It has been said that one way to find genealogy information about your relatives is to Google them. Have you ever tried a Google encrypted search? It is possible that doing one could bring you results that you didn’t get from the regular Google search.
You can’t do an encrypted Google search from the regular Google search engine. Instead, you need to go to encrypted.google.com Once you get there, you need to type information into the “box”, just like you would for a typical Google search.
Genealogy In Time Magazine explains some of the advantages of using Google encrypted search. The key thing to know is that the Google encrypted search doesn’t pull information from the things you searched for on the “regular” Google search engine. It starts you with a fresh slate.
What does that mean in “plain English”? Let’s say you have been using the “regular” Google search engine to Google your aunt Jane. Next time you go back to that search engine, to try googling her again, it is going to remember the websites that you already visited on your first attempt.
It might also bring you unrelated information that Google thinks matches up to previous interactions with Google products. What you end up with is results that are skewed to match what Google thinks you are interested in. For example, let’s say you use Ancestry.com. A “regular” Google search could bring you results about your aunt Jane from Ancestry.com. It might leave out some other potential sources.
The Google encrypted search prevents that problem from happening. It doesn’t base the results it shows you on things you previously searched for. It doesn’t refer to what you typed in a previous encrypted Google search and won’t carry that information to the next one. You get unbiased results and it lets you search anonymously.
Another great reason to use Google encrypted search for genealogy is that it is private. Encrypted searches protect your online privacy. This makes it great for genealogists who are hesitant to type in names of relatives and ancestors into computers that are used by other people.
Keep in mind that the “regular” Google search engine, and the Google encrypted search engine, look exactly alike. Make sure you check the URL at the top of your browser before you type something into the search engine box. This is especially important if you are using a computer that is shared with other people. You don’t want the names of your family members suggested to the next user of that computer as an “autocorrect” based on your use of the search engine!
Image by Dustin Gaffke on Flickr.
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