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Google Experiments With Users Voting On Search Results

I read at John Chow's site how Google plans to take a few weeks to allow users to vote on search results. With this system, you as an individual could add, vote up, vote down, and remove individual Google results for various search queries. Unlike other voting systems like DIGG, however, your votes will only impact the results you see.

It's been said that were Google to allow your votes to impact the search results everybody sees, there'd be some way to abuse the system, and a whole new form of BlackHat SEO would emerge. Originally, I doubted Google would allow votes to impact the system as a whole. After all, if you clean up your own search results, who cares how other people's look, right?

But what if Google took all your votes, and began using them to tabulate Page Rank? A site aware of this could probably find large groups of people willing to vote on its behalf, artificially boosting its ratings. So even if the masses all vote on mostly helpful sites, there will still be groups of abusers out there manipulating things to their own end.

But there are deterrents to such tactics. DIGG has a system where users can bury stories that don't belong. I'm thinking if Google's experiment goes far enough, it will eventually reach a point where results that are impacted by everyone include a failsafe whereby normal users can act against malicious users. Click here to vote this site up, click here to vote it down, click here to report it as a repeat offender.

That might work.

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