Did you ever notice how some people like to throw around big numbers? Like, “he has a gazillion dollars in the bank.” Or, “she has a jillion reasons why she won’t be able to go with us tomorrow.” Those are really big amounts, and most people don’t even know how much a “gazillion dollars” is worth; they just know it sounds huge.
Those same terms are used to describe Google and all the searches and information it has. But to put it in proper perspective, you need to use terms that most people comprehend. For example, there are more than 70,000 searches on Google every second. Yes, every second. That comes up to over 4 million searches per minute. It’s mind-blowing to think in those terms, but as you read this sentence people have typed in over 700,000 searches in the Google search box. Here’s something else to think about: when Google went public, it was valued at $27 billion. Today, it’s valued at $739 billion, and it’s growing.
The Google Business Model
So, how does Google make so much money, since they get all of their information from others – as they really don’t have anything of their own to provide? It’s all about targeting – their business model has them offering advertisers very highly targeted consumers, and it’s making them a lot of money. Maybe not “gazillions” – but just a few years ago their ad revenue was over $94 billion. And it’s growing each year.
That’s an awful lot of targeted ads being sold to advertisers. A lot of their 88,000 employees are working on algorithms that scour the Internet looking for information that people are searching for. For example, if you typed in “John Doe” in their search engine, many gazillion bots would be running around the Internet looking for anything with “John Doe” on it, and would then aggregate that information and make it available to their advertisers – for a price of course. It’s a remarkable concept – others do all of the work, and Google makes the bulk of the money. That’s why you want to remove personal information from Google.
See What Google Knows About You
Forget about “John Doe” for a minute, and type in your own name. Once you Google yourself, you’ll be amazed at just how much information Google can find about you on the Internet. They go to people-search sites, social media sites, web pages, YouTube downloads – everything a person does on the Internet is used, tracked, and indexed by Google. Every keystroke, every click, every link you download – it’s all there for Google bots to search.
That’s a ton of personal information that Google has on you. And remember, they got it from others on the Internet, so they really didn’t have to do much work to assemble a dossier on you. And now that they have it, they’re going to sell it to advertisers so they can send you banner ads and retargeting ads based on your current Internet searches. It’s a business that keeps on growing each day.
Start Removing Your Personal Information from Google
The bulk of the personal information that Google collects comes from those people-search sites, which is why they should be your first stop to delete all of that unauthorized data and opt-out. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. First, there are more than 100 people-search sites, including Pipl, US Search, and ZoomSearch, among many others. Second, each one of those sites has its own rules and regulations for deleting the data they’ve collected on you, which makes the process extremely time-consuming.
Plus, if you’re thinking of hiring someone to do the work for you, plan on setting aside a lot of cash, because it’s going to be expensive. And if you start deleting your information, be sure not to use your own email address when requesting to delete information – instead, get a disposable email address from TempMail, Mailnator, or E4Ward. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an email box full of spam that could go on for a long time.
People-search sites are your first stop – but not your only stop when deleting your information from the web. If you have any websites that you’ve published or control, start deleting them. Since they’re yours, you don’t need anyone’s permission to remove your personal data. If you appear on other websites that belong to other people, however, you’ll need to ask them to delete your information. It could be a former employer where you appear in their “about us” section, or a school newspaper that has a bio on you – whatever it might be, get permission and start deleting.
Since those Google bots love to search through social media, make that one of your top stops. Review everything you’ve ever posted – and delete it. That includes posts, pictures – anything and everything that has your name and other identifiable info on it. Otherwise, Google will collect and index whatever they find that has your name on it, and make it available to anyone who types in your name шт the search bar.
Here’s something most people forget to do: ask Google to delete information that is sensitive and could lead to identity theft, financial fraud or other nefarious activities from cybercriminals. It’s in their own policy, so if you ask and they agree it meets their policy standards, they have to delete it. This could be fake porno with your image on it, any type of personally sensitive financial and medical information, and many other categories that cybercrooks can use to commit identity theft or financial fraud.
By following the suggestions and reviewing the information above, you’ll be able to remove your personal information from Google, making it harder for cyber thieves to commit identity theft against you.