So this all came about because I had gone to order flowers for a client who was in the hospital. Half way thru we found out flowers weren’t accepted in the ICU so we decided to wait until he was moved to another room. Then the stalking began. I’d closed the website, but was being followed around by an ad for 1-800-Flowers literally everywhere I went. Kohl’s, Yahoo, and I believe CNN and Facebook as well. It was a bit creepy!
But I knew why it was happening. When I’d visited 1-800-Flower’s website, they installed a cookie with a tracking code so Google Ads could serve me flower ads wherever they were located – to get me to come back and finish out my order. These kinds of ads that follow you around, they work from a business standpoint extremely well. They’re targeting a warm audience, someone who’s already visited their site and is familiar with their wares. However, there’s no way for an ad to know that the reason you didn’t buy something was because you genuinely just didn’t need it (yet anyway).
How to get rid of tracking ads
The exact process is different depending on the type of browser you’re using, but the concept is the same. Go delete the cookies. Generally you don’t want to do a complete clearing of everything, because it will take away cookies for sites you actually want to have more info for. So I’ve outlined how to delete specific cookies (in my case 1-800-Flowers), and keep everything else.
1. Click on those three vertical dots on the far top-right of your window, just to the right of your web address bar. Once open, click on “Settings” at the bottom of the fly-out menu.
2. Scroll on down until you see “Show advanced settings…”
3. From here click on the gray button “Clear browsing data…”
4. On the next screen click on the gray button “All cookies and site data…”
5. Now it’s time for the hunt. Type in a description of the ad that’s haunting you – in my case “flowers.” You’ll see below 3 cookis for proflowers.com came up. These must die. : )
6. Click on any one of them and you’ll see it turn purple with a bunch of tags pop up (those are just the tags for the data within each cookie). You’ll then see an X to the right appear. Click that sucker to remove the cookie! Repeat for the others, and then click the gray button “Done.”
7. That’ll take you back to the previous screen, where you’ll want to click the gray button “Done” again.
8. You’re pretty much done at this point, just have to closer out of the window and you’re back to working like normal – without the creepy following ads!