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Study Shows Google Tracker on 88% of Web Domains

 9:15 pm on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google Is Top Tracker of Surfers in Study [bits.blogs.nytimes.com]

What is striking in the Berkeley students’ report is that in a sample of nearly 400,000 Web domains, Google’s presence remained high, at 88 percent,



 6:52 pm on Jun 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Right now what Google is doing with all that information is probably not a big deal but I see in the future something very bad could be done with it.


 8:41 pm on Jun 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

...it is a testimony to the widespread popularity of Google’s services like Analytics, DoubleClick and AdSense...

"I don’t know that anyone has identified the scope and depth of the coverage that Google has across the Web in terms of tracking," Mr. Soltani said. "Our data shows that even if you are not going to Google, if you are browsing the Web they are collecting data about you."

Thanks for posting this. I understood that Google was receiving quite a bit of data about surfers but didn't guess it had coverage of 88 percent via it's own cookies.

Does Google also collect third party data from ISPs?

I'm not concerned about privacy issues. I'm just kind of overwhelmed by the scope of data this represents and the implications of how they can use that for refining their algo.


 11:54 pm on Jun 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm just kind of overwhelmed by the scope of data this represents and the implications of how they can use that for refining their algo.

i don't want to get too deep into it, as i am getting ready to go on a short road trip to six flags, but google's patent on personalizing network searches touches on how google will rank a site for personalized searches:

In one embodiment, the bookmarks are implicitly identified based on a measure of the behavior of the user. For example, in one embodiment, the implicit measure comprises the linger time. In other words, if a user spends a great deal of time on a site, it is identified as a bookmark for later personalized searches. In other embodiments, the implicit measure may comprise at least one of the quantity of repeat visits to the site or the quantity of click-throughs on the site. In one embodiment, temporal decay of ratings may be utilized so that unused or rarely used bookmarks, whether explicitly marked or implicitly marked, become unmarked over time. Other implicit measures include printing the page, saving the page, and the amount of scrolling performed on the page.

Methods and systems for personalized network searching [patft.uspto.gov]

these trackers may be the component through which google will collect this data.


 12:37 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow, 88%. Ive been thinking clickstream data was coming and going to be a part of the algorithms, but I didn't think Google had 88% (then again I still need to read the link - in a rush - to make sure it isnt a biased sample).

I've long wondered if Microsoft couldn't do exactly the same thing having a browser that's still the most-widely used browser on the Internet? Dont they have access to all the browsing data of every IE surfer? Didnt they have a patent called browserank?

Is this an edge Google has over Microsoft (and other players) or does Microsoft have access to the same kind of data?


 1:24 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

This only goes to prove what I have mentioned before:
Google is well on their way to taking over the world. It won't be long. The end is near.

In gmail's suggestions box is "have gmail do my laundry." This might sound like a joke, but I'm thinking Google is going to open a dry cleaning and laundromat chain.

Google already has a foothold in the entertainment industry with YouTube. I expect they will pioneer this further.

Soon, Google will dominate the foodservice industry, the transportation industry, the energy industry, so on and so forth.

Think about it. It makes sense. Google has the capital and the power to take over the world, and no one is stopping them. Soon we will all work for a Google subsidiary, no matter what our company is. </rant>


 3:19 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep. Let's stop them by promoting bing. (Not only IMO) Microsoft looks like an angel today, compared to the business tactics of Google.

Oh, and did you know that this very message board (Webmasterworld) is using Google Analytics, too?


 3:57 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I promoted my first free counter service back in '98, well seems Google has won.


 4:39 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I just watched this Google Wave demo. 1,5 hours of really good watching.
This Google Wave thing is a real step to take over our lives, really.


 6:16 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google is waiting for the next paradigm shift so they can replace Microsoft, AT&T, Comcast and many other companies when Internet has unlimited bandwidth and data can be transferred instantaneously. Google is kind of like the car waiting for an Interstate system.


 7:06 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would bet what Google will tell you is that a sample is all you need to find out what is going on. The bigger sample, at one point, is meaningless. And, all in all, it's fairly boring.

We know what works and doesn't work. Making something new that works is still tricky, nevertheless.


 7:08 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

This Google Wave thing is a real step to take over our lives, really.

That Google Wave is going to make quite a few third party applications obsolete. At the same time, it stitches together the fabric of all the communication mediums that most of us deal with. Pure genius and if successful, it could change the Internet just like Google Search changed things. I'd keep a very close eye on the progress of Google Wave. I'm truly impressed.

Privacy concerns? If you're on the Internet and concerned about privacy, sign off now, discontinue your access to the grid and never come online again. Don't use your mobile phone, credit cards, etc. You'll need to go off the grid for real.

Google can stalk me all they want. They scratch mine, I'll scratch theirs, a mutually rewarding relationship. They haven't pissed me off yet. :)


 7:21 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been wondering about this, off and on, for a while. On some levels, 88% surprises me. On some levels, notsomuch. When when the last time you visited a site that didn't have Adsense, Analytics, or both?

I haven't heard mention of the "Chinese Wall" between Adsense and Search in a while. And I can't ever remember it being mention about Analytics and Search.

On one hand, it's kind of spooky.

On the other hand, I have faith in the underlying incompetence that is created through Monopolies. All great monopolies eventually collapse under their own weight. sure, they can do a lot of damage along the way, but from a historical perspective, they all fail eventually.


 8:01 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

i've just seen the new terminator movie where computers take over the world, and i'm thinking that google's computers might be the ones that actually do it. it's just a matter of time before all that processing power achieves consciousness.


 8:20 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

This kind of monopoly is always a bad thing!


 10:15 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

really scary and impressive.


 11:48 pm on Jun 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am looking at GOogle Wave video, and this guy VP of Engineering is no engineer, he's highly skilled in speech and crowd control - so much that it is creepy.

And apparanetly there's a lot of Magical products in Google...

They are persuading people to work for free on their products, this is an excellent strategy for a FOR PROFIT corporation.


 4:10 am on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you can't beat them, join them.


 4:25 am on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you can't beat them, join them.

Well said. Google always seem to produce magical and profitable products.

there was a time when altavista and yahoo both refused to takeover google for $1 million and now we all know what does it cost them...


 5:33 am on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Analytics has that feedback link on everyone's order confirmation page.

We all know that Google believes that a popular site is better then an unpopular site.

This will help them determine whether a site is really liked, or just popluar.

Very important for a nerd.


 9:45 am on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I knew they had that much power, now they will go to the mobile world, with android, phones and networks, later its medical time. What I dont understand is why nobody is doing anything against this, its not good that 1 Company has that much info. I use adsense, thats it, im not a member or use anything els, be cause of this dominance.


 1:16 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google always seem to produce magical and profitable products.

Ha-ha-ha, Magical no doubt...

There's only two product that are profitable for Google - Adwords and Adsense.

later its medical time

This time is NOW, they have purchased medical data already.

im not a member or use anything else

I highly doubt it. They know your queries, they have a toolbar in your browser (or you may be using Chrome), they track you on 88% of all websites. They also purchased your medical data, and whenever you buy stuff online using google checkout they know what you bought. They are a highly secretive company that collects boatloads of data to the extend of ...let's say some alphabet soup agencies. So much so that it is very suspicious.


 3:18 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can anyone say DOJ Breakup of companies like suggested on MSFT? Hey, it could happen...


 3:36 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's only two product that are profitable for Google - Adwords and Adsense.

That's true, but only to an extent.

Everything else they have goes into feeding the Adsense/Adwords beast. All the analytical data, surfing patterns, search patterns, the massive crawling of the deep web...

None of it makes money in and of itself, but it all goes towards feeding the information beast that makes Adwords and Adsense the success that they are. No other company can come close to the data set they have for refining and targeting this information.


 5:09 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Reading this thread is actually hilarious.

First, only? G disappoints me, my personal guess was over the 90% line.

Second, G doesn't have that much cash: both M$ and A$$le actually have more cash reserves than G.

Third, no M$ does not collect this kind of info from IE, at least not to the public's knowledge. Doing that without declaring it would be illegal. Have they done it in the past, or are they doing it now? I wouldn't be surprised.

Fourth, G is not going to open a laundromat, and G is not always producing magically successful products: they have one and only one commercial success, it's called AdWord/AdSense.


 7:35 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

aleksl - well I know when I use google or I get on a site with google banners I get tracked, but still, never used toolbar, dekstop,crom or what they all have.

the point is, I also dont follow the google people all the time why should they be allowed to follow others then.

I know in Germany, some cities have said they dont want this google earth images of there buildings and people, but Google say "hi then you have to go there , there and there to ask to be removed" nothing about like normal people "can I take a picture of you" no they do it the other way, so cities have also complained now the legal way, but google ignores it.

Why cant they just be a search engine like for 5 years ago, now they are Big Brother as much as possible.


 11:29 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why? Information is money and the shareholders demand more.


 1:31 pm on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

IMO, one day this octopus will stop smiling and then we're all F$#%^$.

Check out this interesting article:

You can't hide when you seek

[edited by: Web_speed at 1:35 pm (utc) on June 9, 2009]


 10:34 pm on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes it is getting scary, also a reason i hope the best for Bing.com which btw is doing a good job with search and image search.


 9:29 am on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

If the ROI is positive, don't hesitate to pay for advertising.

Not trying to disagree with the theme of this thread (let alone trying to say that you need adwords)...but I have to a gree with this one. So many times I hear people say that PPC ads are "expensive".

PPC isn't expensive or cheap. It's profitable or not. If it's profitable (in comparsion to opportunity cost) do it. If it's not don't. It's easy to test.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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