What Does Google Know About Me?
Below is a short list of things Google tracks about you. Let’s identify what they are and how, as a marketer, you can use them to our advantage.
Your search history
Advantage: Search query data – start mining your search query data for new keyword opportunities, and start weeding out the queries that are burning your cash by adding negatives.
What pages you visited on a site, in what order, how long, and a whole lot more
Advantage: Remarketing – cookie those that have been to your site, and bring them back to purchase or to complete a desired action on your site. Better yet, segment that cookie pool, and bid higher for those that have shown more intent (e.g. added an item to your shopping cart, spent 10 minutes on your site, etc.).
Advantage: Location extensions and geotargeted bid adjustments – add location extensions to your campaigns and watch your click through rates and ad rank improve. For geotargeted bid adjustments, bid up on areas that are more profitable for you, and bid down or exclude those that are losing you money.
Your interests and demographics
Advantage: Similar user remarketing – Google profiles all of us that are logged into a Google account. (Click here to see what Google knows about you – or thinks it knows about you!) With this information, Google will create lists for you that try to mirror the interests and demographics of those in your remarketing list. So if Google finds that a lot of your site visitors are 25-year-old, English-speaking males that like football, they will create buckets of similar users which you can target.
Your search trends
Advantage: Google Trends – know which days and months search volume for your product or service increase, and make sure you’re spending your dollars on those days/seasons. If you’re McDonalds, it might make sense for you to bid up higher on the weekends, as those looking to see if you’re open are searching on Friday and Saturday nights (blue peaks). Conversely, everyone feels guilty on Monday, and we see a spike for the search term “diets” (red peaks). (Notice the highest volume for McDonalds is the night before Thanksgiving; shockingly, this is also when people are most often disregarding their diets.)
Your Gmail information
Advantage: Gmail sponsored promotions – this is currently in beta. But you will soon be able to create ads that look like emails that appear at the top of the Gmail inbox. You can target based on the terms that are appearing in people’s inboxes.