How to stop seeing your Amazon searches everywhere – USA Today – USA TODAY
Q. Every time I look for something on Amazon, I get ads for the same product on every other site. How do I make that stop?
A. âRetargetingâÂ â showing you ads for something youâve looked for at some online store even as you visit other sites, in the hope that the reminder will persuade you to complete the purchase â is a common marketing practice. But Amazonâs outsized inventory and the time many of us spend there can make its retargeted ads more obvious and obnoxious than most.
I realized this firsthand a few weeks ago, when a few searches to check prices for a toilet seat left me staring at Amazon photos of toilet seats through the rest of the eveningâs Web reading.
You can avoid this problem by doing your online shopping in a private-browsing or incognito-mode window. But itâs easy to forget to do that when you have 10 different pages open in tabs in your browser and youâre also switching between the Web, e-mail and other apps.
Instead, you can tell Amazon to stop sending you ads based on your shopping habits. To do that, visit amazon.com/adprefs or log into your Amazon account in a browser, click on your username in the top right corner of the page, and then click on the âYour advertising preferencesâ link.
On that page, click the button next to âDo Not Personalize Ads from Amazon for this Internet Browserâ and then click the âSubmitâ button below it. You may still see Amazon ads, but they wonât be keyed into your recent queries and clicks around the Seattle retail giantâs site.
You will, however, have to repeat this on each browser that you use for any Amazon shopping. Thatâs a consequence of how Amazon does this retargeting. First, Amazonâs site saves your recent searches in a âcookieâ file stashed in your browserâs settings folder on your computer, then Amazon ads on other sites can then read that cookie to see what product to feature.
If you only have a couple of embarrassing or lame Amazon searches that you donât want to pollute other pages, you can also edit your own search history. Visit amazon.com/gp/history and click âRemoveâ under every product you wish to shove down the memory hole.
Click the âManage historyâ heading at the top right, and you can also turn off the browsing-history feature (a handy option if, say, youâre shopping for your Valentine) or remove all your history (a handy option if you want to leave Amazon feeling very confused). You can do this same history revision in Amazonâs mobile apps; tap the menu button and tap âBrowsing History,â in some cases after first selecting âYour Account.â