Are you sick and tired of being retargeted? Have you gone to a merchant’s website, maybe a hotel website or even some other ecommerce business and now their ads are following you all over the internet? Even on Facebook? For days on end? Literally, it can be very frustrating, especially if you are already a customer. Retargeting is great for business (I tell clients to implement retargeting during an SEO audit), but it honestly can be really annoying in some cases.
There are a few ways to stop retargeting, or stop being retargeted, if that’s your ultimate goal. First, let me say that as an SEO consultant, I can tell you that I recommend retargeting be used by my clients. But there comes a time when retargeting can actually be worse than not using it at all. If your ads end up retargeting current customers and those potential customers for too long, then they can get annoyed. Especially if they just bought a product, and the business keeps on showing ads for that product using retargeting.
One way to stop retargeting is to clear your web browser’s web cache and the cookies. Depending on which web browser you’re using, there are several ways of doing that.
Google has a guide to clearing cookies in their support for other browsers, but here’s what you need to do if you’re using Google Chrome:
Stop Retargeting by Deleting Your Data
- Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
- Select Tools.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
- Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
- Click Clear browsing data.
Clearing your browser cache and your cookies is one way to stop retargeting. But, keep in mind that you’ll need to do this over and over again, or on a regular basis.
There’s another way, and that is to stop retargeting where it starts: by not allowing the cookies at all. You can turn off cookies in your web browser and simply not allow them. But, honestly, that can actually get annoying, especially if there are certain websites where you have to log in on a regular basis; the sites remember your user ID via cookies. So you will have to remember all of that info every time you go to a website to log in. I use several online tools all day long, and it would be a pain for me to not accept cookies.
Disable Cookies in Your Web Browser
Nonetheless, you can turn off cookies in your web browser:
In Firefox, you can Enable and disable cookies in your preferences.
In Google Chrome, you can use the Incognito Mode in order to block everything–except your location.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More More and then New Incognito Window.
- A new window appears. In the top corner, check for the Incognito icon Incognito mode.
You can also use a keyboard shortcut to open an Incognito window:
- Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.
- Mac: Press ? + Shift + n.
Use a VPN for Privacy
Another way to stop retargeting is to take control over your online privacy. You can use a private VPN (Virtual Private Network) to surf the web using a web browser or you can use a private VPN on your cell phone, smartphone, iPhone, or Android device. I recommend using SurfEasy:
SurfEasy allows you to browse anonymously, and it stops retargeting. With SurfEasy, you can surf the web safely, privately and anonymously—without limits or restrictions, from all over the world.
Sign up for SurfEasy here.
Set Up a VPN on Amazon
Here’s another option: set up your own private VPN for free using Amazon AWS web services. I have set this up myself, and it is great… you can use the VPN on your laptop, tablet, phone. Here’s how to do set up your own free VPN on Amazon.
Amazon Web Services offers one year of free virtual server space, provided you use less than predetermined amounts of bandwidth, time and space. I have used this for over a year now, and honestly never went over the amount of bandwidth I was given for the first year.