Boycott Google

With the recent acquisition of Pyra by Google, more people are beginning to ask: What is Google up to?

When Google was launched it promised the world – a new way to search the web and vastly superior searches to any of its competitors. It quickly became a phenomenon – the most visited engine on the Internet, and one that people trusted. But something is happening in Google Inc.

Unlike Yahoo, Excite or many of the other portals, Google just searched. Big colorful Google letters greeted you on your visit to their site. Cuddly bears have been seen running around the Google letters, fluffy bunnies; the letters have even been done in the style of a Monet painting. “This is a site I can trust” – one would think. Think again.

Personally, I have always had some suspicions about Google. It is interesting to delve into their world – a world where people search for friends, workmates and complete strangers, where whatever you post on the Internet will likely be stored in Google’s cache. It has come to the point now where we cannot escape from Google. Or can we?

Distrust of Google is growing. A-list blogger Dave Winer says “I feel my trust was betrayed by Google,”. He plans to favour other search engines when exploring the Web. Other bloggers are calling for Google-free Fridays – along the same lines as Microsoft-free Fridays. Bernie Goldbach asks if there is, or could be, a Google-free zone on the Internet, a place where we can hide from the spiders of Google. Online movements like this can gather pace very quickly, so Google should not really use heavy handed tactics such as this – it’s dangerous for them.

You may wonder why all of my references to Google here are followed by the ubiquitous “trademark” symbol. Some of you may have heard about this – Google has sent legal papers to several people warning them that using phrases such as “Googling” are infringing on their trademark. Are new verbs allowed to be copyrighted? Is this the search engine we all know and love? And there’s more.

Recently Google was nominated for the U.S. corporate Big Brother of the year. This is a part of Privacy International’s awards. Mentioned are some things about the colorful friendly Google that you might not like to hear.

Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires in 2038. Yes, 2038. That’s 35 years from now. The Google cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Anytime you go to a Google page you get a Google cookie. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number.

And they are very secretive about how they use this information. Users may have noticed that when they go to www.google.com, it now reverts to the domain of the country in which they reside. If I go to Google.com in Ireland, it reverts to Google.ie. I have never liked this; I don’t want them to know I’m in Ireland. I don’t want them to know anything about me at all. But they do. And it gets worse.

When you do a search on Google, it records you cookie ID, your IP address, the time, date, your search terms and the configuration of the browser you are using. They will also deliver results on the basis of where in the world you are living. And Google retains all this data. Indefinitely.

When Google were asked about this, they refused to comment. Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored. When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had no comment.

According to Google-watch.org, Google also hired a man formerly of the National Security Agency, Matt Cutts. So what you might say? Well, try searching for “Echelon surveillance” and see exactly what the NSA is capable of with regard to tracking information. And if you ever feel aggrieved by Google, well tough. As Google-watch points out “There are no detailed, published standards issued by Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites. Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time they don’t even answer email from webmasters.”

The point to all of this is really, trust and privacy. Do I trust Google? Not anymore. Is Google a caring corporate entity and is not really in it for the money? Of course not.

If you are worried about government spying like Total Information Awareness, Carnivore or Echelon, you need not worry. Google is already doing quite a good job of spying on us all already.

I do not like Google.

I have now decided that AlltheWeb shall be my new search engine and homepage. Hopefully they will not go down the same road as Google.

I want to go further than Pete Prodoehl who thinks everyone should switch search engines for a day. I think we should all follow Apple’s motto of “Switch” – and “switch” away from Google.

I am boycotting Google from this day forth. I would encourage all users of the Internet to do likewise.

Gavin Sheridan

53 thoughts on “Boycott Google”

  1. We must boycott that sucky, crappy, site google! Google must die! I rather gargle a bucket of dirrah than go to google!!!!

  2. Man I nerver thought google will become another corporate who doesn’t give a damn about people.

  3. google is pro-bush, they publish pro-bush headlines, and publish opinion columns “from yale” as “objectively proven” at least if you dont pay attention, you’ll believe its true. need to spread the word around to those anti bushers, take down google! connect bush to google! kill google

  4. Google is not Pro-Bush. They are very liberal.

    “Google employees gave $207,650 to federal candidates for last year’s elections, up from just $250 in 2000 when it was still a start-up. And 98% went to Democrats” – USA Today

  5. err. don’t you think you’re being bit too paranoid? seriously, it’s not a bad thing that google is everywhere. info is needed for speed.
    fast access, so good enough on regular basis. though if you’re really looking for some solid-coplex information use something else.
    what kind of op-sys can go on for 35 years??? will you please notify me? i myself re-install my machine about every half a year. (just the way it is).
    simple, if you put your head to it, isn’t it?

  6. I agree wholeheartedly! I was a participant in the Google Ad Sense program, and they disabled my account for no real reason other than “mis clicks.” To top it off, they refused to provide proof or any truths, or to work with me in any way. I hope they have fun with my attorney and my nice lawsuit. At last count, they violated 27 articles of the consumer protection act.

  7. I agree with you and CK! I just got canned by Google AdSense last week, and I didn’t cheat!!! So I started a new website, boycottgoogleads.com …wish me luck!

    James Moore

  8. I AGREE! Thousands of family businesses have been put out of business for what reason? WHO KNOWS! We only know that google has too much power – and NO ACCOUNTABILITY! Boycott Google. Don’t buy their stock. Don’t use their adwords!

    You have adwords on this page!! Shame on you!!!!

  9. Another reason to boycott Google – It is the biggest directory of on the net. Watch in 2006 as Family Groups organize a massive boycott.

    Also please contact all “internet filter” software service providors to let them know that the biggest loophole in their filters is they still allow listings from Google.

    China can get Google to block listings in their country. Why can’t that happen in the USA?

  10. I personally wouldn’t go as fas as boycotting google. All of the other search engines and email providers are just as bad, some infact much worse. Google is a pretty liberal company, and even turned down the federal government on turning in information ( http://apnews.myway.com//article/20060120/D8F83FUG2.html).

    If you are that worried about your privacy in google, don’t use it for things you want to keep secure, but that doesn’t mean you should boycott it altogether, thats just being rediculous.

    Anyways, it cracked me up to see you had google add word on the side of your blog, what a contradiction, eh?

  11. The whole China thing is the last straw, to think that as an IT support engineer I ‘sold’ google to about 400 of our users as the best search engine!!! The ‘conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this is a ‘sold out’ thing or wether this was the plan by cynic corporate and government pressures. Im suprised that China has signed a deal because if the USA government connections are true then Chinas activities will be more visible and accessable to US government.
    I saw an item on the news that said that China employs thousands of people to surf the next looking for anti-government content and blocking it so – “Tianiman Square”, “Tibet independence” – now Ive got you attention Chinese sensors – how can you sleep at night

  12. After reading about what Google have gone and done in China in the paper over my lunchbreak in work (agreed to censor themselves and be good = support the regime in its oppression of its own!)I came straight back and tried to look on the internet if there is a boycott of them going on anywhere. The funny thing was that the search engine that automatically offers itself on my company/concern homepages in none other than Google, albeit in the cosy local Finnish version. SO I found myself looking up Altavista -that seemed to be around and big where I was about 10 years ago. SO I stumbled across Gavins Blogamagig (sorry but I have managed to live a fairly full life up to now without bollogs in it …but I digress) -and was impressed at the stand and shocked at the extent to which to has gone -not blogging I mean, but Googles big take over.
    Boycotting began, or at least got that name first in Ireland when an English lord (or earl or something) of that names treated his so-called underlings as -..well underlings and got “somethinged” -and that something needed a name, so it became “boycotting”. So it is apt that use Irish should be the ones active in spreading such action nowadays, too.

    So to make a short story long:
    I hereby,as of this winter afternoon, commence my boycott of Google and will try to spread the word.

    Gavin -keep fighting the good fight, but I must say I prefer Beamish

  13. Indeed

    Google has played into censorship in China, what does this say about integrity ? I’ll tell you what… The two fat boys at google have both cashed in over 1 Billion of stock in cash. Now, you ask, search portal, billions in cash… Face it, Google is the metaphor for ‘Sign 5 people up and get $5 at paypal’ only they are pushing ads, not bags of heroin over the international borders.

    Fuck google

    Fuck them to hell and back

    God damn mother fucking over rated.

    Before Google I used http://www.askjeeves.com – before that ? http://www.hotbot.com

    I have rediscovered BOTH of these services work JUST fine

    and no, god damn it, I do not need

    http://moon.google.com

    google has tried to re-invent Lycos and Yahoo, and fuck them for trying to whore their second hand ads off on me.

    Want to use DEC System Fonts and provide pretty letters with a sleek interface ? Fine, pretty boys, you can do that.

    Want to provide a search utility for the media on the internet ? Great

    Try to become the next peer to peer phone service ? Moon maps ? Earth browser using image data that you fucking inherited you lame ass sons of bitches.

    NOTHING ABOUT GOOGLE is GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING ORIGINAL anymore.

    NOTHING

    piss on google.

    $400 stock ?

    fuck that shit

    try $4

    not even that

    These god damn asswipes don’t deserve the remarketing of desanews.

    Groups.google.com – HA

    you fuckin’ ass better bet it’s in Beta

    google itself is an exploit on a gimicky number with 100 zero’s following it.

    Google is soon becoming just 100 god damn mother fucking ZEROS.

    BAN GOOGLE

    CAN GOOGLe

    FUCK GOOGLE
    and whatever you do

    dump it

  14. Google is nothing but a Sandra Bullock ad in 2002.

    Because Tim Burners Lee didn’t think through tagging, monsters like yahoo and google have to be used to swig up all the loosely poorly organized material. No SCORM – Structured Courseware Object Reference Model, no order.

    Google exists to organize what has been for the first 10 years of it’s existance, loosely chucked together, hopefully hyperlinked, mass almalgative media cesspool of culture that China wants kept out of it’s so called control project.

    Google is merely a ‘clever’ solution to a problem that needs to be solved by proper tagging, not aggregate word counts, or url counts to determine relevancy.

    In time, what google is, will fade, it is but a temporary solution, and at the same time, hey, they want to wear a logo on their race suits to make a buck, all in a days race to the outhouse of glory perhaps.

    One neat test from this China censorship will be: Google doesn’t survive without the parasitic ‘click to win Play staaaaayshun 3’ ad model, however pretty they’ve prettied up the exploits. China is selling most of the crap google ads are promoting, so, it will be interesting to see Google’s bidness model in a communist country where apparantly the media is controlled, and the ads ? well, do we really expect walmart to flourish in china ? No, Google made a Goo Boo on this one, greed for ‘guessing’ China holds the honey pot of the next 20 years of money – guess what pals… China has appeal for manufacturing… Google does not manufacture anything. And if anything, Google now manufactures censored media.

    I’ve already reset my default page elsewhere.

    I don’t think a single person with any integrity will support google, it’s not a matter of boycotting google, it’s a matter of making the right choice, to distance yourself from this corporate entity who puts making a dollar before human rights – the irony ? Google proclaims to be in the media resourcing business, even though we all know where the god damn fuck those two fat hoseheads got their 1 billion in play dough recently cashed in. Personally ? I don’t think China will stand for this kind of western exploit. Maybe Google oughta hit up North Korea for a whirl. Maybe they can sell some Chinese goods to the North Koreans with ad click ins.

    Bye Bye Google.

    You won’t be missed. You took what wasn’t yours, and tried to parasite off of others necessity – Hello Wikipedia, fuck damn, sure it’s sometimes questionable as to realibility, but at least the mother fucking god damn fuck it’s not censored.

    I’ll take wiki over google.

    Google – maybe you should start making cars in China ?

  15. Why Bash Google on China? 1996 free trade with China signed by President Clinton. Since then almost all US companies buy from China. Microsoft and Yahoo bowed to China before Google. Why don’t all you Google bashers Boycott Yahoo and Microsoft. Throw away your pc. It’s made in China and has Microsoft software on it.

  16. Art,

    You don’t get it

    Western Matrialiastic Consumerism in one thing when it’s a Garden Hose. China doesn’t censor garden hoses. When it’s media ? Such as News, public opinion etc that is banned, that kind of censorship is a violation of human rights.

    This isn’t about products from China, God – I love China for that. Nor is it about Walmart, I love China for that too, in fact, God I just love china. This isn’t about yahoo because yahoo didn’t sign an exclusive agreement to agree to censorship.

    You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them piss.

  17. Google’s submission to Chinese authorities is no surprise. All multinational companies ultimately want to be monopolists, and fighting censorship is newer as important as company profits.

    What is event worse is Yahoo’s actions in China. They cooperated with Chinese police so that the dissident Shi Tao, a journalist, was arrested and sentenced for prison for 10 years. I imagine Chinese prisons looks nothing like an Yahoo cooperate executives office. He sent e-mails to a New York based humans rights internet site concerning the Tianamen massacre.

    Boycott Yahoo!

  18. I just launched this site this week. Not too much there yet, but the idea os to get more information out to people about the uglier aside of google, especially relating to censorship (especially in China) and internet freedom. Not much yet but a few links, but hope to get this thing going more soon!

    cheers

    boycottgoogle.net

  19. I am glad that Google isn’t the only search engine around. They have the morals of a modern day Mcarthy What they have done goes against all American values. They really do suck. How do they sleep at night? I think we should boycott all Chinese products and not eat Chinese food anymore as well. First outsourcing, then guest workers now selling out disidants. What’s next?

  20. After learning about the whole China thing, I decided I should find a more “ethical” search engine. It’s pretty hard to boycott Microsoft as their software is standard everywhere, but surely I could switch to a different search engine, I thought. Wrong!

    Turns out there was a reason why I used Google – cos the others are all RUBBISH. I’ve spent ages trawling through lists of search engines, most of which gave me irrelevant results, and only brought up about 10 results each. OK, there’s Yahoo! and Alta Vista (which I think is owned by Yahoo! or by Overture which owns Yahoo! or something like that) but Yahoo! was in on the China deal too, so I can’t use them. I’m not sure about Ask Jeeves’ ethics, so I’m using that at the moment, until I find out something terrible about them as well!

    Thing is, I’m used to the Google(TM)(!) layout, and it is a pretty good search engine. I’m so annoyed at Google – I’ve used them from the start, and then they go and do a stupid thing like this! Do they not already have enough money??? Does what they’re doing seriously not weigh heavily on their consciences???

    Or does power negate the need for a conscience?

  21. Google is not pro Bush. Their anti Bush. Type in the word Failure and see what comes up. Last year if you typed in the word Loser, George Bush came up first. I thought google wised up and pulled it. They just moved it to failure. Google sucks. I will never use them again.

  22. Google started out as a great concept. A merging, if you will, of knowledge and information. A way to connect to the library of ideas and products. A “hip” little company. Man,….did they become the poster company for bastard corporate America overnight. They can have all the skateboards in the office and lax dress codes that they want, but they’re just a corporate wolf in slacker clothing. Their response to the question, “Can you pay for better ranking on Google?” is “No”. Bullsh**. Adwords. It’s easy to come up on page 1 if you pay enough. Does adwords help your organic ranking? They say no…..but just stop your adwords campaign and see what happens to it. Google is the SS of the internet. I urge everyone to boycott them. Love to see how much they donate to the Republican party.

  23. Well, i see comments ranging from Feb 2004 to Oct 2006, so why not now too?

    What i wanted to add , as i search those last few days on the matter, is my sadness to see the Firefox browser, being more or less a vehicle of Google, at least in it’s default settings, visible or hidden. It may not mean necessarily that Mozilla foundation is in this rotten game too, let’s not go this far. After all, it is open source, so (in theory) we can turn him upside out. It’s what i tried to do personally these days, de-google Firefox, searching in it’s various hidden default settings files ( e.g. the anti-phishing database addresses which are all straight from google, if i get it right it means that every link i visit is checked against google’s databases? Is this tracking or what ? ) I tried to rid Firefox from every instance or reference to google, or yahoo or whatever in those settings, and monitor the outgoing traffic. I have no big knowledge of geek stuff, i may have tried crude ways, but it was a pain, and this is what saddens me. Why , o Why Firefox are you practically tied to Google? I don’t expect arrogant microsoft die-hards to acknowledge the implications, but at least the people who recognize Firefox as the de-facto platform of the web right now. ( The more so, of the very near future.)

    The fact that google is part of the rotten game, is of no doubt. My concerns are mostly with the de-facto choice of web surfing program ( it’s more than a program actually) that we got at the moment.

    I erased all my accounts, gmails, youtube, Picasas sneaking in my hard disks, unfortunately not blogger as these “cannot be erased at the moment” (!), no I don’t want to have anything to do with Yahoo or Msn families of .. ehmm “social networking goodies” either.

  24. By the way, no i will not help “fight communism” as a link above maintains !
    And no, i don’t share “american” values whatsoever !
    You see, i try to put things literally, so my sentiments are clearly anti-state.
    Any state. Of whom Googles and Yahoos and Microsofts form an integral part!

    (Geeks are the hope, but let’s be alert of geek fascism. )

  25. Google is now censoring results in the US, UK, China and other countries, large corporations and goverments can contact google requesting information be removed from their index.

    This is big brother on the web.

  26. Goolge sucks big time!

    Google Adwords sucks- they banned me for life because they did not like some of my keywords.

    Google Adsense sucks – they pay you 0.01 cents per click.

    Google search sucks – whenever I type in my own domains on Google I get only one search result but I get 10 ~ 100 on Yahoo or MSN.

    Google is trying to take over your life and the world.

    Google is trying to become a dictator, God, your momma.

    FUCK google and their over paid teenaged computer geeks.

    FUCK google, clear out your cookies and never use them again!

  27. I just wanted to say thanks for standing up for privacy rights. Google can be reduced to ashes if people would just look at what and how they go about their business. I quit using google over 2 years ago. Does anyone remember when they were just a simple clean search engine (1998)? Now they are just a WallStreet investment titan that goes around and buys up everything that investors might think is a good idea. Google used to be about search results, now you have to sleep in their bed first. What the hell was it I heard today? Google Phone? Shut the truck up. Take your stupid Google Phone and kiss my ass. I WILL NEVER_EVER_use Google products. Period. Unless they confess their sins and get right with their users.

  28. James, no one gives a fuck about your search history, really, no one, so turn off your computer and just fuck off, you will be happy no one is recording your “oh so fucking interesting surfing habits” and for the rest of us who have nothing to hide we dont have to hear your fucking paranoid shit, go see a fucking doctor

  29. I am writting an operating system called “TheZoid” at http://thezoid.co.uk

    I have no choice but to add this due to nasty search engine which will not advertise my busuiness called google addwords on http://www.google.co.uk which wishes to charge very high prices and as an excuse call my website very poor quality. If you manage to find this website as http://www.google.co.uk is trying its best to keep it out of its search engine that is unbelivable. I would like to know why google cannot recognize TheZoid as an operating system !!! Please send http://www.google.co.uk lots of emails and tell them that shitting on the small man is good business sense. If google wishes me to remove this from my website than advertise my business fairly, at resaonable rates !!!!

    Did you know google.co.uk wishes to charge upto five pounds for one Click for the word “Operating System” and many other words, I would like to know what is this Bullshit !!!!
    Please show your outrage by boycotting the google search engine !!!!

    This message was posted on 15/11/2007 just after I cancelled my google adwords account which will not advertise my business. I will not pay stupid prices for one click for one keyword !!

    If you work at http://www.google.co.uk and find this fucking offensive then I am fucking hope so and you can go fuck yourselfs. PS keep pissing of the small man, and I hope you go out of business !!!!

  30. We have created a website where we monitor Google’s behaviour and obvious cases where Google is involved. We are ex Google employees and do not agree with Google’s way of storing al your personal information and abuse it to make money.

    Visit this site and stay updated

    troogle.wordpress.com/

    Henry de Waag
    ex (Dutch)Google employee

  31. Once I thought google was at the best one of the finer searchengines,until the last night and I spent considerable time setting up a so called adsense website which was the biggest waste of time the adsense TOS indicates publishers are to make their sites easy to navigate what they leave out is that publishers have to be bloody damn rocket scientist and must tolerate crap from google especially the part about google guideline content what B.Sh#t,google violates its own content guidelines coming and going.
    I f I had the money I’d hire some engineers and do what some of your responders have suggested and attempt to create my own search engine.
    With the FTC IETF IANA IAB FBI and a host of others cracking down on sites ie craigslist and others the huge vile showing of google can’t be for behind.
    BOYCOTT GOOGLE and its affiliates as much as possible oh and also its advertisers and let them know youve stopped buying their products/services.

  32. Google is the net’s biggest disappointment for me because it is one of the few online that is going backwards.

    It is doing a lot of cool stuff around the periphery (if you ignore the privacy costs) but the most important thing it does – search – it does much, much worse than it did 5 or 6 years ago. For instance, Google hides 99.999% or more of the world’s knowledge from you by only allowing you to access the top 1000 results. That keeps it cosy for their marketing buddies but also fosters groupthink and reduces innovation.

    Want to know what the world really thinks about Google? Better use another search engine to research it then because of the 2,330,000,000 pages with Google on them, you’ll only be able to access 0.00004 % of them by Googling ‘Google’.

    It is also well on the way to becoming an enterprise trojan and we are keen to replace it as our default search engine at work.

    When will Google understand that businesses do not want to direct their employees to a search page carrying prominent ads for non-business services like the bandwidth and employee time burning Google maps of the moon!

    Google got its start by providing comprehensive and reasonably ranked search results through a convenient clutter free interface but they’ve since massively diluted and destroyed that.

    Please world – give us another search engine that just searches well! While you’re at it, why not make it an open source project so it doesn’t get sacrificed on the marketing altar again…

  33. Google needs to feel People Power.
    The people united can stop/change the whole world. Far more power than any other ‘important’ body.

    Feel that force people.

  34. If Google employees think that they have improved search results then they are deluded. Time to re-educate internet users that there are choices and alternatives.

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