In 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.