- How to Delete Google Web History
- Google Web History trends provides a snapshot of your search habits.
- Disabling or Pausing Google Web History
File this under Interesting more so than Useful, but did you know that Google has been keeping track of every single Google search you’ve ever performed? That is, at least every Google search you’ve performed while logged in to your Google account. Don’t believe me? Go here: https://www.google.com/history
Neat, huh? You can browse through your web history (includes searches and sites visited) by date using the calendar on the right, and beneath it is the total amount of searches you’ve performed to date. I’m nearing 50,000. I don’t know whether to be proud of or depressed by that.
In case you’re wondering if this is a breach of privacy, it’s not. You agreed to this when you signed up for a Google account. And you signed up for a Google account when you started using Gmail, YouTube, Picasa, Google Docs, Google Voice, Google Talk, Google Desktop, Google Sites, Blogger, Google Reader, Orkut, Google Code, iGoogle, Google Chrome—you get the point. There’s a lot of stuff that’s owned by Google and signing up for any of it signs you up for Google Web History as well.
Personally, I don’t mind it. I think it’s kind of interesting.
You should also check out the Trends section, which works just like Google Trends but only for you. The All Time setting isn’t particularly insightful, since it could span back for years, but if you limit it to the last year, last 30 days or last 7 days, things get interesting. Apparently, I spend most of my time googling groovyPost, instead of spending the extra millisecond to just tack on the .com. (I think in the biz they call that a “navigational search.”) And unsurprisingly, the site that I visit the most is a Bandcamp page that just streams white noise (puts my baby to sleep, works like a charm).
The graphs along the bottom confirm other facts about your search habits that should be obvious. For instance, I do a lot more googling on the weekdays than the weekends. And I googled the least in July, when I was traveling most of the month.
Disabling and Deleting Google Web History
If all of this creeps you out, you can Click Remove All Web History and then Pause web history indefinitely in your All Historysection.
You can also remove individual items. You know, for when you’re shopping for Christmas presents for someone and you don’t want them to see what you were browsing for.
Just check the box next to it and click Remove.
- This is different and distinct from the history that’s saved in your browser. Browser history is saved locally on your machine. Google Web History is saved on Google’s servers and applies to all activity done while logged in on any device. So, for example, if you performed a search on your iPhone, it would show up here as well. If you want to remove all traces of your web history, you’ll have to delete your Google Web History and your local browser history.
- When you are in Incognito Mode, you are not logged in to your Google Account, thus your search activity / web browsing activity won’t be recorded in Google Web History.
- Google uses your web history to tailor your search results and ads. So, if you are testing your search engine rankings or just want to see the web like the rest of the world sees it, search in Incognito Mode.
- If you install the Google Toolbar, Google will begin tracking sites that you visit even if you don’t go there directly from Google.com.