Google has released a new ads settings tool so you can enter in your interests and see more appropriate ads online. While some will think this is feeding the dragon, it actually makes sense. Unless you’re a cold-blooded ad block user that doesn’t care about the good things ads do for the sites on which they appear, including Google’s, you’re going to be seeing ads, so they may as well be relevant. This new tool allows you to personalize ads beyond Google’s properties. Google has also updated its My Activity tracker.
You can check out the new settings here. Basically, you have a few ad personalization options to choose from: “On Google” and “Across the web”. You can choose to keep personalization off entirely, which means Google and its partner sites will simply show you ads based on location, website content and so on. You can also choose only to enable personalized ads on Google’s sites. The new option is to enable ad personalization across the web.
If personalized ads make you feel icky then don’t do anything. Just let Google serve you up random ads which you can choose to ignore. But if you accept the fact that ads are a part of online life and would refer them to be as useful as possible, which does actually make sense, then go ahead and enable ad personalization for both Google and “Across the web”.
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It will not only make the ads you see when you’re signed into your Google account more relevant, but it can also make the ads you see internet-wide more relevant. Google doesn’t sell or share your data, but it does partner with over two million webpages that will also be able to present more relevant ads based on Google knowing your search history, interests and online activities.
If you do enable personalized ads, then you’ll be able to see a checklist of the things Google thinks you’re interested in. You can edit the list if necessary and even add categories of interest that Google doesn’t know about. Who knows, you might be surprised by who Google thinks you are based on your online activity.
My Activity page
Google has also launched a refreshed My Activity page, which lets you see just how creepily Google knows you. You can see all of your Google-connected activity, neatly laid out for you. It includes web searches, voice searches, YouTube videos you watched, stuff you did on your Android and more. Even though it’s you, there’s a weird fascination with following your own footsteps back in time. There’s even a search function in case you need to travel back in time and delete a specific entry on a particular day.
Will you be enabling personalized ads? What are your feelings towards online ads?