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5 Ways Google Earns Money Off You

Mapping users’ every move

The millions who use Google Maps on iPhone or Android, can track their GPS location with an accuracy of just a few feet. The telltale blue dot helps people navigate their way around some of the world’s biggest cities, but it also allows the search giant to know users’ whereabouts and the places they’re trying to find. “This is a bonanza for retailers,” says Fertik. Local businesses pop up with red “pins” when consumers search for other restaurants or bars — should they wish to change their minds and go there instead. Many of Google’s ads are targeted simply to a search keyword, a Google spokesman says. “ Things like location and recent search history might also be used to deliver more relevant search ads.”

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