Google is assuring users of its Analytics product that their data is protected. Apparently, the recent announcements of Google Trends for Websites and Google Ad Planner had some web site owners concerned about how much data sharing was going on among the various offerings.
Brett Crosby from the Google Analytics team went to the blog to allay fears:
Google Analytics doesn't share individual, site-level information with Google Trends for Websites or Google Ad Planner. These products gather data from multiple sources, then check the data against anonymous, aggregate, industry benchmarking data within Google Analytics. This helps Google Trends for Websites and Google Ad Planner calibrate category data and correct for under- or over-reporting in certain verticals. The benchmarking data comes from Google Analytics customers who've chosen to share their data in aggregate.
This isn't the first time fears over data collected by Google Analytics have popped up. But not everyone is worried.
When I spoke with Crosby last month, he told me that for every person who expresses fears over data collection in Analytics, there is another who wants to know why more isn't being done with the data. He told me that Analytics works hard to strike a balance for people of both viewpoints, allowing those who want to share in the hopes of developing deep integrations with other Google products the ability to do so.
Of course, there's only so far you can take integration. Google Analytics does not affect a site's rankings in Google's search results.