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How to never get personalized ads from Google again

By Madlen Schäfer | October 02, 2018, 2:52 p.m.

Thanks to personalized advertising, many users are shown ads that are tailored to their needs when surfing websites. In other words, if you are interested in traveling, you will see a flight offer more often, for example, and hobby gardeners may see a new lawnmower model. Some users find it uncomfortable to see such individual advertising. TECHBOOK shows how to turn off the personalization of ads.

Sometimes it is downright frightening: we have just been shopping online on a website, in the next moment we will see a suitable advertisement from Google on another website. There is no rocket science behind this, but the personalized display of advertisements. Numerous providers have now specialized in this, and Google continues to dominate the market with its AdSense solution. The market research company eMarketer forecasts that Google Adsense will have a 37.2 percent share of the American market in 2018. The ads placed via Google can be recognized by the blue arrow and a blue cross at the top right of the ad.

Advertising tailored to personal online activities

Google itself explains personalized advertising as follows: “When you surf the Internet, use mobile apps, read your e-mails or shop online, advertisements are shown. Google serves ads in Google products such as Google Search, YouTube and Gmail, as well as in more than two million partner websites and apps. As with other advertising networks, advertisements are also tailored to your personal online activities. "

That changes now with the Google search

Google uses a variety of personal information from users in order to adapt advertising to the respective user. In this way, users are shown individual advertising.

Google specifies a number of possible factors as factors for the display of such advertising:

  • Type of website visited by the user and installed mobile apps
  • Cookies in the browser
  • Settings in the user's Google account
  • Visited websites and apps used whose companies advertise on Google
  • Activities on other devices that users use
  • Previous interactions with advertising and advertising services from Google
  • Information from the Google account
  • Google account activity

This means that, for example, information on gender, age group or general location is used by Google in order to optimally adapt the advertisements to the interests of the user. The company also uses user activities such as search queries or interactions with advertising for personalized advertising.

Ads reach users in any case, but they can decide what type of ads they see: personalized or non-personalized.

Turn off personalized advertising

If you do not want Google to evaluate your data and activities in order to generate appropriate advertising for you, you can deactivate this setting. To do this, sign in to your Google account. Then click on "Account" in the menu. There you can manage the personalization of the ad under “Personal data & privacy” in the menu item “Settings for advertising”. Flip the switch to turn off personalized advertising.

Additionally, there are a few other tips you can follow to avoid personalized ads. For example, you should periodically clear your search history on Google. Even if you can't completely prevent online advertising, you still have the option of blocking unwanted ads. You can hide certain advertisements in Google services. On YouTube, for example, by clicking on the info icon and selecting "Block this advertising". With Gmail you can switch off advertisers by going to the info icon and selecting "Control similar advertisements like this" and then select "Block this advertiser". You can block selected advertisements on websites or in apps by clicking on the cross in the top right corner of the advertisement and selecting "Block these advertisements" or "Report these advertisements". You can read more information on this topic here.

Better personalized advertising

But: Since you cannot prevent advertising per se, you might even find it better that you are shown at least advertising that suits you. If this is the case, you can personalize advertising even more in your settings in the Google account. Go to "Account" in the menu of your Google account and also to "Personal data & privacy" under "Settings for advertising". When you flip the switch for personalized advertising and also see the factors that Google uses to select the specific advertising. Select certain interests there, such as books and literature or vehicles, so that your ads are even more personalized.

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