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Could G have a field in the database that correlates each URL to a MAC address? For example my web server has 64 IP's and I have a few websites that point to each other, the IP's are different and I space them about 20 IPís apart but of course the MAC is identical (of course you could run 4 NIC's each with 16 IP's to thwart this).
Now I know you're saying "but they're all on the same class C", yes but can you (or Google) really say for sure that just because 2 websites are on the same class C that they are owned by the same person? No, not for certain you can't. But if 2 websites are on the same MAC address then they are definitely on the same machine, which is about a 99.9% chance that they are owned by the same person (the other 0.1% would be reserved for that 1 in a million chance that a web hosting company happens to have 2 websites on the same server owned by 2 different individuals who by chance traded links).
Of course this is purely speculation but I am curious to hear the input of others on this subject.