How Google shows ads to your website visitors and app users

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place. Click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon and open the “Audiences, keywords and content” tab and click Audiences. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more About Audience reporting.
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases.

With your data segments, Google Ads allows you to re-engage with your customers based on data about those customers that you share with Google through a global site tag, event snippets, or a global site tag either on your website or app or both. It’s important to preserve the confidentiality and security of the data that you share with Google. The type of data collected and used for targeting includes things like the URL and referrer URL for the website that triggers a tag hit, the custom parameters used in your tracking tag, and any resulting data segment memberships.

This article explains how Google uses and handles the data you send for use in targeting with Google Ads.

To learn more about how Google uses and handles the data you send through Customer Match, read how Google uses Customer Match data. To learn more about how Google uses the data you send for conversion tracking, read how Google uses conversion event data.

How Google uses your data

By using segments comprised of your data, Google matches your users to Google accounts, adds users to data segments, generates similar audience segments, shows Dynamic ads, and ensures your Google Ads campaigns comply with Google’s policies. In addition, reports containing audience data are available in your Google Ads account and any other accounts you’ve shared your audiences with.

Google may also use your customer data to improve your campaign performance. For example, Google uses both past conversion data and the data you add to optimize your bids for automated bid strategies, with the goal of improving your overall ROI. Your customer data can be used to improve your performance when using certain bid and targeting strategies without requiring you to apply audiences in the campaign. Google might also use your data to identify other relevant audience segments for you and to provide certain insights about the composition of your data segments. 

Finally, your data segments won’t be shared with any third party or other advertisers without your permission, and Google won’t use your data segments to advertise its own products.

How Google handles your data

Google keeps your data confidential and secure, using the same industry-leading standards used to protect the data of Google users.

Here’s how Google handles your data:

  • Access: Google uses employee access controls to protect your data from unauthorized access.
  • Sharing: Google won’t share your data segments with any third party, including other advertisers, without your explicit consent. Google may share this data to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or enforceable governmental request.
  • Retention: Google retains the users in your data segments based on the duration you specify, which can range from 1 to 540 days. You’re responsible for complying with any duration limitations under applicable law. In some cases, Google Ads generated lists have a minimum duration of 30 days. Finally, your data from tag events is stored for approximately 30 days in order to support policy compliance efforts and give you the ability to pre-populate newly created data segments.

Google is committed to ensuring that the systems used to store your data remain secure and reliable, and Google has dedicated security engineering teams to protect against external threats.

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