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8 Google Products I use Daily

Posted by on 19th Aug 2010 | 11 comments

As privacy is becoming an even bigger concern, the centralization of our information is an issue almost no one can afford to ignore. As such, there is a lot of talk and debate about whether we are giving up too much of our information to Google and, if so, can we trust them with that information.

This spurred a conversation with a friend of mine some time ago on the topic and we both began to think about the Google services we use on a daily basis. We put aside all of the services we use without any action on your part, such as viewing Adsense ads or YouTube clips, or even the services that we use almost every day, such as Google Docs, and focused in stead on services we know we will use at least once every working day.

After I got done with my calculation, I was stunned. I use eight Google services every day and many others very regularly. This put into perspective how much information Google probably has about me and has made me start to wonder if I have put in too much faith in the “Big G”, despite its privacy policy.

So what are the services? Here they are in no particular order.

Search

This one is fairly obvious, it is Google’s core service and still their most popular. Like the majority of the Web Google remains my default search engine and I use it at least a few times daily. Experiments with other search engines have left me less than satisfied. Google simply seems to do this best though the competition is finally getting a bit stronger.

Gmail

Another obvious one. I use Gmail (technically Google Apps) to manage my email and handle almost all correspondence. Though I don’t use Google Talk, nearly every piece of correspondence, including Twitter and Facebook messages, pass through my Gmail account at some point.

Google Reader

Google’s RSS reader, Google Reader, is still the best tool of its kind for what I do with RSS. Though I’ve experimented with other feed readers and use them for certain functions, such as Fever, Google is still my primary RSS reader and one of the first things I open up each morning. Though the volume of RSS reading I do through it isn’t very high, it’s very crucial to my work.

Google Calendar

I use Google Calendar to keep track of my appointments, deadlines and other important dates. The fact that it is free, integrates with other services, such as Toodledo, and syncs with both my desktop and my iPhone has made it an invaluable part of my daily life.

Google Analytics

I may not log into Google’s Web traffic tool every day, but I get the information emailed to me (in my Gmail account no less) as it is paired with my data from PostRank for my morning reports. I also do log in on at least a weekly basis for additional analysis.

Of the services on this list, this is probably the one I am least committed to. I use Clicky primarily but I have a great deal of archived data in Google Analytics and, since it is free, I continue to use it alongside with Postrank.

Google Chrome

At the risk of starting a browser war, I use Google Chrome as my primary browser at home on my Windows comp and switch between it and Firefox at work on my Mac. By in large it has proved to be the fastest and most stable browser for my day-to-day needs though I keep other browsers around for Web development.

Google Voice

Very recently, I started using Google Voice both as my voicemail on my personal phone but also my business line. All calls to my business are routed through the service and I make all outgoing calls through it as well. This way, I can receive important calls no matter where I am, get transcriptions of voicemails and generally offer a better experience to clients.

FeedBurner

On this list, FeedBurner is the only Google product I started using while it was part of another company. Google bought out FeedBurner and has integrated it (somewhat) into their other offerings. FeedBurner is a service I don’t actively recommend anymore, though I still remain committed to it, largely due to the fact the benefits of leaving do not outweigh the problems I would likely incur.

As with Google Analytics, it may not be a service I log into every day, but I have integrated it in with other services and get daily FeedBurner reports, which, sadly, are often useless.

Bottom Line

When I put all of this together, it is a pretty massive amount of information Google has about me and that should has given reason to pause. I’ve gone through and looked at Google’s privacy policy for all of the above products and haven’t found anything outrageous, but with so much information centralized in one company, concern is understandable.

So what do you think? Do we give Google too much of our information and, if so, what alternate service should we be looking at?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this so leave a comment below.


11 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Michael Kwan on 19th Aug 2010

    What about Google AdSense? YouTube?

    • Posted by Jonathan Bailey on 20th Aug 2010

      I mentioned them in the intro, for the purpose of this article I only talked about services that I took some kind of action to use, not things I merely stumbled across while surfing the Web. I don't offer Adsense ads nor do I upload to my YouTube account daily.

    • Posted by dotCOMreport.com on 25th Aug 2010

      AdSense is great. And interesting post. Goes to show how much of a stamp Google has put on the market.

  • Posted by Hippy Hop on 19th Aug 2010

    That really depends on what kind of information you give. I mean, you really have to give Google all your info if you are using adsense. But if not, you can only give much as you desire.

    • Posted by Jonathan Bailey on 20th Aug 2010

      Not 100% true. You don't have a lot of control what information Google gets with, say, Gmail as it analyzes everything emailed to you. So what if I get an email from a site I registered for with my contact info or other private information? It might still seem to be private but Google has indexed it for the purpose of selling ads.

  • Posted by Aurel Wong on 19th Aug 2010

    I mainly use Google Search and Gmail daily. I should try other Google products to find out the benefits of each Google product.

  • Posted by Hieu Martin on 20th Aug 2010

    i'm fan of google. Love google services.

  • Posted by Dean Saliba on 20th Aug 2010

    I only use Analytics, their search engine and Feedburner. I've tried their Gmail but have had my Hotmail email since 2001 and don't wish to change now. :P

  • Posted by Tom on 20th Aug 2010

    Do you give Google to much info? I might have thought so before, but not anymore.

    Now I compare it with younger people who put tons of personal info onto Facebook for the world to see.

    Or with iPhone users who have been told that they must let Apple track them at all times and sell the data (anonymized).

    With the information that I give Google, they don't have the right to publish anything unless I explicitly request it, and often it isn't very personal or interesting anyway. In some ways, I guess this is their problem: the data they have turns out to be much less valuable then the data that people give to facebook.

  • Posted by Virtual Services on 21st Aug 2010

    Thanks for sharing. That’s classic!

  • Posted by Suraj on 25th Aug 2010

    You are right, one thing about google i don't like is that when you get some private message like from bank that time also gmail show relevant ads. Means google know all things about us.