What information can Google not store?

Surface vs deep web

There are two types of web: the surface web is the part that search engines can see and index, for example BBC News, whereas the deep web refers to the parts that cannot be accessed, for instance, online banking information is hid behind a password wall. So Google cannot store anything from the deep web because their crawlers cannot crawl past firewalls, passwords or another restricted access point.

Photo showing different parts of the web.

Photo showing different parts of the web. Source: ConetIslandDreams

Cookies, IP address and browsers

Any information you give, for example your username and password, can be stored by Google, as well as, other indirect pieces of information such as cookies, IP addresses and browsers, for instance. Some of these technologies are not as clear as others. Cookies, as an example, are not broken down line-by-line so their precise use is simply not known. Can a cookie take note of an IP address, and what ISP you use, or where you live? It is not impossible for Google to track an IP address to a specific location. In fact other pieces of technology can pinpoint your location.

Case study of Google Street View

It is not uncommon for large companies to use and misuse information on their products and services. Google’s Street View cars were ordered to clear data they collected as they took pictures for their Street View service. So Google has, and can be referred to as being “evil”, misused and stored lots of unauthorised information.

A devil theme to Google's logo.

A devil theme to Google’s logo. Source: 4.bp

What information does Google store?

Google is likely to archive most things from the surface web. Your bank, as an example of a surface web website, is likely to be crawled and stored in an index but Google cannot search or store your bank account information because it is hid behind password walls, therefore considered to be within the deep web, and secure servers….

Android viewpoint

If you own and use an Android mobile Google may be able to collect even more information about you. Phone numbers and call records can be stored. Is the future of Google’s business model likely to produce cheap flights to Australia if you call a person over there frequently?

If you are interested in what information Google can store read the references below this post to learn more. Would you like me to post about a specific search engine topic? Tweet Gerald.

Posted by Gerald Murphy


  1. Channel 4. (no date) What does Google know about you?
  2. Google. (2013) Google’s privacy policy.
  3. Peng, W. (2000) HTTP cookies – a promising technology. Online Information Review. 24(2) pp. 150 – 153
  4. Rawlinson, K. (2013) Google ordered to delete data collected by Street View cars.

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