Goodbye Google – how and why to get off Google Products

Google is a very problematic company, in all levels: they spy after users[1], they use dodgy techniques and they don’t follow our society code of conduct (the laws)[2]. In many countries they are fined year after year[3] but they still continue to behave like criminals. Google intervenes with politics and manipulate thoughts[4] -making them a company which I wouldn’t want to help or collaborate with. Moreover, their products are fairly average[5], their service is so bad that even the government service looks better beside them[6]. They bully like gangsters to preserve their monopoly and not following the international internet standards[7]. Yet they would censor you from their index if you didn’t follow the same standards that they hardly bother to keep themselves[8].

In this article I will describe the step by step process to replace your existing Google products with others. I will try to do it in steps i.e. starting from the simple actions to the harder ones.

1. Replacing Google Chrome with Firefox

Google Chrome is a central spying tool for Google, they track your behavior as you browse, it is also one of their main points of power as it is allowing them to control the web, and the web development standards, as they require developers to fit with their requirements. Firefox is better connected (via Mozilla) to the roots of the internet, it has better developers tool, it is a faster and better browser. Changing over is easy – I just downloaded Firefox and stopped using Google Chrome.

2. Stopping to use Google Search

Google search is obviously the core of Google products. However the recent algorithm changes made the search results very annoying as they manipulate the results not only by SEO ideas, but also by the profile of the user searching[9]. There are lots of options for alternative search results, my preference is DuckDuckGo Search since (1) they do not track users, (2) search results are surprisingly good – you get what you expect to get, they don’t seem to use any psychological manipulations [which are getting my head around with Google] (3) for site owners, indexing is faster than Google, (4) they promote donations / fund raising to several open source projects which some of them I mention below, (5) for site owners, they don’t seem to use dodgy “penalizing” techniques – they just index your site.

3. Replacing Google Analytics with a safe alternative

Matomo is a really good alternative for Google Analytics, which as I mentioned in previous posts, is basically a spyware: Google Analytics delivers information about your business to competitors – why would you want to do that? Matomo has better insights, better reports, and its usability is even better than Google Analytics which is a fairly average log analysis product.

4. OwnCloud as an alternative to Google Drive

OwnCloud is a safe, simple to install, php based “cloud” based hard drive, it has drag and drop functionality, you can define users, user groups and share files with others. It is better than Google Drive and far better than Drop Box (which is a really problematic product for itself)

5. Roundcube and Postfix – as replacement to Gmail

When it comes to email, there are heaps of alternative to Gmail and I don’t mean Outlook or any other tycoon company – as part of our responsibility to distribute power, you can choose one of the small cloud email vendors or just build your own Postfix and Roundcube servers and host your own mail server!

6. Open source maps

The best Google product in my eyes, which is hard to replace, is Google Analytics: it is updated, dynamic and working amazingly good especially on Mobile. But Open Street Maps is good enough for embedding maps on websites, and is free.


[1] Goodbye, Chrome: Why Google’s web browser has become spy software, New Zealand Herald, June 2019

[2] Considerable concern’ at Google’s unwillingness to follow court orders – Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand Herald, May 2018

[3] Google GDPR fine, New York Times, January 2019

[4] Google: new concerns raised about political influence by senior ‘revolving door’ jobs, The Guardian, June 2016

[5] as I note above, most of Google products can be replaced by better alternative. Google Analytics is no better than most of the servers access log analyzers while Matomo is way stronger than Google analytics. OwnCloud is better than Google Docs as it allows you to define user groups and security groups. DuckDuckGo is better search – it lets you customize the screen and does not spy after you.

[6] one of my American friends been waiting all day long on the line with them, in the end she just hanged the phone: Google are very polite, but their service desk is useless.

[7] For example, Mail servers owners are reporting that mail sent outside of Gmail is reported by Google as spam, even that DKIM, SPF and DMARC records are defined to RFC standards

[8] a couple of month back, Google announced that they will remove all non mobile friendly sites from their index. However, some of their own products have got responsiveness bugs, and others are not mobile friendly at all. In the photo below, Google still maintaining the old Chrome Developers dashboard which is not responsive, and after 2 years of roll out they still reporting some bugs


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2 Responses

  1. Nadav says:

    Awesome article
    Eran, what are your thoughts about the Brave browser regarding privacy? it looks very much like Chrome so I’m suspicious

    • Hi Nadav – I never tries it, I just read about it and I’m a bit suspicious with everything related to blockchain. They don’t really commit to your privacy do they – just to ad blocking and other features, that is how I understand what they do. When it comes to blockchain and especially cryptocurrencies, they are really nice in theory but I don’t think these are sustainable technologies.

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