Google Addiction: Are Effortless Results Worth the Risk?

The Washington Post looks into a new way that Google is trying to be more accountable for the performance of their ads, but in a very creepy way:

“By applying technology to measure their impact, Google plans to differentiate its banner and video ads from those of its competitors. Teaming with online research firm ComScore Networks Inc., Google is trying to correlate the effectiveness of each ad by tracking the number of people exposed to it who later perform searches about the product.”

I have a love/hate relationship with Google. I realize what they are doing, and why they are doing it, but am concerned over the massive data they are collecting and storing about individuals. If they track my preferences, can they provide tools that are customized to me, almost as if it is reading my mind? Yes. However, what if this information gets stolen or misused? What if all of our information gets stolen or misued?

On the flip side, their tools work incredibly well. I just switched form Bloglines to Google Reader. I still can’t break the Google search engine habit, and I still end up using my Gmail account a few times a week.

For large companies, there is an increasing reliance on Google in order for their business to succeed. Whether it is ranking well in Google search, praying they don’t change their algorithm, or using AdSense as the backbone of your ad strategy, Google is making it incredibly easy to make money with them, and even harder to break up.

Perhaps I need to create a 12 step program to break Google addiction.

Step 1: Admit you have a problem.
Step 2: Go to Google, and type in “how to break up with Google”
Step 3: Admit you have a problem….

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