your email for keywords and serving you context-based ads. Here’s an ad that showed up on my Gmail account today:
That gives a man pause. What is Google trying to tell me, exactly? I needed to know, so I clicked on the ‘Why this ad?’ link. The result:
So: Google has scanned my email and its algorithm has concluded I’m an old fart with senility issues. It’s then using that ‘knowledge’ to pitch products to me from advertisers who apparently want to sell stuff to the addled. Wonderful.