What Is Geo-targeting and How to Evade It?

Imagine browsing through the web and noticing an ad for a new pizza place in your area. At first, you might be pleasantly surprised, possibly considering visiting it sometime. However, you might also stop for a second and think: how did this ad know that it will be relevant to me?

Well, the internet is a wonderful place, and the companies know exactly how to interest you in specific products and services. Geo-targeting is one of the possible activities that allow businesses to offer you more personalized deals. Interested in how it works and how to evade it? Let’s find out together.

How does geo-targeting work?

With geo-targeting, advertisers zero in on a specific geographic location. Of course, the location of your PC is unlikely to change anytime soon. However, your smartphone is a gadget you take everywhere, be it lunch or a trip to Target. Thus, it is the ideal tool for advertisers to keep track of your location. Then, when they learn your whereabouts, they can offer products and stores nearby.

Thus, geo-targeting means that advertisers show ads according to the known or assumed users’ locations. It might not always be accurate to the bone.

Of course, geo-targeting relies on users’ consent to share their location. For instance, if you grant this permission to various apps. Google, for example, is likely to have access to your location around the clock.

With this tool, advertisers can target netizens with content specific to their physical locations. For geo-targeting to work effectively, advertisers need you to use location-based apps. Downloading a food delivery service that requires you to reveal the GPS location of your phone is the best example. After you’ve made the download, geo-targeting gets working, and you find yourself bombarded with ads alerting you of deals and offers available within a specific radius.

Geo-targeting and geo-fencing

Advertisers use two forms of targeted advertising to reach out to you. The focus of geo-targeting is on your demographics, your habits, and your behavior. With geo-targeting, the intention is to reach a wider audience since implementing specific keywords is easier.

On the other hand, geo-fencing targets a smaller audience by drawing a virtual barrier centering on the IP addresses of consumers specific to a certain geographical location. Advertisers opt for geo-fencing when they target sports arenas or locations with a heavy student population. You’ll be enticed with deals through ads that show up on most devices. Geo-fencing, therefore, helps advertisers target you with offers close to your location, which raises their chances of making a conversion.

How effective is it?

As the saying goes, it is all about the location. Thus, it is natural that ads that showcase products or services near you have a chance to grab your attention. Specialists note that marketing campaigns can become 80% more effective if paired with location data. Additionally, a Forbes article also mentioned just how much significance location-based marketing has in our smartphone-oriented world.

How do you avoid geo-targeting?

Despite all the data indicating how successful ad campaigns have been with geo-targeting, you often find these ads too intrusive. We share with you some handy tips that can help you tip-toe past geo-targeting.

First, you should carefully pick apps that have access to your location. Not all applications on your smartphone should get unlimited access to it. Of course, ride-hailing apps cannot function without such data. However, you should also avoid allowing apps to have access all the time. Instead, you can enable applications to get location data when in use. In other cases, you can also set apps to require permission every time it wants to read your location.

Secondly, you can get a VPN for phone. It is one of the best ways to minimize geo-targeting. A Virtual Private Network tool masks your IP address, meaning that you can pick one that pinpoints to a location in a completely different country. Then, your real location will remain concealed from various online entities.


Geo-targeting helps advertisers reach you with offers you can avail of after you’ve walked across only a few blocks. It has helped local businesses raise their sales no end. Even corporate giants have been able to build relationships with their customers by, for example, offering deals available specifically in their areas, like a discount on home delivery during foul weather. When you are bombarded by geo-targeted ads, it does get bothersome. We have shared with your effective tips that are sure to help.

the authorABHIYAN
Abhiyan Chhetri is a cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Abhiyan is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.