Ad Choices – Do we really get a choice of what ads we see?

Tuesday March 22, 2016

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Yes! The answer is yes. If you find yourself getting annoyed seeing the same ads over and over again, you have the power to inform Google of your ad preferences. Online advertising is unavoidable, but you do have the power to influence what ads you see. 

Google shows you ads based on your search history, however, if you’ve already found a great deal on your Sorrel boots, you can choose not to see those ads anymore. 

What are these ad choices?

AdChoices (also known as the "Advertising Option Icon") is a sign for consumer information and control for interest-based advertising (also referred to as "online behavioral advertising").

Google uses AdChoices

How do they benefit me?

Since they take what you have already searched, you are getting ads specifically to what you are searching about. This is dependent on the advertiser placing the ad as they have the ability to select where the ad is placed. You can benefit by finding having a great deal presented directly to you. You also get ads on brands you are already interested in. 

What About My Privacy?

It doesn’t use your personal information such as your email address, phone number or photographs. 

Adchoice Icon Screen Shot 2016 02 29 At 112643 AMWhen you see the AdChoices icon, you can click on it and it will explain that this advertiser has been presented to you as it might have matched your interests, previous visits to websites or selected based on the website you are currently visiting. 

See example below. This ad does not apply anything I'm interested in so I decide to proceed with the "More information & opt-out options". This will show the company that is showing the ad and you can click on the Ad company which will tell more about them. 


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Depending on which company it is, might depend on how exactly you opt out. You can also change your Google Ad Settings.

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We know how frustrating it is when you click on a link hoping to find the answer for your search result but when met with a page with more random links, we feel stooped. Well the good thing that comes this is Google sees that you went to the linked, abandoned it and they have noted that it’s not a valid result.

Similar for Google results needing to be valid in order for you to trust them, advertisers are working harder to create more valid online ads applicable to the user.  As painful as you might think ads are, a good ad may lead you to a great deal.