Addicted to novelty since 2001

Google Wants The Information

As au currant geeks already know, Google recently launched Google Analytics, their entry into the web stats market. This Web-based solution is built on top of Urchin’s technology, a company they acquired back in March. The price? Free.

I tried out the service, using this site’s home page and Geeky Traveller as test subjects. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the manual (and a former technical writer at that!) and put the Javascript in the wrong spot. I’ve amended that issue this morning, so I’ll get a better look at things this afternoon. All the fancy charts look promising.

Feature requests? It’s not one that I want, but I can imagine that people might want to make their web stats publically available.

I don’t want to sound like I’m wearing a tin foil hat, but Google’s planetary data set is getting a little daunting. Consider a hypothetical alpha-adopter and Google-lover named Uter (no, not that Uter). Here’s what Google knows about Uter:

  • Everything he emails, and who his friends and colleagues are.
  • Everything he views on the Web, and everything he searches for, including the location of every address.
  • Every feed he subscribes to online.
  • Tons of data about who visits his website.

I’m no data analyst or criminologist, but I’m guessing we can build a pretty complete picture of Uter with that information. And then, of course, we can sell him things.

2 Responses to “Google Wants The Information”

  1. Richard

    “Unfortunately, I didn’t read the manual (and a former technical writer at that!) and put the Javascript in the wrong spot.”

    Same here. I just assumed it would be like any other web bug. At least 4 people have not had their stats updated within the 12 hours promised (myself included) according to the comments at http://photomatt.net/2005/11/14/google-analytics/

  2. martin g

    G00gle might know one or two other things about Uter.

    If he ( or she ) has signed up for G00gle ads for example, they’ll know his/her name and address too – and maybe bank account numbers as well ( if paid directly ).

    In fact, there’s not much left to know about Uter

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