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According to Google I am an 18-24 year-old male. Or maybe it just means I'm a juvenile dick.
January 26, 2012 12:02 AM   Subscribe

They are off by 20 years and a set of genitals in my case... Follow the link in the text to find out if Google has done any better with you.
posted by moneyjane (133 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
You currently do not have an ‘id’ cookie. Opt in

Thanks for the offer, but no.
posted by vidur at 12:12 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Isn’t it good enough for them to know that your ad preferences are similar to a certain demographic’s?
posted by wachhundfisch at 12:13 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to turn off Adblock Plus to understand?
posted by flabdablet at 12:15 AM on January 26, 2012 [32 favorites]


Isn’t it good enough for them to know that your ad preferences are similar to a certain demographic’s?
Yeah, people are getting worked up about the wrong thing for the past few days. Google is being remarkably transparent about their advertising system. Give the guys some credit, they could have tried to hide behind a smoke screen of trade secrets and proprietary implementation details.

There are plenty of bad things Google does, but this does not appear to be one of them.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:15 AM on January 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


18-24? Oh Google, you sweet talker you.
posted by adamt at 12:16 AM on January 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


Pretty close. It pegged me as 25-34 male interests in Arts & Entertainment - Movies - Movie Reference - Movie Reviews & Previews,Computers & Electronics - Programming,Shopping.

Almost as good as My Mefi, which has me totally pegged.

food nyc Google film music art microsoft video newyork youtube internet games Hacking politics wikileaks history movies reddit security videogames cooking Apple books occupywallstreet Gaming
posted by Ad hominem at 12:16 AM on January 26, 2012


"No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far."

Whew!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:20 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far."

I got that too. I assume this is because I have never clicked on an internet ad in my life?
posted by fshgrl at 12:21 AM on January 26, 2012


Someone who wanted to cause a bit of commotion should start a campaign to swap id cookies. Set up a simple site to post your cookies, get new cookies, and instructions on how to edit the cookies on your system.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:22 AM on January 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


You currently do not have an ‘id’ cookie. Opt in

I'm holding out for a superego cookie.
posted by moneyjane at 12:25 AM on January 26, 2012 [45 favorites]


18-24 year old male? Damn it, I had just updated gender in my MeFi profile, too.

I swear to God, if Google starts trying to sell me Axe, they will learn what being evil really means.
posted by maudlin at 12:26 AM on January 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, my cookie says I'm interested in candy. Hmmm....

Off on the age by thirty years though.
posted by dibblda at 12:27 AM on January 26, 2012


There seems to be a total conflict of interest in the browser space that is preventing users from having easy access to blowing this information away (or opting out by not storing anything)

Mozilla makes too much money from google to bite the band that feeds it, I'm sure Apple is mining this info to the cows come home. Google natch.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:32 AM on January 26, 2012


"Is this something I'd need to turn off Adblock Plus to understand?"

No, because that doesn't completely block it. At least not in my case.
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Dance & Electronic Music
Age: 25-34
Gender: Male
I dunno. As mentioned, any individual identification is not very meaningful and it's pretty stupid of Slate to argue that it is. Given the amount of data available to Google, I'd guess that it's right much more often than wrong and a survey of Slate staffers is not going to be anything close to a representative sample of the population for which this has been normalized to. Neither is MetaFilter, for that matter.

In my case, 25-34 is a long way from 47, but then I'm about as representative of American 47 year-old men as I am of 16 year-old girls.

Per flabdablet's comment, though, it's not clear to me how much data Google has been able to gather about me via their usual methods. I do use numerous Google products and remain signed-in, and also allow and use their search history, which presumably would give a pretty good idea of my demographics, but who knows. Not having ad cookies available to track across all browsed web pages is surely a loss of a great deal of data, however.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:34 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've found this one to be convenient and intuitive.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:34 AM on January 26, 2012


A little off on the interests for me and an age bracket off.

To be honest I don't mind if Google figures out what I like because that means that the ads they present to me might actually be useful and informative. Those ads from the Deck or whatever that are now on the front page, because they're targeted to the Metafilter audience, have been interesting to me at least twice. If don't see Google thinking I like basketball and political news being a very big threat.
posted by Defenestrator at 12:38 AM on January 26, 2012


that doesn't completely block it. At least not in my case.

All my instances of Adblock Plus are subscribed to EasyPrivacy+EasyList. What do yours use?
posted by flabdablet at 12:38 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I, too, have never intentionally clicked on an internet ad in my life, and I can't imagine a single reason why I would.
posted by Decani at 12:48 AM on January 26, 2012


Is Google the new Gaga?
posted by infini at 12:57 AM on January 26, 2012


"All my instances of Adblock Plus are subscribed to EasyPrivacy+EasyList. What do yours use?"

Yeah, I'm not subscribed to EasyPrivacy. I don't care that much about privacy, so I've decided to not add it. I keep PeerBlock running, too, but I'm not using any of the privacy lists there, either. Do you? I'd think that if it really mattered to one, blocking these folk at that level would be best.

My Adblock Plus extension for Chrome was wonky last week, though, sporadically allowing ads through for no reason I could discern. I manually forced list updates and that solved the problem each time, but it was weird. I was like, whoah, what are these things cluttering the web pages I'm reading, wait, is that what they call "advertisements?" It was disconcerting.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:58 AM on January 26, 2012


Except guessing I'm 20 years younger, the rest was spot on.

I'll still not click on an internet ad.
posted by _paegan_ at 1:00 AM on January 26, 2012


I just clicked on one those ads from The Deck, an ad for iPads or something, just to see what clicking an ad was like. It was ok, I guess I would do it again.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:02 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Google thinks I'm an old woman from Long Island. I feel really uncool.
posted by gentian at 1:09 AM on January 26, 2012


Golf.

Wait, what?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:09 AM on January 26, 2012


Hang on - I thought you couldn't opt out of this. How come there's an 'opt out' option that installs an 'opt out' plug-in?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:11 AM on January 26, 2012


Age: 18-24
Gender: Male


That's me all right... OH GOD! WHERE IS MY PENIS!
posted by louche mustachio at 1:12 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I, too, have never intentionally clicked on an internet ad in my life, and I can't imagine a single reason why I would.

Well, if I was in business, and if I found a google ad for my local competition, I could enjoy the small-minded thrill of costing them money for no sales outcome.

Oh wait, I am in business...
posted by Kerasia at 1:13 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Watching cartoons will make you 20 years younger.

I knew it.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:14 AM on January 26, 2012


18-24 Male, I'm 40. I guess I used the walkthrough for Dark Souls too much.
posted by biffa at 1:15 AM on January 26, 2012


It guessed my age at 65+. Makes me feel like having a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
posted by misteraitch at 1:16 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


They have my demo pegged. If they hadn't built a browser with an extension system, and helped me to install that ad blocking extension, they could be serving me some highly relevant ads.
posted by mullingitover at 1:17 AM on January 26, 2012


Oh, it is the cartoons - Yup, shears off 20 years. Can't figure out how I'm a physics and rock lovin' male, though. (Oh, my alter ego?)
posted by Surfurrus at 1:19 AM on January 26, 2012


It was correct on all accounts, including about my ferocious syphilis.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:41 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


googleads.g.doubleclick.net set to 127.0.0.1 in my HOSTS file here. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:41 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Google thinks I'm over 65. I'm not sure what to think about that, being in my early twenties.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:47 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The reason given for these targeted ads is that they're more individualized. However the opposite seems to be true. They don't personalize, but rather generalize.
posted by chomarui at 1:48 AM on January 26, 2012


My girlfriend is an 18-24 male.

Their estimation of me seems pretty spot on. I'm just no longer so sure about mine.
posted by pompomtom at 1:49 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


18-24... yeah, I'm still down with the kids! *does some dad dancing*
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:12 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think mine has judged me based on my YouTube videos as of late. Lots of AWOLNATION, The Killers, and Foster the People. And then a more than healthy dosage of Gordon Ramsay. Thus:

Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Rock Music
Food & Drink - Cooking & Recipes


Demographics:

Age: 18-24
Gender: Male


Male, yes. But almost 31! Although my music tastes are greatly influenced by the local college station so I'm guessing that's why it chose the range it did.
posted by sbutler at 2:14 AM on January 26, 2012


Kind of thinking either the algorithm itself is male-biased or Metafilter has a high population of women with 'male interests' whatever that could possibly mean. But I'm going with the algorithm.

I'm also a male, apparently.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:14 AM on January 26, 2012


18-24, which makes me immature for my real age. Or youthful.

I was expecting 13 year old male, considering how immature my tastes really are.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:16 AM on January 26, 2012


I got 18 - 24 year old female. Hmmm. My preferences were "food" "beauty" "Asia."

I guess that's almost right. Do I really act 18 - 24 though?
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 2:28 AM on January 26, 2012


Hmm - got my age and gender correct. Apparently I'm interested in:

Renewable & Alternative Energy, Candy & Sweets, Affiliate Programs (web services), Early Childhood Education, Property Management and Foreign Language Resources

Which is news to me
posted by YAMWAK at 2:32 AM on January 26, 2012


I got tagged as a 65+ year old male, which gets the gender right, but is basically four decades off in age. I'm guessing this is because I was looking at Costa Cruises website after the Concordia crash and then lots of stuff about the Congress of Vienna and the Napoleonic Wars for a course I'm teaching on. 'Cruises' and 'Military History' were prominent in my list.
posted by knapah at 2:33 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mine just says "We know."
posted by pracowity at 2:36 AM on January 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


Since I intentionally click on ads for yarn (and literally nothing else...I've got it pretty well trained by now to only show me knitting ads), I have a pretty good feeling what assumptions google is making about me.
posted by zinful at 2:39 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another middle aged female reporting in as an 18-24 male with an interest in shopping, coupons and pennsylvania. I hate shopping, never used a coupon in my life and wouldn't be able to find Pennsylvania on a map. I checked this on an iPhone that is shared by three children, two adults who have no traditional male interests (unless Videogames are still considered "male").
posted by saucysault at 2:41 AM on January 26, 2012


"65+"?! "Travel - Cruises & Charters"?!!

KIDS GEROFF MY LAWN!
posted by Skeptic at 2:43 AM on January 26, 2012


Is this something I'd need to turn off Adblock Plus to understand?

I had to disable Adblock to file my taxes the other day, and went to some of my regular sites- last.fm, facebook, and so on. I don't know how you people manage.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:52 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am going to go out on a limb and say that if it hasn't somehow decided that you display a lot of gender-typical female behavior, it defaults you to being male. I don't think I really like that, but I'm pretty sure that's a typical attitude in advertising. Women like clothes, cleaning products, kids' stuff and cosmetics--men like everything else.

It thinks that I'm a Clevelander (basically true), also in the UK (well, most of my TV watching is, anyway), and that I like comics, video games, RPGs, and food. Okay, great. What I don't get is this:

Business & Industrial
Business & Industrial - Agriculture & Forestry
Business & Industrial - Agriculture & Forestry - Livestock
Business & Industrial - Metals & Mining

Okay, I get the business thing in general, but... metals and mining? I'm not even sure, looking at the entirety of my browsing habits, that you could get anywhere near there from anything but a total misreading of my Gemcraft habit. And the livestock thing, I haven't the faintest.
posted by gracedissolved at 3:07 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


They put you in a special file if you've googled both cartoons and porn.
posted by littlesq at 3:08 AM on January 26, 2012


The non optoutable bit is merging of Google account data across the different services ; you can still customize or opt out entirety of targeted advertising. The keep my opt outs plugin in chrome works quite well to kill off the tracking cookies (same as using the opt out cookie per browser option that's linked on the info page)
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:12 AM on January 26, 2012


18-24 Male. Which, since 40-year-old me and my 9-year-old son use the same computer, is fair enough I guess.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:22 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mine is completely blank. On my home computer (Linux, Firefox, Adblock) I do have an id cookie, but the box that I think you're all looking at is completely empty. Google doesn't claim to know anything about me.

This is actually pretty weird, as I'm exactly the person that google should know every last detail about: GMail and GChat are my main means of communication with most of my friends, their calendar is the glue that prevents my life from crumbling into chaos, I use G+ and Google Groups at least once a week, and I have an Android phone tied to that same account. I'd always assumed that they know more about me than I do myself. And yet... nothing. Unless they're just hiding it for fear of freaking me out? Or maybe there's an opt-out button squirreled away somewhere that I clicked once and then forgot about?

On my work computer (Windows, Firefox, Adblock), I'm told that I "do not have an id cookie" and am asked to opt in. This is surprising too, as my work computer is constantly logged in to my (university-administered) GMail and Docs accounts.
posted by metaBugs at 3:24 AM on January 26, 2012


a set of genitals in my case...

What fucking channel do you go through at customs?
posted by howfar at 3:28 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mine was pretty spot on until it got to:

World Localities - Asia - East Asia - North Korea
World Localities - North America - USA - Midwest (USA) - Missouri - Kansas City

I can understand the North Korea since I was reading a lot about Dear Leader's passing. But Kansas City? No offense to KCians, but Kansas City is pretty close to the bottom of my North America interest.
posted by birdherder at 3:31 AM on January 26, 2012


The categories it attaches to me seem pretty short term, it says podcasts and Portugal as two out of my six, I got my first ipod last week and had never looked them up before, I havven't looked up Portugal for ages until replying to an AskMe last week.
posted by biffa at 4:01 AM on January 26, 2012


Adblock must be working for me, they've got nothin'. As dunkadunc says, I can't imagine how anyone can deal with the web without adblock (and flashblock). It's always a shock when I look at someone else's screen and see all the crap that websites throw at you.
posted by octothorpe at 4:06 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Rock Music
Arts & Entertainment - Performing Arts - Acting & Theater
Age: 25-34
Gender: Female

I must have gotten pregnant in middle school. While listening to Rock Music.
posted by readery at 4:17 AM on January 26, 2012


Mine pretty much said male 18-24, interested in women's fashion.

Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaah!
posted by emmtee at 4:19 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I should be pleased that my age was determined to be 65+, right? Like, it's a measure of my wisdom or something?
posted by shii at 4:28 AM on January 26, 2012


Google thinks I'm 40 years older than I am. Should I be worried?
posted by jet_manifesto at 4:41 AM on January 26, 2012


Yes, shii - wisdom! That's it - wisdom...
posted by jet_manifesto at 4:43 AM on January 26, 2012


I'm another person that uses Gmail, Google Calender, G+ and leave my google account logged in at all times, I get annoyed every few weeks when I have to reenter my password. I was very confused where everyone was looking until I finally found this: "No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far. " And it does have a cookie on me since I have the option to opt out. Wonder how it doesn't have anything on me.
posted by Phantomx at 4:45 AM on January 26, 2012


I'm apparently a 65+ year old man. (That's 35 years older, and i'm a woman). It did get my interests (photography) spot-on though.

What exactly is it about me that says 65 year old man, I wonder? God, this is something new to worry about.
posted by ukdanae at 4:46 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What exactly is it about me that says 65 year old man, I wonder?

It's the shuffleboard porn.
posted by moneyjane at 4:58 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm an 18-24-year-old woman in this browser, interested in nail care and East Asian music. On my iPhone I'm 25-34 and interested in non-alcoholic beverages, perfumes, fiber and textile arts, and athletic apparel. But when I checked yesterday, I was a guy interested in family entertainment (yeah, that would be the My Little Ponies).

I'm kind of surprised there's not a "Cats & Kittens" category, because I'd be on that for sure.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:00 AM on January 26, 2012


It pegs me as slightly younger than I am, but as totally correctly snagged by wachhundfisch in only the second comment of this thread - a demographic match is not supposed to be an infallible reading of who you are, but a inferred reading of what you like.

And I'd very much like to be 10 years younger, thank you very much - spot on, google.
posted by benzo8 at 5:01 AM on January 26, 2012


Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - World Music - Reggae & Caribbean Music
Games
Home & Garden - Home Furnishings - Sofas & Chairs
People & Society
Age: 35-44
Gender: Male

48 year old female. I don't play games online. Not sure where the Reggae & Caribbean music came from... I did just watch a video of "One Love" recently. ONE TIME, GOOGLE.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:03 AM on January 26, 2012


Home: nothing (Win, Firefox, Adblock)

Work (not my regular work PC)
65+ man (out by around 30 years).
Interests
- Finance - Investing
- News - Business News - Financial Markets
- Shopping - Antiques & Collectibles
- World Localities - Europe

I'm not clicking on ads, but (apart from the antiques) that's a fair representation of the sites I'm looking at/searching for.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:03 AM on January 26, 2012


The things they could've marketed to me if only they'd picked up on the fact I spend 90% of my internet time clapping and giggling at videos of corgis.
posted by emmtee at 5:04 AM on January 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


But.... genitals don't equal gender. O_o
posted by ShawnStruck at 5:06 AM on January 26, 2012


Pretty accurate, but google thinks I'm male. (Which, actually, I'd prefer). I'm guessing it's all the porn.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:09 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser.

yes, google. that is the entire point.
posted by elizardbits at 5:17 AM on January 26, 2012


Google thinks i'm a blank 1 pixel dot. Weird.
posted by azarbayejani at 5:20 AM on January 26, 2012


For some reason, it not only underestimated my age by 20 years, but thought I was especially interested in Europe.
posted by Foosnark at 5:28 AM on January 26, 2012


18-24? Oh Google, you sweet talker you.

So the most advanced ad serving system in the world has resorted to the oldest trick in the door-to-door salesman's book: "Miss, is your mother home?"
posted by condour75 at 5:28 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, if you enable that cookie. Does it show you anything or would there not be enough history yet?

Also, can you disable the cookie right away?
posted by oddman at 5:34 AM on January 26, 2012


It's off by a good 10 years young. Now even google is telling me I'm immature!
posted by crunchland at 5:39 AM on January 26, 2012


35-44? Come on google - I'm not that old!
posted by Stynxno at 5:42 AM on January 26, 2012


Considering the amount of time I spend on the web, I'm surprised they don't have any demographic guesses on me. They got the categories mostly correct though, apart from me apparently being interested in outdoors leisure and hunting and shooting.
posted by ymgve at 5:47 AM on January 26, 2012


Desktop Publishing - Fonts? So I look for one font and now I'm branded for life?
posted by swift at 5:56 AM on January 26, 2012


Well, at least they give us the capability to edit or remove tracking info, and even opt out entirely.
posted by crunchland at 6:04 AM on January 26, 2012


Arts & Entertainment - Comics & Animation - Comics
Arts & Entertainment - Events & Listings - Concerts & Music Festivals
Arts & Entertainment - Movies
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Urban & Hip-Hop - Rap & Hip-Hop
Arts & Entertainment - TV & Video - Online Video
News - Technology News
Shopping

Age: 25-34
Gender: Male


Wow, it's pretty dead-on, although the "urban & hip-hop" thing probably stems entirely from either a blog post I recently syndicated on G+ last week or the LL Cool J video I watched yesterday. I can't actually remember doing anything else hip-hop related in the recent months.
posted by griphus at 6:16 AM on January 26, 2012


One age bracket too low (I'm 38, and it said 25-34), but otherwise dead on.
posted by Shepherd at 6:21 AM on January 26, 2012


Opt in to customize your ad preferences and tell Google which interest-based ads you'd prefer to see.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Yeah, okay. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
posted by heyho at 6:37 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Age: 65+
Gender: Male

Awesome. I'm a 40ish woman but this is much more interesting. I need to explore my inner geriatric man. Metamucil and viagra I await you.
posted by Cuke at 6:40 AM on January 26, 2012


Age: 65
Gender: Male

Spot on, Google.

Well, I'm off to play chess in the park with ukdanae.
posted by zennie at 6:50 AM on January 26, 2012


"We infer your age and gender based on the websites you've visited. You can remove or edit these at any time.
Age: 55-64
Gender: Male"

Wow. Just...wow. Way to fool these guys! If I can keep this up, nobody will ever know who I am!
posted by PuppyCat at 6:53 AM on January 26, 2012


I find it encouraging how wrong it can be. If it were always spot-on, I'd be sort of terrified.
posted by crunchland at 6:53 AM on January 26, 2012


Business & Industrial - Chemicals Industry - Coatings & Adhesives


I'm glad they just don't come out and say

Hobbies & Recreation - Glue Sniffing
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:56 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen an ad in gmail in years. I'd forgotten they exist until a couple weeks ago when someone was talking about it here.

I guess I don't understand why anyone would opt in. Do you have to opt in to participate in Google Plus, or something? Do people like seeing targeted ads? (Totally serious questions)
posted by heyho at 6:57 AM on January 26, 2012


They don't have much info on me, oddly (I do use Adblock, but I'm not otherwise terribly careful), and what they do have is pretty meh. No age, gender, etc., but for interests, they think:

Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio (okay?)
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Music Reference - Song Lyrics & Tabs (um, sure)
Business & Industrial - Small Business - MLM & Business Opportunities (What? So very, very wrong.)
Computers & Electronics - Software (mmhm.)
Food & Drink - Cooking & Recipes - Baked Goods (not so much. I bake about twice a year.)
Games - Computer & Video Games (yep.)
Internet & Telecom - Web Services - Web Design & Development (yeah.)
Online Communities - Online Goodies - Clip Art & Animated GIFs (??? This is what you've figured out? How utterly bizarre.)
Pets & Animals - Pets - Cats (They're cute. I have a dog, though, and look up and buy dog-things.)
Reference - General Reference - Dictionaries & Encyclopedias (mighty, mighty.)

They seem pretty lackadaisical about me, really. I think I'm geographically undesirable. Or they're profoundly befuddled, since I look up a ton of completely different things for research work, and also follow a few billion links from metafilter.
posted by taz at 7:14 AM on January 26, 2012


Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
posted by infini at 7:16 AM on January 26, 2012


radwolf76: "googleads.g.doubleclick.net set to 127.0.0.1 in my HOSTS file here. It's the only way to be sure."

Yep. Same here. Even with being signed in to Gmail, Google+, Picasa, Blogger, and using Google Cal all the darn time, it knows nothing about my demographics.

Of course, most of those are accessed using desktop client software rather than the web interface, so that helps too.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:18 AM on January 26, 2012


Another case of wrong gender and off by +35 years.
posted by jann at 7:23 AM on January 26, 2012


It thinks I'm a male a decade older than I actually am. I wouldn't say it's "wrong," though. Most of my friends and coworkers are in fact males in the 35-44 range. Why? Because our interests line up.
posted by mantecol at 7:31 AM on January 26, 2012


I'm holding out for a superego cookie.
My superego says I've had too many cookies already.

(the trick is to drown him with alcohol and then eat more cookies anyway)

Wait a minute... the Google page just loaded up and its estimate for me is nearly double my chronological age? Maybe I need to rethink my "alcohol and cookies" strategy again...
posted by roystgnr at 7:38 AM on January 26, 2012


If you really want to toy with them, look up 10 things at random and click the first link that pops up.

My list:

Peanuts
Waldorf Astoria
Hemorrhoids
Richard Pryor
Rugrats
Mesopotamian Beer
KRS-One
Polka
Benzene
I, Robot
posted by Renoroc at 7:43 AM on January 26, 2012


Data points - The result I posted is from a Droid, where I was logged in to my personal Google account. After I cleared cookies on the Droid and re-logged in to Google, it had no demographic info for me. In Chrome (on my Mac) I'm logged in to my work Gmail account, and I get a message saying I haven't opted in to cookies. In Firefox I'm logged into my personal Google thing, but it tells me my cookies are disabled, which is probably the NoScript working. I opted out of "web history" in Google... I wonder if web history is tied in at all?
posted by zennie at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2012


People & Society - Social Sciences
Reference - Humanities
Reference - Humanities - History
Reference - Language Resources
Travel
World Localities - Europe - Western Europe - Ireland


This is fairly accurate but I am surprised that SE Asia isn't the locality listed since I've spent the past 6 months googling for information on an upcoming trip.

Age: 25-34 Close enough.
Gender: Male Wrong.

This must be one of the least popular advertising demographics since Google can only find two ads to show me: the Scottevest travel jacket and an online travel writing course. These two ads show up on so many websites for me that I will eventually install Ad blocker just so I never have to see the words "Get paid to travel the world!" again.
posted by Ariadne at 7:48 AM on January 26, 2012


I'm curious. Do those of you who have very extensive interest lists also use and post to Google+? I wonder if they're grabbing datapoints from more than just google searches.
posted by crunchland at 8:05 AM on January 26, 2012


Mine just told me that I had cookies turned off, and to build up personalized advertising I had to turn them on. While this seems way too easy, man, you people doing things with hosts files and adblock plus are doing WAY too much work! Just block cookies from that domain.
posted by Canageek at 8:09 AM on January 26, 2012


I, too, am apparently a 65+ year-old man.

I'm now eagerly awaiting the automatic switch-out of my "I'm Feeling Lucky" search button for the one that says "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
posted by argonauta at 8:11 AM on January 26, 2012


*hugs Firefox and its wonderful plugin ecosystem*
posted by introp at 8:24 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty accurate. They had me in the 25-34 age category when I'm actually in the bracket above, but the 25-34 bracket probably does reflect my mindset (and/or lack of maturity, however you want to call it).
posted by treepour at 8:25 AM on January 26, 2012


then again, it gets me right on another computer. so I guess that one just didn't have enough data.
posted by jann at 8:49 AM on January 26, 2012


Drat it. No demographics associated with me. I wanted to find out what age and gender I am! Ah, well. I guess I shall have to remain without form and void until google makes a ruling on the matter.
posted by Because at 9:03 AM on January 26, 2012


Hmm.. I have doubleclick.com blocked by my hosts file, inaccessible for years now. I can't even see the page with the test. I suppose I could unblock it temporarily to see what it reveals. Is it worth the hassle?
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:03 AM on January 26, 2012


55-64, female.

I just entered a new bracket, but not that one! (I'm 36)
posted by leahwrenn at 9:08 AM on January 26, 2012


I'm guessing my host file blocks their doubleclick.com cookies. On my computer, using all browsers, I get the "you don't have cookies enabled" message.

On my phone, they think I'm a 65 year old man interested in fine dining, museums, organized crime, stock markets, cookware, small appliances, gardening, and computer games.

Apparently, Google thinks I'm a greying gay Mafia leader. I'm ok with that.
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Girlfriend of Superfrankenstein (52) and I (58 next month) browse under the same account, and we combine to make an age 25-34 male. Which I guess we could have done, 25-34 years ago.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mine is correct as far as gender and age (25-34, male), and fairly right on as far as categories: However, I'm not sure what the last one is referring to. I don't do very much file sharing at all.
posted by brundlefly at 10:28 AM on January 26, 2012


Ha, they think I'm 18-24 male as well.
WTF? (I'm 2 decades older and female)
I think they see Reddit in my history and assume??
They also see beauty so how does that compute?
If they want this info to improve their ad targeting, they need to work on their assumptions :p
posted by Librarygeek at 11:32 AM on January 26, 2012


"No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far."

Likewise. I've had a heavily used Gmail account for many years, plus very active on Reader, G+, Google Docs, and YouTube. I do have AdBlock for Chrome installed, but it is usually disabled (as I don't mind supporting sites with ads.)

*shrug*

There's still an open post on Google's privacy policy changes, so this is essentially a double post.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:33 AM on January 26, 2012


HAHAHAHAHA! on my work computer, it guessed that i was 65+ and male! I know why, too! I'm a transportation planner, and a good 3/4 of my internet activity is looking at different transit forums and and public transit agencies' websites for information! They think I'm an old man railfan! Yay!
posted by millipede at 12:36 PM on January 26, 2012


Age: 25-34
Gender: Male

Arts & Entertainment - Comics & Animation - Anime & Manga
Arts & Entertainment - TV & Video - TV Shows & Programs - TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy Shows
Computers & Electronics - Consumer Electronics - Game Systems & Consoles - Nintendo
Food & Drink - Cooking & Recipes
Games - Computer & Video Games
Games - Roleplaying Games
Law & Government
News - Technology News
Online Communities - Photo & Video Sharing - Photo & Image Sharing

Am I really such a stereotype for an IT worker? I'm not a guy though.
posted by melissam at 12:39 PM on January 26, 2012


I'm not getting an age nor gender, which makes sense because I never fill my gender nor age in anywhere if I can opt out of it (and if I can't I'm a 99 year old male bazillionaire). It got my interests pretty well pegged though.
posted by dabitch at 1:33 PM on January 26, 2012


Weird. They got my age about right, but think I'm male (not too surprising, really - that happens with all of these "guess my demographics" things for me). What is really surprising is how utterly terrible their profile of my "interests" is, especially since I use Google services constantly, like multiple hours every day, and don't protect myself at all outside of running Ghostery & AdBlock. Do those privacy plugins really make this big of a difference if you still use Google search, news, Gmail, scholar, etc? The only things they think I'm into are (emphasis mine):

Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Rock Music
Computers & Electronics
Online Communities - Online Goodies - Clip Art & Animated GIFs
Pets & Animals - Pets - Cats


But I spend so, so much time on google looking up ecology & soil stuff, watching youtube ASMR videos, or finding backpacking destinations & tips, slow cooker recipes, grad school info, etc etc - any one of those should have shown up way before animated gifs. I might have looked up animated GIFs once or twice, maybe, though I have definitely watched a few cat videos in my time (but far fewer than I have, say, makeup haul ASMR videos, which should easily skew me female).

Anyway, they ought to have a very rich backlog of information about me, but apparently their harvesting or centralization of that data between services is actually much poorer than I would have thought. Or else, despite their having a cookie for me, AdBlock really does protect me 99% of the time, except for those rare unguarded moments when I'm looking for glorious animated cat GIFs with rock music blasting away in the background.
posted by dialetheia at 3:08 PM on January 26, 2012


Google's got nothing for me. AOL has nothing for me, but Yahoo thinks I'm a female of my age who is in college, interested in Entertainment, Clothes, Home Improvement, and Sports.

So it got the age right?
posted by wierdo at 3:29 PM on January 26, 2012


There's still an open post on Google's privacy policy changes, so this is essentially a double post.

When I posted this I made sure the focus of the post was on how close Google was in inferring your correct age bracket and gender rather than on any privacy policy changes so, with due respect, I don't think this is double post.
posted by moneyjane at 3:56 PM on January 26, 2012


Google thinks I'm an elderly man (I'm a 20something nominally female person), but they have correctly deduced my enthusiasm for recipes for baked goods.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:40 PM on January 26, 2012


You currently do not have an ‘id’ cookie. Opt in

Oh, Google, you are teh funny!
posted by BlueHorse at 6:18 PM on January 26, 2012


Google knows I am female but thinks I am 25-34 instead of 77 and I like combat sports and martial arts when it's really just baseball.
posted by Anitanola at 7:07 PM on January 26, 2012


I use iCab with everything blocking on. I surprised I can even see the internet, but then again mine doesn’t look like the one I see on other people’s computers.

When I click on the link it says "internal:nothing". I never knew exactly what that meant when it happens, but assumed it was an ad blocking thing that I shouldn’t care about, and it seems it is. I turned off the filters and tried it and it says I don’t have an id cookie. I delete my cookies fairly often anyway so that’s not a surprise. But I just added them to the hosts file anyway, thanks for the tip.

I really don’t like to be advertised at.
posted by bongo_x at 9:30 PM on January 26, 2012


Google thinks I am a timeless chthonic entity from beyond the veils of the world, interested in eating souls and shitting sunshine.

I have no reason to adjust their perception.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:00 PM on January 26, 2012


Google says: 25-35 year old male.

Actual answer: 38 year old female.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:38 PM on January 26, 2012


This has sparked an identity crisis deep within me that I fear I'll never overcome
posted by MangyCarface at 8:42 AM on January 27, 2012


Off by 21 years, but then again it's never too late to have a happy young adulthood.

This is one of the reasons why I don't understand the desire to buy targeted adspace: Their aim is so off. One of my friends did SEO work for a while, and he regularly commented on how much of what's being sold is just voodoo with a dab of statistics talk thrown into the mix.

But then again this isn't so new. I recall lots of local businesses in pre-web years buying expensive TV ads for inexpensive products, so maybe it's just that the insatiable desire for marketing makes people irrational.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 2:04 PM on January 27, 2012


Maybe they can get more money selling their "25-34 male" demo, so that's why they've put all the 35+ women into it?
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:02 PM on January 27, 2012


regularly commented on how much of what's being sold is just voodoo with a dab of statistics talk thrown into the mix ... maybe it's just that the insatiable desire for marketing makes people irrational.

The entire aim and purpose of modern marketing is to generate that insatiable desire; marketing makes everybody irrational.
posted by flabdablet at 8:44 PM on January 27, 2012


I, too, have never intentionally clicked on an internet ad in my life, and I can't imagine a single reason why I would.
I occasionally do a search for asbestos and click on the ads for scumbag lawyers. Knowing the cost per click is several dollars makes me feel good.
posted by bystander at 9:16 PM on January 27, 2012


Who are the scumbag lawyers--the ones who represent asbestosis victims or the companies who had the asbestos? Or both? (Yes, I've been *that* close to being on an abestos-case jury.)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:38 AM on January 30, 2012


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