Opt Out Of Shared Endorsements In 4 Clicks


October 23, 2013 | Sean McQuaide

Google 2013-10-18 14-13-00

Perhaps you’ve seen the blue bar above when visiting Google recently. It’s there to inform you that Google is changing its terms of service on November 11th. I love TOS updates! Hear that? It’s sarcasm.

No one likes when the terms of a service changes. Mainly because we don’t read the TOS in the first place and now feel compelled to take time out of our day to read what’s changed from what we already didn’t know. To top it off they don’t even provide pictures to understand how to manage these changes. The nerve. See what’s changing below and learn how to opt out in 4 clicks.

What’s changing?

screenshot-by-nimbus (8)

The biggest change is that Google will now be showing the names and faces of Google Plus users (that are over 18) in ads. So if a local restaurant is advertising with Google and you have left a review of that restaurant, your G+ profile name and picture, rating you gave the restaurant and part of your review will show up as part of the advertisement. They are calling this a Shared Endorsement and they give you the option to opt out of it for advertising purposes.

Managing this privacy for their other products will require you to be a little more conscious of who you share with. Google makes a point of saying ONLY when you take an action (+1, comment, follow, etc.) will they use you in their Shared Endorsements. Some examples of actions that could trigger you being used in a Shared Endorsement are listed below.


+1’ing. Plus one a product, place or play store item and Google will serve you as a Shared Endorsement in  SERP’s.

Reviews and Comments. Leaving a review on a product, place or commenting on a Google+ posts can prompt Google to use Shared Endorsements. Again Google says these are only shared with the people you choose.

Following. Google will serve your G+ name and picture up as a shared endorsement when your friends, family, and circles are served results that include people and brands that you follow. There have been a lot of complaints about how Facebook provides endorsements to friends on behalf others. It will be interesting to see how this is accepted when served in search results.


Four Clicks to Opt Out of Googles new TOS

1. Go to the Shared Endorsements settings page

2. Uncheck the box at the bottom of the page.

Opt out of the Google Shared Endorsement update


3. Click Save.

4. Are you sure? Click continue.

google opt out confirm


That’s it!

The Fuzz.

Whats unclear is to what extent Shared Endorsements will be included in search results. Last month Google made it mandatory for YouTube users to have a Google+ account tied to their account in order to comment on videos. It was done in an effort to cut down on trolling comments on the platform and adds a layer of accountability to the comments being posted. While that is a great way to reduce some truly terrible things being said online, I’m not sure I want to have my face next to every video or article I like, forever.