This week, Google announced on it’s Analytics blog that it will be encrypting search result URLs for Gmail users as part of its public drive to improve Google’s image relating to privacy and its user’s personal information. Basically, this means that if visitors to your website are logged in to their Google account, Google won’t track the visit in detail like it usually would.
This is potentially a huge kick in the teeth to small web businesses who rely on Google’s free Analytics package to help them start their fledgling web businesses. Not only that, but website’s that have a large proportion of visitors who are likely to be logged in to a Google account are most likely to be affected.
Google says that the changes won’t affect most website’s stats, but some have forecast that this could mask the results for up to 30% of their traffic, we are not talking about insignificant figures for everyone.
The alternative is to switch to a paid for Analytics package but webmasters will be out of pocket and have little more information than they could have acquired through the free Google Analytics package. Boycotting Google and opting to pay for your website’s stats when every penny counts for businesses just isn’t a smart move right now for small businesses… and Google knows it.
Ultimately, Google is a business and businesses are out to make money. However, internet marketing professionals have invested most of their careers optimising their websites for Google’s superior search engine and this move towards favouring users who pay for the data that Google harvests under the guise of current buzzword “privacy” will understandably make many feel very angry. Surely, if Google want to move away from providing a free service then surely it is much better to be upfront about it than bring it in through the back door?
Are you a small business who fears they may be affected by Google’s announcement? Have you got strong opinions on Google’s motives for making these changes? Tell us what you think using the comments box below.
To find out more about how JPR Marketing can help improve your sales figures with internet marketing, contact David Wiltshire on 0845 544 1764.