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Types of cookies used by Google
We use different types of cookies to run Google websites and ads-related products. Some or all of the cookies identified below may be stored in your browser. You can view and manage cookies (though browsers for mobile devices may not offer this visibility).
Category of useExample
These cookies allow our websites to remember information that changes the way the site behaves or looks, such as your preferred language or the region you are in. For instance, by remembering your region, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news. These cookies can also assist you in changing text size, font and other parts of web pages that you can personalize.
Loss of the information stored in a preference cookie may make the website experience less functional but should not prevent it from working.
Most Google users will have a preferences cookie called ‘NID’ in their browsers. A browser sends this cookie with requests to Google’s sites. The NID cookie contains a unique ID Google uses to remember your preferences and other information, such as your preferred language (e.g. English), how many search results you wish to have shown per page (e.g. 10 or 20), and whether or not you wish to have Google’s SafeSearch filter turned on.
We use security cookies to authenticate users, prevent fraudulent use of login credentials, and protect user data from unauthorized parties.
Process cookies help make the website work and deliver services that the website visitor expects, like navigating around web pages or accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, the website cannot function properly.
For example, we use a cookie called ‘lbcs’ which makes it possible for Google Docs to open many Docs in one browser. Blocking this cookie would prevent Google Docs from operating correctly.
Sometimes an advertising cookie may be set on the domain of the site you are visiting. In the case of our DoubleClick product, a cookie called ‘__gads’ may be set on the domain of the site you are visiting. Unlike cookies that are set on Google's own domains, this cookie can't be read by Google when you're on other sites. It serves purposes such as measuring interactions with the ads on that domain and preventing the same ads from being shown to you too many times.
Google also uses conversion cookies whose main purpose is to help advertisers determine how many times people who click on their ads end up purchasing their products. These cookies allow Google and the advertiser to determine that you clicked the ad and later visited the advertiser site. Conversion cookies are not used by Google for interest-based ad targeting and persist for a limited time only. These cookies are generally set in the googleadservices.com or google.com/ads domain, and have names like ‘Conversion’ and ‘TAID’. Conversion cookie data may also be used in combination with your Google account to link conversion events across different devices you use. Only anonymous data gathered from these cookies is shared with advertisers.
Some of our other cookies may be used to measure conversion events as well. For example, DoubleClick and Google Analytics cookies may also be used for this purpose.
Websites often collect information about how users interact with a website. This may include the pages users visit most often, and whether users get error messages from certain pages. We use these so-called ‘session state cookies’ to help us improve our services, in order to improve our users’ browsing experience. Blocking or deleting these cookies will not render the website unusable.
These cookies may also be used to anonymously measure the effectiveness of PPC (pay per click) and affiliate advertising.
For example, we use a cookie called ‘recently_watched_video_id_list’ so that YouTube can record the videos most recently watched by a particular browser.
Google Analytics is Google’s analytics tool that helps website and app owners to understand how their visitors engage with their properties. It may use a set of cookies to collect information and report website usage statistics without personally identifying individual visitors to Google. The main cookie used by Google Analytics is the ‘__ga’ cookie.
In addition to reporting website usage statistics, Google Analytics can also be used, together with some of the advertising cookies described above, to help show more relevant ads on Google properties (like Google Search) and across the web.
Managing cookies in your browser
Some people prefer not to allow cookies, which is why most browsers give you the ability to manage cookies to suit you.
In some browsers you can set up rules to manage cookies on a site-by-site basis, giving you more fine-grained control over your privacy. What this means is that you can disallow cookies from all sites except those that you trust.
In the Google Chrome browser, the Tools menu contains an option to Clear Browsing Data. You can use this option to delete cookies and other site and plug-in data, including data stored on your device by the Adobe Flash Player (commonly known as Flash cookies).
Another feature of Chrome is its incognito mode You can browse in incognito mode when you don’t want your website visits or downloads to be recorded in your browsing and download histories. Any cookies created while in incognito mode are deleted after you close all incognito windows.