In case you don’t know, Google made a pretty big change recently: If you have positively reviewed a product, that review could turn up in advertisements.

Apparently, this really offends some people. But should it really? Let’s take a look at the two problems people have with the updates a bit more rationally.

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  1. “I didn’t agree to this!” Google totally gets that you might not want to be a part of their new movement (especially after Use-Your-Real-Name-on-YouTube-gate), which is why every Google page has a big blue bar warning you of the changes. And the warning isn’t written in leagalese, it’s a plain English explanation of what’s changing and how it effects you. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. Plus, if you don’t want to be a part of this grand experiment, you can opt out from the very same page. Outside of sending a nerd to your house to operate your computer, Google did as much as they could on this front.
  2. “I don’t want Google to use my image to sell a product!” This is, quite possibly, the silliest issue to come from this “scandal” (there really needs to be a weaker word for it). If you didn’t want to be seen promoting a product, why on earth did you write a positive review? Google isn’t matching your profile to random blurbs written by people you’ve never met, it’s simply allowing companies to show positive reviews to your friends and families.

To be honest I thought this would be a much longer article, but there really isn’t that much to say about this change. Google isn’t doing anything shockingly different than what it did before, and they’ve really gone out of their way to make opting out of the program easy.

The real question is whether or not this new ad structure will work. If it does, there’s a lot of potential for paid endorsements, referral rewards, incentive programs, and more.

I believe Google is taking a bold step in the right direction, but only time will tell if it’s truly effective.

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