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Letter 8: Your favourite internet friend

August 9, 2010 12 comments

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

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