As we ready Inside Google, now in “Beta” mode, for its formal launch I’ve been checking various search engines to see where the site ranks. Today Google put our new site at number one. Take a look at the screen shot below.
Could it be true?
Bing.com had us at number two as did IXquick.com, the European search engine known for respecting privacy. Scroogle.org, which scrapes results from Google, and thus prevents the Internet giant from gathering your personal data, ranked us at number 40. Since the results are pulled from Google that got me wondering.
When in doubt, I call my wife. She did a Google search on our home computer and Inside Google was still relegated to the fourth page of search results.
I used another browser. Same result: Inside Google remained in the hinterlands of Google’s search. Then it dawned on me.
Google has been keeping track of what I’ve been seeking. After I’d requested “Inside Google” and gone to the site enough times from the link provided, it figured that would always be my top choice. I guess that’s what the folks in the Googleplex call “personalized search.”
So, I cleared all my Google “cookies”, those little bits of computer code that Google places on my browser to enable the Internet giant to track my every online move.
I re-entered the “Inside Google” query and the response was back on the fourth-page hinterland.
How about those algorithms, huh? Isn’t cool that the Google tracks me and figures out what I want? Wait a minute, though, what else does Google know about me and how will the company use the information?
That’s not so cool. It actually starts to be more than a little disconcerting.