How Ads Work

We do not sell your personal information to anyone.

Much of our business is based on showing ads, both on Google services and on websites and mobile apps that partner with us. Ads help keep our services free for everyone. We use data to show you these ads, but we do not sell personal information like your name, email address, and payment information.

We use data to make ads relevant

We try to show you useful ads by using data collected from your devices, including your searches and location, websites and apps you have used, videos and ads you have seen, and personal information you have given us, such as your age range, gender, and topics of interest.

If you are signed in and depending on your Ads Settings, this data informs the ads you see across your devices. So if you visit a travel website on your computer at work, you might see ads about airfares to Paris on your phone later that night.

Advertisers pay only for ads that people see or tap

When advertisers run ad campaigns with us, they pay us based only on how those ads actually perform — never on your personal information. That could include each time someone views or taps an ad, or takes an action having seen an ad, like downloading an app or filling out a request form.

We show advertisers how well their campaigns worked

We give advertisers data about their ads’ performance, but we do so without revealing any of your personal information. At every point in the process of showing you ads, we keep your personal information protected and private.

How ads work on Google services and partner sites

We use data to show ads that are useful to you, whether they are on Google services or websites and mobile apps that partner with us.

Different colored bikes in a browser window

How Search ads work

When you use Google Search, ads may appear next to or above relevant search results. Most of the time, these ads are prompted by the search you just did and your location. For example, if you search for “bikes,” you might see ads for bicycles on sale near you.

In other cases, we use additional data like your past searches or sites you have visited to help deliver more useful ads. Since you have already searched for “bikes,” if you now search for “vacations,” you might see Search ads for places to go biking while on vacation.

Google Ads in Gmail highlighted in yellow

How YouTube ads work

When you watch videos on YouTube, you may see ads playing beforehand or on the video page. These ads are based on the videos you have watched and other data like your current and recent YouTube searches.

For example, if you search for “fashion tips” or watch beauty-related videos, you might see an ad for a new beauty series. These ads help support the creators of the videos you watch.

You can skip many YouTube ads if you don’t want to watch them.

YouTube video of happy woman has pop-up ad for trendy sunglasses

How Gmail ads work

The ads you see in Gmail are based on data associated with your Google Account. For example, your activity in other Google services like YouTube or Search could affect the types of ads you see in Gmail. Google does not use keywords or messages in your inbox to show you ads. Nobody reads your email in order to show you ads.

Browser with a profile photo has an ad for stylish green bag

How ads work on Google partner sites

Many websites and mobile apps partner with us to show ads. These advertisers decide to show given ads to audience “types” based on personal information our users have shared with us and data we collect about your online activities: for instance, “25 – 34 year old males who are interested in travel.”

We might also show you ads based on sites you have previously visited — for example, you might see an ad for those red shoes you added to your online shopping cart but decided not to buy. But we do this without revealing any personal information, such as your name, email address, or billing information.

Take control of your Google ads experience

We give you tools to control the types of ads you see whether you are signed in or signed out.

Tablet with Ad Settings and an ad for sunglasses

Control ads based on your preferences

In your Ads Settings, you can control ads based on what topics you are interested in. For example, if you use the Ads Personalization settings to tell Google that you like pop music, you might see ads for upcoming releases and shows near you when you are signed in to YouTube.

If you turn off Ads Personalization while you are signed in, we will stop showing you ads related to your interests across Google services as well as websites and apps that partner with us. If you are signed out, turning off Ads Personalization affects only Google services where ads are shown.

Google ad for a green car with a mute button at the top

Remove ads you do not want to see

We give you the ability to Mute This Ad on many of the ads we show through our partner websites and apps. By selecting the “X” in the corner of the ad, you can remove ads you no longer find relevant.

For example, car ads might have been helpful while you were in the market for a new car, but once you are happily cruising in your new vehicle, you probably do not want to see more ads from Google for that car you just bought.

If you are signed in and depending on your Ads Settings, this control will take effect across your signed-in devices on websites and apps that partner with us.

You can also block ads without signing in by using Block This Advertiser on Google services that show ads.

Ad for sunglasses with an info button in the top right

Learn what data we use to show you ads

We want to help you better understand the data that is being used to show you ads. Why This Ad is a feature that allows you to click a prompt in order to learn why you are seeing a given ad. For example, you might be seeing that ad for a dress because you have been visiting fashion websites. Or if you see an ad for a restaurant, you may discover it is because of your location. This type of data helps us show you ads about things you might find useful. But remember, we never share this data with advertisers.