Google has updated its Ad Settings feature to make it easier to control tailored ads. Apart from being able to turn off all Ad Personalization, users have also provided an option to turn off any of the factors that they don't want to be used to tailor ads. Additionally, the search giant is expanding its 'Why this ad?' feature to all the Google services as well as partner websites and apps that show Google Ads. This means you'll now be able to understand why any specific ad is showing to you when you are on YouTube, Google Play, Gmail, Maps, or Google Search.
Back in 2009, Google launched the Ad Settings feature to offer netizens with a list of ad controls. The original model didn't offer plenty of factors that Google use internally to serve targeted ads. But as privacy is becoming a hot topic in the fast-growing world of the Web, the Mountain View, California-based company has now upgraded the experience on its Ad Settings by showing all the different factors that determine how ads are tailored to you under one, single roof. This means you can now see a list of topics, including Travel, Restaurants, Finance, and Beauty & Fitness among others, based on which you are seeing ads. In addition to seeing the topics, you can also remove them with a single tap.
Also, apart from the preset topics, there are different factors that Google uses to serve you targeted ads. These are such as estimations of your interests based on your activity while you're signed in, the information you add to your Google Account, and your behavioural information that company receives from advertisers. All these factors can now be disabled by going to the Personal info and privacy section of your account's Ad Settings.
"Turning off a factor means you'll no longer receive tailored ads related to it across our services, and on websites and apps that partner with us to show ads, as long as you're signed in to your Google Account," Google Product Manager Philippe de Lurand Pierre-Paul said in a blog post.
If you turn off all Ad Personalization, Google says you'll still see ads but that they may be less useful to you; users will also no longer be able to turn off ads from specific advertisers, and finally, any advertisers or interests users have turned off won't be saved. Google will still show you ads based on general factors such as the subject of what you're looking at or the time of the day, or any other factor that is still turned on in the Ad Settings.
In addition to the updated Ad Settings, Google has expanded the 'Why this ad?' feature that will now available across all Google services, including YouTube, Google Play, Gmail, Maps, and Search, along with most of Google's partner websites and apps that display Google Ads. The feature, which was originally launched in 2011, mainly provide insight into why a certain ad is showing up on the screen. It also gives quick access to the Ad Settings feature.
"The new Ad Settings and updates to Why this ad? provide you with more transparency and control over your Google ad experience than ever before. With these improvements, you can browse the web confidently knowing that you have the information and control to make Google work better for you," the Google executive concluded.