Jul 22, 2008 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Through his own official blog, Google's Matt Cutts has refuted the claims been raised many times over, that Google Toolbar at some point of time, helped Google index a web page. This issue was raised, when Information week reported that numerous UK O2 mobile network customers complained that many of the photos that had been taken with their mobiles phones and tagged as private were now publicly accessible online.

According to Ken Simpson (CEO, MailChannels), one of the primary reasons for this breach of privacy was that, Google Toolbar may be configured to pass URLs that one visits to Google for indexing. In a statement, he said, “If you run Google Toolbar, it knows pages you visit.”

However, Matt Cutts plainly denies this allegation and states, “Sorry, but if Ken Simpson is implying that the Google Toolbar led to these urls being crawled, then he’s mistaken.” Citing an example Matt asserts that Google Toolbar does not in any ways, help Google index URLs. According to Matt, when he ran the URL in question, i.e [inurl:mms2legacy], the very first result that came up was, the search results would be displayed with multiple references for the given string. This, according to Cutts is a clear indication that all the URLs assessed had been discovered by crawling regular old links.

Here at PageTraffic Blog, I had put up a related post in December 2006, where Matt Cutts had made it crystal clear that, Google Toolbar does not cause the pages to be indexed.

However, when faced with a question related to Googlebot crawling, Matt had this to say:

Q: Why is Googlebot downloading information from our “secret” web server?

Ans: (Matt Cutts) “It’s almost impossible to keep a web server secret by not publishing any links to it. As soon as someone follows a link from your “secret” server to another web server, your “secret” URL may appear in the referrer tag and can be stored and published by the other web server in its referrer log. So, if there’s a link to your “secret” web server or page on the web anywhere, it’s likely that Googlebot and other web crawlers will find it”.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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