Google Click Tracking in Gmail

I can’t believe that I am the first one to notice this, and I guess it’s because I don’t use GMail regularly that I didn’t notice this before, but if they didn’t actually want your user data would Google be tracking clicks in Gmail?

Gmail Click Tracking

That’s a screen shot of an email I sent to myself, when I click through here is the click stream data


https://mail.google.com/mail/channel/bind?at=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9&VER=2&SID=FC9901F4395611D4&RID=80653&zx=ytvsuoe04m61&t=1

POST /mail/channel/bind?at=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9&VER=2&SID=FC9901F4395611D4&RID=80653&zx=ytvsuoe04m61&t=1 HTTP/1.1
Host: mail.google.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Referer: https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=page&name=js&ver=qugj8tuc6og6
Content-Length: 36
Cookie: GX=DQAAAHQAAADIYjzYnE9SYKwF_YBJu_L84Plr6-8_IIurP_ykHMN37WWmxHhYQc1Y-PWZ4NqYDrL4l8ApzmskOAXEIHLxmCN89YMx6Q7gZ9s-ZgQNooeo8WlA5K4tRjT4DP7zgG7t4lymzFmzPZ8Pe5emrjKkJE_RW5Ycg2Y8GzXSVt95_0saXw; GMAIL_AT=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9; gmailchat=thegraywolf@gmail.com/588825; GMAIL_LOGIN=1164934768843/1164934768843/1164934789203/1164934791625/1164934792640/1164934799031/1164934801578/false/false; PREF=ID=a231e6c938c534ab:TM=1164934800:LM=1164934800:GM=1:S=Y1Sb_CWSXX1YXi0l; TZ=300; GMAIL_RTT=265; GMAIL_LOGIN=T1164934768843/1164934768843/1164934789203; SID=DQAAAHMAAACoPmKx41fYFUGmPfMrnOr7tzO1oIua3b1ayP8vkrOwBoMWSvEFpAm9aI315Pff9QuU1Q2XqS8q-DfpaCkc5I2csaQ2CNS_2XqGvsZdO_k9OyXCRkgT41dlFYViqq5zl4a9CAs6cK1nupD7HzzqU-NWLrR26R-TiMnLae0k5f4nTg; GMAIL_HELP=hosted:0; S=gmail=QWq0Eky_YuXQ5a11mDESEg:gmail_yj=SYBt4Cnf9o8biPmZGkSyYQ:gmproxy=_AskRgXPzwY:gmproxy_yj=qT84QUU_k6Q:gmproxy_yj_sub=QhgIhKsdU9E
Pragma: no-cache
Cache-Control: no-cache
count=1&req0_type=cf&req0_focused=1&
HTTP/1.x 200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 26
Set-Cookie: S=gmail=QWq0Eky_YuXQ5a11mDESEg:gmail_yj=WdBdYynrC_RQc_Sm2ShL-g:gmproxy=m1kJbD_3qpk:gmproxy_yj=qT84QUU_k6Q:gmproxy_yj_sub=OB-PHQ63h6c; Domain=.google.com; Path=/
Server: GFE/1.3
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2006 01:05:34 GMT
———————————————————-
https://mail.google.com/mail/channel/bind?at=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9&VER=2&SID=FC9901F4395611D4&RID=80654&zx=y2zzlxyna8e1&t=1

POST /mail/channel/bind?at=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9&VER=2&SID=FC9901F4395611D4&RID=80654&zx=y2zzlxyna8e1&t=1 HTTP/1.1
Host: mail.google.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Referer: https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=page&name=js&ver=qugj8tuc6og6
Content-Length: 36
Cookie: GX=DQAAAHQAAADIYjzYnE9SYKwF_YBJu_L84Plr6-8_IIurP_ykHMN37WWmxHhYQc1Y-PWZ4NqYDrL4l8ApzmskOAXEIHLxmCN89YMx6Q7gZ9s-ZgQNooeo8WlA5K4tRjT4DP7zgG7t4lymzFmzPZ8Pe5emrjKkJE_RW5Ycg2Y8GzXSVt95_0saXw; GMAIL_AT=4b6ae0a0280f09de-10f3b8639a9; gmailchat=thegraywolf@gmail.com/588825; GMAIL_LOGIN=1164934768843/1164934768843/1164934789203/1164934791625/1164934792640/1164934799031/1164934801578/false/false; PREF=ID=a231e6c938c534ab:TM=1164934800:LM=1164934800:GM=1:S=Y1Sb_CWSXX1YXi0l; TZ=300; GMAIL_RTT=265; GMAIL_LOGIN=T1164934768843/1164934768843/1164934789203; SID=DQAAAHMAAACoPmKx41fYFUGmPfMrnOr7tzO1oIua3b1ayP8vkrOwBoMWSvEFpAm9aI315Pff9QuU1Q2XqS8q-DfpaCkc5I2csaQ2CNS_2XqGvsZdO_k9OyXCRkgT41dlFYViqq5zl4a9CAs6cK1nupD7HzzqU-NWLrR26R-TiMnLae0k5f4nTg; GMAIL_HELP=hosted:0; S=gmail=QWq0Eky_YuXQ5a11mDESEg:gmail_yj=WdBdYynrC_RQc_Sm2ShL-g:gmproxy=m1kJbD_3qpk:gmproxy_yj=qT84QUU_k6Q:gmproxy_yj_sub=OB-PHQ63h6c
Pragma: no-cache
Cache-Control: no-cache
count=1&req0_type=cf&req0_focused=0&
HTTP/1.x 200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 26
Set-Cookie: S=gmail=QWq0Eky_YuXQ5a11mDESEg:gmail_yj=sz3Qug6yIiRCbmeEgCDRMA:gmproxy=9dR9EQviaws:gmproxy_yj=qT84QUU_k6Q:gmproxy_yj_sub=riU6NxfKQZo; Domain=.google.com; Path=/
Server: GFE/1.3
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2006 01:05:37 GMT
———————————————————-

I mean really how does it benefit me the user by sending me through Google first? I caught this behavior last night when I was using a proxy. The problem was Google threw up some wonka-doodle 500 error everytime I went through the proxy. I clicked a link in an email that was not going to Google, forgot to turn the proxy off and Google choked on it. Now what’s really clever about the whole thing is anytime you click a purchase confirmation email from a store Google knows about it even if you don’t have the toolbar installed and the merchant isn’t using any of the Google services. Pretty sneaky those boys.

Ok for you incredibly inquisitive folks who are saying hey Gray what the heck are the 1800 emails in your inbox? I’m using the wordpress database backup plugin which every night send a backup of all of my core wordpress tables and any other tables to my gmail account. It’s kind of like a free off site backup.

GraywolfSEO.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

Genesis lets you to quickly and easily build amazing websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.
It's that simple - start using Genesis now!


Take advantage of the 6 default layout options, comprehensive SEO settings, rock-solid security, flexible theme options, cool custom widgets, custom design hooks, and a huge selection of child themes ("skins") that make your site look the way you want it to. With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.


tla starter kit

Advertisers:

  1. Text Link Ads - New customers can get $100 in free text links.
  2. BOTW.org - Get a premier listing in the internet's oldest directory.
  3. Need an SEO Audit for your website, look at my SEO Consulting Services
  4. TigerTech - Great Web Hosting service at a great price.
More in Google, npb, npp, ntt, SEO
Getting Buried in Digg, Not as Bad as it Sounds

Without any intervention on my part my post on What's one Digg Worth got submitted to Digg. I didn't plan...

What’s One Digg Worth

Back in October I conducted a little test to see what the value of making it to the homepage of...

The Domain Question for Matt Cutts

All right since Matt Cutt's and I are well on our way to be being best friends (as is clearly...

Close