Google Data Tied Together – Get On Your Tin Foil Hat

 

A google engineer playing games with data is a bad thing.

It is bad when it happens with communications, especially when kids are involved.

It is bad when it might be used for competitive reasons such as Adwords data that was eventually settled.

Get Your Tin Foil Hat On

There are lots of reasons to use multiple Google accounts

  • A perfect example would be to maintain an account for each domain you are likely to sell in the future as a master account for things like Google analytics. Then grant access to a user account for maintenance. This prevents one “spy vector” for competitors.
  • You can do similar for adwords if there is a need to share login data with a tool that doesn’t use an API with a central MCC account for clients.
  • You might want to run multiple branded Google buzz accounts
  • Personal vs Private – especially now Google is becoming more a social platform

Google frequently claim that Analytics data isn’t used by the web spam team, and isn’t used for rankings, however for some, one small excerpt from the Gawker article should at least give them pause for thought.

google accounts tied together

In some cases this is something you might expect – lots of people recently have been having their Adwords accounts banned for even what seems innocent reasons – a poor interpretation of bridge pages by Google adwords reps (and terrible communication skills).
Those people might want to get a new account, and Google will try their best to stop them.

Spy Vector?

I can just tell someone is going to ask about that. If you have 2 websites using Google analytics code from a single account, there are tools that can link those sites together.
The same is true for IP addresses of hosting though that is less reliable, affiliate account details such as a Clickbank ID, and Google Adsense.

Google Adsense as far as I know still hasn’t any official supported way of making the code you place on one website anonymous to competitors.

Of Course Google Know About All These Accounts

SEOs have always assumed Google can tie different accounts together in some way – IP address, cookies etc

However I have never read an account of a Google engineer in any capacity actually doing it – almost as if the tools exist to do it for internal use. Data in a database that could potentially be tied together is one thing, tools to do it is quite another.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Nothing would surprise me about what Google can link together of your information. They have one of the best engineer teams in the world. To some respect Google can argue linking things together help from a legal tracking purpose in case illegal activity is taking place. But I think in the end attorney generals will start to crack down on Google. It has already started with Texas suing Google for the claim of manipulative search results.

    ~Evan

    • says

      Anything is possible with legal discovery, and tools could have been developed to make a search for legal discovery quicker.

      I thought it important to point out that the data is or can be tied together – whether that changes things for most of my readers is uncertain – those with existing tin foil hat would probably just make sure the chin strap is tight.

  2. says

    Hi Andy,

    I could talk about this for weeks. I think that what you have said is spot on but only scratches the surface of what is going to happen over the next 6 months. Analytics, cookies, email addresses, links, wordpress themes (footprints), IP addresses, are all going to be used to de-index millions of sites. Spam sites, thin affiliate sites, MFA’s will all disappear along with untold numbers of niche sites that target brand and product names.

    Here in the UK the office of fair trading is putting Google under pressure to de-index any site that is not the manufacturers. All in the name of cutting the number of counterfeit goods entering the country.

    This will, if it happens, kill internet marketing as we know it.

    Will it happen? Some huge companies are backing the plan, let’s face it they would. Is Google listening? Well that depends on if you believe they will put the freedom of the internet above the interests of some of their largest adwords customers? I know where my money is.

    On a side note, in my opinion you should never put any Google product on a site you are not willing to loose, especially Google analytics, why not use statcounter instead? It pays to be cautious.

    Remember we are playing in Googles game and they can change the rules of that game any time they like.

    PS Andy the site my name links to is only a test I am running on weebly so feel free to remove the link.

    All the best
    Paul

    • says

      Looks like a useful page of content to get indexed Paul so I have no problem with the link.

      Some guy called Paul who left a great comment about something I hadn’t thought about, linking to a blog with his name in the URL, with contact form and privacy policy.

      I am MFA friendly in that if a site is useful, but made to earn revenue from Adsense, it is still useful.