How Google Uses Your Search History

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Google uses the things you search for online to your advantage so that searching is made easier for you. When Search History is enabled in your Google account settings, you get better results and recommendations across all of Google’s products. Your search history is private and only visible to you when you are signed in to your account.

Here’s the lowdown on how Google uses your search history:

What’s in your search history?

  • Your browser type and language
  • Your IP address
  • Your searches and other activity on Google Maps, including maps around the web
  • Ads you respond to by clicking the ad or purchasing something off of the business’s website
  • Your activity with search results
  • Results that are returned, including results from on-device data and private results from Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google+
  • Searches on Google from both browsers and apps

How does it work when you are signed out of your Google account?

You can customize your search and advertisement results even if you are not logged into your account. For customization, use these steps:

  1. Go to google.com/history/optout when you are not logged in to your Google account
  2. Click the “Disable customizations based on search activity” button, which will turn the setting off for anyone using the same computer and browser as you.

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and you see ads related to recent or frequent searches you’ve performed, you’re noticing how Google uses your search engine queries to relate the advertisements to fit your interests. If you’re listening to music on Pandora.com and notice advertisements for one of your favorite online shopping sites, you’re experiencing the magic of Google using your search history. Google helps businesses reach target customers by means of your search history.

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