Does Google Really Know You’r Location?

For Nearly Half Of You, The Answer Is No.

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Search marketers rely on Google to serve up ads to prospects within a targeted geographical area, but is Google’s location data accurate? Contributor Steve Cameron reports on the results of a survey designed to find out.Earlier this year, I was trading anecdotes with a couple of fellow marketing professionals who were struggling to make sense of the geolocation settings within Google AdWords.

Underlying everything we assume about geo-targeting is Google’s ability to correctly locate the user. If we are looking to serve ads to people in New York City, then (obviously) we need to target people who Google identifies as being in New York City. Equally, we need to be sure that we are not targeting people who are not in New York City.

Whilst this second statement may seem redundant, it actually isn’t — because, as we have discovered, there are two errors that Google seems to be making. The first is the false positive, the person that Google identifies as being in NYC, when in fact they are not. The second is the false negative, the person who is in NYC, but whom Google has identified as being located somewhere else.

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on September 25, 2015 at 9:38 am