Home > A Letter To... > Letter 8: Your favourite internet friend

Letter 8: Your favourite internet friend

A poem for you!
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I Googled, weak and weary,
Over many a strange and curious topics I adore,
While I opened my homepage link, suddenly there came a typing,
Then my mind was filled with info, info that wouldn’t be a bore,
“‘Tis interesting news!” I clicked, “Now would there be anymore?!”
Quoth the server, “404.”

Dear Google,

You are known as one of the most helpful search engines, existing for the sole purpose of helping people find information. But you haven’t fooled me! That would be Wikipedia.

Google, of all my internet friends, I picked you because you know the most (about me). You record everything from what I search to every data about myself onto your servers, correlated with my IP address. There’s a good chance you’ve installed a cookie onto my browser that logs my online activity. One way around that is to set my browser to not accept cookies. If I do, I miss out on the services that cookies enable.

They sure didn't hide it!

They sure didn't hide it!

But thanks to an app called Google Trends, I can now track what other people search as well.
(In case you live in a cave, Google Trends is a tool that charts how often something is being searched for over a time line, revealing any interesting spikes in its popularity)
Look what I discovered:

Type in anything on Google Trends. You can even do more than one topic and overlap the results.

Wow. I wonder what got everybody suddenly wanting to look up anal fisting in Jan 06? Was there a Family Guy episode about it? South Park? Maybe it appeared in 4chan? Who knows. I don’t even know what a monster pig is. Then again neither did anybody until a brief week in 2007.

I figured if Google knows so much about us, let’s talk more about it. Google is a freaking lucrative corporation because it gives advertisers an avenue for getting attention and it gives consumers a free service.

They have a darn good algorithm working on autopilot and it works like this:

Google has “an evil side.” All the free services provided (Google Search, Google Earth, Google Maps, Gmail, Blogger ETC. ) are funded by advertisers. When you use those services, Google collects information about you. It uses what it knows about you to target ads specifically to your personal tastes. The more you use Google, the more Google gets paid through advertisers. And as long as they continue putting out superior products, we’ll keep using them, and the cycle continues.

Keeping friends close, and enemies closer,

You probably already know

Categories: A Letter To... Tags:
  1. August 9, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Hello, Thanks for this amazing information, keep up the amazing work!

  2. Silhouette
    August 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

    OMG COOKIE MONSTER!! XD did u save a copy when it was on google back then?? interesting i idnt know there was such thing as google trend! imma try it myself 😀

  3. Silhouette
    August 9, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Your terms – PhilOdyssey’s Blog – do not have enough search volume to show graphs.

  4. itsame
    August 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah I don’t even wanna know wtf anal fisting is… sounds sick!

    • Anonymous
      August 9, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      Hey itsame, I googled anal fisting and yeah didnt click any links but reading the description…not very pretty. It looks pretty sick.

  5. August 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Silhouette – No I came across that cookie monster by chance and thought it’d fit in with this entry. And QQ on your search results LOL. *cough.. must be a glitch in the system. Yeah, glitch.

    itsame – It’s exactly as it sounds. You know what else is sick? ARCHERY (the good kind of sick). Btw did you ever find out more about that gun range you were talking about?

  6. B T
    August 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Google’s data-mining is even more pervasive than intimated here, since most websites contain Google Ads, so that most places you visit will cause your IP address to request ad content directly from Google’s servers. Ergo, Google knows most of the sites you visit, and it’s trivial to link this to your Gmail or any other Google accounts. Of course, they promise to play nice with people’s data, but you have to take their word for it.

    Alternatively, you can use the Adblock Plus extension in Firefox and add the following Google ad-related domains to your block list:
    Combined with a subscription within Adblock Plus to https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/easylist.txt this makes your browsing habits largely invisible to Google (and a multitude of others) while all your Google accounts such as Gmail work just as well and are not affected. An additional benefit is a noticeable speedup of Web browsing, as now your connection is no longer transferring many of the ads that plague the Web.

  7. September 6, 2010 at 6:16 am

    This amazing is 1 of the most suitable article that My partner and i have read till date on this particular theme. Totally complete yet to the point without the need for any specific nonsense.

  8. December 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Very interesting and useful information, thanks!

  9. April 9, 2011 at 2:53 am

    i tried adding your post to my digg account as i liked it,but seems someone has already submitted this to digg,hence i just voted it. i found it very interesting because of your perception on the subject.

  10. WP
    April 9, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Gracias!good quality points you high light in this article. I’m not in its entirety together with you, though enjoyed to learn your view point on this subject.

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