Google Ads is probably the most popular ad options that websites use to monetise themselves. Almost everyone you know has a google account. One of the things that freak me out is that after I have surfed through a few related websites or hunted for hotels or searched for things to buy online, all the google ads on various other websites seem to know that I have done this and display ads that continue to throw suggestions of resorts to stay in, clothes to buy, coffee to drink, places to visit, etc. Some of these are the exact product I have been trying to buy. While at the outset this may seem useful, it feels as if someone is snooping on me and google seems to invade my life!
This is via a set of cookies that google uses to track your websites and searches which it may link to the google account you are logged in to. Using this google ads that are relevant to your surfing pattern are displayed.
I prefer turning this off to feel more secure and there is indeed a way to do this.
- Go to https://www.google.com/settings/ads
You can login to your account if needed. You will see this note
- To control y=the ads seen whenever you are logged into your google account, see the next section and turn it off. There is a clear explanation of what the “on” and “off” options are. This ensures that whenever google detects that you are logged into your account, it will serve fairly random ads and not based on your settings or browsing history. Once you turn it off in one device, it saves this preference throughout all devices and browsers that use this account
- If you want to turn off the relevant ads in the browser irrespective of whether you are on a google site or signed it, look at the next option and click on “Control signed out ads”
- This will take you to the page which shows this explanation and gives you two options under that:
- The first option is with respect to ads displayed on sites that are not related to google. Turn it off.
- The next option underneath that is to turn off search ads. If it is on (like shown in this screenshot) turn it off:
- Do this on every browser of every device you use.
Google now will not display ads based on the sites you visit and the searches you do. This will leave you feeling less stalked and more secure! Of course, if you love seeing relevant ads, you don’t need to change anything. Google will stalk you and claim that it does not store any information.
Did you find this useful? Or would you like to add some more information? Please do leave a comment!