So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]

So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]


There are several video sites on the internet like Vevo, Dailymotion, Vimeo and Viddler but none have the scale, the depth and the breadth of YouTube. This service started exclusively with user-generated (and of course pirated) content but has slowly evolved into a much larger video store. YouTube now has movies, TV shows and music (although the collection is not that deep yet) and since the last year they have started a little bit of live streaming as well.

Despite having a lot of competitors, it does seem like YouTube has the critical mass, the scale and a huge brand recognition, making it extremely difficult to be replaced.


Google Voice is a relatively new product which came from Google’s acquisition of Grand Central. It allows you to set up a telephone number and use it like a permanent email address. Several neat features come for free, like automatic forwarding to multiple phone numbers, quiet/Do Not Disturb mode, call screening, voice mail notifications and transcription and a ton of third-party mobile apps to work directly with Google Voice. There are competitors in the enterprise space (which are not free and cost a lot, in fact) but I have seen very little competition in the consumer space.

Update: Two more products which I forgot to mention here  which were brought to my attention by  Tom Reestman are Google Analytics and Feedburner.  Both of these products are now utilities which have become a must for any website operation, and at the same time, have really no competitor of note. I use Google Analytics for my personal blog, and am actually  extremely impressed with how much functionality they provide for  free.  I have stopped using Feedburner for quite some time now, relying instead on RSS (and corresponding statistics) provided by Posterous and WordPress.

There are several other Google products which a lot of people use, but I did not consider because I do not use those much. For example, Google Shopping, Google Checkout, etc.

Of late Google has been under a lot of fire with their real namespolicy enforcement especially after they launched Google+. A lot of people who used to have perfectly running Google accounts under pseudonyms, had their accounts disabled and/or suspended because they did not have their real name listed. The issue here was that it was not just the Google+ account that was impacted, it was every single Google service they used which was suspended. As a result there has been a lot of talk about diversifying your digital services so that you are not putting all your web apps eggs in one basket.

I am hoping this series has helped you in starting to think about alternatives to Google and if you have started along those lines already, to identify some specific replacements.

Published by

Romit Mehta

Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920).Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is

  • Karthikeyan R

    I wonder how you missed the most famous Zoho products. Article is mostly like Google vs Microsoft vs Yahoo.

    • I have never been tempted to even try Zoho, and I would call myself a “tech enthusiast”. Certainly, the “normal” user will be even less likely to have a go at it. Hence, ignored.

  • Holly

    I don’t get how you can want to drop Google and yet you still chug down the Facebook kool-aid.. the latter is by far more insidious.

    WordPress is great when self hosted.. on the .com version, meh. Mostly usable, but crippled without paying money for some of the more useful features. Love it self hosted though. Cheaper too.

    • I am not sure how you have concluded that I have chugged down the Facebook kool-aid.

      If WordPress is meh, I would like to say that Blogger is meh-er.

  • Google Purchased YouTube a while back. So, they own that also.

    Just a heads up. :)

    • Not sure if you read the whole article. I did mention YouTube.

  • voxnulla

    For mac Adium is a neat little client to slowly switch from googlechat to something else.

    iPhoto with some cloud service is a competent alternative to picassa.

    A good email switch strategy is to use forwarding and vacation notice to let people know you will be responding with another mail address.

    I’m in the process of migrating to a private mail server. A small price to pay to end targeted adverts based on confidential real world transaction mail.

    Under protest I renamed my SSID to a *_nomap name. It’s ugly, but necessary.

    It’s easy to blur your property in streetview. File a privacy complaint and no burglar will be able to map out the best way to climb the garage and get up on the roof in advance.

  • BCW

    I have spent the last few years doing everything in my power to get away from Microsoft and Apple. I have found myself going into the Google realm as they provided nearly all of what I need (and almost completely for free). It is interesting in the article above that the alternatives to Google are mostly Microsoft ware (plus an Apple or two). “Resistance to change” is interesting. I have embraced change in successfully escaping Microsoft and Apple. Even my phone is running Android 4 (ICS) which is a pure vanilla Android unburdened by service provider bloatware. I recommend that people make good use of Google products — and boycott Microsoft and Apple products anywhere possible.

    • BCW: Well, good for you. I have listed why I tried to distance myself from Google. I have also, in the meantime, removed my dependency on Reader (Newsblur rocks, absolutely).

  • I find this blog funny. Many welcomed google to get away from the overlord Microsoft, and now we have folks posting up on how to move back to MS from google.