In Google’s world, some of us are younger than our driver licenses might indicate.
“I’m secretly a Millennial!” tweeted Katie Clark (@InsightsGal) Thursday morning. “(That’s why I love age group research) Google guesses gender correctly but thinks I’m younger.”
The page produces personalized information based on your search queries on Google’s network of sites—information that Google uses to better target you with ads.
Google explained what the changes mean to users in a Tuesday blog post:
In some cases, the results are alarmingly accurate. I checked it out myself and found that my interests include Music & Audio, Rap & Hip-Hop, Food & Drink, Sports, and Shopping-Apparel, all of which are true. The results listed me as a 25–34-year-old male, which is also the case.
But my editor, who is on the verge of turning 40, was also deemed 25–34 by Google, which he found endlessly flattering.
Across Twitter, reception from users has been mixed about Google’s announcement. Some, like Wendy Darling (@wcdarling), have found Google’s attempts to guess personal information from search queries. (Google thinks Darling, a woman, is a 25–34-year-old male.)
You can remove or edit any of the interests and inferred demographics that Google has associated with your cookie by clicking the “remove or edit” link in the “Your categories” section of your Ads Preference page. Here’s Google’s explainer: