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Did Google Screw Scroogle?

Scroogle, a site designed for those who don’t want Google tracking their searches back to them, had some hiccups since the new Google design went live on May 5th.

Scroogle worked by “scraping” the Google search results from http://www.google.com/ie, a service for Internet Explorer 6 users. Google has decided to discontinue that service redirect it to the Google Toolbar search service. That’s causing issues for Scroogle.

Google told the Wall Street Journal that the change had nothing to do with blocking Scroogle, despite the fact that scraping Google’s search results is technically against Google’s terms of service – so Google has every right to block Scroogle. In fact, Google did block Scroogle soon after they launched, for a little while.

Now, when you use the Scroogle web site, you sometimes get a notice that the search results won’t work due to a change. But it appears Scroogle may be back in business using an alternative service, perhaps http://www.google.com/search?output=ie.

Scroogle launched in 2003 not as a privacy protection service but rather as a way for site owners to check on whether they’d lost rankings due to a major search algorithm change at the time. Many site owners felt Google had somehow “screwed” them with the change, which also happened around the Christmas shopping period — making Google to some “Scrooge” like. Hence the name, Scroogle.

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