/>
X
Innovation

Tired of weight-loss ads? Google offers more control over the ads you see

Google is giving users a way to control which ads they see, including the ability to block whole categories of ads.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on
Person using an Android phone.
Image: Shutterstock/MS_studio

Google on Thursday began rolling out a new tool that gives users more control over the ads they see when using Google products – without hampering the way products like Google Search, Discover, and YouTube actually work. My Ad Center, among other things, lets users block whole categories of ads they're not interested in, including topics like weight loss, gambling, and dating. 

As previewed earlier this year during the Google I/O conference, My Ad Center allows you to tell Google whether you'd like to see more or fewer ads on a certain topic – or even no personalized ads at all. 

Previously, turning off personalized ads within Google required limiting the functionality of its products. 

"In the past, if your YouTube History was on, it automatically informed how your ads were personalized," Google VP Jerry Dischler wrote in a blog post. "Now, if you don't want your YouTube History to be used for ads personalization, you can turn it off in My Ad Center, without impacting relevant recommendations in your feed."

Also: Google Messages will finally let you react with emojis to iPhone texts - but there's a catch

When you're signed in to Google, you can access My Ad Center by tapping on the three-dot menu next to an ad in Search, YouTube, or Discover. Then, you can choose whether to see more or fewer related ads. 

If you tap on the Customize Ads button at the bottom of My Ad Center, you can choose the topics and brands you want to see more or less of. You can also limit ads related to topics categorized as sensitive, such as alcohol, dating, weight loss, gambling, pregnancy, and parenting.

If you toggle off personalized ads completely with the button at the top of My Ad Center, you'll see ads – they just won't be customized. Toggling off personalized ads applies not only to ads on Google products but also to ads from businesses that use Google tools to advertise on other sites and apps.

Google ads on a phone
Image: Google
Editorial standards