Did you realize when you are logged in with a free Google account and are searching the web with Google, your every click is being tracked? I learned this tonight thanks to a post by Kern Kelly. Apparently this tracking started in April 2007, or that was the month I started using a Google account through which my web searches and clicks on Google would be tracked. This is indicated by the fact that my monthly search activity was not recorded prior to April:
I’ve been casually aware of of the fact that Google tracks browsing history, because I’ve noticed the “# visits” addition in Google search results for some time:
It is rather amazing, and perhaps a bit disconcerting from a privacy standpoint, to click on the different graph numbers in your Google History and view top queries, top sites, and top hours. I can see which months I’ve burned the most midnight oil. It’s interesting too, and surprising, that Wednesdays are the days I’ve done more Google searches during the week. One thing is clear: I use Google A LOT.
To view your own Google history, visit www.google.com/history.
If you’re logged into a Google account, your surfing behavior is being tracked– unless you choose to PAUSE your web history.
It really is amazing to use the links in the left sidebar of your Web History to filter your searches by type: web, images, news, video, maps, etc. This would be a good thing to show students (and learners of any age, really) and discuss the idea of virtual accountability online. Note that you can filter your searches BOTH by type and date. Use the calendar on the right side of the Google History page to limit the displayed history results for a particular day or month.
Want to permit Google to track ALL the websites you visit? Download the Google Toolbar, enable PageRank and then enable Web History.
Wow. This brings to mind visions of 1984…
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