Well there you have it, folks. Last Friday, Google announced that they’ll now feature your profile name and photo (age 18+) on all Google products (reviews, advertising, and commercial materials) beginning November 11, 2013.

The news came out as a result of a change that appeared in the company’s Terms of Service. All reviews, ratings, comments, recommendations, and endorsements will appear alongside a profile picture and a name and will only target connections – people whom users have connections with on Google+, YouTube or other Google products. If you’re curious, it’ll look something like this:

Google Ads Will Now Feature Users Names, Photos, and Comments | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

We have to admit, it’s a bit creepy, but we realize that it’s just the nature of the online world now. Targeted ads aren’t anything new. Online reviews aren’t anything new. And like we’ve mentioned before, Google is seriously tunnel-focused on providing more helpful and relevant information to the user and this is another attempt at doing just that.

How to Prevent Personal Information From Appearing on Google Ads

If this update sounds completely crippling to you, the search engine does allow users the ability to limit how much data is used for these online ads. They mention (in bold font) that “you’re in control of what you share”. So here’s how you take control: 

Use Google’s Provided Way to Opt-Out 

  • You can opt-out by visiting this page.
  • Enable or disable the setting that allows people to see your name in photo displayed in Shared Endorsements on ads by checking or unchecking the box shown at the bottom of the page:

Google Ads Will Now Feature Users Names, Photos, and Comments | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

The name and profile photo shown in Shared Endorsements is the same name and photo on your Google+ account. The fine print mentions that changing this setting doesn’t necessarily prevent shared endorsements from appearing on other non-ad spaces, like Google Play. That’ll just have to require the deletion of the related activity or post or modifying the visibility settings in Google+.

Additional Ad Settings

Google has also provided a way for users to modify Ad Settings, which allows you to control what Google ads display about you, any advertising campaigns you’ve blocked, or interest-based ads you’ve opted-out from.

The fact of the matter is, due to the rate and nature of users sharing experiences online, the digital world isn’t getting any more private. For those of us who wouldn’t want their information displayed, it’ll have to take some precaution on the our part to take action and control of what we’re sharing. This change definitely reflects the growing expansion of online data and ever growing importance of personal endorsements and word-of-mouth for both marketers and customers.


About Small Screen Producer

Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.