All in Google

It's amazing what you can find by searching the web -- if you know how to look. I've been heads-down for the past few weeks on a client project, a strategic market analysis for an international outsourcing firm. I've been researching available public sources of sales and technology trends in a variety of markets. I've been aggressively pursuing a variety of web based research options as well as purchasing research documents in a few key areas.
I learned yesterday that last night a Writely “planned outage” was planned so I rushed to make necessary modifications before I emailed the sponsor tha a new version was available for his inspection. I need not have worried. The planned time, midnight Eastern time, came and went without a hiccup. One moment I was using Writely. The next moment I was using “Google Docs & Spreadsheets” and Writely was no more.
I received the following email from fellow blogger Chris Law (1000 Flowers Bloom) in response to my article Web 2.0 and Maintaining the Integrity of Online Intellectual Property: I really like your article. One thing that I think is very much related is what happens if it’s not a document? What if it’s say the classified listings on my site that are then being mashed up with a Google Map?
One thing you can do with Google Analytics is compare the references your web site gets from different sources. This installment in my Learning Google Analytics series compares one weeks' visits referred from Google itself (e.g., from searches on Google that resulted in someone linking to my web site All Kind Food) with one one-week's visits that were referred from one particular web site where I had left comments and a link back here on a blog entry.
In looking over the recent usage data for this site I decided again to look at individual page counts. Google Analytics offers several, including “visits,” “page views,” average time spent on each page, percent of times visitors exited the site from this page (as opposed to going somewhere else in the site), and something called “$ Index” which refers to the accomplishment of a specific type of transaction.
A couple of weeks ago I signed up for the free Google Analytics service. This free Google service tracks web site usage including frequency, type, and source of visits, as well as behavior of visitors after they come to a site’s initial web page. I figured that, if Google was going to be knowing everything about my site in order to help it calculate advertising rates, I should at least take advantage of the data.
Perhaps the controversy that is raised by this Google project will be addressed by the development of an appropriate payment scheme agreeable to all whereby copyright owners are explicitly compensated for the value contributed to Google services, as measured by their sharing in the ad revenues generated by use of the search system. One can envision, too, a pool of money generated by advertising related to hits on works whose owners cannot be found, a pool which could be distributed through an industry or nonprofit group specializing in such issues.