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Matt Cutts on Toolbar Data

At last week’s WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Boston, I had the opportunity to talk to Matt Cutts from Google a few times and when I posted my recollection of comments about Google and user or toolbar data for rankings he wanted to clarify. That presented an opportunity for a mini interview about Google’s position on toolbar data.

I started out by posing a few specific questions:

1. Does Google currently use toolbar data for rankings?
2. What do you see as the pros and cons of using such data for rankings?
3. Can you describe any scenario where information from a downloaded application from Google might be used in some way for ranking web pages?
4. If Google does not employ toolbar or other user data for rankings and another search engine does, could that provide the other search engine an advantage?