What does Google know about you?

At the outset of this article, we should point out that our purpose here is not to complain about Google’s tactics for extracting our personal information. That’s a debate for another day and another forum. This article is an illustration on how we need to get to know our customers in order to effectively market and sell to them. And it’s about how Google helps us do that.

Getting to know our customers means knowing their information and that is a contentious issue on the internet. However, there is no doubt that by really understanding a customer, a company is able to deliver extremely powerful messages that work. Here is an example using Google as the case study.

This is what Google knows about you:

Google knows your search history. It has your query data and knows what you are looking for, when you were looking, and it knows what you found.

Google knows what search results you clicked on, which sites you visited, and for how long. Cookies are the key here. They are what give you the ability to recognise a customer when they return to your site again.

Google knows where you are. Even if you have not enable the location on your mobile device, your server has a location tag and when you search on Google, it can tell where you are. They use this information for building up a picture of geographic trends, interests, and audiences, based on location. Imagine how powerful that would be as marketing information for you.

Well, you have it, from Google Analytics. And that is our point. All this information Google is collecting about us as individuals, you can have too, in relation to your own website.

If you want to know where your customers are coming from, how long they stay on your site for, what pages they are most interested in, who leaves without reading any content, and how they found your website, you turn to Google Analytics.  If you want to understand the search trends for your keywords, you turn to Google Analytics.

That’s why we are constantly surprised when we see marketing companies complaining about the level of information Google has. If they did not gather this information, the search engine would not be as effective, good SEO would not be as effective, and we would not be able to access the detailed information we need about our own websites.