I was wondering what data was sent to Google from Chrome users. Matt has the answers, and so far, seems innocuous.
I’d like to put out two guidelines for anyone adopting this “link to myself” strategy:
1. Ensure that no more than 50% of the links on any page are to yourself. (Even this number may be too high.)
2. Ensure that the pages you create at those destinations are truly more valuable to your readers than any other external link you might provide.
The web is a great example of a system that works because most sites create more value than they capture. Maybe the tragedy of the commons in its future can be averted. Maybe not. It’s up to each of us.
This article strikes me as another slow drumbeat on an issue that has to be both frustrating and impossible to own for Google. The headline: “Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent” implies ulterior motives and wrongdoing. In fact, it’s standard operating procedure for companies who run ad networks, and has been for a very long time. However, now that the guv’mint is involved, SOP is no longer AOK. The lede:
Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.
Or, put another way, Google bought DoubleClick, and DoubleClick uses tracking cookies. Yawn, right? Except….the rest of the world is catching on to the Database of Intentions, and the dialog as to what it means is just getting under way. The heat is being turned up, slowly but surely, and Google has to be careful to not be seen as the water in a boiling frog syndrome.
Here are the documents from the House Committee investigating online data practices.
The ruling yesterday on the merits of Viacom’s data requests is worthy of review. Ars has more here. I am preparing for a vacation and can’t elaborate, but trust me on this one…
The DOJ is reviewing the Google/Yahoo deal. Expected, to be sure, but still, not a lot of fun for a place that has not had tons of fun lately.
This is a Big Deal. Now, I want to know: how will Flash files be ranked? Any ideas? Adobe is a major competitor to Microsoft in this front. How will Microsoft make Silverlight searchable? And will Google index all both equally? (My take: Oh yes it will. If it does not, that spells trouble in any congressional hearing…)
Is it what people say they value publicly, or what they search for in the privacy of their home? Man, that’s a tricky one.
In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.
Members of Congress yesterday announced another hearing into the Google-Yahoo deal, as well as a deal between NebuAd and Charter that tracks searches at the ISP level. Watch this space. There are five hearings so far plus a Justice department inquiry. From Ad Age:
This week a House Small Business Committee panel is to hold a hearing on “the impact of online advertising on small firms,” which is supposed to highlight the benefits and challenges on small business’ use of advertising techniques. Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection panel, and the Senate Commerce Committee have announced plans for separate hearings. While the Judiciary Committee’s examination is only about Google/Yahoo, the rest are broader.
“There are increasing concerns about data collection for online advertising practices across the popular websites and search engines, the sharing of information and the ability of users to control their personal information,” an aide to U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said regarding the Senate Commerce Committee hearing.