Google change shuts Scroogle, but alternative search engine returns

Wed, May 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Google change shuts Scroogle, but alternative search engine returns

    Consumers worried about the data Google amasses about them as they use the Internet giant’s search engine have used a service called Search queries are proxied through its server and Google only sees Scroogle’s IP address. This week the nonprofit service was abruptly disrupted.

    Monday Google removed the interface page — — where Scroogle had been “scraping” *  it’s search results. Initial speculation was that the Internet giant was flexing its muscle and shutting the service down.

    Now, however, rather than deliberate sabotage,  it sounds more like the elephant that rolled over crushing a mouse, not even realizing it was there.

    Google claimed the interface it killed was used to support a search tool bar on Microsoft’s  Internet Explorer Version 6 browser. IE has developed beyond that iteration and Google is no longer supporting it. Google says consumers should download a later version of the software if they want to stick with Microsoft’s browser.

    By Tuesday evening Daniel Brandt who runs the nonprofit that operates Scroogle  and some of its users were able to find another Google page that could be scraped* and the service was up and running again.

    Brandt told Cade Metz at The, that at least some Googlers have long been aware of his service. In some cases, he told the technology Website, he’s actually received help from inside the company to keep it going.

    The fact that Google shut the service down “inadvertently” shows the sort of power Google has. Scroogle has been handling about 325,000 searches a day.

    Brandt told PC World that Google could have intentionally blocked Scroogle long ago, but that the company likely doesn’t regard him as any more than a “fly speck.”

    With the publicity Scroogle has received this week, including a mention by the Wall Street Journal, the Internet giant may well decide to reach for a fly swatter.  But, wouldn’t we all be better served if Google simply offered consumers the ability to avoid being tracked? How about an anonymize me button right on the Google home page?

    *(In earlier versions this post misspelled scraping and scraped as noted in the comment below from Daniel Brandt, who operates Scroogle. Thank you for pointing this out, Daniel.)


    Leave a Reply

    Celine Handbagsceline purseceline bag priceceline luggageceline taschenceline clutchceline onlinecheap ray ban sunglasses