Google launches My Ad Center to give you more control over the ads you see
Ads are now part and parcel of using the internet and many apps, and much of what you see is because of Google. It is going to be a long time before Google changes its business model and is no longer reliant on showing you ads, but the company is aware of the annoyance people experience when they see advertising that is is completely inappropriate or touches on sensitive topics.
As such, Google has announced My Ad Center, a portal through which it is possible to gain more control over your ad experience. What this means in practice is that you will be able to do things such as choose whether or not you'd like to see tailored ads, control what sort of information Google is able to use to personalise your ads, and even opt out of seeing ads for certain topics.
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The rollout of My Ad Center is now underway, and Google is letting people know about how it can benefit them. It affects the ads that users see in various parts of the Google eco-system including Search, YouTube and Discover. It gives you a degree of control over the advertising you will be exposed to, so long as you are signed into your Google account.
Writing about the new control center, Google's Vice President and General Manager of Ads, Jerry Dischler, says:
My Ad Center was designed to give you more control over your ad experience on Google’s sites and apps. When you’re signed into Google, you can access My Ad Center directly from ads on Search, YouTube and Discover, and choose to see more of the brands and topics you like and less of the ones you don’t. You will never have to spend time searching for the right control or decoding how your information is used. Instead, you can manage your ad preferences without interrupting what you’re doing online.
He explains that it is possible to, for example, disable ads about vacations if you find that your ad experience is overloaded with vacation ideas having been influenced by the research you've done for a summer getaway. Dischler goes on to explain some more of the new control options:
You can also turn off ads personalization completely. My Ad Center makes this control easy to find by putting it front-and-center in the product. If you choose not to see personalized ads, you'll still see ads, but you may find them less relevant or useful. This will apply anywhere you're signed in with your Google Account.
There also may be certain ad topics that you don't want to engage with at all. With My Ad Center, you can choose to limit ads related to topics such as alcohol, dating, weight loss, gambling, pregnancy and parenting.
Google may not be a company that is readily associated with the notion of privacy, but this is something that it is looking to change with the launch of My Ad Center.
Stressing that the content of emails and files stored on its servers will never be used to personalize the ads you see, Google introduces new control over just what data you are happy for it to use for this purpose:
You can decide what types of your activity are used to make Google products work for you -- independent of the ads you're shown. In the past, if your YouTube History was on, it automatically informed how your ads were personalized. Now, if you don’t want your YouTube History to be used for ads personalization, you can turn it off in My Ad Center, without impacting relevant recommendations in your feed.
You may also see ads meant for certain audiences based on your Google activity -- categories such as education, relationship status or the industry you work in. Now you’ll be able to choose and adjust how categories inform your ads, or turn them off completely. This way, you can more easily choose the ad experience that's right for you.
When My Ad Center rolls out for you, you will be able to access it at myadcenter.google.com.