Mar 10, 2021 - 05:54 AM
Google bases its household income estimates on the same web activity it gathers its other demographic data from. If users sign in from their Google Accounts, the search engine derives demographics from their activity on Google properties, or from their settings. According to the search engine, the source depends on individuals’ account status.
For example, if someone buys a lot of Gucci bags, high end perfumes, Audi's BMWs and other luxury goods they can usually estimate income fairly accurately in deciles i.e. top 10%, next 10% and so on. And if someone else uses discount coupon apps like Wish on their low-end Android phone and buys adult diapers, they can accurately tell this is likely a bottom 20% income earner. It is amazing just how much information Google has on you.
There’s also the option for users to access Ad Settings and edit their own demographic information. If people haven’t signed into a Google Account, the search engine may estimate their demographics based on their activity on the Display Network, or from their activity on Google properties. Google can use Display Network information, as the search engine stores a cookie in their web browser when users visit YouTube, or other sites on the Display Network.
Google may also receive data that people share on various websites, social networking platforms among them. If users share their monthly income data in online forms or similar, Google may or may not have access to those figures. In most cases, however, the income information in the ad demographics is an estimate based on web activity.