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Google’s New Privacy Policy

Google have announced their new privacy policy, which comes into effect on the 1st of March. The new policy is intended to centralise and make simpler its old Ts&Cs. The move has been met with the same despair, praise and controversy that every Google announcement seems to warrant, and marks the end of over 60 current privacy policies into a new, simpler, integrated policy.

Google Products

The main change seems to be that user data will be shared across Google platforms and products. Processing over one billion search requests every day, Google collect a lot of data about its users and now data from search, YouTube, Gmail, Docs and other services will integrated, making it all the more insightful and helpful both to Google and its users, through personalisation.

We’ve been talking about personalisation of search for some time, as already search results are influenced by search history when users are logged in. This is set to continue, with data collected from all of Google services allowing search results to be personalised to an even greater extent. This is why we’ve been talking about attracting visitors at an earlier stage in the buying cycle with informative and useful content, on the basis that visiting once makes a return visit much more likely thanks to personalised search.

Google Privacy PolicySo what’s the new privacy policy like? It has some nice illustrations, and some reassurances that data will not be sold. If you’re cynical about the change, take comfort in the fact that user behaviour will play a big part in the story of Google. Google+ as a social network might be gaining momentum, but just look at Google Wave and Buzz – if products and services aren’t used, they will be dropped. It’s impossible to deny that for many users this update gives Google the ability to suggest even more relevant search results.

A cynic’s concerns lie with the way that the algorithm is now likely to prioritise online activity and content on Google networks over any other activity or content online. For example YouTube could impact search rankings in a way that other video hosting sites are unlikely to. It’s impossible to predict what the final outcome of this or the next Google update will be, and that’s why we stay on top of developments in search to better understand the market for our clients.

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3 Comments
  • Alfredo Almeida on February 3, 2012

    Well, for users it might be good, but for a SEO might turn out so good.
    First – we must not log in for searches be more accurate.
    Second – if a user search for “jaguar” in google it might not want the same results in youtube.
    Third – some good pages will come last as user don’t refine search.
    Fourth – May impact SERP’s…just saying

  • seogear on February 6, 2012

    I do not think need to be afraid of Google Innovations. All will benefit, especially regular users.

  • Jim Seward on February 15, 2012

    I think the main problem searchers will see is that they will be shown bubbled search results, so it’s likely that they’ll only see either

    1. results they’ve already seen
    2. results their friends have looked at

    Which means searchers will never be shown anything that challenges their viewpoint on a subject which will lead to people believing extreme viewpoints are justified (because everything they read agrees with them) which will lead to extreme action which will lead to the fall of modern society.

    OK, that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point.

    Also think it’ll lead to a lot of divorces as extended data affects the searches of family members

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