The Google Data Mine and Your Business

Data and how to use it in businessIn the first part of this article, we looked at the extensive amounts of data available to Google. Now let’s look at what this data means.

What Does This Google Data Mean For You As An Individual?

Although Google has resisted providing easy access to their terms, in July 2008 they finally added a link to their privacy policies at the bottom of each page, next to the copyright statement.

As a person whose information is constantly being collected, reading this notice may all be a bit disturbing.

Google has pages upon pages laying out their privacy policies, with separate pages to delineate the particulars for each service. Wading through these is a daunting task, and doing so may not answer all your questions to your satisfaction. There have been consistent complaints about the fact that Google’s privacy policies are vague, something which Google admits. Writing clear policies for so many different products, all of which are constantly advancing and evolving, is a formidable challenge.

The key issues for a user are probably these:

  • Google stores non-anonymous data in their logs for 18 months before stripping your identifying information from the activities you carried out at Google.
  • It is not possible to remove yourself from Google; the nature of search engines is that they draw from so many highly interconnected sources that, practically speaking, it would not be possible to satisfy requests for removal of information.

This means that a great deal of personal information is available, and remains available long enough that Google and its clients could build extensive profiles of everyone who uses any of Google’s products.

What Does This Mean For You As An Entrepreneur?

Ironically, the very things that make us uneasy as individuals may excite us as businesspeople, and fill us with ideas to grow our market and expand our product line. We can not only make the best use of current opportunities, but see new ones on the horizon, and even shape the future to create opportunities tailor-made to our plans and goals.

As a businessperson you can tap into this information store by using Google’s massive traffic map and ability to send targeted traffic to your sites. Not only can this generate business and revenues for you now, it can provide you with vital information for building your business in the future.

You can access this information by using Google’s paid services for advertising, such as AdWords and AdSense to drive traffic with relevant interests to your site, though you will need a substantial advertising budget if you take this route. Popular keywords often require you to commit large sums in order to ensure that your advertisements will be seen frequently and at the top of the list.

A better alternative is achieving a high “natural” or “organic” ranking. This refers to using strategies that result in your pages being highly ranked in Google searches without you explicitly paying to get those coveted positions. The top search results on the first page of a Google search are far more likely to be visited by Google users than lower-ranked pages, and can even outperform paid ads.

By fully understanding what it is that Google does, how it does it, and what information it provides you, you can combine organic and paid services to maximize your ranking, visibility and traffic. And together, that means maximizing your revenues, too.

As I discussed above, it’s not as simple as using lots of keywords and links — these need to be embedded in legitimate content and strategically placed for the highest impact. You also need to track which topics are getting the most attention from web users, know how to translate the different types of information Google provides into insights for your personal use, and how to integrate multiple services for the best impact.

All this is simple once you have the right information and the right tools. Information is the coin of the realm.

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hamlet BatistaAbout the Author: Hamlet Batista is President of NEMedia S.A, a provider of SEO automation software that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses increase the quality of their natural search traffic while focusing on what they do best. Hamlet’s blog, Hamlet Batista dot Com, explores the most advanced SEO research, as well as strategies and tactics that can give you an important edge over your competitors.

8 Comments ▼

Hamlet Batista




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  1. Interestingly, Google just changed their privacy policy, to allow everyone to do a one-click opt out from cookie tracking on their ads. http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html.

    A Techcrunch story says it is because Google has come under Congressional scrutiny: http://shrinkify.com/c6s

    How many people will actually opt out remains to be seen.

  2. I enjoyed this article. It provides business owners with relevant information on how to deal with data from Google. For example, contractors who want to advertise a plumbing business will need to evaluate Google AdWords data to determine what keywords such as “Vancouver plumbers” or “Burnaby plumbing” drive traffic to their website and then to optimize websites to rank strongly against competitors. I understand that you software helps business to do this, and am quite interested in how it works.

    Pacific West Gloal Media is an internet advertising firm serving contractors and independent business owners who have a direct need to have someone do it for them.

  3. @Anita Great find! I tried optin out from Google and Yahoo and only Yahoo gave me a visual confirmation.

    @paul I’m glad you enjoyed the article. We will get in touch with you to explain how the software works and maybe we can do some business together.

  4. Hamlet, great first two articles! My brain is on information overload but in a good way. I need extra time to absorb it all. Thank you for giving us all so much food for thought.

  5. @Paula Thanks again for your kind words. I’ll make sure to keep ‘em coming :-)

  6. Ha, ha! I have to agree with Paula here. There’s SO much to digest but you’ve dished it out in easy to understand terms. There’s a method to all this madness, huh? :-) Very interesting and informative, Hamet. Thanks for contributing this as it has really helped to gain a better understanding.

  7. Is it lots of data out there in cyberspace! ;)

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