Google offers a plethora of great tools for Webmasters. But why?
Many of us webmasters love Google's "help", while others see their tools as an unwelcome intrusion. More specifically, an unwelcome look into your website's inner workings and your users behavior. Some skeptics even go so far as to call these tools "spyware".
WOWzie. Harsh words indeed. However, understand whenever you drop someone elses code into your website, and that someone does not charge you, then you should expect that you are being datamined.
Individually, maybe that is not so big a deal. The argument goes that the data is meaningless unless put into a collective aggregate. And thus your privacy is not compromised. Maybe.
What are some possible uses for your data collected by these free tools:
- Your web surfer behavior
- Your web browser history (they arguably can cross visitor ips from your web logs with other sites to create "brain map" of your consumer.
- Test your site for spammy behavior
I do not really want to go on and on into a conspiratorial Big Brother type rant. But suffice it to say that this is one hell of a potential trade off just to save a few bucks on your own tools. How far are we willing to give away information in exchange for tools that we can get elsewhere for a nominal fee, or that we simply do not need.