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Google’s new ad hub offers more control over the advertising it shows you

Google’s new ad hub offers more control over the advertising it shows you


With the option to customize which brands and topics you see or turn off ads personalization entirely

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Simulated screenshot of Google My Ad Center on a phone screen, showing ways to “Customize the ads you see” by setting which topics or brands you want to see more or fewer ads about.
Google My Ad Center
Image: Google

After announcing it back at Google I/O in May, Google is beginning to roll out a hub this week that it says will give you more control over which ads it shows you and what data it uses to target them. Once it rolls out, the My Ad Center hub will be accessible at or via the three-dot menu button on ads shown in Google’s search, Discover, and YouTube services.

According to a blog post from Google VP and general manager for ads Jerry Dischler, available controls will include the ability to increase or decrease the amount of advertising you see on certain brands and topics, to blacklist certain sensitive topics, including alcohol, dating, and weight loss, or to opt out of ad personalization entirely. Dischler gives the example of opting out of ads for vacations if you’re seeing a lot of them after shopping for a trip you’ve already taken. 

A screenshot of Google’s ad center.
The My Ad Center hub lets you opt in to more or fewer adds about a given topic or brand.
Image: Google

The My Ad Center hub also includes settings to control exactly which information Google uses to target ads in the first place. You’ll be able to adjust which audience categories Google thinks you’re a part of (think relationship or education status, for example). There’s also the option of telling the company not to personalize ads based on your YouTube history or web and app activity, without losing access to the useful features these settings provide when they’re enabled, Gizmodo reports.

Some of these controls aren’t entirely new. The search giant has long given users the option of influencing the advertising it serves them by, for example, opting out of personalized ads or personalizing which traits and interests it uses for targeting. But My Ad Center is designed to offer a dedicated central hub with these controls in a single place, which should make them more manageable to use.

According to the search giant, this customization applies across whichever device you’re signed in to with your Google account as well as across other sites and apps that use Google’s advertising tools.