My Search Data Analytics Conspiracy: Free Tool or Trojan HorsePosted: November 23, 2012
I am empowered by WordPress but I couldn’t help but thinking about this as I watched all my blog traffic slowly decrease over the last year while at the same time more and more data analytics were available to improve my writing focus…
Thesis: Is free analytics just a Trojan Horse to mine your data?
Imagine for a moment you had access on the inside to all the data for stock trading. At any given moment you knew which investors were buying what stocks. You saw immediately where the trends were, and even better – you could see the biggest and most power trader’s stock purchases. In the stock world it is considered illegal if you used or shared this information because basically you could buy any stock with an unfair advantage and clean up.
I started with an insider trading example to get you thinking – now imagine if you could create a free tool or blogging platform that was useful to webmasters and bloggers alike. This tool could track every visit a website gets. And this data collection would consist of 100’s if not 1000’s of bits of information. For example: keywords, browser, region, times, search term, etc., etc.
Now imagine that all the analytic data for your website was given to you by the person or business that gave you the tool or blog – for free! You would gladly install this free tool in your website and try to figure out how to best use the information to improve your blog site traffic.
Now image if you are the group collecting all this information on 100s, or 1000s, or millions of websites and blogs – what would you do with this advantage? As individuals we value knowing a keyword that drives visits to our website, right? Now imagine if you had access to all the data from every blog on your platform or using your tool – you not only would see your top key words but you would see “The Key Words” that generate the most traffic on the Internet. Are you getting where I’m going?
Data Analytic Trojans
I believe insider keyword stealing and analytic Trojans have been around on for a while – think Google! But now I also think others are jumping, correction – have jumped, on the same bandwagon because the advantage is far too lucrative $$$$$ to ignore.
All blog networks such as Blogger and WordPress collect analytic data on any blog in there network, and there are bunches of free tools (plugins) that are offered such as JetPack that give you access to this data – for free! But what is happening on the inside with all this data?
Are the makers of JetPack mining your data?
Now imagine again that you are killing it and your blog has 1000s of visitor per day and then all of the sudden your traffic starts declining and you start to see other websites much newer than yours become the leaders in your niche – was their success due to some cool keyword tool or paid advertising?
Beware of Free Gifts or Tools!
I’ll leave you here to think about my data analytics conspiracy and warn you to think twice before giving access to someone that is offering you something that is too good to be true… Analytic Trojans exist!