By Nickie Louise
Every day, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches. Have you ever wondered how Google makes its money? The bulk of Google’s 162 billion dollar revenue in 2019 came from its proprietary advertising service, Google Ads. According to data from research firm Statista, over 70 percent of all Google’s revenue came from advertising. In 2020 alone, Statista also revealed that Google generated $146.92 billion from its ad revenue.
By allowing Google Search to be free, the tech giant is able to amass a large audience for its advertisements, which makes millions of advertisers use Google to market their products, which in turn means more revenue for Google. In order for Google to provide relevant information to its advertisers, the tech giant collects data about your searches.
The advertising giant collects data every time you search the web, every time you visit a website, every time you use your Android phone – you name it, Google is using it to collect data about you to helps its advertisers
BTW, Google is aware of the data tracking issue especially as users are fleeing Google Ads after they realize just how little the tech giant seems to care about individuals’ privacy. Some users even installed ad blockers in their browsers. Millions of users flock to privacy-focused search engines like DuckDuckGo. Meanwhile, Google is trying to keep advertisers happy while improving privacy. According to Bloomberg, Google is also exploring an alternative to Apple Inc.’s new anti-tracking feature, the latest sign that the internet industry is slowly embracing user privacy.
Since it’s no surprise that Google tracks you on and off the web in many different ways. The question is where does Google really track you? According to a recent study from DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused Google competitor, Google is tracking you on 86% of the top 50,000 websites on the planet, while Facebook is only tracking you on 36%.
The results were based on findings from DuckDuckGo’s Tracker Radar, a dataset of trackers that it collects as it spiders millions of websites for the DuckDuckGo search engine. The same dataset powers DuckDuckGo’s own privacy-centric browser extensions and mobile apps, and can now be freely incorporated into any other company’s privacy toolset.
The DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar reveals hidden tracking data and how Big Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon are tracking you across the top 50,000 websites.
In its latest report, DuckDuckGo showed an example of how the Tracker Radar was able to expose Google-owned trackers are on over 85% of the top 50K sites and Facebook on 36%.
Google is not the only Big Tech tracking you online. According to the Tracker Radar report, other tech companies tracking your online movements across the top 50,000 sites include Adobe and Amazon, at about 22% respectively, Oracle and TowerData at 20% and 19% respectively. AppNexus at about 16% and Rubicon Project at 13.9%.
Commenting on the report, DuckDuckGo said:
“Using the Internet these days feels like being haunted by the ghosts of browsing past. The shoes or headphones you shopped for yesterday are following you around relentlessly today.”
|TRACKER SOURCE||PERCENTAGE OF WEBSITES CONTAINING TRACKERS|
How then do you take back control of your online privacy and protect yourself from Big Brothers?
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to use a quality tracker blocker. While we don’t recommend any particular tracker blocker, we’ve had lots of great feedback about Ghostery. Dubbed as the #1 privacy browser extension, Ghostery gives you the power to block ads, stop trackers, and much more. Another tracker blocker you may want to consider is Privacy Badger. Unlike Ghostery, Privacy Badger automatically learns to block invisible trackers.
Another alternative is to try Google Chrome alternatives like DuckDuckGo or other privacy-focused search engines.