Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Google Thought I was a Man.

This is a bit old, but I wanted to remember the link here. In your Google account is an analysis of the types of websites you visit most often. Based on this Google determines your demographics (age and gender). Almost 100% of the women scientists I've asked about this (including myself) come out as middle aged men, presumably based on our browsing interests related to science.

You can check you're own Google Profile at this link (under Ads Preferences), and edit your demographics (or turn the whole thing off if you prefer).

There's a surprisingly reasonable article in the Daily Mail about this How to find out who Google thinks you are from your web history (and how it may even have your sex wrong) which talks more about the issue. 

I edited my demographics to reflect reality, and I'm curious to see the impact this had on the types of Ads Google shows me.....


  1. I'm pleased now, because Google thinks I am more than 10 years younger than I really am! Not sure whether it is good or bad to correct the demographics; it depends what you want...

  2. I definitely wondered if I should fix it or not, but then I thought I'd try an experiment and see what I got different if I did.... so we'll see.