It took a moment of perusing my own see why. The interests listed were fairly accurate: cooking and recipes, specifically soups, stews, and Asian; team sports, notably hockey; and assorted interests around technology and social media. Yup, sounds like me. Primary geographic area: Washington, DC – also true. And then I got to the basic demographics, where they took me for a 25-34 male. Wrong, and really wrong.
Currently, this stuff is tracked by web browsers – that’s the change that’s got people up in arms. Google’s new plan is to merge browsing data into our account information to make the results more accurate, and therefore be able to serve more creepily-specific ads.
But because everything is still handled at the browser level I have a somewhat different profile at home. Still have cooking and recipes among my interests, but for meat, seafood, and Middle Eastern cuisine. I also like hockey, but apparently not technology/social media, so at home I’m a 25-34 year old female.
I have two thoughts on this.
First: holy gender-norming, Google! Technology AND hockey? Must just be a dude who likes to cook, but when tech’s not in play, clearly hockey is the outlier interest and cooking means I’m a chick. Oof.
Second: Though Google gave me mixed marks on my girlieness, I did land squarely in the age group that’s between six and 15 years younger than I actually am. Combined with the fact that offline me is often similarly mistaken, I think it’s clear that I’m meant to be lying about my age.