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Google Says You Are In Charge

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All the fears being sparked over Google’s dominance in search, along with its land-grab of DoubleClick’s data mined consumer information, are really just an illusion.

Google Says You Are In Charge
Google Says You Are In Charge

Personalized search is the key to freedom when it comes to using Google. The company’s Peter Fleischer, global policy counsel, said the search giant’s policy’s put the user in charge of what they share with the company.

His op-ed piece appeared in the Financial Times, where Fleischer discussed the function of personalized search, and the challenges in finding a middle ground with its services.

He discussed the concept of context as it applies to how people search. Fleischer cited the example of searching for Paris; one searcher may searching for a romantic European getaway, while another could be looking for love life gossip about a certain hotel fortune heiress.

The more personalization people permit Google to have, the greater relevance their search results will have for those users. That’s where the quandary takes place, according to him:

The question is how do we deal with this challenge? Stop all progress on personalized search or give people a choice? We believe that the responsible way to handle this privacy issue is to ask users if they want to opt in to the service. That is why Google requires people to open an account and turn on their personalized search functionality.

Though people can turn personalized search off and on as desired, the option to do so is what has been questioned: Why should Google keep data for any reason? Fleischer said there is so much information coming online each day, “more targeted and personal results can really add to people’s quality of life.”

In other words, better living through Google.

Google Says You Are In Charge
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  • Jo-UK

    This is just another case of Google glossing over the reality of how their service really operates. One of the things the data protection agencies seem to have overlooked is that a lot of websites carry one form of Google service or another that provide tracking capabilities behind the scenes, and these are not optional:

    - Google Analytics
    - Google Adsense
    - Google checkout

    + users have the Google toolbar installed, often shipped with new computers preinstalled and increasingly with the PageRank bar activated, which means it sends data to Google.

    + the search engine powers 70% of UK searches

    + Potentially Doubleclick via acquisition.

    This means when you add all these services it is practically impossible not to send all your internet usage data to Google without NOT using the internet at all. Addiionally as their terms and conditions state they may merge data from all their services.

  • Norm

    My main concern is with “finger printing”. Is google trying to tie IP addresses with personal identifying information? Is it tracking what I, the person, am searching? Who is it sharing the information with? What will it do with it in the future? What happens if the government supoenas the information? These are the questions that make me uncomfortable with Google.

  • Emily Cragg

    Google is still doing binary splits, taking up HUGE segments of ram.

    They don’t need to do this; there is a much simpler way to organize a search engine that I have devised and I have been working on for fifteen years. Right now Oddcast has given me a slot to place a prototype for a different way of organizing the database, ground up, so there are no lost synonyms. Google is not interested, nor is Microsoft nor IBM. Apple loved my idea, but they took down their Speech Recognition unit.

    So long as you’re sticking with the current SE paradigm, you’re wasting core space. Anybody else, care?

    Emily Cragg, San Jose
    My phone number is on-line

  • Neil

    As a search marketer, personalized search is not something I enjoy being automatically logged into. Although many might not bother to log out of his/her Google Account while searching, I always do.

    When I am doing searches for clients, Google starts assuming I want to see more of what I was looking at, but I need to understand the real, “Peoria, Illinois-type” universal marketing data.

    Needless to say, this could totally change things for search marketers.

  • Charles Read

    I hope everybody realizes that Google could care less about your search needs and results. It is entire function is to deliver to you advertisments that you will use to purchase products and services. The better they are at that the more they can charge to put that advertisiment in your face.

    Search is just a way to identify which advetisement to throw up (pun intended) on the screen.

    They are an advertising agency, nothing more, nothing less!

  • Michael A Fowler, M.B.A.

    Google has become infuriating for many of its advertisers. When a company starts making you jump through hoops to attain a better search ranking, it alienates the masses.

    As most of Google’s revenue is generated by small mom and pop business owners, Google is now in danger of alienating those very same people that have made it great.

    Now people are looking at far more ‘down-to-earth’ advertising mediums. I think people should start looking elsewhere for their advertising dollars to produce a return.

    Placing ultimate power in the hands of any one provider is inheritantly dangerous. We are already seeing that in Google.

    The internet was not formed to be dominated by any resource. It was contrived to express freedom of information.

    Google needs to reconsider its position and get back to basics, where even a novice can still stake a claim in the ‘pay-per-click’ wars and get his/her website seen in the listings.

    These days, you need a degree in computer engineering and technology to even follow the guidelines. Google says ‘You are in charge’ but I would say ‘Google is in charge and they know how to charge you.’

    Michael A Fowler, M.B.A.
    http://www.mrsamedical.com/

  • pydo152clrm

    Any personnalisation of search should be absolutely prohibited as well as similarly acting cookies.

    It is the basis of repression on minorities of any types and a standardisation of opinions.
    If you are not mainstream, you’ll be branded and bared from acting freely.

    Yes we are NOW in charge, and within some months, or years we’ll be in jail because of their search control policy.

  • jackie

    It seems to me this is exactly what Microsoft says when someone challenges their dominance and invasive behaviors.

  • Kurt Munro

    I say it’s total nonsense. I don’t really want personalised results either. When I type in “monkeys” I want to get the exact same results that someone on the other side of the country gets.

    And the search history caching gets turned on by default which is bullcrap once again. I had to go through deleting everything then disabling it.

  • Craig

    Personally, I think privacy concerns are overrated and in many cases one’s privacy is illusionary more so than anything really tangible anyway.

    What I am more concerned about, from a SERPs relevance point of view is not “someone”, a computer, knowing what I search for but instead, my somehow getting myself into a rut and ending up only finding what I have searched for in the past. Being able to turn off personalized search would be good though, just so long as I don’t have to log out to do it.

    I guess it could be said I’m happy with the SERPs presented to me already and don’t see personalized search being of much use to me in the first place.

  • Jason Kole

    Well I think personalized search may be a good thing for some people but overall I would have to give it a thumbs down. Simply put people do things on the internet that they don’t want other people to know about, not even good ol’ Google. Collecting user data to thye extent that Google would, is simply an invasion of privacy.

    Also, I tend to look at things from an SEO perspective. And if my results are being taylored to me, then how would I know where I stand in the SERP’s. Which brings up the point of other users results being taylored to them which basically is just throwing SEO down the toilet. The way I look at it SEO is a form of marketing ones business. If I want to market my business on Google I have to do SEO or pay someone to do it. Now if they make it harder or almost impossible to do SEO, which personalized search may do for all I know. Than the only way to market our products or services would be to pay for Adwords campaigns. This is all speculation on my part because I am not really that interested to go do research on exactly how they are going about these personalized search campaigns. But, I know it won’t hit it off to big with the Googlers.

  • HumbuckerStudios.com

    Well as long as Google wants to claim “user in charge.” Then I stand up a say gathering any information about me, to further miskew my search needs. Amidst your pay tainted results equating to web extortion. Have littered the information highway. Quite the Hell Enough.

    Our best hope at getting to the information we actually desire, not whom paid the most for it. Not who ranks in google by money or spam, or links auto launching false interest hits. But truly by the demise of the information gate-keeping bohemuth itself. Giving way to something for subject matter effective, useful. Maybe even worthy of our time spent.

    When consumers fully reject how badly they are being played. As well, advertisers gettings tired of the overcharging rip-off of Google placement. Eating the bottom line and raising prices. It wont be fun holding any of the over valued stock of google.

    In short as a searcher if you think google has done much for you lately. You’ve likely lowered your standards. Maybe you even happy with Bush , and feel our “Freedom” is in a country that never attacked us.

    Steve Lott
    Humbucker Studios Recording

  • HumbuckerStudios.com

    Well as long as Google wants to claim “user in charge.” Then I stand up a say gathering any information about me, to further miskew my search needs. Amidst your pay tainted results equating to web extortion. Have littered the information highway. Quite the Hell Enough.

    Our best hope at getting to the information we actually desire, not whom paid the most for it. Not who ranks in google by money or spam auto launch most visited fake link hits. But truly by the demise of the information gate-keeping bohemuth itself. Giving way to something for subject matter effective, useful. Maybe even worthy of our time spent.

    When consumers fully reject how badly they are being played. As well, advertisers getting tired of the overscharging ripp-off of Google placement. Eating the bottom line and raising prices. It wont be fun holding any of the over valued stock of google.

    In short as a searcher if you think google has done much for you lately. You’ve likely lowered your standards.

    Steve Lott
    Humbucker Studios Recording
    In short as a searcher

  • Pat

    I do not understand why Google should hold personal information it is only a body of people without any official capacity and not answerable to a higher Authority. What right have they to gather personal data on people anyway? They are just in the business of business names and addresses and how to contact them.Arn’t they? Like a giant world wide telephone directory.
    Also: how dare they show geographical details using technology that can actually enter into homes and show the inhaditants.Where do they get off? Boys playing with dangerous toys should be monitored.
    There was a report that terrorists had actually used the, less detailed map, they provide already.
    Don’t like this runaway attitude to technology without thinking of the consequences to people’s lives. Is there no respect for people , people’s privacy any more.Has clever technology become a law unto itself? If ‘so it’s scary stuff.
    If you can inform me as to why and how my understanding is incorrect I would appreciate it!

  • http://www.childconsultants.org/Flash_Cards_For_Kindergarten.html Guest

    Google is asking to have all our data. Sometime I wonder whether there is any colloboration between them and the CIA

  • http://www.direito2.com.br Ruben Zevallos Jr.

    Well… lot´s of people loves to say that Microsoft is evil… but they are not… they always said that they want to survive and you OS have to be the only one…

    Google for other side, do not say what they want… but they make billions each year…

    To my self, Google have lot´s of power in their hands… they really rule the Internet… they decide if you web site can grow or not… or if your business wil be a on-line success or not…

    I´m sure that no want have to have it´s power… how the people say… Information is power… and Google have all on-line information at their disposal…

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