I finally got around to checking out the “Search History” link at the top of my Google homepage and I soon found out that Google has been checking me out since February 7th, 2006. On that day, I searched for the following items.
This just seems so evil that there is a trail of all of my searches sitting someplace on the Google servers. The Google Help includes this description of Search History:
With Web History, you’ll be able to:
View and manage your web activity.
You know that great web site you saw online and now can’t find? From now on, you can. With Web History, you can view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news stories. You can also manage your web activity and remove items from your web history at any time.
Get the search results most relevant to you.
Web History helps deliver more personalized search results based on what you’ve searched for on Google and which sites you’ve visited. You might not notice a big impact on your search results early on, but they should steadily improve over time as you use Web History.
Follow interesting trends in your web activity
Which sites do you visit frequently? How many searches did you do between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.? Web History can tell you about these and other interesting trends on your web activity.
So, what interesting trends did I find out about myself from the Google Search History? Well …
- The number #1 top site for me is Wikipedia
- I search the least on Tuesdays
- For some unknown reason, I search twice as much in March as compared to any other month
- 9:00pm is when I do the most number of searches
- For some reason, Google recommends me 3 Avril Lavigne fan sites.
- And last but not least, based on my searches Google has recommended that I watch the video “The Decline of Belly Dancing in Egypt” *boggle*
It’s amazing to me that this is my “digital bread trail” through the “the cloud”. This content could be used in so many different ways, good and bad. I’m not surprised if this becomes a common forensic tool for criminal investigations. I do understand that I “accepted” the gathering of this data somewhere along the lines but I didn’t think they were going to correlate it to my account!
I have nothing to hide in my search history but beware Google users! I didn’t see a “Delete History” button any place on the UI. 🙂