Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Google Says They Don’t Use Bing Data for their Search Results

In report posted few days ago, Google finally confirmed that Toolbar Data is a ranking signal. It has been long believed by many professional SEOs that Google uses taken from the Google Toolbar to influence search results.

There have been a lot of questions about Google’s toolbar that came up in the wake of Google’s accusations about Microsoft’s Bing search engine was imitating some of Google’s search results. Bing was accused that it monitors how people search on Google through installing of the Bing toolbar and the Suggested Sites feature in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. 

On the contrary, Bing has refused those copying allegations even though it admits that there is a ‘search signal’ that these tools installed collect which in turn influences Bing’s result. Bing also said that they are just doing the same thing that Google itself does and that is to collect information about what most users do through its toolbar to improve search results.

Google does see this happening on Bing and at least for users who have installed Google Toolbar and configured to use “advanced features” such as the PageRank meter or SideWiki. But Google refused the use of any of that information just to reshape its search results. A Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm, Amit Singhal said that they do not use search activity on other search engines just to influence search results.

Furthermore, Google stayed tight-lipped as the company fears that to reveal too many specifics will enable people to harm its search results. What’s the purpose of this Toolbar data? Well, this is primarily used to measure site’s speed which influences rankings and detect malware sites which may cause some sites to get warnings in search results. These are the few things that Google has recently disclosed which concern about the cause of the toolbar usage to its search results.

The arguments about that Bing toolbar were not adequately explained to users. Google should have at least explained to users that it would record their searches on Google in order to develop Bing’s search results. It clearly explains that Google is not going to list all the things the toolbar is used for. However, Google added that there will be some general disclosure improvements to be done. One of this is the changing of the dialog box in the toolbar installation to fix some language that upon review found could be clearer.

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