It’s either fortunate or unfortunate that advertising has to be a part of life, depending on whether you’re a business owner or a consumer, but when used appropriately, I’m of the personal opinion that it can lead to an improved quality of life, as well as better revenue for small businesses. That’s why it’s so vital for ads to be both personalized and ethically implemented in a way that respects the user and their online preferences.
YouTube’s Ad Personalization dashboard has offered tightly customizable controls for some time now, even down to which topics you’d like ads presented to you to encompass. You can enable or disable things like ads about video games, shopping, local news, and so much more. However, some categories may not be appropriate on any level for some people. Let’s say recovering alcoholics, people trying to avoid dating services, gambling, and so on.
In an update to the YouTube ad personalization experience, the company is now letting you “see fewer” of more sensitive topics like those aforementioned, as well as things like weight loss and pregnancy. Clicking the button as seen below will prompt you to confirm that you’d like to tone down the amount you see for the specified category.
You should see fewer ads for this category when you are signed in to your Google Account on YouTube. This won’t change the total number of ads you see.
Once you tailor these to your liking, you’ll see a message that says “We’ll try not to show ads from this category”, informing you that Google’s algorithm will try to respect your wishes going forward. The system isn’t perfect, especially where things like alcohol may appear in a larger image that’s not tagged as such, but it does the best it can, and it’s always improving!
I’ve not yet tailored my ad settings across my Google account or YouTube, so I’m going to take some time to do so. In all honesty, I wish I could just turn ads off entirely, but it is what it is, I guess. Let me know in the comments whether or not you’ve gone through this process, or if you will after reading this!