Google offers a range of advertising services through our AdWords and AdSense programs to show you the most useful and relevant ads online. These ads appear on Google’s sites and services, on partner websites and certain Google Applications and other clients. Some ads are based primarily on your search queries or on the content of the page you’re viewing. When providing ads tailored to your interests, we offer useful tools for you to view and manage the information that is being collected and used to serve ads. To protect your privacy, we follow three principles when we serve ads:
To serve ads in applications and other clients where cookie technology is not available, we have engineered an anonymous ID by associating your device ID with a random, anonymous string of characters. You may choose to reset or opt out of anonymous IDs at any time. If you choose to reset, we will associate your device identifier with a new anonymous ID. If you choose to opt out, ads delivered to your application or other client by our ad-serving technology will not be served based on an anonymous ID. Read more about device specific preference managers.
The ads that appear with search results on Google can be personalized based on your Google Account or customized for your web browser. Using previous queries and Web History can help us provide more relevant ads to you. Learn more about ads personalization on Google.
Ads that appear next to Gmail messages can also be personalized based on emails in your account. Read more about ads in Gmail and your personal data.
Google may use your Google account information, such as items you +1 on Google properties and across the web, to personalize content and ads on non-Google websites. If you’d like to control how you see +1 recommendations from people you know, and how your +1 recommendations are shown to others, please visit the +1 button account setting page.
We make protecting privacy a priority by being clear about what information we collect and how we will use the information to show relevant ads, and by offering choices to consumers about what information to share with us. We also make it easy for you to view, manage and opt out of personalized ads on Google search or Gmail, or interest-based ads shown on AdSense partner sites, certain Google sites and also on Third Party and certain Google Applications and other clients. We will not collect, sell, or share personally identifying information from ad serving cookies without your explicit consent.
We serve ads through our AdWords program on our own websites, as well as on the Google Display Network. We also serve ads on partner websites through our AdSense program, and also on third party partner sites and certain Google Applications and other clients. We use a variety of methods to deliver ads that are relevant.
For the Google Display Network, we serve ads based on the content of the site you view and may also use other partner data to target ads. For example, if you visit a gardening site, ads on that site may be related to gardening. In addition, we may serve ads based on your interests. As you browse websites that have partnered with us or Google sites using the DoubleClick cookie, such as YouTube, Google may place the DoubleClick cookie in your browser to understand the types of pages visited or content that you viewed. To serve ads that are relevant and tailored to your interests in applications or other clients that use an anonymous ID, we may use information about your activity in applications or other clients. Based on this information and/or anonymized partner data, Google associates your browser or anonymous ID with relevant interest categories and uses these categories to show interest-based ads. For example, if you frequently visit travel websites, Google may show more ads related to travel. Or, if you download a golf application, Google may show you ads related to golf. Google can also use the types of pages that you have visited or content that you have viewed to infer your gender and the age category you belong to. For example, If the sites that you visit have a majority of female visitors (based on aggregated survey data on site visitation), we may associate your cookie with the female demographic category.
In addition to ads based on interest categories, Google allows advertisers (including Google) to show you ads based on your previous interactions online, such as visits to advertisers’ websites. For example, someone who visited the website of an online sporting goods store can receive ads about special offers from that store.
Google will not associate sensitive interest categories with your browser or anonymous ID (such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or sensitive financial categories), and will not use such categories when showing you interest-based ads.
When you search for something on Google, the search results page shows results and ads that match your search terms. These search results aren’t personalized based on previous searches and other web history, so they aren’t specific to you or your computer. We use your search terms and location to return basic results and ads.
When ads are personalized, we use additional information beyond the terms you entered in the search box. For example, we may use a recent previous search if we think the searches may be related, like a search for “New York” followed by a search for “hotels” – this can indicate that you want to find out about hotels in New York. We only use recent searches because it usually doesn’t make sense to draw connections between searches that are very far apart in time.
Another way we can personalize ads on search is by using your Google Web History, which keeps a record of clicks from Google to other websites. For example, if you recently clicked a search result for a surfing website, and then searched for “vacations,” this can indicate that you’re interested in vacation destinations where you can surf, and you may see ads for surfing vacations.
In Gmail, most of the ads we show appear next to an open email message and match the contents of your email. When we personalize ads, we display ads based on the contents of all your emails. For example, if you’ve recently received lots of messages about photography or cameras, we might show you a deal from a local camera store.
Not all ads are personalized to you on Google search and Gmail. We personalize ads only when we think the additional information improves the ad selection for you.
Using the DoubleClick cookie, YouTube also displays interest-based advertising to show relevant ads on its site. The interest categories are determined by your visits to websites that use our AdSense program, as well as by the videos you prefer to watch or actions you take (such as uploading) on YouTube. The DoubleClick cookie associates your browser with relevant interest categories and uses these categories to show interest-based ads. We do not combine information from your YouTube account or Google account with the cookie data used to serve interest-based advertising. To learn more, see YouTube Advertising and You.
Interest and demographic categories are based on visits to sites in the Google Display Network or activity in applications and other clients that use an anonymous ID. Using the Ads Preferences Manager for browsers, you can edit your ads preferences in browsers by adding interest categories that are relevant to you. Using the Ads Preferences Manager for browsers and Ads Preferences Manager App for applications, you can remove any interest categories that don’t apply and Google will no longer use them for showing you interest-based ads. You can also change which demographic categories are associated with your browser or anonymous ID. When you edit your ads preferences, your new settings may not take immediate effect, since it takes time for the change to be processed in our systems.
If you prefer not to receive interest-based advertising in web browsers, you can always click on the “Opt out” button on the Ads Preferences Manager. When you are accessing the web through a web browser, Google also offers a number of options to permanently save your opt-out settings in your browser. After you opt out, Google will not collect interest category information and you will not receive interest-based ads. You will still see the same number of ads as before, and Google may still show relevant ads based on the content of a web page, or other non-personal information. For example, if you visit a gardening site, Google can determine the content of the site and may automatically show ads related to gardening to all visitors without using a cookie. Additionally, whenever we serve an ad on Google search or on the sites of our AdSense for search partners, the ads which are displayed may still be based on the search terms you enter.
If you prefer not to receive interest-based advertising in applications and other clients that use an anonymous ID, you can always opt out using the appropriate preferences manager.
The Ads Preferences Manager is a Google site where you can manage settings associated with the ads you see. Our goal is to provide you with transparency and choice about the ads we show you.
Google uses the DoubleClick cookie on AdSense sites, partner sites and certain Google services to serve more relevant ads across the web and limit the number of times a given ad is shown to you. When you visit a website, view an ad, or click on an ad supported by Google’s advertising services, we may set a cookie on your browser. This advertising cookie will appear in your browser as coming from the domain “doubleclick.net.”
When the cookie is set on your browser, it allows Google to gather information about your browser’s interaction with a given ad. This information gets recorded in a log that looks something like this:
time: 06/Aug/2008 12:01:32
The “time” field reflects the time the ad was displayed. The “ad placement id” and “ad id” identify the advertising campaign and the specific ad served. The “userid” is the display ad cookie that identifies the browser. The “client IP” reflects the user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. A “referral URL” indicates the URL of the page where the ad was served. Our logs also record whether a user’s browser clicks on or interacts with an ad.
This information helps Google deliver ads that are relevant to your interests, control the number of times you see a given ad, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Anyone who prefers not to see ads with this level of relevance can opt out of advertising cookies. This opt-out will be specific only to the browser that you are using when you click the “Opt out” button.
To serve ads in applications and other clients where cookie technology is not available, we have engineered an anonymous ID by associating your device ID with a random, anonymous string of characters. To serve ads that are relevant and tailored to your interests, we may use information about your activity in applications or other clients that use an anonymous ID. Some of these applications or other clients also may use non-personally identifying information, such as demographic data, to provide relevant advertising.
Google scans the text of Gmail messages in order to filter spam and detect viruses. The Gmail filtering system also scans for keywords in users’ emails which are then used to match and serve ads. The whole process is automated and involves no humans matching ads to Gmail content.
For additional information about our advertising products and services, check out these FAQs: