Google's Cutts: We Don't Use Chrome Data For Search Quality

Aug 27, 2012 • 8:46 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

ChromeBill Hartzer said he spoke to Google's Matt Cutts at SES San Francisco a couple weeks ago, where he asked Matt if Google used Chrome browser data for search ranking or quality purposes. Matt told Bill that Google does not use Chrome data for search ranking or quality purposes.

Bill posted this in a WebmasterWorld thread saying:

Here on WebmasterWorld there have been some discussions regarding the data that Google is collecting via their Chrome browser. There have been some rumors and even a recent presentation from a former Googler that said that clicks on links from Google Chrome were more powerful than other links--because Google could measure that those clicks. (I can't find the exact URLs of those threads right now though.)

I personally asked Matt Cutts about the use of Google Chrome data in the the Google organic algorithm.

We can now put this all to rest. Matt told me, in person, that Google's organic algorithm does not use any Google Chrome data. The same goes for the Google Toobar, as well.

There has been a lot of talk about Google using data from toolbars and others and Google has gone on the record about not using it. But despite that, SEOs do not believe Google.

In a recent poll we ran, most SEOs feel Google does share data from department to department to improve search quality and rankings - despite what Google says.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Praveen Sharma

08/27/2012 12:54 pm

I don't see any point in using Chrome's data for improving search rankings. There are many browsers used by people around the world and Google is aware of this fact. May be it is just a misconception among webmasters.

Bhupendra Shekhawat

08/27/2012 01:34 pm

same i heard about firefox mozila .does its true

Bill Hartzer

08/27/2012 02:55 pm

There have been rumors floating around out there that clicks on links in the Google Chrome browser were valued more than other links--because Google could measure that data. There even was a former Google employee who mentioned this in a recent presentation at a conference. I wanted to find out more information about this, so that's why I asked Matt about this in person--at the SES San Francisco conference.


08/27/2012 05:02 pm

Let's all trust Matt on his word alone and put this issue to rest guys.

Guy E

08/27/2012 09:41 pm

You don't see any point?? WOW! I can see endless uses for this data.. Browser activity, browser/user engagement, so on and so forth. It's just like how if you're signed into Gmail, Google can use the data collected whilst logged in - I personally think that same applies to Chrome but MC would probably deny this because of how dominate the browser has become.


08/27/2012 10:47 pm

Yes like they never maliciously collected Safari data. I personally think Matt can be believed as far as he can be kicked. Not only because he has his own agenda but also because often he doesn't even know what is happening in his own or other teams around Google. He seems to busy attending SEO conferences to be up on all the goings on around Google.


08/27/2012 11:16 pm

Has anyone actually checked with wireshark what chrome sends when you click a link? I just did; and it it does not send anything back to google itself when you click on any links. Chrome is open source for everyone to have a look how it works, and it has been around long enought that network admins would notice if there was any unusual traffic. And rest assured, there would be quite a buzz from privacy concerned users if they did send any of your click behavior back to google. I'd call BS on that one.

Damien Anderson

08/27/2012 11:16 pm

Google may not directly use click stream data from browsers, but metrics are being captured and saved for analysis. It would be anathema for them not to. What is at question is more the scale at which collection and analysis occur.

Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

08/28/2012 12:20 am

It would seem unwise for Matt Cutts to go on the record and lie and risk looking like a liar or worse yet, incompetent. His response seems direct with no clear motive to lie. If there was some shenanigans going on, then I would expect some indirect response shrouded in vague statements. Unless someone has some data to the contrary, why not take the man at his word? Call me naive (and many of you will), but there are bigger issues to worry about such as some of the recent Google patent filings currently being discussed on how Google will identify "spam" activity and how Whitehat SEOs could be caught in the net as collateral damage.

Deekshith Allamaneni

08/28/2012 02:36 am

CHROME IS NOT OPEN SOURCE!!! Many people think that chrome is opensource and start believing it. Chrome is not at all open source. It is completely closed source. It is based on the open-source project Chromium. Chromium and chrome are almost similar at performance. Then the reason why Chrome is not open-sourced raises lots of questions. that is the reason why many people debate over its spying tactics.

Jeremy Meindl

08/28/2012 03:31 am

red haring

Praveen Sharma

08/28/2012 05:47 am

I didn't said that I don't see any point in browser activity. I pointed towards Chrome's activity, if Google anyhow uses browser's data then it can't solely depend on its own browser's user engagement, it has to consider other browsers as well. And if it can't do that, it will surely not consider only data it fetched from Chrome.

08/28/2012 11:51 pm

May be Google is not considering that data as of now but in near future they will make sense out of it and will come up with another update on some animal name. As per Barry it should be "Panther" :)

Linda Richter

09/01/2012 08:19 am

Are they wanting to sell me a bridge, I'm not buying it.

Nancy Louis

09/06/2012 11:05 am

I accept Matt's words..

Matt Cutts

09/07/2012 03:19 pm

Hey Barry, this was a related article for and seeing it reminded me that I wanted to leave a comment to clarify what I said at SES San Francisco about the toolbar and about Chrome. Regarding the toolbar, I basically repeated this info that I told Lee Odden in 2006: The only additional aspect to the question was Chrome, and I pointed out that when you just do a default/vanilla install of Chrome, to the best of my knowledge when you're surfing around the web it doesn't even send those urls to Google at all. To be complete, I did try to mention the policy when people are typing searches or new urls into the Omnibox: But even then, I believe that 98% of that data is not logged at all, and with Google Instant the remaining 2% of that data is deleted after two weeks.

Muhammad Osama Hussain

09/07/2012 03:33 pm

reply from Matt I think It'd help Barry

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