wwconnect - 8:39 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
I wonder though, Google knows that the FTC will eventually make a DNT (do not track) law mandatory where regular internet users must either opt in to being tracked OR have a readily accessible "don't track me" button that may even be on by default.
This is an excellent observation. Google may already know or be expecting a mandatory DNT law in the works or may be trying to preempt such a law by addressing the issue on its own. Whatever the reason blocking organic referrer data under the guise of security is a smart move on Google's part for several reasons:
1. Entice more people to search while signed in for "Security."
2. Increase awareness that it is even possible to sign in to Google.
3. With more people signed in Google gets more information on searchers .
4. More signed in people increases the likelihood searchers will use additional Google services such as Google plus.
5. With more people signed in Google can become a "curated" content portal for Internet users instead of just a search engine(i.e. you access customized iGoogle news feeds, your Google+ profile, your searches, your Google wallet, etc. the list goes on forever).
6. Disincentivize SEO for businesses by causing the value of AdWords to increase in relation to SEO.
7. Improve Google's organic ranking quality by reducing manipulation of results through SEO. SEOs will have the rug swept out from under them eventually.
8. Increase competitive advantage in the re targeting ad market. Actually, more like destroy the competition.
9. Create additional potential revenue for Google Analytics if they made the data available for paid users.
10. Steer the online privacy and tracking conversation by tacking control of the issue preemptively.
I could probably think of a bunch more unfortunately...
My favorite summary of what's going on right now and which I think is going to describe the next 6-12+ months is over on Aaron's book where he sums it up neatly saying, "Google Aggressively Enters Make Money Online Niche."
I really like Google and they have some great products. I'm also a big fan of Android. However, I make my living online and all I can say is that I really, really hope Google gets a nice fat *itch slap by the FTC here pretty soon. It would be nice that was followed by a nice swift kick in the *uts from the DOJ.
@walkman ... you should be on the Colbert Report.
but if there is anyone who didn't get that I think its safe to say you better start diversifying your online revenue channels beyond SEO/organic.
It would be cool to have some discussions on what the hot new areas are for making money online.