Matt Cutts Speaks on Google & Toolbar Data
Lee Odden of TopRank recently wrote Google’s Matt Cutts on the issue of Google using user toolbar data as a search engine query result algorithm ranking variable. Lee’s questions were as follows:
1. Does Google currently use toolbar data for rankings?
2. What do you see as the pros and cons of using such data for rankings?
3. Can you describe any scenario where information from a downloaded application from Google might be used in some way for ranking web pages?
4. If Google does not employ toolbar or other user data for rankings and another search engine does, could that provide the other search engine an advantage?
Matt’s reply (in a nutshell):
* When someone asks me the question “Do you use signal X in rankings?” a good way to answer that question is usually to say that while we don’t comment specifically on most of the factors that we use in ranking, it’s wise not to rule something out absolutely.
* I’m not going to say definitively that Google doesn’t/won’t use toolbar data (or other signals) in ranking. I think what you were picking up on was my long list of “cons” in data like that.
* Regarding cons of using toolbar data, the main reason would be if people were to spoof toolbar data to make a page or domain look more visited than it was.
I only posted a Cuttlett of the info here on SEJ, meatier info on Lee’s Top Rank Blog.