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Google: Please get rid of these annoying redirects.
Spying on your users is not nice.
rfgdxm1




msg:84879
 9:03 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.webmasterworld.com/&e=747

Looks like I'll have to find a new search engine thanks to this silliness. Makes it impossible to tell which sites I have already gone to before. And, I'd have hoped that Google wouldn't start spying on their customers like this. My bad thinking that way. For those unaware, with a URL like the above, Google can keep a log of every site that you click on. If you have a static IP, then Google's logs will show all the sites you visit, traceable to your computer. Or if not, at least put in large letters "Big Google is watching YOU" on the home page so that all the users will realize that Google is tracking where they surf.

 

Marcia




msg:84880
 9:32 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

They do that now and then for a time, I understand. It provides valuable click-through data.

This is not a new phenomenon, it's been done by Direct Hit for quite a while:
[searchenginewatch.com...]

>will show all the sites you visit

Which our ISPs have full information on. It's not something we can do anything about, so personally I don't let myself be concerned over it.

rfgdxm1




msg:84881
 9:50 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Which our ISPs have full information on. It's not something we can do anything about, so personally I don't let myself be concerned over it.

Perhaps you should. Sure, if the government specifically wants to target a certain individual, unless they have taken precautions like using encryption, and proxies is nations that they trust, this information is accessible. However, this is a whole lot different than a big, centralized database like Google, which accessible to the government where they can easily access the surfing records of every Google user. Google is US based, and those who don't trust the current regime in power in the US should be seriously worried about this. I, for one, have no trust or faith in the current US government. And, do you really think that citizens around the planet trust the US government to have logs of all their searches, and which sites they surf to?

ciml




msg:84882
 9:59 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The pros and cons of various governments are not Google News...

RFG, Google's cookies and Toolbar (in advanced mode) allow them to capture data about our searching and browsing habits. Major advertisement networks also can track from site to site. As Marcia points out, our ISP has everything.

Google's outbound referrer tracking just happens now and again, I think it has more application to "how many people click the top, 2nd, 3rd listings" type questions than targeting individuals.

I would love to see the comparison between SERP clicks and AdWords clicks, I bet Google like to see that information too. Remember the little images at the top and bottom of results pages? They like to test their performance.

Yidaki




msg:84883
 11:20 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's the same discussion that frequently goes for the cookie lifetime and google's handling of user privacy. YOU controll your privacy by yourself ALONE!

First step: disable cookies.

Next step is: copy the url that google shows underneath the listing and paste it into a new browser window.

Last step is: get rid of this damn spyware infectable machines and buy a Mac ... however, that's more a philosophical hint that shouldn't be continued as a new discussion. ;)

IMHO the thing is: google and anybody else just tracks as much privacy information of its users as the users are willing to publish. It's all under your controll as long as you don't use a system that has encapsulated spyware / algo / mechanisms built into it's system / software strategy. (No specifics, here ;))

I forgot to mention: tracking user clicks *can* help to learn about the users, to improve search satisfaction and to reduce spam. Don't just stare on possible spyish reasons.

BTW: sure, you use a anonymous proxy to surf the web, don't you? Ever thought about your privacy and the data your provider records? ... c'mon ...

kovacs




msg:84884
 11:57 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

What difference does it make? All of your surfing habits are easily accessible by anyone who is interested, regardless of what Google is doing, unless you use a setup like a combination of chained anonymous proxies and SSL, and ultimately if "they" want to see what you're doing and they're good enough, they will find out what they want to know. Unless you're looking at illegal material then why stress out about it?

TomWaits




msg:84885
 12:09 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Unless you're looking at illegal material then why stress out about it?

Because it depends on who's doing the defining of 'illegal'.

vincevincevince




msg:84886
 12:35 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

copy the url that google shows underneath the listing and paste it into a new browser window.

but can you?

google often, don't know why, gives out url's like :

widgets.co.uk/ whatever.php?page=whatever

yes, the space after the / is there!

why? and how to stop it? is it just google paranoidly trying to make it hard for people to parse google results pages? if so, they aren't hiding the url cos it's in the <a href...>

odd, eh? test it yourself

Alphawolf




msg:84887
 1:39 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1,

I, for one, have no trust or faith in the current US government. And, do you really think that citizens around the planet trust the US government to have logs of all their searches, and which sites they surf to?

dood,

It's all a conspiracy against you.

They are watching...you...

...always.

Plotting and scheming right now...against you. :o

AW

Brett_Tabke




msg:84888
 1:44 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

We've had this conversation about 10 times now [google.com].

jranes




msg:84889
 1:48 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it is best that they do know that I don't care which of my illegal interests they spy on. 80% of citizens do something illegal every day. Let them drown in their stats!

rfgdxm1




msg:84890
 5:47 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>RFG, Google's cookies and Toolbar (in advanced mode) allow them to capture data about our searching and browsing habits. Major advertisement networks also can track from site to site. As Marcia points out, our ISP has everything.

One can disable Google cookies, and nobody has to install the toolbar, let alone in advanced mode. Obviously, if you want to know the PR of a page, you have to tell Google what page you are viewing for them to be able to tell you. Thus, if someone intentionally chooses to tell Google where they surf they can't call it an invasion of privacy. However, what Google is doing is tracking where people surf, without even warning them this is what they are doing. There is a difference. As for ISPs, while theoretically they could log everything every customer does, not likely to happen in the real world. This would require storing massive amounts of useless data. Only IPs and time logged in is routinely monitored. Of course, if any ISP wanted to target any individual user and log everything, this is trivial, and something everyone should be aware of. And again, does everyone who uses Google worldwide want the US Central Intelligence Agency to be able to know where they surfed?

GoogleGuy




msg:84891
 6:33 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1, every so often we collect clickthrough data to see how we're doing on quality. We don't do it most of the time because it slows users down, and we hate to slow our users down. So it's a simple explanation; no need to invoke the CIA or anything. ;)

Also, do you remember the conversation we had about picking on Google when other sites need it more? Most other sites use redirects a lot more than we do. ;)

rfgdxm1




msg:84892
 7:04 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>rfgdxm1, every so often we collect clickthrough data to see how we're doing on quality. We don't do it most of the time because it slows users down, and we hate to slow our users down. So it's a simple explanation; no need to invoke the CIA or anything. ;)

Then why not put up a privacy alert announcing that you are doing this on the SERPs? With the toolbar anyone who reads the agreement should understand the privacy implications.

>Also, do you remember the conversation we had about picking on Google when other sites need it more? Most other sites use redirects a lot more than we do. ;)

Two wrongs don't make a right. For the record, I will acknowledge that Teoma/Askjeeves are doing the same thing. Yahoo! also, but then again only a yahoo would use Yahoo! to search when they can get the same from Google itself. ;) I notice that msn.com isn't spying by using tracking redirects. I'm not sure it is a good thing that Google have a reputation for invading privacy more than Microsoft's search engine.

TWhalen




msg:84893
 8:26 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


BTW - don't look behind you.

rfgdxm1




msg:84894
 8:36 pm on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

A paranoid is a man who knows a little of what’s going on.
-William Burroughs

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