Google Doesn't Use Toolbar Data To Index New URLs

Feb 2, 2011 • 9:11 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google Toolbar IndexingThere has always been rumors that Google used the data they get from the Google Toolbar to discover new content, outside of the normal crawling or sitemaps method. But those rumors have been debunked several times in our history.

Yesterday, in the whole Bing copying Google spectacle, Danny Sullivan has a quote from Google's Singhal that reads:

Absolutely not. The PageRank feature sends back URLs, but we've never used those URLs or data to put any results on Google's results page. We do not do that, and we will not do that," said Singhal.

The thing is, is that 100% true? Doesn't Google use the toolbar for the site speed metric found in Google Webmaster Tools? And isn't site speed a factor, maybe limited, for ranking in Google?

But Google isn't saying here they don't use the data at all. They said they "never used those URLs or data to put any results on Google's results page," meaning including any new URLs in their index.

In any event, it is nice to have this transparency. But we do need a bit more clarification from Google on this.

Forum discussion WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

seogabs

02/02/2011 02:40 pm

"put any results on Google's results page" hmmmmm clear as mud... lol.. Gtoolbar is used as a ranking factor in regards to speed so the "results on Google's results page" isn't clear...

William Vicary

02/02/2011 05:35 pm

Totally unclear, they undoubtedly use Google Toolbar/Chrome data within the search results (based on the number of users visiting specific links) - now if someone from Google can confirm they don't use that data, then that will be transparent...

Michael Martinez

02/02/2011 05:51 pm

I think people are confusing "ranking signals" with "discovery process", which are clearly distinct from each other. Microsoft uses their Toolbar for discovery; Google does not.

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 05:52 pm

said well.

Steve

02/02/2011 09:06 pm

I'd have to doubt the value of a URL that was found by someone visiting it (and Google Toolbar then reporting the URL to Google) that wasn't already being found by the natural crawling process. If the URL isn't reached by crawling, such as if it's blocked by robots.txt or it's behind a login process, then I'd imagine Google would go confirm that the URL can't be reached normally, and the URL wouldn't wind up in their index. If the URL isn't reached by crawling, but only because there are zero links to that URL, then it will wind up with negligible pagerank anyhow and its presence in Google's index wouldn't be valuable. If the URL ~would be~ reached by crawling but Google simply hasn't found it yet, then either it's on a site that Google has already concluded doesn't warrant more frequent crawling or, perhaps, the URL ~is~ from a site that they crawl frequently but Google really, really wants to hear about that URL without waiting until the next crawl. None of these strike me as great reasons for Google to expend the effort of having a secondary method for finding URLs, on top of crawling.

seth@trafficsmack

02/02/2011 09:21 pm

I've ran into several webmasters who believe 100% that Google uses data gathered by the toolbar to discover content. They will point to an orphaned page and say, "we're not linking to this page from anywhere, how did it get indexed" And then I'll find the URL listed in their XML sitemap, or linked to unknowingly from another site, email campaign,etc. Pages, if they are shared, even with just internal folks, get out there. Keep tighter wraps on that content you don't want discovered; use meta robots or robots.txt. I don't see any harm in using the toolbar to discover data. . . but if they really are, then they should disclose that fact.

SEO Services India

02/03/2011 05:15 pm

I think google must be using the tool bar for data...

Andy Kinsey

02/12/2011 06:13 pm

I suspect however they do use chrome ... indeed I am pretty damn sure of it!

Jim Baker

07/05/2011 10:52 am

I must agree with AndyKinsey, I suspect Google definitely collects more data from users who use Google Chrome more often.

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