How Important is Privacy in Search?

Phone searching with no privacy from security cameras.

Google is king. There’s no disputing that the search engine has the lion’s share of searches and handles billions of them every day. It also tracks everything about you and where you go, even in private browser modes.

Google is the Internet version of Big Brother and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo aren’t that much different. How important is privacy to people when they search? Do they care if Google knows where they go and what they see?

It’s a growing concern, but not enough to bother Big Brother because it’s the default for almost everything. We don’t even call it searching anymore, we call it “Googling.” Can we get away from the Orwellian search giant and regain our freedom?

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

How many people have searched for something online and then found themselves bombarded by ads about it for the next several weeks? As a writer, I do research all the time. I once had to write product descriptions for a British dish company and looked up various types of plates and silverware.

Everywhere from Google to Facebook, I saw ads trying to sell me fancy silverware that I didn’t need. The news has been filled with scandals about how Facebook manipulated news feeds and millions of people gave up their faces on FaceApp.

It’s a data-driven industry and everything you do from the seemingly tiniest minutiae is analyzed not only for the search engines but big business as well. I love data. I use a ton of it in my work, but it’s all anonymous.

Privacy in search is a growing worry and some countries are passing legislation to limit it, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon here. It’s too valuable, but there are ways you can fight back and keep your web searches private, but you might have to give up some of the simplicity.

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

We all love things that are easy. Imagine how our lives have changed over the last few decades.

We don’t have to get up to change the television channel. Everything we want to watch is On-Demand and Streaming, so we don’t have to wait. No need to visit the library to ask questions or research because everything is on the web.

People seemed concerned about privacy, but that concern flies out the window if it means things get a little harder. We don’t mind tracking information because Netflix shows us shows that we might like to watch or Amazon shows us products we might want to buy.

If you want to give up all that informational tracking, then you’re giving up that simplicity. Are you ready for that?

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

The world has become a cacophony of ones and zeros where automation replaced emotion and cold hard data replaced humanity. All Web still believes in the power of humanity and understanding the emotion along with the data.

Automation is a tool, but not a way of life. Data can tell us what people do, but it’s the human heart that tells us why.

Privacy in search is growing. Search engines like Duck Duck Go let you surf the web without Google’s tracking. Searches using these types of platforms are growing, but nowhere near the search volume of Google. Duck Duck Go counts their searches in millions, but not billions.

Google is watching and automated digital technology grows each day. George Orwell’s “1984” was a cautionary tale, but how long before Big Brother starts telling you what to buy?

Brock Cooper

Brock has been doing SEO, Social Media Management and Marketing for seven years and has watched the industry shift and change, providing a unique perspective to clients. Brock is the recipient of two Associated Press awards and the Richard A. Laymon President's Award for Service by the renowned Horror Writer's Association. When he isn't scouring the Internet for the latest in SEO info, Brock enjoys writing short stories, teaching his wife and children the importance of Dr. Who and writing articles for various entertainment and video game sites.

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