What is a Google account, anyway? Well, if you’ve never heard of Google, it’s the largest search engine in the world. It holds over 75% of search engine market shares worldwide.
In other words, Google is enormous and has its hands in everything. Think email, instant messaging, chat groups, and web apps. Don’t forget photo editing sites and the mother of all online video sites, YouTube.
Creating an account with them gives you access to all things Google and comes with a few perks. When you’re ready to learn how a Google account might change your life, read on.
What Is a Google Account?
Alphabet is the umbrella company that owns all of Google’s intellectual and virtual properties. When people say Google owns it, what they really mean is Alphabet owns it.
And Alphabet is making a killing with what they own. They made $15.15 billion in ad revenue last year from only one of their intellectual properties, YouTube. They made quite a chunk more from their search engine, apps, and email sites.
They’re in the business of selling digital ads and digital property. That’s where they make their money. They also produce some phenomenal free-to-use products, such as Google Docs and Picasa photo editor.
When you use their products, that’s the tradeoff. You can use their fantastic stuff so long as they can show you a few ads. To be fair, that’s the name of the game with most digital platforms and services today.
If you don’t pay for it directly, you pay for it indirectly through ads. In order to create better-targeted ads for its customers, Alphabet created the Google account. But don’t let their reasons dissuade you.
Your Google brand account connects you with a huge variety of apps, websites, and online services. They’re all free of charge, and they’re top quality products. Your account also gives you the power to set your preferences for all their digital products in one place.
Don’t worry. You can always delete your account if you don’t like it. Just run a quick web search using these keywords:
- delete Google account on Mac
- delete Google account on PC
Just choose the one that accurately describes your setup. Then follow the directions.
Your Google Account Features
How will you portray your presence online? What are your interests? How much access do you want others to have to your profile?
This is an example of the control you have over your online presence through Google. If a friend asks you, “But what is a Google account used for?” You tell them it gives you control over your online presence and lets you use Google’s digital stuff.
This feature adds a second layer of protection to your account. In other words, it makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to break into your account and fiddle with your preferences. After you sign in with your username and password, you’re prompted for another piece of information.
If you regularly write reviews, this option is for you. It links the photo you store on your Google account with any online reviews you leave. It also adds your photo to +1, follow, and share a product or company site options.
While personal Google+ accounts were shut down on April 2, 2019, others still remain. These accounts made it convenient to market to other Google users. Many users found this obnoxious.
In response, Google gave users the power to opt-out of these Google+ marketing messages from strangers.
Web & App Activity
Whenever you run a web search using the Google search engine, it records your activity in a log. It does the same when you use a piece of Google’s software, apps, or websites. In some cases, this is convenient, especially if you’re a forgetful person.
You can later go back and check out your search history to find whatever you lost. However, be aware that Alphabet correlates this data to create a complex, comprehensive profile on you.
This page lists all the Alphabet products, services, and devices to which you presently have access. They include authorization for Google services, devices you’ve registered, and apps that use Google services. Through it, you add or revoke services to any of Alphabet’s digital real estate.
This lets you check recent activities on your account, including sign-ins, changes, and deletions. It’s especially useful if you’re worried someone might have hacked into your account.
Do you remember the 2-step authentication option above? Well, some services don’t support 2-step authentication. That’s where application passwords come in.
They’re custom generated passwords for programs and services. You can create a different password for each service, or you can create a single password that gets you into all of them.
Remember where we talked about Google+ above? It’s a social networking service. It’s used mostly by marketers, though other businesses also use it. Google used to automatically create a Google+ account for you when you signed up.
That’s not the case anymore unless you have a student account or a Google Suite account. This preference allows you to turn off your Google+ account.
Google Ad Settings
Are you tired of seeing ad banners that don’t pertain to you? Well, this option lets you pick and choose your interests. Google uses it to refine the audience for their targeted ads.
You get to see ads that might actually interest you. You can also edit the languages in which the ads are displayed.
Digital security experts suggest you change your password often. How often varies according to your lifestyle, job, and online behavior. The rule of thumb is every month or so.
This is the option that lets you do that.
So, what is a Google account? It’s a convenient way to set the preferences for all your Google-related software and technology. It also gives you access to all their online services, websites, and apps.
If you’d like to learn more about search engines and social media, hop over to our immense online library. So long and good luck!