You know when you think about something and it shows up as an ad immediately after? How you SWEAR your phone is listening to you? Well, that’s not quite the case.
You are targeted through demand-side platforms based on your Google (or other search engines) profile. Search engines create anonymous profiles that include demographic information and interests based on user searches and touchpoints. Advertisers then use DSPs to target you for ads that correlate with said data, which is why that pair of shoes you searched last week just showed up on your Facebook.
If you find this unsettling, as most people do, click on the link below to see exactly what information Google uses to target you for ads.
For the most accurate results, open on a desktop/laptop.
From this page, you are able to modify and remove certain interests and demographic information Google has gathered.