#1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4
    Rep Power
    0

    Google tracking search clicks (privacy issue)


    Hi,
    How does google track its clicks of organic search [no toolbar].
    I read somewhere that google also tracks how long a visitor stay on the website visited from the google search results and what all links it clicked within the website...
    Example: I search for foo on google.
    I click on foo.com
    I click on numerous links available on foo.com.
    I close my broser.
    Google captures all of the above!!.

    How is this possible. Once I have left google search result page and entered foo.com, how does google know what links I clicked on foo.com & how long was I on foo.com.

    Request some more info on the above subject.

    Thx
    Vai
  2. #2
  3. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8
    Rep Power
    0
    He is some pretty good info on this topic:

    http://www.seomoz.org/articles/google-historical-data-patent.php
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    11
    Rep Power
    0
    short answer they can't. That article is partly lies, not that seomoz is lying but the patent is most definitely. Most of it is probably to scare some SEOers to stop. Google can only track behaviour if you have the toolbar, desktop search or any other Google tool installed. This is border-line on spyware though, wouldn't be surprised that it will be marked as such in the future either.

    Otherwise it would be spyware and that is a PR(not pagerank) nightmare for a commercial company like google.
  6. #4
  7. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4
    Rep Power
    0
    Refer link posted by naphets66:
    Analysis & Interpretation of the 63 Patent Components
    History Data >> "User Behavior" >> Para 37.

    How does google calculate the time spent on a site? Sessions or something.. thou session is not visible in the page source of search result. Again assuming that toolbar is not installed.

    Does google only consider the time spent on a search-resulted website or does google also considers various links clicked within the site (provided google can capture this data).

    Thx
    Vai
  8. #5
  9. Super Moderator
    SEO Chat Super Hero (2500 - 2999 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,578
    Rep Power
    669
    Originally Posted by ger_seo
    short answer they can't. That article is partly lies, not that seomoz is lying but the patent is most definitely. Most of it is probably to scare some SEOers to stop. Google can only track behaviour if you have the toolbar, desktop search or any other Google tool installed. This is border-line on spyware though, wouldn't be surprised that it will be marked as such in the future either.

    Otherwise it would be spyware and that is a PR(not pagerank) nightmare for a commercial company like google.

    I always love the people who complain about spyware, especially since %95 of the time when you have spyware/adware on your computer it is because you agreed to get it with free software or agreed in somebodies TOS statement.

    Google toolbar explicitly asks if you wish to turn on advanced features (ie page rank bar) which send information to google about what sites you are visiting. Though they say it is done anonymously.
    Work Smarter, Not Harder
  10. #6
  11. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    11
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by googler
    I always love the people who complain about spyware, especially since %95 of the time when you have spyware/adware on your computer it is because you agreed to get it with free software or agreed in somebodies TOS statement.

    Google toolbar explicitly asks if you wish to turn on advanced features (ie page rank bar) which send information to google about what sites you are visiting. Though they say it is done anonymously.
    True, but the point is that they will never be able to do it without you knowing. Currently they ask, which I applaud. But as soon as it goes into the TOS, without asking you, its somewhat more of a debate.

    When is the last time you fully read the TOS, for that matter when was the last time that you fully understood it (lot of legal stuff in it). Now I'm no lawyer so I wont say its not legal, but I think its worth to see an actual court case on this.

    You mention it's anonymous. How can it be considered anonymous if they are able to couple the clicks you make with the searches you do?? They have to track your IP or create some sort of ID for you.
  12. #7
  13. Super Moderator
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Gloucester (South West UK).
    Posts
    6,533
    Rep Power
    3522
    ger_seo: I agree with you, but for this:
    Originally Posted by ger_seo
    You mention it's anonymous. How can it be considered anonymous if they are able to couple the clicks you make with the searches you do?? They have to track your IP or create some sort of ID for you.
    First off - googler didn't say it's anonymous, he said "They say it's anonymous"...
    Also (assuming "they" are telling the truth) I don't imagine it would be hard for them to use a toolbar ID rather than an IP and use the data for their stat's without linking/reference to the specific user.
    Even if they do track the IP address (for geo-specific stat's analysis) that doesn't necessarily mean that they link the IP address to specific user (many share).
    And finally - even if they do track the user - so long as they don't publish (or use) details of that user outside outside of their stat's analysis, they are still keeping their word.

    Personally though - I don't use the advanced features
    Last edited by ClickyB; Apr 4th, 2006 at 11:32 AM.
    ClickyB
    "The quality of the visitor is more important than the volume..." (Egol 22nd Feb 2008)
    [New to SEO/SeoChat?] [Canonical Problems?] [Forum Rules & Posting Guidelines]

Similar Threads

  1. Preview MSN similar to WISENUT SERPs - not so innovative after all
    By -search-engines-web in forum BING/Yahoo Search Optimization
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: Jun 22nd, 2006, 11:20 PM
  2. What is Google - An Opinion
    By fvkg in forum SEO Help (General Chat)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Jul 6th, 2005, 05:00 AM
  3. Googleguy speaks! Some good clarifications
    By thewormman in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Jun 4th, 2005, 02:01 AM
  4. Article: new Google feature called Google Suggest
    By dirtdog1960 in forum SEO Chat Articles
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Dec 12th, 2004, 01:09 AM

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo