The New Google Analytics: A Lot Like the Old Google Analytics, Just Way Worse
Posted in SEO on October 28, 2011 by Patrick McCarthy
Is it just a coincidence that every time I am about to write a blog post Google decides to release a new product or make a big announcement? The answer is “Yes, of course it is.” Why would Google be timing their announcements to my blog schedule? And if they are, how did they get BMI’s blog schedule? …Oh wait! They do own the Internet and all its data, so I guess we’ve answered the second question, but we will probably always remain in the dark in regards to the first. Oh well, such is Google.
Google “Secures” Your Privacy
Google’s newest shocker is about Google Analytics and the data that it will provide in the future. Now, if you do not do the Internet professionally, you probably have never used Google Analytics, and you might have never even heard of it; however, it is probably the most important tool that Google offers Internet marketing professionals in their war against Google. For those that are unfamiliar, the product gives (for Free! Classic Google!) extensive and extremely detailed data about who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, how they got there, what they did there, where they went after, and a lot of other equally creepy sounding information.
Now, Google has announced that they will no longer tell you what keywords users searched to get to your site if they were signed into their Google account when they made the search. Google’s cited reasons for this change are a bit technical, but they boil down to one big claim – This change is to improve the security and privacy of their users. Wow, Google looks out for everybody’s best interest once again...classic Google. BUT WAIT! Before we make any judgments, we need to first use….. (Drumroll) THE GOOGLE TEST!
The Google Test
If you read my last blog post, then, you probably know about “Patrick McCarthy’s 100% Foolproof Google Test” (it also cures warts). Basically, the test runs Google’s actions through three (top secret) algorithms and breaks them down into three categories:
I’ve already covered number one, so let’s move on to number two.
Less Google Analytics = More Google Adwords
In this case, the Google Test spat out the same results for number two and number three, which essentially means that, according to the test, Google really is up to the shady stuff that it seems like they are up to. This is an extremely rare and distressing result. The test spat out this report - “Google values your privacy. In fact, they value it so highly that, golly gee, if they ain’t gonna keep it for themselves and mine it for all it is worth.”
Noted “Internet Doer” Ian Lurie (Rumor has it he’s actually been to The Internet and that it is somewhere in Morocco) seems to agree with the PM100%FGT in a blog post in which he declares war on the Internet... *ahem* ...sorry, I meant “on Google.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.
In his letter to Google, Luries states,
“You've [Google] done this for one reason, and one reason only: To shut out competing ad networks. By removing this data from the referring query string (oh, you didn't think we'd notice?!) you've made it far harder for third-party ad networks to measure and quantify traffic quality.
Plus, you no longer have to justify ranking results, OR Adwords data. Personalization already scrambles the crap out of them. Without accurate search query data, we have no way to check your math on Google Adwords search counts. I guess we have to trust you. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Cough. Sniff. Sob."
Google wants to be the only one that knows what people are really searching for on Google, and if you want to get some of that info, you’re going to have to pay for it by using Google AdWords to run PPC campaigns. That’s right, Google will still give advertisers keyword data on signed-in users if they click on a paid listing.
In essence, Google is telling all of us – “We value your privacy and want to make your information as secure as possible… unless of course, someone pays us for it. In which case, we’d love nothing more than to give away as much of your data as possible.” Or maybe that’s not what they’re saying at all. “Patrick McCarthy’s 100% Foolproof Google Test” isn’t perfect.