With more than 14,000 people responding, nearly two-thirds said they would cancel their Google account, with 15% saying no and just under 20% not sure.
Look at other indicators of customer outrage, however, and the picture isn’t so clear. For example, instructions on how to delete a Google account aren’t appearing as a hot search on Google trends. Nor are they appearing as an auto-complete suggestion when searching on Google itself (though Gmail is in the #5 position):
The backlash to Google’s changes is reminiscent in many ways to the response to Facebook’s privacy changes in 2010, which sparked a lot of interest to “how to delete” articles but made virtually no impact on Facebook’s continuing growth in users. We covered that phenomenon in How Traffic Spiked For Site Offering Advice On How To Delete A Facebook Account.
Want to delete your own Google account? Be careful. Google itself offers detailed instructions on How to close your Google Account. But they also offer two very explicit, and very important warnings:
If you delete your Google Account:
- You’ll permanently remove the Google products associated with that account, such as your orkut profile, your iGoogle page, and your Web History.
- If you use Gmail with your account, you’ll no longer be able to access that email. You’ll also be unable to reuse your Gmail username.
Google recommends checking all of the data associated with your account using your Google Dashboard, and saving anything important (such as your contacts, documents, photos, etc) before deleting anything. You can also use Google’s Data Liberation Front to expedite the process of “liberating” your personal stuff from Google prior to shutting down your account.