Google Image

Let’s start with a simple and honest sentence:

People like porn.

Was that so hard to say? The next simple truth is a bit rougher:

No one wants to admit they like porn.

This has been improving over the years but there is still a lot of negative stigma for some odd reason. I’m not going to take on that momentous task but it did create an interesting problem for Google in the past:

You see, porn viewers had the following habit: they would enjoy some pornography on this amazing thing we call the internet and then they would delete all their browsing history, usually using the nuclear option of clear everything for all time, keeping this habit from prying eyes.

This is all well and good unless your the kind of company that desperately wants people to keep their cookies active.

Google (and everyone else) uses cookies to track data. When you delete all your browsing data you are effectively deleting a whole bunch of data from Google. At the very least you make it harder to track certain aspects of what you do online.

By staying signed in with all your cookies Google can keep an eye on your habits and build a proper profile about you, showing you more targeted ads. It’s hard to do this when you keep deleting all your data.

Let’s roll the clock back a few years to 2005. This was the year Apple introduced private browsing in their Safari browser. This was added as a way for their customers to increase their privacy without losing their login details. I honestly believe Apple did this in the interest of their customers and not for advertisers.

Basically, you could browse your porn, close the window and go back to whatever else you were doing. This was great for customers but it was not really used by the mainstream.

That is until Google realized it was a useful feature for them!

While Google dislikes intentionally not collecting data, they found that by giving people the option to browse their porn privately, these people no longer felt the need to delete their history. Thus giving Google more data.

That’s why they released it to the public widely in 2008 and advertised the feature heavily into 2009. Change people’s habits and make them actually like your company more and feel more safe and secure.

Habits started to change — people stopped deleting all their history. Google now has far more undiluted data and thus can do better advertising.

I’m sure you remember laughing at the idea that you could use it to “buy gifts” privately and made the off handed comments that it was for porn.

Well, it was, it made it so you could enjoy porn while continuing to give Google lots and lots of data!

A quick clarification: this is conjecture.

Written on January 2, 2018