General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Could someone who is Web savvy explain what is going on between Google and my Web page tracking service?

Asked by LostInParadise (18069 points ) 2 months ago

I use the StatCounter Web service to monitor the traffic on my Web site. It is a free service with unobtrusive advertising and has been fairly reliable. I noticed though that the listing of hits by keyword showed that most were unavailable. I just got a notice from them that is summarized here It may be hard to read the setup information on the blog page. Basically they asked me to add my a Web site to my Google account and to add StatCounter as a restricted user for the site.

My first question is why Google would want to suppress keyword information for people’s Web sites. That seems pretty nasty of them. My second question is how StatCounter is able to recover any of that information.

I followed the instructions that they gave and can see the statistics that they refer to.

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3 Answers

dabbler's avatar

Sounds like Google is hosting your website..?
I wouldn’t call it suppression, I’d call it respect for your privacy. Your web traffic statistics are your business. Making an explicit connection to a traffic monitoring site is a reasonable requirement.

LostInParadise's avatar

Google is not hosting my Web site. I don’t even know what it means to have my Web site added to my Google account. You are right. My Web stats are my business, so why won’t Google let me see them?

dabbler's avatar

I see, it’s a little clearer now.
The information that StatCounter wants to present is Google’s own internal information about how your website will come up vis-a-vis keywords that people use to search in Google. There’s no particular reason Google should give StatCounter or anyone else that info about how Google works under the hood.

Those data belong to Google. By now requiring an opt-in for your site and StatCounter it looks like they are reducing the information that anonymous bots can harvest without you or Google knowing about it. I can imagine they’d want to do that to reduce the clues people have about how to game their ranking in Google results.

Frankly, it’s nice of them to provide a way for you to get at that information at all, and to allow a third party to get at them too through the configuration described.

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