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I use AdBlock in Chrome and I'm subscribed to the following lists:

Fanboy tracking list, Fanboy annoyance list, Easylist privacy, the main Fanboy list, the main Easylist.

Am I still able to receive customized and personalized content when I use various web apps, such as Google Search? Or does Adblock block webapp attempts to collect data about me, therefore are they unable to offer customized and personalized content to me?

Google Search personalizes content for every user. They do this by collecting as much data about the user as possible. After that they run machine learning algorithms on the data which in the end outputs the user's preferences. In the end, they feed this into their search algorithm that modifies the displayed results in order to suit the preferences of the user more, therefore the user will find the search results more relevant to his interest.

Example: I regularly visits my university's homepage. For example, the university uses Google Analytics to track page views and visitors. The data is sent to the university Analytics account and it is used by Google too. This way, Google can compare my IP address to the IP address that I use to log into their services. Therefore, they can see that I visit my university's homepage a lot, so I must attend it. Then next time I do a search on Computer Programming 101, Google Search will return many results from many universities. However, because Google now knows that I attend that one university, it will modify the search results and display that one on top. Therefore, I get more relevant result for my interests.

Adblock blocks the Google Analytics tracker plugin, which means Google cannot collect data about me. Therefore, they won't know that I go to that one university, so when I search for Computer Programming 101, they will display a lot of results that I'm not looking for. They won't be able to personalize and customize the search results to my interests, since they don't have enough data about me, because Adblock blocks their data collection attempts.

I hope it is clearer now what I meant. There may be a myriad of different scenarios where this happens, I just wrote one off the top of my head.

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migrated from Mar 14 '12 at 16:47

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can you give some examples of places where you think you haven't seen personalized content? – Dez Mar 12 '12 at 4:10
@Dez I've written an example. – siamii Mar 12 '12 at 16:29

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