You’re probably familiar with Google’s AdSense Contextual ad network that displays ads on websites based on the context of the content on the page. Now we are introduced to yet another type of ad network. Google has launched in beta what they call “Ad Preferences.”
Ad Preferences displays ads to the user based on the user’s interests as edited by the user and as interpreted by the user’s search history, websites visited, etc. In Google’s words:
As you browse certain Google services and websites that have partnered with us using our AdSense program, Google stores a cookie in your browser to understand the types of pages you visit (this cookie appears as .doubleclick.net in your browser). Based on this information, Google associates your browser with relevant interest categories and uses these categories to show interest-based ads on participating websites.
Google has also published this video to explain Ad Preferences.
Before you become alarmed with concerns of online privacy, know that Google does enable you to opt-out of the tracking and it claims they do not capture any personal data. But you should probably look into it more yourself. Here is where you can read more about how Google’s Interest Ads work and also the FAQ’s. Here is where you may opt out of Google Ad Preferences on your computer or set your preferences.