Archive for Brandt Dainow

Understanding Google's "Right to be Forgotten" judgement in Europe – for Americans

Posted by Brandt Dainow on May 14th, 2014 at 6:23 am

On May 13th 2014, the European Court of Justice introduced legal backing for the "right to be forgotten." There's been a great deal of talk about this, most of it inaccurate. This post will explain what this is all about and what it means.
read the Court's own explanation here
What is the European Court of Justice?
Basically – it’s the European Union’s equivalent of the US Supreme Court.  It’s the highest court in the EU, so there is no appeal of its rulings.  The EU is halfway between the US federal system and a bunch of independent countries.  Each country, just like each US state, can draft their own laws, but they have to comply with EU-wide “directives.”  EU directives state whether there should be a law for a given situation and roughly what it should contain.  It is up to each state to implement a directive as they see fit, and decide what sort of enforcement they want to put on it.  There can be wide variations.  For example, some herbal products, like Melatonin, are banned by EU directive.  While they are illegal under every EU country’s laws, some countries, like the UK and Germany, enforce the ban strongly, while others,... Read more

Google blocks keywords in web analytics

Posted by Brandt Dainow on October 2nd, 2013 at 6:00 am

Google recently switched to secure search for all users. This means the search terms (keywords) people searched for will be blocked from web analytics software, including the most popular - Google Analytics. Many people are alarmed at this, concerned it will render keyword-level analysis of website activity impossible.
They're over-reacting.
It's not that bad.
BACKGROUND:
Keyword analysis of website traffic is essential for many reasons. It's the only way you can know what people were looking for when they came to your site. This is essential in order to understand sales performance, marketing performance, what people want from your site, how to improve your site, and almost every other legitimate purpose you can think of. Secondly, there's no harm in it. The data is not personally identifiable, except by Google, and going secure doesn't protect people from Google.
DEALING WITH IT
Google introduced secure search for users who were signed into a Google service some time ago. In the sites I analyze, that took out about 25% of the data. That didn't bother me because there was enough left over to provide reliable data regarding user intent. Not much has changed. Google aren't the only search... Read more

Does Google read what you're reading?

Posted by Brandt Dainow on August 16th, 2013 at 2:26 am

There is a suggestion Google is reading every webpage you visit when you are logged into Google.

Google messes up Android navigation

Posted by Brandt Dainow on July 27th, 2013 at 3:01 am

Where's my blue navigation button gone?
If you have an Android phone you may have just lost your navigation app. Millions have. Google took it away from you. They didn't warn anyone. They didn't ask. They just destroyed it via an update to the Maps app. It's causing a lot of pain to literally millions of people. It's living proof of why Google is too big, can't control its own engineers any more, and has lost its way.
The Navigation software is actually part of Maps, and the Blue Arrow is just an icon to bypass the menu steps inside Maps to get at Navigation. Google have introduced a new beta nav system with the latest Map update. And, for no good reason anyone can think of, removed the icon.
The new nav system sucks. It lacks features of previous systems and crashes - often. While Google did warn it was beta, that's no excuse. Effectively what they said was:
"We have not finished this software and so it's not fit for purpose. We can't be bothered testing it ourselves, we'd rather dump it on you, our customers, and watch you have problems... Read more

Can Google Analytics track mobiles accurately?

Posted by Brandt Dainow on February 13th, 2013 at 4:02 am

Rising suspicions that Google Analytics may not be accurate on mobile devices.