Ian Lurie // Dec 16 2009
A lot of folks are freaking out about Google’s personalized search rollout to all users (even those who aren’t logged in). I’ve heard quotes like:
“Oh, great, now Google knows everything about my life.”
The fear: Personalized Search is based partly on the searches you perform and sites you visit from Google search results. That means Google is storing the searches you perform, and those visits. Therefore, Google is following you around the internet like a private detective with a camera. If you so much as pick your nose, THEY WILL KNOW.
First, Google already knew everything about your life. No reason to stress about it now.
Second, if you’re not logged in, Google’s not actually connecting your identity to your browsing history. Here’s what they do:
None of this connects your name/identity to the stuff you searched.
In theory, Google could easily connect the dots. Especially if you have a Google Account. But to be honest, I don’t think Google cares that much about us as individuals. They’re far more interested in our aggregate behavior. Kind of like when you observe an ant hill: You don’t name the ants. You just decide whether you’re going to use a magnifying glass or not.
Ian Lurie is founder and CEO of Portent Inc., an internet marketing agency that has provided internet marketing, including PPC, SEO, social and analytics services, since 1995. Read More