I was on the way home from central Victoria late last year for a family member’s whenwe took a detour off the main highway and decided to checkout the old gold mining town of Maldon. We had a late breakfast there and had a wander though the historic town. I hadn’t seen it since I was a kid. Just on a whim that day we decided to turn right instead of left and had a lovely morning which otherwise would have been spent on a well made but boring highway. Great little place and well worth a look if you’re ever in the area.
That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Google. The discovery aspect, the ability to find new information quickly and easily. That’s why I’ve always had personalisation & web history switched off in Google. I found that it was always giving me old sites I had visited in that I didn’t really need coming up high in my search results. If they were that important to me I would have bookmarked them. Basically Google was turning my search results into a bland vanilla version of what they once were. It was if the sign to Maldon had been replaced with directions to places I had already been.
Google and privacy
Tomorrow Google unifies 60 privacy policies currently in effect across its various products and services, everything from Google search to the Android operating system. This means data you share with any Google service may now be used to customise your experience in all of their products. This is of course under the guise of giving you a better user experience but also to give you more targeted and hopefully more effective advertising.
As a civil libertarian, I’m actually not that fussed about these changes. I made the decision a long time ago about what I would and wouldn’t share with online businesses and the consequences of that. I’m not that crazy about the changes as a user though, as I thinks it will limit the discovery aspect of search. There are a couple of simple things you can do and be aware of to minimise the effect of these changes.