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Google Is Asking You to Personalize the Ads You See Online

Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Photograph by Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Google is expanding the ways it tracks your online activity to decide which advertisements you see. But the online search giant wants the ads you experience to be more relevant.

It’s no secret that Alphabet-owned Google keeps massive amounts of data on what its users search and view online, and that the company uses that information to help advertisers target users who may be the most likely to be interested in their products and services. While Google has maintained that it works to block some of the more annoying ads, or “bad ads,” that show up on your screen, the company is now asking users to opt-in to a new portal that allows you to personalize the ads that you see online.

Wired reports that the portal, called My Activity, tracks everything you search for online, along with the videos and other content you consume, while allowing you to personalize that data by removing certain irrelevant topics from the list. Once you’ve personalized your activity, Google applies that data to the ads you view through Google across devices and platforms, from YouTube to Google Chrome.

As Wired points out, the optional aspect of these changes is important, considering that users may be getting a more personalized ad experience, but Google is definitely benefitting by collecting more (and more accurate) tracking data. You can read more about the optional Google changes here.