Google Domination #2 – Google Toolbar (Google Thank You For Using Google Toolbar So They Can SPY On You!)
Nov 3rd, 2006 by AhYap
In my last post Google Domination #1 – Google Analytics (Do you know Google is using Google Analytics to Conquer the Internet?), I talked about how Google is getting a lot of important statistic about the entire Internet, by giving all webmasters a FREE professional statistic tracking software.Google Analytics is plant on a website. So a webmaster must place some code in their website. Although it is free and it provides a lot of great features to the webmaster, not all webmaster will be placing the code. There is several reasons why webmaster didn’t use Google Analytic, for examples,
1. The webmaster haven’t heard about this powerful tool yet.
2. They know about it but refuse to use it, for example, Yahoo and Microsoft will not use it!
Does that means Google is unable to track traffic going through websites that don’t have Google Analytics installed? For example Yahoo and Microsoft? Not really, Google has something call the Google Toolbar which are installed on almost all computers! You can see from here, Google Analytic is a watchdog placed on websites, while Google Toolbar is a watchdog placed on the end-users computer. Since Google Toolbar is again FREE and it provides a lot of useful features such as spell checking, ad blocking, auto form filling, etc. many people will not hesitate to install it.
Every toolbar installed is an extra eye of Google on the Internet. It allows Google to know everything that you do with your browser including what site you have visited, how long you stay there, how frequent you visit the site, what are you searching on the internet, etc. And that includes Google’s competitors sites such as Yahoo and Microsoft (BTW, Microsoft search is now renamed to Live). In other words, it do exactly what an ADWARE (also known as SPYWARE) do. ADWARE/SPYWARE are software that advertisers put on your computer to spy on what you are doing with your computer so they can serve you better ads! For example, if you are searching for cameras and your computer is infected by spyware, high chances that you will see a lot of camera ads even in other non related sites. Even worst, you might receive SPAM regarding camera ads.
(Do you know that among the Top 10 downloads in Download.com, adware remover takes the first 3 place?)
However, adware removers will not remove your Google Toolbar because it is not identified as Adware. Why? Because Google Toolbar are not using those information to serve you ads (directly), or steal your email address. But the way it track for user behaviour (sites he visits, what he is searching for, etc) is no different than an adware/spyware! It just didn’t use those data to serve you ads directly. It collects all those useful information and put them in a BIG database to generate a BIG statistics of the Internet. Its purpose is to monitor the all activities of the internet users .
With Google Toolbar, they track almost all users on the Internet. With Google Analytic, they track almost all websites on the Internet. By integrating information collected from both Google Analytic and Google Toolbar, they will have the most complete map of the entire Internet! These statistics are one of the most important asset of Google. They have started a lot earlier than their competitors, i.e. Yahoo and Microsoft. Yahoo and Microsoft are not providing any free traffic tracking tool like Google Analytics. Although they are offering their own version of Toolbar, they started too late and most users are already fall in love with Google Toolbar.
Soon or later (or maybe now?), Internet is Google and Google is Internet!