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Does Google Know Where Your Traffic is Coming From?
joaquin112




msg:1360776
 8:01 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am wondering whether Google may know where a website's traffic is coming from. For example, if I buy some traffic to a website with ADS on it, could Google know somehow based on their javascript ADS?

I am not saying that I am ever going to do such thing, but I am just interested in knowing whether something like this is plausible or not. Thanks.

 

humblebeginnings




msg:1360777
 8:51 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google knows where your traffic is coming from.
In fact, if your traffic comes from bad sources, they can and will ban you for it.

G knows about all there is to know about anything.
I bet they know when you are picking your nose, so watch it;-)

frox




msg:1360778
 9:17 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, the referrer of your page is visible by Google, i.e. the page where the user found a link to your page.

Plus, my guess is that the infamous Google cookie (a cookie set by Google and expirting in 2038 :-) is used to track the footsteps of your visitors in any possible occasion

Plus, I don't even want to think about the info they can get from the growing percentage of users that have the Google Toolbar (ever wondered why they pay you 1 dollar for Toolbar download?)

anton23




msg:1360779
 9:20 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google is like the Matrix and Big Brother combined. Take care!

celgins




msg:1360780
 9:25 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you can take a look at where your traffic is coming from, you know Google can! :)

StuntasticAudi




msg:1360781
 9:53 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google owns the world..they know everything!

Zygoot




msg:1360782
 10:33 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's technically possible for Google to check your web traffic.

But whether they really do it, I don't know.

Fall




msg:1360783
 10:35 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay, so what if you just make a gateway-page (without adsense!) that redirects to your site? That way they'd lose track of the referer-page, wouldn't they?

jomaxx




msg:1360784
 10:37 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's explicitly saved in the Javascript code they use, so it seems likely they do something with it. Maybe they just use it to monitor your site's traffic patterns, but it's also been suggested that it can feed into their ad targeting and/or smart pricing algorithms.

jomaxx




msg:1360785
 10:42 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Fall, Google have a variety of other ways of monitoring Web traffic. There's Googlebot sucking down every web page in existence, the Google toolbar, they know what visitors are finding in their search engine, Google mail, newsgroups, etc. etc. etc. Assume that they're much smarter than you and me, and extrapolate from there.

jetteroheller




msg:1360786
 12:07 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay, so what if you just make a gateway-page (without adsense!) that redirects to your site? That way they'd lose track of the referer-page, wouldn't they?

Google throws out even BMW for such crap.

Seems BMW had been able to reduce the time out penalty from 30 days to 6 days.

Think also on the Google toolbar.

joaquin112




msg:1360787
 1:30 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you are telling me Google uses the Google toolbar to track such things?

jetteroheller




msg:1360788
 1:58 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you are telling me Google uses the Google toolbar to track such things?

When my core business depends on satisfied advertisers, I would do everything to protect this business against click froud.

I would use all possible available data to find out what's going on.

This is a reasonable assumption.
This is good for the advertisiers.
This is good for honest publishers.

frox




msg:1360789
 8:27 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)


Okay, so what if you just make a gateway-page (without adsense!) that redirects to your site? That way they'd lose track of the referer-page, wouldn't they?

Yes, and that would create a VERY unusual pattern in your traffic, and somewher in the googleplex a little red light would turn on.

IMHO, the first hint they are looking for when detecting frauds is "unusual traffic patterns". Take this in all the meanings you can think of, add quite a few ones you didn't think of, and you start getting the idea.

The usual threads we sometimes see here "will google recognize my IP if I click" are extremely naive, and I guess the IP generating traffic & clicks is a relatively small factor in the fraud-detecting algo.

Moreover, if Google thinks you are hiding something they will immediately think about "click fraud", and from their poin of view they are correct, as they call "click fraud" any sort of clicks generated trough non-natural traffic/behaviour

So imho finding tricks so that Google "loses track of the referer-page" is a very poor idea!

Tastatura




msg:1360790
 8:57 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, the referrer of your page is visible by Google, i.e. the page where the user found a link to your page.

Interesting…how would google know this, i.e. what is specific technical solution to this? (assuming no post processing data matching [ex: G toolbar tracking matched to ad clicked], and assuming that user did not come from google search page). So, say Joe surfer is cruising the net, and so far he did not view any of the G partner sites. Then from one of the sites Joe clicks on the link that brings him to the page with AdSense. Joe then cliks on the AdSense. How (from technical prospective) would G know referrer of that site?
Hope the question makes sense

jetteroheller




msg:1360791
 9:25 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

what is specific technical solution to this

Simple learn a little bit of javascript.

document.referrer

gives the referer to JavaScript. Next You need only to built this variable into the URL at calling home

url += "&dr=" + document.referrer

jomaxx




msg:1360792
 5:35 pm on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

There was a long discussion about this last year in which we played with the actual code Google uses. I didn't expect it to work because the code runs in a iframe based at a 3rd-party site, but there was the referrer, plain as day.

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