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Archive for May, 2008

Attention: Google visits every website at the same time you do

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Normally I try not to write about topics that will be published in the Newspaper KURIER. On the occasion of this topic, a recently announced Google-revelation, I had to make an exception…

Surprises are usually exciting and, for kids at least, a lot of fun… Google is excellent for surprises, yet they usually have a dire aftertaste.

Not many people know that some services, even if Google does not brand them, are still a part of the company. A new service developed by the Austrian search engine specialist (and creator of the search engine Walter Karban, shows that Google does more data collection and active spying, than initially thought…


Karbans service,, analyzes the Internet and identifies connections – which subdomains are on a specific domain, which pages link to a specific website and – this is the important part – which external services are used on a website. With one can inspect not only every website, but especially Google services.

83 percent of the top-300,000 webpages connect – without their users knowing – to Google servers. For instance: when you connect to the website of the German magazine “Spiegel”, its servers, in turn, connect to Google servers… If, for example, one connects to,, or, all pages that imply personal interests or data, Google saves user statistics with its online tool Google Analytics, which is available for free online…

How does work?
If you go on the service’s website and click on “Domain-Info”, you can query any website you would like to know more about. If the search isn’t successful, the service maps the desired domain, allowing you to view the information 30 minutes later. You can then inspect a list of subdomains, links and a complete listing of external services on the site – this may include different Google services, like “Googlesyndication” (Google AdWords), DoubleClick, YouTube or Google Analytics.

And the power of Google Analytics is evident – it creates useful user-statistics and saves interesting data. This includes IP-addresses, which (independent of whether they are static or dynamic), can be called personal data. They can be analyzed or, in combination with Google cookies, used to generate very detailed user information.


It is especially interesting when you select “traxx detail” or “see the traxx” in regard to Google Analytics under the “external services” section. If you click on “Javascript”, details on which information is sent to Google become visible – you can test that on your own. Next week I will commence another campaign regarding this issue…


And one final detail: The “Javascript” technology implemented by Google Analytics even makes it possible to save the location and button-states of your mouse. And everything is sent to Google. And there, the data can, after identification of your IP address, be processed and brought into connection with an individual. This may then show who “secretly” uses sex-portals.

And by the way, there are skeptics in Austria’s IT-offices. There is no official recommendation not to use Google, but still no Ministry – apart from one exception – uses Google Analytics for its online services. And those that – due to the lack of better knowledge – do use Google Analytics, will hopefully implement a different technology soon. The IT-officers of the ÖVP, SPÖ and Greens should follow this advice – the political story can be read in tomorrow’s KURIER, page 24.