May 15, 2005

New Category: Google-free Zone

Two months ago, I had Google as the homepage of my web browser. It would have been fair to describe me as a fan of their service.

Now I have decided to shut them out completely from my website, which I declare a "Google-free zone". I have also started a new category on the blog with that title.

Dave Winer and Dan Gillmor also have expressed some reservations about Google lately. The reason why my reaction is much stronger lies in the fact that I have been opposed to any large-scale collection of Internet traffic data for years.

There is a heated battle going on about exactly this question right now in Europe. Enemies of freedom are gaining influence and want to turn the Internet into one big surveillance instrument. Under these circumstances, it is absolutely unacceptable to try building the world's largest Internet traffic data collection under the misleading excuse of speeding up web surfing. This calls for active resistance to Google, which deserves to be put completely out of business for this move.

To implement my new policy of completely shutting out Google from my pages, I will change the license for my online content, make necessary changes in "robots.txt" and set up the Apache rewrite engine in my ".htaccess" file so as to serve "" to everyone who follows a link from Google to one of my pages.

As a consequence, I will lose all readers who came in from Google until now. Also the pleasure of looking at a completely inflated Google page rank for my blog will be gone.

That can't be helped. In a conflict between losing readers and losing integrity, I have the luxury to choose integrity over reader numbers.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at May 15, 2005 11:27 AM