Searching Online

Browser Wars

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Search Online


It has been my practice to use multiple browsers on my PC. I have one, MS Edge, set up to be my “daily driver.” When I launch it, it automatically opens what I need for work—G-mail, Calendar, Contacts, LinkedIn, Twitter, my E-mail account at CSUF, and a Blank page in case I want to go elsewhere quickly.

I set up a second Browser, Brave, for news sites—Google News, The NY Times, Scientific American, The Economist, IEEE Spectrum, and FiveThirtyEight.

I also use Firefox or Opera for general purpose browsing. If I’m

researching purchases or political issues, I use TOR to avoid being tracked and bombarded with ads or political activists.

I uninstalled the Google Chrome browser because it was slow and frequently stalled. At one point, Chrome was my daily driver, but no longer.

Google Now Trolls Me

Now, every time I go to a Google Property with one of the browsers (exceptions are Brave and TOR), I get a rather obnoxious pop-up.

Google manages to get around my setting to stop pop-up windows. And, as you see, they also do not provide a check box to block future pop-ups.

First, I don’t care what Google recommends. If I did care and did want to know, I would go to Google and search for their recommendations.

Google has enough of my information as it is. I don’t care to give them any more data, especially since gathering that data may well be slowing down their browser.


Driving Me Away

This exceedingly annoying pop-up advertisement has turned me into an anti-Chrome user. I will go out of my way to use other browsers. At this point, I won’t even consider going back. And I certainly will not consider recommending the Chrome browser to those who ask for guidance.

Google isn’t entirely alone. The Edge browser’s new tab launches with a BING search window. Nope, not going to use that either. I either use Duck-Duck-Go to obfuscate my searches as much as possible or use Google Search; both are superior to Bing.

Ease of doing business is essential. To me, that includes not harassing me with ads and pop-ups. No self-playing videos, please. And, I choose to use an adblocking plugin on my browsers. If you think you’re smart by detecting my adblocker and keeping me from your website, that’s fine. I will go to a competitor, especially if you are a news site or business magazine. I have yet to miss out on the information I’m seeking because everyone is detecting my adblocker.


I believe I am not alone at being annoyed with unsolicited phone calls, push-marketing text messages, and the endless pop-up videos when I visit a website. I get knowing nods from many friends and colleagues. Many ask me to help them defend themselves against these intrusions.

The question is, of course, how are you marketing? Are you providing valuable information that potential customers can use? If not, you are likely alienating your customers. Are you analyzing the most effective content for opens and click-throughs? What are customers looking for in that content? Can you provide more of what your audience is seeking?

Nobody said this would be easy! You have to figure out how to provide value, not annoy your customer, suppress the overpowering temptation to sell, and grow your business all at the same time. The good news is, it is possible to do all that.