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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Why your face might appear in Google ads, and how to stop it

Posted by on Oct. 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM
  • 13 Replies

Why your face might appear in Google ads, and how to stop it

Heather Kelly, CNN
These examples show how an endorsement might appear in Google Maps, a Google search or Google Shopping.
These examples show how an endorsement might appear in Google Maps, a Google search or Google Shopping.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Google will be able to show people's faces and reviews in ads starting in November
  • "Shared Endorsements" pull from +1s and reviews Google+ users leave for companies
  • Google announced the update to its terms of service on Friday
  • Anyone who does not want their face to appear in ads can opt out

(CNN) -- You're considering buying a new pair of tube socks. A quick Google search pulls up some sock ads and below one of them you see your pal Kimberly's face next to a four-star review she's left for Sal's Sock Emporium. "Great deals on super soft socks, and so many fun colors!"

Google is betting that this type of personal recommendation from a friend will make people more likely to click on an ad.

Starting November 11, Google will be able to include Google+ users' faces, names and comments in ads. The content will be pulled from reviews they've made on Google+ or other tied-in Google services like YouTube or Google Play. The company updated its terms of service on Friday to include the new language allowing these "shared endorsements."

The adver-dorsements won't just appear on regular Google searches. Google ads are a sprawling business and a person's face could show up on any of the 2 million sites that are part of the Google ad network.

It's difficult to avoid Google+, the social network and user identity hub Google has been steadily grafting onto all of its popular services. Even if you don't think you have a Google+ profile, there's a good chance that one exists if you use the company's other services.

Google+ reviews are already used in many of the company's products. Look for a restaurant on Google Maps, for instance, and you'll see a star rating based on public reviews by Google+ users. Leave a review for an album you bought in the Google Play store and that is a usable Google+ endorsement.

If you don't want your face popping up in ads, it's easy to opt out. There is a settings page for Google+ accounts called Shared Endorsements. It explains exactly how the program works. Read through and if you're still uncomfortable with the idea, uncheck the box next to "Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads."

You will still see familiar faces in ads, but your mug should no longer appear in other peoples' searches. If you hit +1 for a site, people in your network will still be able to see that you've liked it, which is not a new feature.

If you are really determined not to show up anywhere, just don't hit +1 or leave reviews on Google products or in the Google Play store.

Other social media companies have toyed with featuring their users' photos in ads. If you Like a company on Facebook or post a positive review on its page, that can be used in that company's Facebook ads.

You may have noticed a sponsored post in your News Feed that shows which of your friends have liked a particular brand. As with Google+ reviews, the key to not appearing in these types of ads is not endorsing brands. (Unlike Google, there's no opt-out option for sponsored stories on Facebook.)

The idea of promoting a brand and sharing positive opinions could appeal to many Google+ users who are already actively leaving reviews. Some people just really love brands, whether they're sports drinks, smartphone makers, movies or video games. They want to broadcast that love to the world, sharing their positive opinions wide and far.

Negative opinions can be equally useful information for their friends and families, but those bad reviews are not usable by advertisers. And for now, there's no -1 button on Google+ or Dislike button for Facebook.

National Woman's Party


by on Oct. 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Oct. 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM
1 mom liked this

 Note to self:  Never use Google+

I never like anything commercial on Facebook at all, and I rarely even comment. 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Oct. 14, 2013 at 6:38 AM
3 moms liked this

I am so sick of this opting out crap for all social media. It should be an opt in process, not the other way around. Companies pull this crap in the hopes that no one will actually opt out, or realize they need to opt out. 

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM

The shared endorsements was already "off" on my Google+, so at least in my case it looks like it was opt in rather than opt out.  I don't have any photos on Google and only one review, which was a thumbs down, so I'm pretty sure they aren't going to be involving me.  

I don't like this trend at all.  

SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Oct. 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I love my Google+ more then Facebook even though i still use Facebook more... Let them use my picture... Its a Nearly naked one of Severus Snape

momtimesx4
by Silver Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM
2 moms liked this

This seems appropriate

 

Nicoleb9
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 10:14 AM
1 mom liked this
That's why I adore my tinfoil hat so much. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, and I never post my pics anywhere online. Facebook especially has proven time and time again that they have zero concern for the privacy of their users and will only honor the privacy rights that the FCC practically forces them to honor. I never even considered that Google Plus would be any different.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Oct. 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

 This

Quoting TranquilMind:

 Note to self:  Never use Google+

I never like anything commercial on Facebook at all, and I rarely even comment. 

 

www.cafemom.com/group/116692
taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 1:54 AM
Yet another reason I have no pictures of me on any of my online accounts. They really need to make garbage like this an opt-in instead of an opt-out, though.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 2:43 AM
Quoting Nicoleb9:

I never post my pics anywhere online

Good.  I keep telling people, but they never listen...

If you post a picture of yourself, using an anonymous nick, there's a feature in google images search that lets you find similar pictures, that anyone can use to trace all other copies of a picture, including ones that you've posted using your real name.

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Oct. 15, 2013 at 2:55 AM

Glad I don't use google +

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