Internet marketing resources, ecommerce web site design tutorials and  just for fun - free cell phone ringtones!
  Taming the Beast - quality web marketing and ecommerce development services

Do Not Track Browser Buttons Soon

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday February 25, 2012 )

It appears Google, Microsoft and others have agreed to implement do-not-track buttons in their Web browsers. Is this the beginning of the end for tracking site visitors? Not quite.

The “Do Not Track” button will not stop *all* tracking (phew), but – according to the Wall Street Journal, it will stop tracking people’s Web browsing habits to customize ads and block the extraction of some other forms of what may be considered sensitive data. From what I can ascertain, general web site analytics won’t be affected.

A number of privacy snafus in recent times have probably spurred this turn of events. It’s been a case of “regulate yourselves, or we’ll do it for you” I guess.

It’s not as though private browsing wasn’t already possible in Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox; i.e.:

Internet Explorer: Settings/Safety/InPrivate browsing

Firefox: Firefox top menu button/Start private browsing

Chrome: Top spanner icon/New Icognito Window

… but a big button saying “Do Not Track” will likely be more convenient for most folks. It will also be more elegant in operation in terms in being able to remain logged into whatever sites you frequent upon returning – something you can’t do when using private browsing features.

While it was reported on some sites within a few hours of the announcement of the Do Not Track button agreement that Google had launched the button for Chrome, it turned out it had just made a Chrome extension called “Keep My Opt Outs” available in the Chrome Web Store.

Keep My Opt Outs is described as a “a one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies adopting the industry privacy standards for online advertising.”

The ad companies not only have to have adopted those standards, but I noticed the current version works only with U.S.-based online ad companies at this point. Google plans to include cookie opt-outs from European and other international companies soon; and then there’s the prospect of the full-strength Do Not Track button being standard fare in the browser in the not-too-distant future.

Similar sorts of extensions are also available for Firefox.

I guess a lot more people will be seeing “punch the monkey” type ads more often soon – and then complain about those. While I sometimes find being served up ads based on my previous activity a little unsettling, I’ve also found it quite useful at times too. I doubt I’ll be clicking the Do Not Track button when it finally appears; unless of course tracking gets a little too sinister.

On a somewhat related point, have you noticed an increasing number of “not defined” entries in your Google Analytics keyword reports?

You’re not imagining it.

In October last year, Google began redirecting signed in users to its secure search feature. When searches are performed via this channel, the keywords used are not specified in Google Analytics reports, just the aggregated number of visits from it. Merchants using Google Adwords are not affected by this change.

Currently, I’m seeing around 3 – 5% of searches hit by the “not defined” change; some site owners are reporting more.


Comments for Do Not Track Browser Buttons Soon

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.