Google adds customizable ads on search and YouTube

    • Google unveiled a new ad experience at its keynote conference this week, giving users more control over what ad content they see. A new feature will arrive later this year across Google’s suite of apps and websites, including YouTube and Search.
    • Under My Ads Center, users can follow brands and elect to see more ads from a specific business depending on their preferences and current interests. The system intends to act as a hub for users to manage their advertiser interactions, ranging from blocking or reporting content to viewing details on an ad’s funding sources and targeting metrics.
    • The change follows last month’s update to Google’s Ad Settings that let users begin to limit ads pertaining to certain topics like gambling, alcohol or dating, as well as an antitrust complaint centered on its ad-tech ecosystem.

    Google wants to give consumers more control over their ad experience as it seeks to double down on personalization and privacy.

    The features under My Ads Center will roll out later this year, allowing users across its suite of apps and websites to fine-tune their ad preferences by liking, blocking or reporting content. They will also be able to see who provided the funding to place the ads. YouTube viewers watching car reviews can select the “hybrid alternative vehicles” category to prioritize ads related to that topic over traditional fuel cars, per the example in Google’s announcement.

    The new features should allow users to select subjects they wish to see more of, though it’s unclear how many people will take the time to opt-in to follow a brand or receive more of their content. However, the tools also let users more easily block ads or brands altogether, ultimately giving them more control over their internet experience via the new My Ads Center.

    For brands, the new feature is designed to boost ad engagement and reach consumers who are more likely to be interested in their content as third-party cookies are phased out.

    Google this week also announced it will add new brand suitability tools to guide advertisers in their decision-making around media buys on YouTube, Adweek reported. These features will let advertisers apply brand safety categories more consistently across Google properties and help them understand how their brand safety decisions impact ad reach.

    Privacy has been a core issue for Google in recent years. The tech giant announced more than two years ago that it would phase out cookies in an effort to elevate privacy, though the timeline for the phaseout has changed several times as Google tries to develop viable alternatives at scale. The new My Ads Center is separate from the Topics targeting approach currently being tested within Google’s Privacy Sandbox, as these categories are explicitly noted by users and not informed by their browsing history.


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