This article comes on the heels of a conversation I had with my mother-in-law a few days back.
A mac user for many years she confidently claimed that she couldn’t go to a particular website because it required google and she didn’t have google.
If she could have seen my face (fortunately this was one of the few times this past 6 months we weren’t communicating via video) she would have seen my eyes roll into the back of my skull, my mouth fall open and my legs threaten to give away.
For a moment everything was too much. How could a veteran Mac user (or any user for that matter) think they didn’t have google?!
And this is something I am hearing more and more these days. It seems to be the next big myth in computers or something. So I want to nip this in the bud right now. I want to kill this myth before it becomes a well accepted ‘fact’ like dogs are colour blind, Fortune Cookies originate from China or that you should wait 30 mins before swimming after eating.
The only thing that doesn’t have google on tap is my dog Morgan and that is only because he hasn’t paid his internet bill.
Please, let me put this to rest once and for all and please pass it to your friends and even strangers in the street (at arms length of course)
Yes, you have google. if you own a computer, ipad, iPhone or a Windows virus collector and they are connected to the internet, you have google. Google is just a website, like Bunnings, Coles and the ATO.
Oh sure, it is more than that, but at its very heart, it is just a website and like all other websites you get to it via a web browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera…ect) at www.google.com
So where, you might wonder, has this prevailing idea that some people don’t have google come from?
Well, I have some theories.
The first possible reason is that Chrome is often referred to as “Google Chrome” and while this is technically correct it can lead to some misunderstandings.
Chrome is just a browser (not a very good browser mind you, but a browser nevertheless) and it is made by Google. So maybe, when people say they don’t have ‘google’ they might be really saying they don’t have Chrome? Well if you ask me thats a good thing.
But it must be stressed… google is available for everyone and all browsers.
The other possible reason is that searching has changed.
Years ago, if you wanted to search the internet you had to click in a specific window in the browser some distance from where you typed an address.
Or you had to type the address www.google.com and then type your enquiry.
Chrome’s default home screen is google but things like Firefox and Safari dropped this years ago. They, instead, rely on the fact that you can type your enquiry in the address field and it will do a search automatically. This is something you’ve probably been doing for years and just not realised it.
Now, when you do this kind of search the preferences you have set will determine which search engine is used. Yes, there are other search engines apart from google. Not very good ones… but they are there.
To illustrate the point, try this…
(I am assuming you are using Safari in this experiment)
1. Open Safari.
2. Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences
3. Click on the Search icon.
4. You will likely see Search Engine: Google but it could also be Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo
5. Close this window and open a regular Safari window.
6. In the field where you’d normally type something like, oh I don’t know…macservicesact.com.au… just type the word “cats” and hit the return key.
7. Depending on the preference set in step 4 you’ll get a list of results` all without actually going to google.com.
So you DO have google… you just don’t have Chrome… and if you do, I’d trash it if I was you.
My thoughts on Chrome right here….