I always say ‘stay away from Google because they are evil’ and I think I’m half-right on this. Let us check together if G* and other big players are really as bad as everyone say. First of all Google, Apple and Microsoft are often under criticism and that’s not new. Anyone who changes anything in this world is bound to be criticized.
Who gets to define evil?
I don’t know but when it comes to data collection G* is on top of everyone and that is my main argument to search for alternatives. Consider to use StartPage or MetaGer – Googles search results could be compromised.
- Google in general doesn’t like to be criticized.
- Google’s history of anti-social social networks and anti-trust trust relations that deceptively breach online consumer privacy and trust has already begun to threaten its longstanding web hegemony and its vaunted brand.
- Full control over the web itself by controlling the products, search results and data monitoring. Is this a crime?
- Google is maybe already too big.
All of this sounds pretty much evil to me, because the human factor and how they threat each other.
Here is how Google gets money (and a comment on it)
Google commands tens of millions of dollars each year through
knowingly selling brand terms through AdWords such as “cudo”
for our business. Yet, users are increasingly using Google for everyday web
navigation, so they knew where they wanted to go, they just wanted Google to
help them get there. The challenge is a bit like you punching a restaurant’s
address into your satnav, but being taken to the highest bidding restaurant
instead! Also, as businesses grow their sophistication in SEO and they establish their listing at the top of the Organic pile for free, allowing competitors to purchase a business’s brand term means the target business also has to buy their own
brand term else there is a fair chance an unsuspecting user will click on
the competitor’s link, commanding unnecessary dollars from at least two
What are the good things Google did?
Of course there not only bad things about Google, in fact they helped to make the web more secure. I remember when no one giving a shit about https and now since Google pushed it, everyone is start caring about it (.. or maybe because https + site speed increases your Google rank 🤔).
They build a good Browser, in fact Chrome is number one browser in the entire world, millions of people using it daily and there less problems compared to other browsers – well, people now gonna say but G* is controlling the web with its own standards – right! But who else does this – Apple! So this is also not new or something we could complaint about it, again some changes are good others are bad – deal with it!
GMail and other products, well I see such products as a part of taking control over personal data and to get more statistics to sell to their customers… But the products are here, used by millions of people and there is besides the security aspect nothing to say – the products are working!
A lot of others made money with or because of Google, to sell their crap products to us or by trying to copy G*.
These are of course all examples, there is more but not everything Google did is automatically a problem.
Here is what I suggest
- Teach your kids to read my Blog! Oh wait … I mean .. uhhh, .. of course I meant teach them how to work with the internet and tell them what could be dangerous, like sharing private information on social networks. Also show them that there are alternatives they could use.
- Whenever using G* or in case you made an account, check the settings. There a lot of settings you can opt-out from, like the advertising and history tracking. Such toggles are usually opt-out and default enabled – but thankfully there are toggles, some search engines & providers not even provide such an option at all.
- Think about what do you need and want! How about using alternatives? Just because your friends use GMail doesn’t mean you can use other providers like ProtonMail (it’s free too!).
- Don’t trust everything blindly. Right, trustno#1 is still the parole. I mean literally. Check your sources does it includes sources? Is it a fact or a rumour? What does other independent pages say?
It’s at the end all a matter of perspective, people want everything for free and usually they don’t care about the cons as long as it works. It’s a big time waste for them and I would agree but that’s why I say teach the younglings to make it right. Younger people may see things different and they grow up with all the tech, so it is definitely easier for them to understand the importance.
Personally I stay away whenever it’s possible (btw my Blog is indexed by Google Search) from Google but I’m not blinded because just because there are alternatives doesn’t automatically mean there better – they are also playing the game to money (like all of us!). But when it comes to data I prefer to store them in the EU because the laws are stronger here and the chance is very high that you have a little bit more control over them, you e.g. can request to delete them while in other regions in the world not even such option is given.
Open Source, yes but does it changes something? Nope, because just because there is a source not means there is an audit or people who are able to understand it – most people just leech and that’s it (give me give me – now!). Leaks like OpenSSL and others showed us open source isn’t better – but … but! I prefer it cause you can easier change the program on your own (if you want to) or debug it in case there are questions which would be a lot of harder with closed source.
At the end we can quantify the entire question to a simple word: knowledge! That’s the real conclusion here cause a lots of people don’t even know what alternatives are secure or better so they stay with something they know. “Never touch a running system” – right! No, always re-consider to re-think about everything to stay open-minded.
Free your mind Neo!
It’s your turn now, what is your strategy and why you use or not use Google?! Let us know, share you knowledge and findings with us.