We’ve all heard the notion that Google knows everything about us. It’s not just a theory, it’s reality.
The tech giant tracks your every move online and uses this knowledge to provide you with targeted ads. If you use Gmail, Google has even more of your personal data. Tap or click here to see the massive amount of data Gmail collects.
You might think you’re not impacted, but have you ever searched for yourself on Google? The results can be fairly entertaining or frightening, depending on how you see things. Did you know that you can see everything Google knows about you or thinks it knows about you with one search? We’ll show you how.
Google ad settings
Sign in to your personal Google account. Head to Google’s home page and search the phrase Google ad settings. Click on the first result that pops up. This will bring you to your personal ad personalization page. It displays a long list of what Google thinks you are most interested in and some of them can be entertaining.
Most people have hundreds of entries by Google. A quick search may show that you are obsessed with the Royal family or even something more obscure like school supplies and poultry.
Google ad settings aren’t always spot on with their assumptions, though. Your personalized ad recommendations may claim that you are not a parent and enjoy looking at wedding planning advertisements even though you already have three children and have been married for 10 years.
Managing your ad personalization
Want to manage what ads you see? At the top of your Google ad settings page, you can choose to turn off the ad personalization settings with one easy click. You can also find out more about why these specific details have ended up on your profile.
When this window pops up, click on manage activity to look further into your profile or choose to turn off the option. This will delete this demographic entirely, removing this specific tag from your profile.
These private details that Google has collected are compiled from the millions of Google searches people do every year. These searches are then placed into an algorithm that breaks down all your likes and dislikes, dreams and fears. This data ensures you see only ads and pictures that will entice you to a sponsored website or purchase.
Its system seems to work pretty well. According to websites like TNW, Google ads bring in around $36 per user. Google had over 4 billion users attributed to its search engine in 2019 alone. With results like this, it’s safe to say its ad personalization efforts are effective.
Erasing your data
Don’t want Google to know all your ridiculous interests down to your secret love for comic books or curious obsession with searching for urban transit? You can limit how much information Google collects about you and erase some of the information with a few simple tricks.
One option is to turn off ad personalization. Just toggle Ad personalization off on your ad personalization settings page here. While this will stop Google from collecting your personal interests for ad recommendations, it won’t delete all your information.
Another option is to manage your data and personalization in your Google account. We’ve got a step-by-step guide showing you how to erase all the data Google knows about you. Tap or click here to check out our helpful guide.
If you’ve ever been curious about what secrets the internet holds about you, here’s your chance to find out. Use Google’s search feature for a few laughs about your secret interests. Then gain control over what information you are sharing in the future.