Have you ever wondered why you see ads which are tailored to you on your favourite blog, or while you’re catching up on local news online? These are the ads found on the Google ad network, and all the millions of websites and apps that partner with Google. This network is made up of Google services like Search, YouTube, and Gmail, and is borderline-omnipresent (we’re happy as long as they don’t change their name to Skynet). But did you know that you can personalize this information, telling Google what you do and don’t want to see?
Block Certain Ads
Are you constantly getting bombarded with ads about country music, despite the fact that you hate country music, all because you bought those Shania Twain tickets for a friend? Well, after telling us how you really feel, we’ll tell you that Google’s ad personalization will help turn those pesky ads off for good (and banish them to the Grand Ole Opry, or wherever it is country music lives).
You can’t stop getting ads online, but with Google’s personalization experience you can turn off, or at least deter, those unwanted ads. Should an advertiser be working with multiple sites, you might have to block several types of ads and categories. But if you really dislike something, you can definitely filter it out before it influences you to make another decision you’ll regret (I bet you still haven’t worn that cowboy hat, have you?).
The best part about that omnipresence we mentioned earlier? All changes made within Google Chrome, assuming you’re signed in (you are signed in, right?), will follow you from device to device. So if you make these adjustments on your mobile phone, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing the changes will also affect your desktop computer or iPad.
You’ll also have the option of turning off personalization altogether — and Google will no longer use your info to personalize your ads. Be wary though, this means that the ads you did enjoy receiving may not come with the same frequency, and those pesky country music ads may still be targeted toward you based on location, info from your browser history, or other factors.
Facebook has recently been playing around with a similar feature, in which you can personalize by hitting the snooze button on keywords. Tired of hearing about a certain polarizing political figure? You’ll be able to snooze their name. Not caught up on HBO’s Westworld? Stay spoiler free by snoozing keywords like “spoiler” and “Westworld”. Now this is still in testing, but hopefully it’ll be available to the public sooner than later.
Lets Get Personal
If you’re going to receive ads (and lets face it, you are) they may as well be useful. It’s easy to give feedback to Google, ensuring that you get useful ads specific to your interests — just visit the Ad Settings page and edit your info and interests. From there, turn on Ad Personalization and under “How your ads are personalized”, select your interests. From there, you can easily switch on or off the things that matter most to you. That way, if you ever have a hankerin’ for a little Hank Williams, you can make it happen. Hey, we aren’t judging.