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Google Webmaster Accounts – Your Permanent Record


In case it hadn’t crossed your mind, your Google Webmaster Tools account (and most likely other Google services) are a permanent record of your activity.

Delete a site on Webmaster Tools and it’s not really gone. Don’t believe me? Try attaching your Google Account to show stats for a site on somewhere like Digital Point and you’ll magically see site names that you deleted long ago.

What do you think happens when you keep doing dodgy stuff and all your accounts are connected on Google Webmaster Tools (or Analytics)?

I wonder how long it will be before there is a market for Google Accounts in “good standing”. I’m certainly not the only person that’s noticed launching almost identical sites on different accounts has its differences.

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12 responses to “Google Webmaster Accounts – Your Permanent Record”

  • Simon Howland says:

    Great post. People need to be thinking about this. However, Google has always had this information, they are only now sharing it. Google is a registrar, so they also receive information on every domain registered when it is registered. Neither piece of information is conclusive though, as you could have good (profitable for G) and bad (spam) accounts mixed. You could also run a legit business and a spam empire. This does, however, give you an insight into the technology avaialable to G when an algo trips a spam flag…

    Comment by Simon Howland
    August 25th, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  • Carl says:

    Although I agree about the accounts always being around and being linked. For my less “important” accounts, I dont use GWT or GA.

    The graph could also be showing people who are looking to buy aged PPC accounts, gmail accounts, google checkout accounts etc….just a thought.

    Comment by Carl
    August 25th, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  • Chris Wheeler says:

    We do not use Google Analytics because simply the information from it is not accurate enough. We have proven this with several accounts where we have statistics coming from the server.

    Comment by Chris Wheeler
    September 25th, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  • Adam says:

    This is really great article, thanks for sharing this. I never knew that if you deleted a site on webmaster tools it was never really gone.

    Comment by Adam
    October 23rd, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

  • Alice says:

    This could be easily dictated by technology limitations of GA and GWT, rather than Google’s evil intentions. They store huge amount of data and it could be more reliable in terms of whole data integrity not to drop anything from such databases, but keep it hidden from end users.

    Comment by Alice
    November 9th, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  • Mark says:

    @Alice

    The issue here is not the data being accessible to end users, but to Google. You can still import data from “deleted” accounts, so it is not a far leap to say it would be used in profiling.

    I wouldn’t say Google have many tech limitations in terms of storing data.

    Comment by Mark
    November 9th, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  • Gareth Rees says:

    Yes, interesting. I think the same goes for Adwords and Places, and I’m sure a few others too. Not much you can do but I do tend to keep all accounts separate in case there was any algorithm bearing to consider in the future.

    Comment by Gareth Rees
    November 30th, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  • Evans says:

    I stopped using Google’s Analytics since someone pointed out that the information there could not be relied on.

    I’m still looking for something more useful though.

    Comment by Evans
    January 17th, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  • David says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day. Great article.

    Comment by David
    March 1st, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  • Ed says:

    This is indeed interesting. I’ve been hearing talk lately about not using GWTs or GA at all so as not to give G any and all data concerning the operation of your business and proprietary data.

    I still use them but I’m going to be taking a second look at this position.

    Comment by Ed
    March 28th, 2011 @ 1:03 am

  • nora janine says:

    Do I really trust G with all my data.. no. But I’ve been to lazy to find an alternative to GA. I do think eventually they can use this info.. also wondered same thing about gmail and google docs. Paranoid maybe.

    Comment by nora janine
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 1:57 am

  • Pol says:

    I use piwik instead of GA.
    At least all data is accurate and stored on my own server.

    Comment by Pol
    August 5th, 2011 @ 2:53 pm