The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
I get a lot of e-mail. I get the Toys’R’Us Newsletter (mock me later) I get e-mails from PF Chang’s and Apple and Meetup.com. I’m tired of it! I’m going to launch a new campaign, a mission, a quest to unsubscribe to everything that has my e-mail address! No more lists!
It started out fine, and I’d get a couple of e-mails a day but as an iPhone user I have the compulsion that I MUST check mail the second a little “1” appears on the mail icon. When I waste that precious finger tap to find out it’s an e-mail from Babies’R’Us about a sale on diapers I get the urge to merge my phone with the nearest adjacent wall.
You distracted me over diapers?! DIAPERS!? My son is five years old!
I go into a nerd rage of epic keyboard mashing proportions before noticing my green glowing eyes in a near by mirror and calming down again. Mailing List rage effects families of all sizes, and kills more people every year than Shark Attacks and Vending Machine related accidents COMBINED.
I think quite possibly all of the trouble in the Middle East would be resolved if they’d all just spend a little time clicking unsubscribe. BOOM problem solved. No more wasteful war spending and in one swift move both the economy is righted and global warming is resolved. Mailing List rage.
So yes, in this bonus blog on a sunny Sunday Valentines Day I commit to you to click unsubscribe on all the garbage and only allow the e-mails I actually want to read to come into my inbox, and distract my iPhone from doing what it should be doing…
Earlier this year I was published in Entrepreneur Magazine in an article about Google Chrome weighing the pros and cons of Google’s slick new browser, my vote was to stick with Firefox. This blog will come as a bit of a departure from the normal, but reading the news there is just a lot going on with Google right now that is frightening to me.
Google REALLY wants your information.
In the movie Minority Report Tom Cruise walks down a hallway filled with 3D advertisers able to scan your eyes and cater advertisements specifically to each user. These advertisers are able to query a database and know what kind of car you drive, where you live, what else you’ve purchased, etc. This makes for better advertisement success because the content is catered to the user.
It seems that Google is very eager to learn as much as they can about each person, and assign that data to your gmail or Google User account. Google now owns YouTube, and knows what you’re watching online, Google tracks your search data through Google to know what you’re into, and if you read the fine print of the Google Chrome license agreement you’ll see that you’re agreeing to let Google record all of your online activity so they can send that back to their engineers to further refine their advertisements to you, and map your behavior online.
Maybe this isn’t a big deal, but people are pretty guarded about their privacy. Google isn’t recording your bank account number, or your social security number, they aren’t capturing your e-mails or selling your information to third parties, but they are using the map of your virtual self to target advertisements your way.
According to a report by Business Insider Apple is receiving more than $100 Million Dollars annually from Google to keep Google the default Search Engine on the iPhone. The relationship between Apple and Google is starting to deteriorate in no small part because Google wanted the data collected from their Google Maps application on the iPhone 3G to again further target content and advertising to you based on your behavior.
The issue that concerns me, from a search marketing perspective, is that Google seems to want to decide what is right for you, based on your behavior and their algorithm. This moves us away from an Organic Search format where web sites are ranked based on popularity and are instead ranked on what your internet behavior says about you.
If Microsoft’s history is any indication, I see lawsuits and public fears becoming more and more prevalent as Google’s Chrome operating system hits the market. How will people feel when they learn that their operating system is spying on them to build the next generation marketing tools?
That dark Minority Report future might not be too far fetched, we may be only a few clicks away. How much of your information do you want Google to have? Is it all in the name of a better more targeted experience or does Google seek to turn our personal data into profitable research?