Cloudflare Analytics

This should be interesting.

There are alternative means for collecting analytics besides Google's Analytics software but it goes without saying that Google is top dog here. I think that's probably due to being free and tightly integrated with Search which is what most internet properties actually want greater access into. Free and open-source alternatives for web analytics exist, they're decent choices but no one uses them beyond a tiny minority of folks (probably aligning pretty closely with the number of desktop *nix users out there 😘). Any other alternatives are paid. And there's no remedy to that latter reason, unfortunately. Google's search is great; more data is collected to make Search more accurate, which then maintains Search's dominance as the Internet search utility.

Cloudflare I'd bet has an opportunity to destabilize the Google's balance of power here, even if they come in a distant second. Unlike Google, their money comes from owning the infrastructure, not advertising and search. Cloudflare has the pockets for this kind of exercise and no incentive to get creepy.[1] The product can spread because it has most of what people need and the price is right. It also doesn't hurt to have a relatively trusted (among the people who maintain websites anyhow). Any success they gather keeps Google tracking and therefore Google's access to watch your behaviour at arms length.

Here's the thought experiment: What proportion of the Internet needs to use alternative, non-Google data collection, or no tracking at all to build a small wedge into Google's hegemony? If not a "herd immunity" threshold, what's enough of a percentage to destabilize the incumbent power and open up to competition?

This will probably not be interesting, but it could be. Something I think about any way.

  1. I'm not entirely convinced owning a sizeable chunk of the Internet's traffic through their network completely disqualifies them from being in the realm of "creepy," but I do believe that's only a consequence of their success. I don't have reason to fault their intentions. ↩ī¸Ž


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