Yahoo Allows Users To Turn Ads Off Completely

Today, Yahoo released a beta version of a new consumer tool called Ad Interest Manager which allow users of Yahoo to opt out of seeing all internet interest ads.

“”To make our ads more relevant and useful for you, we make educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on Yahoo!’s sites and services. Some of the ads we show you reflect these interests. You can opt out of interest-based advertising altogether using the tools on this page.””

“””We use information about many of the pages you have visited, ads you have seen and clicked, and some of your searches on Yahoo! to create interest categories that help us choose the kinds of ads you’ll see. You can edit or de-select categories here or opt out of interest-based ads altogether

Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy, Anne Toth says about the product:

“Ad Interest Manager will show users what interests we think they have, and also let them edit and change those interests to reflect the most up-to-date information.”

“Importantly, users who don’t want interest-based ads can turn them off completely.”

According to the official announcement Yahoo!’s new Ad Interest Manager tool:

  • Provides a central point where Yahoo! visitors can assert even greater control over their online experience.
  • Gives visitors an unparalleled view into the information used to deliver interest-based advertising.
  • Shows the visitor both Yahoo!’s educated guesses about their interests and a summary of observations, along with other information they have provided.
  • Provides a list of specific interest categories that Yahoo! has placed a user into and lets people turn those categories off.
  • Allows people who don’t want to see interest-based ads to turn them off entirely.

Yahoo!’s Ad Interest Manager is currently available in beta in the U.S. and will soon be made available to UK and European users. Planned future enhancements to the Ad Interest Manager will also let users add categories of interest that Yahoo! may have missed.

Bottom line this is a very strange product to offer from a company that makes almost all its revenue to selling advertising.

This is a tool for users not for advertisers.

Its the equivalent of say NBC announcing that viewer could decide not to see certain commercials if they wish.

Certainly I see the value of letting users target the ads they see, by allowing them to choose the topics that most interest them, but simply allowing users to opt out of seeing any advertising sounds like a horrible decision by a Yahoo.

To see the full announcement click here.


  1. JS says

    I think what the announcement meant is that users can opt out of “interest-based ads”, not all ads altogether. My guess is that, by opting out, users will not see tailor-made ads, but rather the full variety of ads in yahoo’s portfolio.

  2. MHB says


    The default on the setting on the page is to opt out of all. You have to select the interests that you want to see.

    I do not get how a company that sells ads allows people to shut them off

  3. says

    100 % right Michael, this just shows why Yahoo has become a second rate company. They make one bad decision after another, they should have sold to MSFT for their shareholders last year, they should have done more with some of their top properties. They were here before Google and they let them just pass them by like they were standing still.

  4. says

    If I had to invest my entire net worth in today’s big tech players and rely on it for a pension in 30 years, I would go for a balanced portfolio of Google (50%), Microsoft (30%), Twitter (15%), Faceboook (5%), Yahoo (0%), and that was before I’d even heard the news that Yahoo was switching off its revenue stream!

  5. Belmassio says

    I’ve had a hunch for some time that things are even worse then they appear at Yahoo.

    I think Y may be just dying on the vine.

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