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19 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

Not always. Most of the ones I've seen have nothing at all to do with my browsing history. Considering I've spent most of the evening trying to find a hotel in Yorkshire then I would expect loads of hotel or travel adverts.

 

I've certainly not been looking for clothes, ladies shoes, gyms, dating, perfume, etc. YMMV.   ;)

 

It's not based on recent history, rather a profile that google has built up of you over time. This means if you are on a shared computer then it may well have other peoples history as well. You can see what categories Google associates with you by visiting this link https://adssettings.google.com/

 

In a case where you are not logged into a Google account it will also pull data based on any other devices connected to the same internet connection as you, based on the IP Address of your connection.

 

So yes it is based on browsing history, unless this setting has been disabled, as I mentioned in my previous comment.

 

16 minutes ago, Sol said:

I have no problems with ads as long as they relate to the forum - that is in the main.... Model Rail

 

If I want to look for other items that bear no resemblance to this obby, then i will search using Google or Bing or whatever !! 

 

There is a solution to this. Allow me to quote myself from earlier.

 

10 hours ago, BlueLightning said:

 

It was a tongue in cheek response to the "problem" of white space caused by an adblocker, pointing out that the ads are there to help pay for the resource we are all able to use for free.

 

An actual fix would be to sign up for Gold membership as Andy has already said that those ads are gone for those members.

 

Alternatively Warners could decide that carrying on losing money keeping RMWeb alive is no longer worth it and pull the plug. The white spaces would go away then. I'd rather have the adverts until I can afford to spend the money on Gold though. 

 

Gary

 

Websites cost money to run, we are allowed access to this one for free, despite it being the single most useful resource to this hobby. Give Andy a break, if you have constructive comments I'm sure he is glad to hear them, but if you are just going to moan, he has enough on his plate providing you with the ability to do so.

 

Gary

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Nope. It's a personal computer which gets a full delete about once a month. Mostly used for hobby related things such as music, trains, travel, etc. If it was based on my search history then I would expect things related to things I've looked at. Not getting any whatsoever.

 

I've never looked at clothing or anything else on it. I've certainly never looked at dating, gyms or perfume. No other devices are in use at this address.

 

I have a different laptop for work related things which doesn't get used at this address. The only phone is attached to the wall.

 

So if everyone is seeing this advert then it's not my fault.

 

2019-11-27.png.6662db7f9fe6f7a1518e2eefc2d28205.png

 

 

 

 

Jason

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I could go fully into the technicalities of how it works rather than the brief overview I gave. However I don't think that's a thing for this forum, and honestly it's quite boring. Please just trust me Google have profiled you, this is what they think you will want to see. They are far from perfect, as it is a computer making these assumptions, and computers are dumb, no matter how fancy we make them look. Just because you haven't looked at these things doesn't mean you wouldn't want to (from its perspective others that have looked at what you look at do, so maybe you do to). Clearing everything every month would give them a less clear picture, so they would make much wilder assumptions. As a professional in this industry I have never understood why people feel the need to delete everything so regularly, but that's just me. 

 

Again the link I posted before will tell you what these assumptions are. You can even remove things from there and never see them again.

 

If you want more info drop me a PM and I'll be happy to explain just how it all work, to whatever level of detail you want. It is my job after all.

 

Gary

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6 hours ago, BlueLightning said:

You can see what categories Google associates with you by visiting this link https://adssettings.google.com/

 

Thanks for the tip, I wasn't aware of that.

 

6 hours ago, BlueLightning said:

They are far from perfect, as it is a computer making these assumptions, and computers are dumb

 

Looking at my profile, I'm surprised how wrong Google is. Of the 15 categories, only my age, gender and marital status are correct. I can explain some of it - but far from all - with my family members who are on the same connection. But in any case the  resulting profile of me is really quite far removed from my interests and what stuff I might be interested in buying. I thought the software was much more advanced.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

Looking at my profile, I'm surprised how wrong Google is.... I thought the software was much more advanced.

 

 

 

Not a problem Mikkel.

 

Some of the things it thinks make no sense what so ever. Until I went through it yesterday it thought I was was a married, single parent, with no kids!! 

 

It's attempts at being clever really can be bad, as it is based around 'You visited A and B, lots of people that visit A and B also like C, so you must like C' paying no attention to if C falls way outside your other interests. 

 

Gary 

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Why on earth is anyone actually letting Google build up a profile of them?

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Because at this point, it is almost impossible to use the internet without them building up a profile. I would rather they didn't, but no matter how many things you do to try and prevent it, they will have a way around it.

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20 minutes ago, Reorte said:

Why on earth is anyone actually letting Google build up a profile of them?

You're naive to assume that you have any power over that. Your question should be "why on earth is anyone who cares about stuff like that using the internet?".

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12 minutes ago, njee20 said:

You're naive to assume that you have any power over that. Your question should be "why on earth is anyone who cares about stuff like that using the internet?".

 

A bit one extreme or the other there.  Certainly any non-specific ads (i.e. not the model ones on here, which are presumably tailored to the site rather than the individual) that I see look pretty random.

 

24 minutes ago, BlueLightning said:

Because at this point, it is almost impossible to use the internet without them building up a profile. I would rather they didn't, but no matter how many things you do to try and prevent it, they will have a way around it.

 

They can probably gather a bit but it doesn't take much to make it fairly meaningless. No need at all to be signed in to Google for anything, IP address is a pretty unreliable method, and cookies are only stored between sessions for a small number of sites I regularly sign in to (such as this one, and then generally not third-party ones). People upthread were talking about looking at Google settings and looking at profiles - you've got to be actively going along with it to have any settings to access!

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29 minutes ago, Reorte said:

IP address is a pretty unreliable method,

 

I completely agree, one of many issues with googles data collection system. Doesn't stop them trying, and it's not the only method they use, even when everything else your end is blocked.

 

30 minutes ago, Reorte said:

cookies are only stored between sessions for a small number of sites I regularly sign in to (such as this one, and then generally not third-party ones).

 

Blocking third party cookies will help stop you being tracked, but not make it impossible. You would be amazed the things that can be seen about you on the web.

 

As an example, the analytics software for my website (not googles own one, I do try to reduce the tracking) will tell me what country someone is from, most of their IP address, but not the last block, what browser they use, and any plugins they have installed, what operating system they use, what device they are on, and what screen size they are viewing with. To me all this data is pointless, and I have no desire to know it (I just want to know visitor numbers, and what pages are being viewed) but it is all there, and while my site ignores people with "Do Not Track" turned on, this is optional, and a good number of sites ignore that.

 

36 minutes ago, Reorte said:

you've got to be actively going along with it to have any settings to access! 

 

Unfortunately not. Google won't be able to do as good a job without being logged in, but they still do their best.

 

Even if you turn off "Ad personalisation" they still track you, as they will use your data to try and improve the algorithms that personalise it for everyone else.

 

The EU's "Right to be Forgotten" law can help those that are citizens on EU member countries, as Google are very good at following requests made through that (although they never used to be until they received a rather large fine from the ECHR). I don't know if similar laws exist in the rest of the world.

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I certainly don't have a problem with the extra Ads and simply ignore them. What annoys is their loading time which leads to clicking in the wrong place, then having to go back, wait and then click again. Less time spent reading different threads, so fewer Ads seen that generate revenue.

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1 hour ago, Dungrange said:

 

...

 

Why does everyone have to be cynical about the collection of data? 

...

Perhaps it's simply a consequence of using lots of data of this type that I simply am not paranoid about the type of data that Google collects.

I'm not paranoid about it, I just find it extremely distasteful. It fails my "mind your own business" test. Relevant advertising based on the purpose of the site I'm visiting doesn't fail that test, trying to build up an image of me and shove them in my face anywhere else definitely does.

 

I can understand that some people aren't bothered; I find that a bit strange, but I can get my head around it, but unfortunately those who defend it (or at least are uninterested in it) often don't appear to understand those who do. Put it this way - I'm sure we've all got a limit somewhere where we'd draw the line. Mine is pretty close to one extreme, finding just about any recording, monitoring, and profiling obnoxious and unpleasant, generally only tolerating the minimum required to do a task (e.g. recording phone numbers and call lengths and times is necessary to work out the bill). It's not right at the extreme (otherwise I'd be bothered about, say, completely anonymous counts of people going past), but fairly close to it, and is one of the more significant downsides of modern life.

 

So neither cynicism or paranoia, just intense dislike of it all.

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7 minutes ago, Reorte said:

I'm not paranoid about it, I just find it extremely distasteful. It fails my "mind your own business" test. Relevant advertising based on the purpose of the site I'm visiting doesn't fail that test, trying to build up an image of me and shove them in my face anywhere else definitely does.

 

I can understand that some people aren't bothered; I find that a bit strange, but I can get my head around it, but unfortunately those who defend it (or at least are uninterested in it) often don't appear to understand those who do. Put it this way - I'm sure we've all got a limit somewhere where we'd draw the line. Mine is pretty close to one extreme, finding just about any recording, monitoring, and profiling obnoxious and unpleasant, generally only tolerating the minimum required to do a task (e.g. recording phone numbers and call lengths and times is necessary to work out the bill). It's not right at the extreme (otherwise I'd be bothered about, say, completely anonymous counts of people going past), but fairly close to it, and is one of the more significant downsides of modern life.

 

So neither cynicism or paranoia, just intense dislike of it all.

So I would expect this is the only social media(ish) site you use?

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13 minutes ago, dhjgreen said:

So I would expect this is the only social media(ish) site you use?

 

Why expect that?

 

I use some other forums. I don't use anything like Facebook. Not liking people trying to find out information doesn't necessarily imply having a problem with putting out information that I choose to. It's all about respecting the individual.

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1 minute ago, Reorte said:

 

Why expect that?

 

I use some other forums. I don't use anything like Facebook. Not liking people trying to find out information doesn't necessarily imply having a problem with putting out information that I choose to. It's all about respecting the individual.

Because I regard most of social media as information farms with far more targetted ads than we get here.  I steer well clear.

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1 minute ago, dhjgreen said:

Because I regard most of social media as information farms with far more targetted ads than we get here.  I steer well clear.

 

The big mainstream ones certainly, and I don't use them (although I doubt I would even if they were advert and information-gathering free).

 

Actually there is an exception, I do have a YouTube account so I can see if there have been updates on any channels I subscribe to, although I don't generally sign in to it when I use YouTube.

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2 minutes ago, Reorte said:

Maybe it's just as well I don't get that reference.

in some respects it's quite flattering.

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24 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

in some respects it's quite flattering.

Then I apologise for being overly cynical!

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All of a sudden I'm getting adverts in posts for a major political party.  It's not Conservate or Liberal or Brexit.  Can you guess which one it is?  Rmweb is no longer a politics free zone!

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1 hour ago, Metr0Land said:

All of a sudden I'm getting adverts in posts for a major political party.  It's not Conservate or Liberal or Brexit.  Can you guess which one it is?  Rmweb is no longer a politics free zone!

 

Those ads will be served by Google rather than RMweb or Warners directly based on target markets. You can click on the icon at the top right of those ads and advise Google so they can serve alternatives. Indirectly those advertisers are paying for the facilities used. 

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Thanks.  Needless to say Google's way of handling this is complex and half-hearted (why am I not surprised when they think I'm a target for Equipe Rouge) but I've discovered Ad-Blocker Plus in Firefox seems to do the trick. 

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Evening,

 

I find all this fascinating and very reassuring.When Skynet aka Google takes over I know the Terminators will completely avoid me if their current attempts to profile me are anything to go by. I have yet to see a Google served ad that appeals. And the advertisers are paying Google for this!? They may want to reconsider.

 

Still if it brings in revenue for RMWeb....

 

PJ10

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