Why Google Won’t Discontinue Toolbar Pagerank

Do you subscribe to many SEO blogs? If so you’ll have had a hard time NOT noticing the whirlwind of posts about the recent pagerank update. Personally I couldn’t agree with Lyndon more on this one. Yawn.

So why am I writing about Toolbar Pagerank then?

Well - this recent frenzy in the blogosphere for me proves two things and they’re very important things as you’ll see below

###1 - Almost everyone in the SEO community has the Google toolbar installed. In fact, a very high percentage of all users online have the toolbar installed.

###2 - Give people an ego trip (no matter how fake it is) and people will flock to it like moths to a flame (which in this case is quite accurate!)

What I’m essentially saying is that while Toolbar Pagerank still exists people will still have the Google Toolbar installed.

But here’s the catch. The secret, the dagger to the cloak, the hidden agenda. Call it what you want - for me this is key:

Whenever you perform a Google search the Google toolbar automatically sends that data back to the Googleplex. Ok, no big deal - they already have that data anyway right since I searched on Google? Yes, but what about MSN, Yahoo, Live, Ask? The capture that data as well you know. Don’t believe me? Open up Live HTTP Headers (I talked about this in more detail here) and run a search on any search engine. You’ll see the following URLs loading:

##A Google search:

http://toolbarqueries.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&features=Rank &client=navclient-auto-ff&googleip=O;;63&ch=8756b4688 &q=info:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2Fsearch%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3 Ddistilled%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch%26meta%3D

##A Yahoo search:

http://toolbarqueries.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&features=Rank &client=navclient-auto-ff&googleip=O;;94&ch=8ac97e8d5 &q=info:http%3A%2F%2Fuk.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch %3B_ylt%3DA0oGkucPvyVHJqAAuPNKBQx.%3Fp%3 Ddistilled%26ei%3Dutf-8%26iscqry%3D%26fr%3Dsfp

##A Live search:

http://toolbarqueries.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&features=Rank &client=navclient-auto-ff&googleip=O;;78&ch=81ebcdb9f &q=info:http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.live.com%2Fresults.aspx%3F q%3Ddistilled%26go%3D Search%26mkt%3Den-gb%26scope%3D%26FORM%3DLIVSOP

I’ve highlighted the part I find interesting. You can see how Google is gathering search data on any search you perform online, on any search engine when you have the toolbar installed. Think how important that information is to Google and you’ll quickly realise why they won’t discontinue Toolbar Pagerank anytime soon!

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  1. Will - They monitor all your browsing, not just your searches. ;-)

    We thought about this at the same time. I mentioned this in my last post.

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  2. Great minds think alike Hamlet :-)

    Anyone reading this far who enjoyed my post and isn't scared of the word 'stochastic' should go check out Hamlet's latest post here:


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  3. Nothing to do with me, Hamlet. All Tom on this one. I'm going to go and read your post now though. I took (and passed, I think!) a course called stochastic calculus a few years ago. Bring it on.

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  4. Oops! Sorry, Tom. I guess it was too late last night.

    I noticed on Facebook, that today is your birthday, Will! Congratulations!

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  5. No problems Hamlet - I've friended you on facebook to help you tell the difference between us :-)

    Although in truth, I guess we're easily confused since we share the same last name, look similar, have similar interests and work for the same company doing similar things. We are different people honest - he's not just an alter ego of mine!

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  6. I noticed on Facebook, that today is your birthday, Will! Congratulations!

    Sorry for the weird wording of that sentence. The congrats were meant for Will.

    Thanks for friending me on Facebook!

    reply >

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