Ads are littered all over the Internet, but they are a necessary evil. In fact, advertisements are how many of your favorite websites cover their operating costs. Although most of us tolerate them, personalized ads can make you feel like you’re living in an Orwellian dystopia.
Personalized ads are ones that are directly marketed to you based on your previous browsing history. For example, let’s say you’ve recently searched for the best price on diapers. Now all you see are ads for diapers in the margins of your internet browser.
Luckily you can tell Google that you want to stop seeing ads based on your browsing history. Opting out will apply to both Google search ads as well as 2+ million websites and apps that partner with Google.
Doing so doesn’t mean you will stop seeing ads altogether, but instead of seeing targeted ads you will see completely random ads. As a result you’ll still support your favorite websites, but you won’t feel like you’re being stalked while you do it.
Opt Out with Your Google Account
First, open your internet browser. If you aren’t signed in to your Google account, do so now. Once you’re signed in, navigate to the My Account page. Scroll down until you see the “Personal info & privacy” heading.
Under the “Personal info & privacy” heading, you will see “Ad settings.” Go ahead and click on that. You will then be brought to the “Ad settings” page for your account. Here, click “Manage Ads Settings.”
This will bring you to the “Ads Personalization” page associated with your account. Click on the drop-down dialogue boxes to read about personalized ads in greater depth. Once you’re sure you want to opt out, all you need to do is hit the blue toggle switch on the right-hand side of the screen. Hitting the switch will make a confirmation box pop up asking if you really want to turn off personalized ads. Hit “Turn Off,” and it’s bye-bye creepy Google stalkers.
Don’t want to opt out of personalized ads completely but want to have more control over what sort of ads you see? Review the “Your Topics” section of the “Ads Personalization” page. Uncheck the boxes that don’t appeal to you, and you won’t see any ads related to those topics.
What Opting Out Doesn’t Do
Opting out of Google’s personalized ads does not stop you from seeing ads altogether. Advertising is how many websites pay the bills, so you’ll have to put up with them for the time being.
Although it may seem like Google controls the entire Internet, in reality they do not. Opting out of Google’s ad program will not stop other networks from targeting you with personalized ads.
If you clear or delete your browser’s cookies, your Google ad preferences will disappear with them. This will require you to follow the steps outlined above every time you get rid of your cookies. To avoid this, you can install a browser extension like Protect My Choices.
Following the instructions above will stop you from seeing personalized ads based on your browsing history. Instead, the ads you do see will be generic ones, often based on your geographical location. In today’s hyper-connected society it can be said that we share a little too much personal information. That may be true, but at least you won’t be constantly reminded of that fact by seeing personalized ads.
Do you like seeing ads tailored for you? Let us know in the comments!