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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, May. 8, 2007 at 8:59 am

Could You Live Without Google?

By Bryan Eisenberg
May 8th, 2007

Here’s an interesting account of someone who decided he wanted to opt-out of Google’s reach. I’m not sure I share all his concerns, but it provides some food for discussion.

What would you do if you couldn’t or wouldn’t use Google or any of its services?

In Google
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Comments (4)

  1. I’d use Blackle. :)

    OK, now my serious answer: If for whatever reason I wanted to opt out of them collecting data on me but felt I really had to use their engine, I’d consider a range of technical options. Off the top of my head it would be a bit of a hassle:

    * In halting using them on personal business and properties, I’d have to kill Gmail for probably using my own ISP; POP/IMAP/Web with a more old-school interface. That would suck. I resisted using Gmail forever as it caught on, but once I gave in I loved its architecture… Sites-side I’d also need to swap out all their Analytics tracking on all my personal sites of course, in favor of other convenient free services in combination (default AWstats, Reinvigorate, Quantcast, etc… whatever works for such lightweight convenience tracking). And obviously any Adsense/Adwords I’d be doing would need to go, along with revenue if any in connection.

    * Use them only from the office and in connection with my company’s services and properties only, and from other non-personally identifiable locations (an Apple Store, a hotel etc.)… and barring doing the work to make sure none of their cookies and of course their toolbar’s installed on a given system, certain sites I’d just never visit if I thought there was a chance of them noticing.

    * Proxies

    * Scraped SERPs via scripts hosted as opposed to local

    Killing the love/hate romance and going off the radar would be a wad of work, but not impossible, for those wanting to take the plunge… Pop quiz – Who’s harder to hide from: Google or the Feds? :)

  2. Google bowing to the Chinese demands for censorship scarred their flawless image in my eyes. I found it deeply unsettling that Google compromised their “Don’t be Evil” mantra. I respect the author for figuring out how to get through life without this intangible yet solid institution that Google is in most of our lives…

    I wont be abandoning my gmail account any time soon though.

  3. I couldn’t live without google, it’s my organic life’s blood

  4. Google is a revolution in terms of information explosion, it has changed the way we acquire any particular information, we acquire knowledge in seconds, for example I came here searching for optimization of blogs or adsense and pagerank through google.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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