Control of the Ads You See From Google

Did you know you can control the ads you see from Google?  At least to a certain extent.

I can’t remember what ad had appeared when I saw the little “x” and clicked it to get rid of it, only to see this appear, but it was likely something I searched for recently on Google and now no longer care about.





That being said, I found the option to update my ad settings both comical and a bit scary.  How much does Google know about me and how exactly is Google using what it “knows” to supply me with ads, if it’s not based solely on recent searches?

Here’s what my Ads Settings know about me:

Gender: Female – Based on your Google profile.  I suppose that one was a gimmie from G+.

Age: Unknown – but then it guesses 45-54 – Based on the websites you’ve visited.  Now that’s a bit insulting as that is not my age bracket and even if it were I plan on staying 29 forever.

Languages: English – Based on websites you’ve visited.  Well ok that one isn’t rocket science either.  That could also come from using Google Translate always to English when I end up on a non-English website.

Interests: American Football, Apparel, Autos, Cameras, Cartoons, Colleges, Finance, Hair Care, Home & Garden, Skin & Nail Care – Based on websites you’ve visited.  Interesting, yes I’m an avid Broncos fan, and I did a bit of online shopping for the holidays.  Cameras ok that was for a client.  Finance perhaps is a reference to my frequent online banking.  Hair Care, I do always have to look up my stylist’s phone number; perhaps this is my hint to get her added to my contacts.

But autos, cartoons, colleges and home & garden seem a bit odd.  I’m not in the market for a car at the moment, I certainly don’t read a lot of cartoons, my kiddo is in elementary school so if I were searching colleges I’d be in the crazy parent column, and as for home & garden it’s winter so not a lot of gardening going on.

Now at the bottom appears to be a wonderful options “Opt Out”, but don’t get too excited.  While opting out of seeing ads would be amazing, that’s not what this option is.  This option per Google “This opts you out of interest-based ads on Search and Gmail. You’ll still see ads, but they may not be related to factors such as your interests, age, or gender.”  That leaves you with the question of do you want to see ads you might be interested in or just any old ad Google wants to throw at you?

In the end Google is here to barrage you with ads in an effort to get you to click on them and by clicking on them Google get’s to charge that company for your interest.  Update your info or opt-out, either way Google will keep sending ads your way.



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