How to stop seeing your Amazon searches everywhere – 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. Ã¢Â€ÂœRetargetingÃ¢Â€ÂÃ‚Â Ã¢Â€Â” showing you ads for something youÃ¢Â€Â™ve 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 Ã¢Â€Â” is a common marketing practice. But AmazonÃ¢Â€Â™s 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 eveningÃ¢Â€Â™s Web reading.
You can avoid this problem by doing your online shopping in a private-browsing or incognito-mode window. But itÃ¢Â€Â™s easy to forget to do that when you have 10 different pages open in tabs in your browser and youÃ¢Â€Â™re 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 Ã¢Â€ÂœYour advertising preferencesÃ¢Â€Â link.
On that page, click the button next to Ã¢Â€ÂœDo Not Personalize Ads from Amazon for this Internet BrowserÃ¢Â€Â and then click the Ã¢Â€ÂœSubmitÃ¢Â€Â button below it. You may still see Amazon ads, but they wonÃ¢Â€Â™t be keyed into your recent queries and clicks around the Seattle retail giantÃ¢Â€Â™s site.
You will, however, have to repeat this on each browser that you use for any Amazon shopping. ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s a consequence of how Amazon does this retargeting. First, AmazonÃ¢Â€Â™s site saves your recent searches in a Ã¢Â€ÂœcookieÃ¢Â€Â file stashed in your browserÃ¢Â€Â™s 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 donÃ¢Â€Â™t want to pollute other pages, you can also edit your own search history. Visit amazon.com/gp/history and click Ã¢Â€ÂœRemoveÃ¢Â€Â under every product you wish to shove down the memory hole.
Click the Ã¢Â€ÂœManage historyÃ¢Â€Â heading at the top right, and you can also turn off the browsing-history feature (a handy option if, say, youÃ¢Â€Â™re 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 AmazonÃ¢Â€Â™s mobile apps; tap the menu button and tap Ã¢Â€ÂœBrowsing History,Ã¢Â€Â in some cases after first selecting Ã¢Â€ÂœYour Account.Ã¢Â€Â
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