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Think about it... the Google Toolbar, Google Analytics and click monitoring on the SERPs give Google an incredible picture of where people are going, what pages they stay on, what sites they frequently return to and where they go when they leave.
We know that Google is pushing the toolbar onto consumers. They're paying Dell a billion dollars to install it onto 100 million consumer PC's. Imagine what the behavior patterns of 100 million Internet users could tell Google about a particular site's value.
What scares me is that this will push the blackhats from link spamming over to the busy spyware world. Imagine if I could pay some shady company to have the web browsers of 100,000 pc's randomly click on my #10 ranked link and stay on my site until Google decides that I should be #1. Who cares if these users buy anything on my site. I just want Google to THINK that they're using it. Will Google start bundling anti-spyware with the toolbar to stop this?
Am I on to something, or has this been going on for years?
[edited by: tedster at 8:38 pm (utc) on April 6, 2006]
It is the next step in the battle to get relevant SERPs.
For me the beginning of the end of SEO insofar as we will never gain any insights into that data. So stick to googles law#1: Concentrate on the user.
Just because a site is well establishied does not mean that it provides the best price, selection or customer service.
Popularity feedback loops are dangerous things.
Since most people find sites thru search engines, then it would be google chasing it's own search tale anyway. As for people that find sites by following links, google already uses link popularity.
Check the facts and the track record of the last year, they seem unable to fix even the bugs in the system as is, let alone introducing more complications.
Google's algo/index has reached saturation point and now they are just running around trying to keep it afloat.
Yes, user data they have, megaloads of it, traffic paterns and who knows what else.
They may even come out with something mind blowing in the future, but first they have to fix and manage the system they have now before they can move on. IMHO.