There was a time when I was somewhat enamored with google. I don't get much excited about anything, but I probably would not have turned down an opportunity to work at google had I been given the chance.

I am not sure when the shine came off, but I would guess that the rise of the bean counters coupled with the fall of the engineers is where things started to go wrong (See Boeing Product closures for useful products, violations of the mantra "Don't be evil", etc. Fortunately, since I don't fanboy, I never got very deep in google's ecosystem. I have for a long time now been weening myself off of google, and I thought I would write about what I have accomplished to help others do the same. There isn't always an answer. Changing your email for example would be very painful, and probably more trouble than most people would care to take on.

If you have a significant chunk of your life invested in google, I insist you familiarize yourself adding 2FA, a recovery phone number, a recovery email, and with Google Takeout, pronto. Their are too many examples of people who kept it all in google and lost it due to some hack, or clerical error at a company with no clerics to heal your ailments. Don't let it happen to you.

Here are all of the products I have used in any significant way:


Fortunately, I had a custom domain and was hosting my email long before I got a gmail address. My gmail only is used sporadically and I hardly ever look at it. I can't be of much help here, unfortunately.

A few years back, I was hearing more and more about and I decided to try it. I can tell you confidently that it works just as well as google, and when I doubt that I can add g! in front of my search, and most of the time, the results I get back are very close. The big caveat here is that 99% of my searches are for programming related topics. I have found it is even more effective to search directly on than to use either google or duckduckgo. With the rise of crappy websites that give you three sentences of content at a time followed by ads, it has gotten really difficult to find anything of value. AI will make that much much worse, unfortunately.

Make sure once you are comfortable with using duckduckgo to switch the browser search engine in the configuration.


The always on tracking ID (even in incognito mode) is pretty offputting. If you search for some product, the ads will follow you for days/weeks after. I moved to firefox and have yet to run into any issues. I never log into my google account from Firefox, and keep a chrome running just for accessing google services that I still need.

GoodbyeGoogle (last edited 2023-11-06 15:29:54 by narrator)