As a web-literate person I like to think I’m pretty good at avoiding the pitfalls of online advertising. You have to be an idiot to click on 99% of internet advertisements as they are spam and irrelevant to what you’re browsing.
However, Google’s AdSense algorithms are as smart as its PageRank one, and it’s one of the few trusted and effective ad publishers out there. Despite this though I thought I was pretty damn good at avoiding ‘sponsored links’. However, according to my Google ‘web history’ I seem to average around 1 sponsored click every day! That’s a lot more than I thought it would be and I’m fairly certain Google makes money on me now, despite being ‘web-literate’ and a heavy user of all their services.
How you can find out how many ‘sponsored links’ you’ve clicked
First you need a Google account that’s at least a month or so old.1 You need to visit https://www.google.com/history/ and you’ll probably need to log in, even if you already are, for security reasons. You’ll now see all your Google searches! On the left are filter options. Click ‘Sponsored Links’ and… there you go! Every Google ad you’ve ever clicked.
- Also, to get more accurate results it would help if you’ve always logged into your Google account on all your devices. My Google account is attached to my desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone and public college computer for example.↩