If you use Facebook, you have seen how your friends' photos and "Likes" can connect to ads on the popular social network. The "sponsored stories" concept is also moving to Google. The web search engine company recently announced it is changing its Terms of Service to include an option to participate in "shared endorsements."
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According to Google, shared endorsements are an opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions with friends who are searching for information. Google has a page online that further explains how shared endorsements work. In short, your praise of a product or service from a review or recommendation is transformed into a personal message, directed at your friends, which may accompany advertisements or search results.
Here's how to look at and adjust your shared endorsement settings:
- Sign into your Google account. (You can do that by visiting the Google website and clicking on the blue "Sign In" icon in the upper right hand corner).
- Go to Google's Shared Endorsements page. If you do not have a Google+ page, the company will encourage you to sign up.
- With a Google+ account, scroll near the bottom of the page to see if there is a check mark next to the sentence, "Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads."
- If you uncheck the box and hit the blue "Save" button, Google will ask you to reconsider.
When Google's new terms of service go into effect Nov. 11, 2013, anyone who hasn't opted out will automatically be signed up for "shared endorsements," but you can change your setting at any time.
Photo credit: Jen Lee Reeves/AARP
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