Google responded to claims from Microsoft regarding its new privacy policy with a clarifying blog post on Wednesday, and search marketers may want to monitor whether the controversy has any actual impact on searchers' behaviors.

On its Public Policy Blog, Google responded to a series of claims Microsoft made about the company and its new privacy policy, and search marketers might want take note as this back-and-forth could be a power play for users in light of the search giant’s controversial updates. Brafton highlighted the adjustments to Google’s privacy policy recently. Essentially, Google has unified all of its services into one platform, and user data will be applied and used throughout all of Google’s services.

The updates might be good news for businesses that want refined targeting options, but public outcries have left some search marketers and companies using SEO to wonder whether Bing might benefit from Google’s new policies. In its claims against the policy update, it seems the majority of Microsoft’s statements were half-truths with foggy language aimed at scaring users. The claims include things such as, “Google reads your email,” and “Google’s Privacy Policy changes make it harder for users to control their personal information.”

Neither of these things are true – or false really.

No one at Google is sitting down and reading Gmail users’ emails. However, the company’s algorithms are scanning various messages to match ads to users.

Microsoft’s half truths are problematic for Google because, while they are not entirely true, consumers may not appreciate the nuanced difference between “Google reads your email,” and “No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you,” which was Google’s response to this specific claim.

Brafton recently reported that Google’s new privacy policy has led some to reconsider using its services, which include search, Gmail, YouTube and Picasa. According to a poll, nearly two-thirds of users said they would cancel their Google accounts when the policy goes into effect on March 1.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.