Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.167.76.176

Forum Moderators: open

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google: Please get rid of these annoying redirects.

Spying on your users is not nice.

     

rfgdxm1

9:03 am on Apr 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ciml is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

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

10+ Year Member



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

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

10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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

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

10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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

jranes

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

10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>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

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

10+ Year Member




BTW - don't look behind you.

rfgdxm1

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



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

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month