What does Google Know About You?

If I die…. delete my Internet browser history.

We all know Google and its incredible capabilities and “infinite wisdom.” The question is, what does Google really know? In 2012 there were 5.13 billion individual searches each DAY and that number continues to grow.

Google users’ search inquiries are as varied as its vast number of searches. People confide in that search bar and tell it more than they would their closest friends and family. While so many of us confide in the anonymity of the search, it’s no longer a secret that Google and search engines alike are tracking every keystroke and mouse click.

Google provides us each day with tools we consider almost invaluable.  With 425 million Gmail users, 1 billion YouTube videos viewed per month, (Yeah, Google owns YouTube as well) 200 million Android users with credit card information on file, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Chrome and the rising incorporation of the Google +1, the question becomes “what doesn’t Google know?”

In recent years and especially lately with the exposure of the NSA scandal, internet users’ safety and security are at the forefront of the conversation.

Have you ever sat back and wondered, “What exactly do they know about me?”  The answer may scare you….not to mention who’s providing the answer…and yes, it’s Google.

Google introduced Google Dashboard in order to give its users a central location to find out about what type of information was being collected about them. All it takes to check out your own profile, simply log into your Gmail or Google Chrome and search www.google.com/dashboard.

Wall Street Journal reporter, Tom Gara, decided to do a little research on his self and the results are incredible. Check out the infographic Mr. Gara put together detailing the results he found with a quick search:

We’ve all found ourselves aimlessly watching videos for amounts of time we’d rather not admit. Far too many times we’ve broken the trance and wondered how we ever got to the video we just watched and now we can trace every view. With Google Dashboard, you have that answer. They track every video you’ve played in chronological order.

The same goes for your browsing history. Your entire history is complied and is searchable.  You could log on to your dashboard, and search the term “octopus” and almost instantly see every page you visited that contained that keyword.

The amount of searchable information about yourself and Mr. Gara, here, is impressive. Google has the ability paint an eerily accurate portrait about a user’s interest and their daily activity.

With the emerging of Google Glass and the other mysterious products and services Google is cooking up in the lab; ten years from now, we’ll be able to look back through our browser history and retrace nearly every aspect from our lives.

Knowing that this detailed information is out there, how can marketers gain access and use this data to target their customers?

…Stay tuned for Part II of this blog to find out; word is…it’s going to be bigger than Sharknado II.



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