Lost track of your online purchases? Ask Google

We’ve grown used to asking Google all sorts of things, whenever we have a question.

Answers to questions we wouldn’t ask a know-it-all friend (because we want to be sure we get the right answer).

Stuff we’d be too embarrassed to ask a parent, significant other or close friend.

And random questions that we wouldn’t have bothered asking, except out of curiosity:

Why have breakfast?
Am I a socialist?
Have I found the one?
Am I just paranoid?
Why don’t babies sleep at night?

Stuff we wouldn’t bother asking if Google didn’t have answers.

So you shouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Google can give you a list of the things you bought online recently.

my-purchases-privacy

You need to be logged in to Gmail, YouTube or another Google account.

Simply type into the Google search box: “my purchases” for your answer.

my-purchases

Why should you care?

We’re not sure this is of use to everyone or anyone but, then, neither is Google. After alerting you that only you can see the answers, it asks: “Is this helpful?”

my-purchases-helpful

Well, yes and no. It’s obviously of little use for people who don’t buy much online, of course, and not much help to people who carefully archive their email receipts in appropriate folders for easy retrieval at a moment’s notice.

But now you know that the functionality is there, maybe you’ll use it, even if it’s only out of curiosity.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End.At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.