Google is about to give Googlers the control over the ads that you see – what Google calls ‘ads personalization’. This is great news indeed. For those of you who wonder why only certain ads appear when you search, this is down to ‘ads personalization’. When you search for something in Google that page that you get obtains search results and ads that match to your search terms by using specific keywords you entered in your search.
Google can also personalize your ads using your Web History which are based on visits to advertisers’ websites. Very smart, very personal but equally quite invasive – that is if you are concerned about your privacy.
As for Gmail ads, these appear next to an open email message and are related to the contents of the current email conversation. The same rule applies to your Gmail inbox whereby Google will present personalized ads based on all your emails. Ads personalization will present ads based on the frequency of a keyword identified in your emails – for example the keyword “iPad” will lead to ads about iPad being presented to you. So how can you manage/control this ad personalization?
Google will soon be introducing a “Why these ads” link next to ads on Google search results and also in Gmail. You will be able to use the ‘Ads Preferences Manager’ to make changes that improve the ads that you are seeing, including blocking specific advertisers you are not interested in and/or turning off ‘ads personalization’ completely. When using Google search you will see “Block this advertiser” click this and you will be able to block that advertiser. You can also manage your blocked sites and easily undo any blocked sites as well. If you are signed in to your Google account you can also OPT out of personalized ads. If you are not signed in to your Google account you can also OPT out of personalized ads.
I wonder just how many people who use Gmail actually use the web mail client. As Gmail supports IMAP, most people will probably send their Gmails to their smartphones or email clients i.e Outlook 2007/10 and Entourage. So given this scenario, I’m not so sure how many people will use the ‘ads Preference Manager’. Equally, most people I know who use Google search, don’t have an account and I bet Google knows this. That said any additional privacy/ad control for users is of course most welcome.
Safe surfing folks!