A nosier Google understands consumer behaviour

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A nosier Google understands consumer behaviour

Now that ‘privacy’ no longer seems to be a taboo subject, Google can freely come out and admit that it is a nosy neighbour. The ironic thing is, a lot of people already know it is…

So, while we all seem to accept that privacy is not an issue and that Google is sharing lots of information – to help their services and fellow PPC Managers, just like me –it does seem quite inconsistent that they will share some data in AdWords, yet keep up privacy in Analytics under the guise of the phrase ‘Not Provided’.

I’m sure that anybody who reads this article has at some point debated the validity of Google’s ‘Not Provided’ stance. I’m equally adamant that we all have the same feelings, and frustrations, about it too. However, this post is not intended to be another moan about Google’s inconsistent privacy policies—quite the opposite, actually. Its purpose is to highlight what we have been given by Google through their highly-selective, liberal views on privacy. Today I am celebrating what we do have!



Still very much a hot topic, Remarketing has gone from strength to strength. In fact, our own research (to be released soon) shows Remarketing as the best converting campaign of 2013.

There is a well-mooted stat that only 2% of traffic converts on its first click. While I’m sure it varies from industry to industry, this is roughly the case throughout, and can be considered to be a rough guideline. Remarketing ensures you get this traffic back. Through better list segmentation, you can be as specific as you like and I would recommend Remarketing follows your site structure also.

There will be those of you who have noticed ‘Similar Audiences’ popping up in your Remarketing lists. Similar Audiences is another great way to generate more traffic from consumers that are likely to be interested in your products. It is also very kind of Google to share your competitors’ Remarketing lists with you— it’s very useful stuff indeed. Thanks, Google!

But you’ve guessed it: your Remarketing lists will be going out to your competitors in return. Don’t expect a Google disclaimer about this. It’s just how Google works now.


Affinity Categories and In-Market Buyers

Along with Remarketing, Google are building a pretty impressive catalogue of interest lists called Affinity Categories and In-Market Buyers.

Affinity Categories are based on the data Google builds up about us when logged into our Google accounts. You can see what Google thinks you are interested in by logging in and clicking here. As advertisers, we can target many different categories to advertise to consumers who best meet our demographics. For instance, a car retailer might target the automotive categories, but they could also be interested in targeting sport categories as well.

In-Market Buyers are based on a similar principle to Affinity Categories, but they concentrate solely on people who are heavily researching these products and are therefore considered to be in the market to buy. The rollout of In-Market Buyers has been relatively quiet and each time we take a look at this section in AdWords it seems we have a new area to target.

Of course, these are just two areas— Demographics is another – and I am sure Google’s ‘Certified Shops’ will add more to what Google knows, and what it shares. It won’t be long until it uses this data to re-imagine Amazon’s ‘People who bought this, also bought’ within the SERPs. We will also be able to identify repeat shoppers, as and when more websites sign up to the free scheme—as I am sure they will— in time. It won’t be long until Google is reminding us of things we want on a daily basis.

To hear more about the data Google collects and how they utilise it, join myself and my colleague Steven for the upcoming CIM SEO & PPC Masterclasses. Additionally, remember to check back with the blog soon for our research on Remarketing and how it was the best converting campaign of 2013.



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