Understand how location is used by Google’s Display Network

Why does Google’s Display Network use location information?

The Google Display Network is a collection of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps (including some Google-owned properties such as Gmail and YouTube). These publishers partner with Google to show ads from advertisers.

Providing useful, meaningful ad experiences is at the core of what Google does, and location information plays an important role in doing just that. Location can make your experiences more relevant and helpful.

Google does not share your Location History or any other identifying information with advertisers.

How is location used to show ads on the Display Network?

Ads on the Display Network can be shown to you based on your location. This can include location derived from the device’s IP address or other signals.

Depending on your settings in My Ad Center, you may also see ads on Gmail and YouTube based on your activity while signed into your Google Account. This includes Display Network activity stored in your Web & App Activity.

You have control over the data stored in your Google Account, and can turn off personalized ads at any time. When personalized ads are off, Google does not use the data stored in your Google Account to show you more relevant ads.

​If you have chosen to opt-in to Location History, Google also uses the information to help advertisers measure how an online ad campaign influences visits to physical retail locations. Google only reports aggregate statistics to advertisers. To do this, Google combines your online activity data, such as ad clicks, with Location History information pertaining to an advertiser’s stores. This information is used in an aggregate manner to estimate how often users who saw an online ad campaign visited the advertiser’s store. We do not share your Location History or any other identifying information with advertisers.

How Google determines your general location or country when you browse websites on Google’s Display Network

Depending on the products you’re using, Google may be provided with different types of information that are critical to making its services work and also help make ads more useful for you. Below are some examples of how we may learn about your location or country:

  • From the IP address of your Internet connection: IP addresses are used to make the connection between your device and the websites and services you use. IP addresses are roughly based on geography. This means that any website you use may get some information about your general area. Google may consider the IP address assigned to your device by your Internet Service Provider to determine your general location.
  • From the website you are browsing or past activity: When you visit a website or app on the Display Network, metadata from the visit, like browser timezone, domain, page content, browser type, and page language, may be used to estimate your country or a general area you are interested in. We may rely on this metadata in addition to location signals we get from your IP address, VPN, proxy service, or other network information. In addition, we may determine a location based on past browsing or app activity.

For additional info, see Google’s privacy policy regarding location.

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