With the announcement of Google+ started the mission to streamline and align users across Google products. What Google wanted was to identify you as a single person across all the products Google has to offer. Definitely better for Google without the slightest of doubt, but bad for users, who wanted to have different identities. The latest onslaught of this came on 10/11 when Google updated its terms of service on Friday to allow the company to slap your real name and face alongside ads, under an expansion of its “shared endorsements” program.
If you haven’t forgotten already, Google+ users can not have pseudonyms – they got to use their their real names. First Google let people signup for Google+ and then the users were forced to signup for Google+ for any new Google account, even if you wanted only Gmail. In the summer this year, Google began coaxing YouTube account holders into adopting Google+ accounts and then a few weeks back YouTube comments were made to be powered exclusively by Google+.
When searching the web, Google+ identified when your buddies +1’d a given site. Now, Google’s bringing your real name, face, reviews, and comments to Search ads across the web. Sounds bad? Maybe not for the time being – Google gives you the opportunity to opt out of its ad program. Hope you remember that Facebook forces all users to participate in “sponsored stories.”
If you are under 18, you may see shared endorsements from others but your own name and profile will not be paired with shared endorsements in ads and certain other contexts. You’ll have to manually tell Google to leave your name out of its ads if you’re over 18. Fortunately, it’s easy to do so. And that is what I’ll show you today.
How to Avoid Your Real Name and Face from Google’s Ads
Head out to the opt-out box, found at the Google Plus settings page for shared endorsements, does use the language of opting in: “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” All you need to do is to uncheck this box (shown in the pointer below), which by default is checked for Google Plus users.
Hope that helps!