Google promotes social search algorithm

This morning when doing my normal Googling I noticed two new icons associated with every search result. Here’s a screenshot (click for a larger image):

As you can see there is a new arrow icon (promote) and a cross icon (remove). The purpose of which is explained on Justin Hileman’s site. He went into extensive detail regarding his findings and the operation of the new feature here, here and here.

If you’re not seeing the icons on your Google results you’re either not logged into your Google account or your account currently isn’t selected for the closed test. And there doesn’t appear to be any selection criteria for the test as I haven’t (as far as I’m aware) changed any Google settings or my browser or location recently and the new icons just appeared.

I’ve never really got into the Social Bookmarking scene so it will be interesting to see what Google can make of this.

Here’s the official Google word on the experiment.

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2 thoughts on “Google promotes social search algorithm”

  1. Although it seems like a good concept. I can’t buy this idea because of the hacker presence on the internet that turns good ideas and exploit it for dubious purposes. I can see hacker websearch bots that would automatically click on these icons and divert them to unrelated websites and thus the search strategy would be messed up. Imagine religion-based sites that pointing giving porn site results. Unless I misunderstand the concept altogher.

  2. The concept is not to redirect traffic but to change the ordering of your own search results. In other words, if I search for ColdFusion and see some physics results, I can remove them from my search results. I can also take sites and move them to the top of my search results. I assume that these changes will be tracked and will influence other personal search results and eventually the global results.

    The worry is not bots but mobs. Imagine if all 23,000 people on House of Fusion decided to raise the site to the top of their search. 23k moves like that will show up on Google’s radar and may result in a general raising of the sites ranking. Now get a larger mob and you can possibly have huge influence over rankings.


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