Saturday, June 21, 2008

Google Website Trends

Originally uploaded by mild_swearwords
Noticed that Google have changed their trends project to include websites.
This is a really good move as it gives us access to numbers that aren't solely based on Comscore or Hitwise's slightly suspect methodologies.
However Google haven't been entirely transparent about their own.
The above little bit of the graph shows the other sites that people visit from the Guardian.
The most interesting bit is that the site that's most visited is This is due to iframe tags that must sit somewhere on the Guardian, serving people's ads from Atlas.
This shows some of the technology that Google is using. If they were collecting data purely from searches, they would not see this. The only way they could know that people were receiving traffic from would be if they were tracking where people went through some kind of tool that intercepted and monitored their webtraffic.
Now just look on your own explorer window and see if you have the google toolbar. If you have it, you've got a little friend who could be reporting all your web views back to Google central.
Google do disclose the fact that they monitor 'anonymous usage statistics'. The fact that they also track other websites that you visit means that they are keeping hold of who is who and also keeping a history of your web browsing.
This data is now easily and quickly searchable within the trends interface. It won't be long before they're offering me ways to target you through the adsense platform.
There'll be an uproar when that does happen, but I strongly suspect there's a beta test looking at how it works right now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


“When music fans can say, ‘I have all the music from 1950-2010, do you want a copy?’ — what kind of business models will be viable in such a reality?”

Nice quote from one of the founders of the piratebay.
He has a very good point though. Music is now worthless. More music exists than you could possibly listen to. Why should you buy new music?
Before we go off into "freeconomics", it should be remembered that the rights-holders have an incentive to maximise their profits. They want to preserve the status quo.
its a little like DVDs. A cheaper way to distribute films comes along, so they nark prices up. Downloading is no different.
Last-fm offers a zero cost distribution platform coupled with a zero cost Marketing platform. Problem for the record companies is that the profit will be lower due to lower revenue per recording.
My opinion is that the recording companies need to appreciate they need much lower costs in order to operate in the new Environment. Why employ salespeople to sell something that is individually worthless?