I see that Google was the second most-admired brand as well as company in 2013 (Samsung and Apple, respectively, were first). I love the Google Doodle; I don’t know what I’d do without the Google search engine (Bing and Yahoo just don’t do it for me); but I have some problems with Google.
I don’t like feeling tracked, as evidenced by my feelings about Facebook. A few years ago, when CVS started calling me up to remind me to renew my prescriptions, I was so irritated I called their corporate headquarters to get taken off their “needs help remembering” list. (I think all this must come from having an over-protective mother.)
So it used to be that, when I’d read a G mail email, ads would appear along the right-hand side based on what was in the email. One of my friends is very private – she even asked me, when we first started emailing, if I shared an email account (such a crazy thing to do, when email is free, but some people do do this). I never broke it to her that a whole company was reading her emails, but I privately resolved to do something about it.
Okay, so I “opted out.” But, you’ll notice, you still have to see ads! They’re just less relevant.
And so, while I no longer see creepy ads next to my friend’s emails telling me about nice places to go in Vermont (she’s getting worried now, so I’ll stipulate that this is my usual exaggeration for effect), I do get little notices on top of my inbox, like this:
And what does G mail tell me about why I’m getting this?
This ad was based on the email you were viewing. Ads Settings puts you in control of the ads you see.
There’s some internal inconsistency in these G mail messages, but at least I feel less tracked. None of my emails, viewed or not, were asking if I wanted to make more money.