The answers to so much that you might want to know about the world is likely to come through a single private company, Google. Alongside Facebook and a handful of other players they control the global information economy, and are responsible for the information relied upon by a huge amount of the human race1.
Why Wave Goodby to Google?
Ethical Net list 8 good reasons to avoid Google. There was also a DeGoogling community on Reddit who listed even more until it got taken down. Fortunately I saved the page and have reproduced it here.
Good question! Google is everywhere. By taking it one bit at a time. Both of the links above have plenty of further reading as to how to stop using Google.
Here’s a starter list of Google services to which there are more than adequate alternatives:
Alternative Search Engines
My search engine of choice is DuckDuckGo. That’s because I find it gives me really good results as well as not storing any data on you. Ecosia are also a great option, planting trees with their ad revenue. Neither DuckDuckGo nor Ecosia sell your data to advertisers or have third party trackers, unlike most other search engines. What neither of these can claim is to be ad-free, so if you want a search engine which is both tracker-free and ad-free try Kagi Search, a fast, private search engne.
Better Web Browsers
Google Chrome, as with Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Edge are all part of massive companies with various ethical issues. Firefox, from the non-profit Mozilla Foundation is completely open source. Orion Browser by Kagi is a fast, zero-telemetry browser. Other good options are Brave, Epic, Falkon, Firefox Focus (for mobile), LibreWolf, Tor and Vivaldi.
Gee, no Gmail
There are so many email providers out there that I cannot list them all. I personally use Mailbox.org with Thunderbird as my desktop email client and Canary as my tablet email client. For more options check out Ethical Net’s comprehensive list of Gmail alternatives.
Home Assistant is an open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first. No more snooping on everything you say and do in order to sell things to you.
I use Open Street Map whenever I need a map now. It’s an open-source, user contributed mapping service and works pretty well. The more people who use and contribute to it the better it gets.
By using Google Translate you are permitting Google the rights to keep your text and share or publish it themselves. Instead try DeepL or Apertium. DeepL is a paid service which you can use for free with a limit of 3,000 characters, while Apertium is a free, open-source machine translation platform.
If you are a website owner it’s likely you use Google for website analytics. There are other platforms out there. I use Plausible, an open-source alternative.
1. From iHuman