20 years Google: Happy Searchday to you!

Happy Searchday to you! Google is celebrating its birthday. On September 4, 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google Inc. in Menlo Park, California, from which, 20 years later, it became the largest, most powerful, and most feared Internet company in the world.

Even though Google has long since become ubiquitous from YouTube to Android, Maps and Gmail in the lives of its users – the search engine that went online on 15 September 1997 remains the nucleus and figurehead. Since then, we are no longer on the Internet (as before with the long-forgotten Altavista), but we googling.

1. This is what Germany is talking about

5 Google Hot Trends
Very amusing, the current German “Hot Trends” (Photo: Google)

What is the Germans doing right now? The death of father Beimer on Lindenstraße? The vocal problems of U2 singer Bono? Or the mistake of Sebastian Vettel in the Formula 1 race in Monza? Nobody knows that better than Google. In the Hot Trends a fascinating animation with colorful tiles shows live what the country is looking for. More exciting than any TV program!

2. Then seek (e) the world

The Google Trends are a treasure trove of history and stories anyway. There one learns that in 2017 the world’s most frequently asked Google question was: “How to make phlegm?” The Glibberzeug is apparently so popular with children that last year in supermarkets, the glue was the most important ingredient in short supply. An exciting journey through time leads into the year 2001 (photo below) in which Google evaluated its trends for the first time. At the time, the most wanted new products were Windows XP, Xbox and PlayStation 2. The most sought-after technology brand: Nokia. Damn long time ago.


6 Google Trends 2001
Journey into the past: Google Trends from 2001 (Photo: Google)

3. What Google knows about me

In general, Google knows more about its users than its own life partner. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer, afraid of esophagus cancer or want to poison your boss, googling in secret for the appropriate tips. What Google has accumulated all the information about one can be found in the Google Dashboard. There, the life story of a Google user is virtually narrated – up to the website, on which he searched on August 31, 2011 at 19:42 clock (first row with the boss). Here you can retrieve and download all imaginable data. Prerequisite: The user uses – like most – Google with a login, and does not use the services anonymously.

4. Stop curiosity

If you have had enough of the big data collection, you can also stop the collection by Google in the dashboard. The recording of search queries, YouTube usage or movement data can be turned off with simple sliders. Then it is much harder for Google to combine a user’s data across all devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs, into a large profile that can be sold to advertisers.

5. Google without registration

7 Google Sign Out
Good for privacy – sign out of Google with the male icon in the top right corner (Photo: Google)

If you still want to use Google, but do not want to feed it with your data, you should also use the services as far as possible without logging in. For example, Google Search, Maps, or watching YouTube videos are also anonymous. The logout works over the male symbol in the top right corner of the browser. You only need to sign up for services like Gmail, Google Docs or uploading YouTube videos.

6. The best alternative

8 Duck Duck Go
Top Alternative DuckDuckGo (Photo: DuckDuckGo)

DuckDuckGo has become the best-known Google alternative. The company from Pennsylvania advertises with the motto “The search engine that does not pursue you”. DuckDuckGo does not store what its users are looking for and does not sell the data to other companies. The company earns money with ads that match the search, but which are not linked to user data. And: DuckDuckGo offers handy features that are not even on Google – such as the exclamation mark quick search with the “! Bangs”. For example, if you enter amazon shoes, you will end up directly on the shoe page of the online retailer. There are over 11,000! Bangs that DuckDuckGo explains here.

7. The fastest Google search

There are countless and often barely known shortcuts that make Google search easier and faster. A search with the infinity sign (for example, ~ verein München) provides results with similar terms, for example, so the search can be broader. And a search with “allintitle” only brings results with the search terms in the title. With allintitle: Sports Club Munich come so much more relevant results. Google itself provides all information about this.

8. The Express Google

Some searches answer Google very quickly. The search for weather plus zip code (e.g., weather 81677) will immediately bring a very useful weather forecast for the next week at this location. And the define: command (for example, define: oktoberfest) returns the definition and the most relevant entries for that keyword.

9. Use Google with your own browser

If you do not want to be explored by cookie, you use your own browser for sensitive Google requests (Chef! Gift!), Which is otherwise rarely or never used. This also protects privacy on other sites very effectively. Because: Perhaps the most effective way to analyze Internet activity is the “browser fingerprint”. Because browser is not the same browser. There are countless variants, programs, program versions, operating systems, languages, plug-ins, screen resolutions or installed fonts. All this together creates a virtual fingerprint, a digital DNA that is almost unmistakable worldwide. If you use different browsers alternately, it’s harder to follow through the net.

10. Search in Klingon

Google Search dominates 149 earthly languages ​​- and some extraterrestrial and fictional ones. The offer includes:

  • pirates language
  • hacker language
  • Bork
  • Klingon
  • Pigs Latin and
  • Elmer Fudd, the language from the Looney Tunes.

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