RAW Computing

Don't like Google adverts? Change them!


Google is one of the biggest advertisers on the web and is perhaps the biggest. Many websites use its services and the way it works is that a little bit of code is placed on each page of the website and this fetches an advert from Google. The adverts are generated on the fly and the question is, what type of advert should Google display?

A large number of companies employ Google to place adverts for them and potentially the content could be from any company about any product or service. In practice though, you will see a limited number of adverts because Google selects the type of adverts to display according to your profile. Yes, you may not have realised it, but you have an advertising profile and it is used wherever you go on the web. At least wherever Google displays adverts.

No matter what page you are looking at, your advertising profile is used to select the adverts you see. The adverts you see on a particular web page could well be different to the adverts I see because we will have different profiles. Well in theory they could be the same, but it is unlikely that your profile will be the same as mine or anyone else's. You see adverts that are unique to you.

Check your Google ads settings

Go to www.google.com/ads/preferences/. If you have a Google account (a Gmail address) you should go straight into the Settings for Google Ads page.

There are two columns and there is Ads on Google and Google Ads Across the Web. Look down the settings to Interests and click the Edit link. (Do this with both columns, first one and then the other.)

Google ad preferences

Some of the things it thinks I am interested in is very strange. Google thinks I want to see adverts about cleaning agents? Really? Brazillian music? Chevrolet? I don't think so. This isn't the full list and there are more. I honestly don't know where it gets these from.

As you mouse over these advert categories, they highlight and there is a cross at the right side to remove them. Remove the ones you have no interest in and you might then get some adverts that just might be interesting. Remember to do both columns - ads on Google and ads across the web.

Right down at the bottom is an option to opt out of tailored ads. This will stop Google trying to guess your interests and you will see random adverts instead. It is up to you. Would random ads be better? If I have to put up with ads I think I would rather see ones I might be interested in.

Other Google tips...

Advanced Gmail filtering using labels
Use Google image search in Chrome

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