| 1:28 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
does it work or just a link to a once-upon-a-time feature?
| 1:57 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I don't really know...it was installed on a friends computer. I had never seen it before.
<added> Yeah it does work... wonder if WW would let me post a url to a screen shot of it. It has this spectrum meter on the G home page and counts the # of searches you preform each day.</added>
| 2:09 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Interesting - how did your friend get it?
| 7:49 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
More clever marketing by Google then >;->
Of course you want the needle to move up, it feels like scoring points, doesn't it?
| 10:55 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Of course you want the needle to move up, it feels like scoring points, doesn't it? |
Yes very clever. I swear that my friend has a computer that gets EVERY weird beta test available from the online giants. Did you know that ebay created a home page that looked identical to G/ATW (only a search box) and some tabs? I have a screen shot of that too somewhere...
| 3:48 pm on Oct 1, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Spliced onto the end of an existing story breaker thread. (-bt)
Just read this article but the link isn't working:
|Google has developed a new search counter to help its obsessive-compulsive users discover how many searches they've done. |
If your home page is set to Google, or you have the Google Toolbar on your browser, you might like to know just how frequently you've been searching.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:25 pm (utc) on Oct. 14, 2003]
| 5:13 pm on Oct 1, 2003 (gmt 0)|
The working link is [google.com...]
There were some previous discussions about it
| 2:57 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
About 1% of Google users have been set a cookie, to count how many searches they are doing, as an experiement in user behaviour. The selected percentage see "You have done [number] searches" on the homepage. Google have not said how they selected which users were sent the cookie, nor how long they have been doing this.
| 4:32 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
ye, I check the 'labs' page everyday, but I really wanna test this feature thing, I wonder when its gonna be available to the whole Internet world.
| 7:05 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Declarations by Marissa Mayer, Google's director for consumer products:
But this URL doesn't work:
| 10:10 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'm interested in the lack of reaction to this... Google is tracking data on many users for no stated goal apart from "It would be cool to do...". Is *no-one* concerned about this...?
| 10:21 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
In my opinion Google are using tracking codes to determine relevance of index updates.
See my previous post here: [webmasterworld.com...]
I also noticed that other people (presumably without the cookie installed) weren't getting the tracking codes, nor the wildly different results.
I feel so privileged! :)
Oh, and by the way, the results I was seeing for about a month on my machine have only just made it to Google.com. The supposed 'update' of the last two or three days I have been seeing for at least one month.
| 10:53 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
so with the cookie you can see into google's future?
where do i get it ;)
| 11:55 am on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
If anyone has one of these cookies, could you post the layout/format/length etc?
I'd like to make a fake one to see how it works :)
| 1:20 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
-that's an unusual one. I just thought it was the usual click-tracking they were doing once again, but publishing the number of searches is something else.
>> Is *no-one* concerned about this...?
The forty-year Google cookie is hotly debated at some places, but i've not really seen such debate at WebmasterWorld. I seriously don't believe that having an opinion on this will damage my rankings, but perhaps others think so - or (more likely) they are more preoccupied with rankings than with privacy.
Personally, i've been working with tracking issues like this one for some years and i'm really not that concerned. If they were going to register your IP when you searched for, say, child pr0n, they didn't even need a cookie to do this. Of course they could be doing some heavy big-brother type stuff and that is a real possibility, but not quite as likely or quite as privacy infringuing (spelling?) as some would think. For one thing, they don't know who you are, or if it's really you using that machine of yours.
|NYT article (link posted above): |
"From a privacy viewpoint, the question you'd ask is, 'Why they are logging this?"
This can be done in a very low-tech fashion just by incrementing a counter that is contained in the cookie itself. Google does not even need to store these values in a database (as in "logging"). This quote does point in another direction, but then again, it's the author of the article that says this, not Google:
|Google has quietly started placing a counter on its home page for a small number of its most frequent users. |
This implies that Google keeps track of this already, and that the sample is chosen from a subset with high search frequency. If this is true, Google is in fact just showing the individual user what they already know, and in some odd way i think this is nice.
As to "why are they logging this?" - well, the question begs a consideration of the asking persons deeper motives for asking such a question.
The answer is quite straightforward, as known by anyone that have ever worked seriously with web tracking: It's simply necessary in order to run your business - you need to know who is using your product, for what and when, otherwise you will develop wearing blindfolds and risk overseeing major trends that one day will render your product and business obsolete.
At the end of the day, you will want to know things such as "how many customers do i have?", "how often do they use my product?", "is my market increasing or is it decreasing?". These are essential questions to any type of business that needs to retain and acquire customers, even a Privacy Information Center.
That said, there's even a nice and easy workaround: Just delete your cookies once in a while. Anyone can do it.
| 2:04 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
salson - fortunately Google caches itself -about_spectrum.html [126.96.36.199] (Google Frequent Searchers aka Spectrum Beta)
| 7:31 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
lol! Nabbed by the cache!
| 8:41 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I want a counter that says how many times per day I log into my AdSense stats.
I also probably need a cookie that prevents me for looking for my "main" keyword if I have searched it more than 100 times in 12 hours.
| 2:01 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Its rare to see tracking behavior made public, but any internet company worth its salt has all sorts of counters going on behind the scenes.
If there is a lack of debate going on here, it is because we are all professionals and realize that tracking and logging of users is a standard practice in the industry.
| 6:10 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|I'm interested in the lack of reaction to this... Google is tracking data on many users for no stated goal apart from "It would be cool to do...". Is *no-one* concerned about this...? |
I wonder if Google stores this data anywhere. Would that be legal? I'm imagining any google search I've ever done tied to my IP (which is tied to my real name with my ISP).
| 6:12 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|The answer is quite straightforward, as known by anyone that have ever worked seriously with web tracking: It's simply necessary in order to run your business - you need to know who is using your product, for what and when, otherwise you will develop wearing blindfolds and risk overseeing major trends that one day will render your product and business obsolete. |
That would be great if they would assure us that they are collecting anonymous user data. Are they? An IP address makes you NOT anonymous. How long until the Patriot act is extended to allow the government to get info from Google the same way it can now get data from libraries and bookstores (I mean without charging you with anything first).
| 11:03 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)|
>> stores this data anywhere. Would that be legal?
My best guess is yes to both. "This data" being all the tracking that we don't get to see, not necessarily the "Spectrum" counter - as Brett mentioned, using a brand new cookie for this purpose aloneseems odd.
>> collecting anonymous user data
In most cases an IP number is more loosely coupled to an individual than a cookie ID. In schools, libraries, companies, and even in private husholds using dynamic IPs, one IP relates to a group of people rather than any one individual. Even the households that have fixed IPs tend to have more than one person on average. So, it's more anonymous than it seems.
With OS'es having login procedures (and even without), a cookie ID will be a much more personal way of tracking. Still it's more anonymous in the sense that it does not show any information that can assist in identifying you personally, unless it's coupled with something else. Even in this case a person tends to have more than one cookie on average for any time-period considered (unless these timeframes are really short.) Why? because you have one cookie at work, and another at home, and a third when you use another browser that the usual one, etc. And there's also the issue of more people using the same machine/login/browser - plus people tend to delete cookies as well. On average, the figures i've seen is between 1 and 2 cookies per person per week - this figure increases the longer time-frame you consider.
>> allow the government to get (this) info
Packet sniffing will get them far without even contacting Google or anyone else. FWIW, IMHO, etc., "they" are probably trying/testing/doing this and/or similar things already, otherwise i'd be surprised - i'm not particulary paranoid i have to add. Still, these are huge amounts of data, and who hasn't searched for terms or visited sites that might be, say, interesting in some respect. It's not like "just add a neural network, and you know the ways of the world" - on the contrary, i'd guess that it is a complete waste of a very large amount.
>> Patriot Act / without charging you (...) first
"After all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along (...) All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger."
Oh, that was a quote, an old one from some German dude in a trial at Nüremberg around 1946. At that time he was the leading expert in his field - surveillance and such, among other things. He's still reckoned as a capacity. What was it now...Goering? Goring? Anyway, Hermann was the first name, i remember that much, so you can probably google him.
.....which brings me back on topic
No, i'm not particulary worried about Googles tracking.