Let’s say that you go to a new pizza place in town, Polly’s Perfect Pizza, and enjoy the best pepperoni stromboli you’ve ever tasted. You want to share your discovery with the world so you go to their website and give them a +1 and post a positive review to Google Plus, making your review available to the public.
If Polly’s Perfect Pizza purchases an ad from Google, your review can appear in their ad, including your name and your face. Your glowing words of praise can be featured in their paid Google advertisement along with your photo and your name.
Here are examples of how Google can use your name, photo and recommendations:
That may be okay with you, you may not have a problem with your reviews appearing in Google ads. If so, you don’t need to do anything. The default privacy setting is to allow your Google Plus and Google Play reviews to appear in ads. (Note that a few people have reported that their default privacy setting was off for this feature.)
If you would prefer not to have your reviews appear in paid ads, you can opt of of this privacy setting. Go to the Google Endorsements page and uncheck the box. Click Save and you’re done.
Reviewing Your +1’s and Reviews
Not sure what you’ve endorsed? Go to your Google Plus profile and look at the menu bar at the top. Click on +1 and/or Reviews to see your history for Google Plus and Google Play.
What Else You Need to Know
If you allow your reviews to be included in ads, your sharing settings don’t change. If you post your review to the public, then anyone can see your review in an ad. If you posted your review to a circle, then only people in that circle will be able to see your review in the ad.
For example, if your review of Polly’s Perfect Pizza was shared only with your Pizza Pals Google Plus circle, then only people in your Pizza Pals circle would be able to see your review in Polly’s Perfect Pizza ad on Google.
If you allow Google to use your face and name in paid ads you do not get paid for your endorsement. Unless, of course, you’re a famous celebrity and your agent negotiates a paid endorsement for you. That’s different.
Reviews from users under age 18 are not included in ads.
While this news from Google may get you a bit riled, note that Facebook changed its policy to include your Likes in ads without giving you the ability to opt out.
See, Cult of Android, Why You Might Want Your Face in Google’s Ads
Will you be opting out of Google’s ad recommendations? Do you want your name and face used in Google ads? Do you wish Facebook had an opt out option? Let us know in the Comments section below!