As you know, Google stores your search history and other data about your activities on the web. This data is in fact worth gold for advertising and marketing purposes. And Google also aggregates all the information gathered from all its services and software (Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Android, etc.), so that the company can compile consumer profiles even better and display even better advertisements based on your personal preferences. Because (and this is a public secret): Google is not primarily a search engine, but an ad farmer who wants to earn money from you.
Fortunately, you can do something about these Google practices. We explain how you can control Google’s rage by erasing all information about your activities at Google and your search histories and stopping Google from keeping this data up to date. Privacy first!
The following article is about the information that Google collects online about you on its servers. Read here how you can erase your search and browsing history on your PC in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and more with CCleaner.
- Delete your search history, location history and other activities at Google
If you are logged in to Gmail or other Google services, your search history, location history and other activities at Google and on the web are automatically recorded. However, you can delete this.
Delete search history and other activities
- First log in with your Gmail or Google account
- Then go to https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity
- Surprise what has been collected about search history and other activities, click on the three-point menu in the blue bar at the top (see image) and choose Delete activity based on.
Then choose Unlimited (if you want to delete everything at once) and then click Delete.
Delete your search history and other activities at Google
- Delete location history
You must delete your location history (Google also keeps track of where you have been!) Separately at Google. View your Timeline (with all places you have been to) and if you want to delete this information then choose the trash can icon (see image) to delete all data.
Click on the trash can icon to clear the location history that Google keeps
By removing all this information you have made it a little more difficult for Google to make a profile of you with the collected data. To prevent future search and web history and other activities at Google, you must stop or interrupt them.
- Stop collection of data by Google about your web and search history and other activities
There are many activities that Google keeps track of you, such as:
– web and app activity (this includes web pages visited and search history)
– location history
– device information
– speech and audio activity
– YouTube search and viewing history
Visit all switches (more than shown in the image) to turn off data collection
- Ad settings Change Google to turn off personalized advertising when you are logged in
If you are logged in to Google, personalized advertisements will be displayed everywhere on the internet, especially for you. For example, if you search Google for a sun holiday in Spain, you will automatically see advertisements on cheap websites for flights to and hotels in Spain on all kinds of websites. These websites do not do this, but Google (which keeps track of all this information about you – and because you are also registered with Google – and can therefore automatically show you through websites using its own Google Ads)!
If you do not want Google ads to be adjusted to your search history and apparent personal preferences, you can disable this. You will still see advertisements, but not advertisements that are specifically aimed at you.
Also data collection if you are logged out of Google
Most people know that Google collects a lot of information about you to record your preferences and to create advertising profiles. If you are logged in to your Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Chrome or others) then all your searches and other preferences will be saved when you use the internet.
Logging out of Google and you’re ridiculous, you might think, but that’s not the case! Even if you are logged out of your Google account, the search giant collects all your searches and records them for your specific browser (probably based on the unique characteristics of your browser and system settings). For example, when you are logged out, Google still saves search history, advertising settings (for personalized ads, for example), search and viewing history on YouTube and more. What to do?
- Manage privacy if you are logged out of Google
Now Google does offer the possibility to curb this gathering rage. First log out of your Google accounts in your browser (for example go to Gmail and log out, and if you use Chrome as a browser go to chrome: // settings / and log out under Log in) and then go to this webpage.
There you can disable, interrupt, delete or adjust the following items:
Dashboard with overview of all Google services that you use
Other (privacy) settings of your Google accounts for the various services that you use can be viewed and changed, deleted or stopped via the Google Dashboard. A handy overview to see what you are using from Google. You must of course be logged in to your Google account.
Here is a Google help page where cookie settings for Chrome are explained, so that information that Google retrieves from cookies is limited:
– cookie settings for Chrome
You can also change your personal details at Google and delete your account:
– Personal information and privacy of your account
– Delete your Google account and download data
No Google and Android
If you perform all of the above actions, you have a little more control over your privacy with Google. But the only way to give Google as little value as possible is by not using any services or software from Google at all, Not using an Android phone (because in Google’s Android everything is routed to Google), never searching through Google, cookies from Google, to block Google Analytics via the above-mentioned add-on and not to use Google’s DNS servers.
- Alternatives to Google
- Alternatives to Google search
- Here some alternative services for Gmail, Google Maps and more
If you don’t mind that Google (and other companies and governments) collect information about you then the story above doesn’t help you (and you probably haven’t even read it). If you are very concerned with your privacy, then also read our extensive series on privacy, espionage by governments and advertising companies such as Google with tips for better privacy.
In the comments we would like to hear your tips about privacy and Google and additions and corrections to the article are also welcome!