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Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google's results, then uses that information to improve Bing's own search listings. Bing doesn't deny this.
As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing's relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google's own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google's test.
When Suggested Sites is turned on, the addresses of websites you visit are sent to Microsoft, together with standard computer information.
To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms might be included.
So I asked Google. Does it do the same type of monitoring that it believes Bing does, to improve Google's search results?
"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.
“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.
Actually, Google has previously said that the toolbar does play a role in ranking. Google uses toolbar data in part to measure site speed — and site speed was a ranking signal that Google began using last year.
I don't see where he says they don't use the data they have access to for discovery though...
Chrome's reason for being may be even bigger than data collection. I think Google built Chrome to grow a more powerful leverage point for how the web evolves.
For example, right now there's a scuffle over what video codecs will be supported. Chrome says they won't support the popular H.264 and IE just turned around and criticized that position, saying they will.