Google Experimental Offers Vote Up Search Listing: End of SEO?

Nov 30, 2007 • 7:32 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Yesterday I covered the news at Search Engine Land of a new Google experimental search feature that lets you move search results up and remove results from the Google search results page.

The changes you make only impact you - your login and does not influence the overall scope of the search results. But can they? Who knows. We have been seeing Google test remove results features before and then drop the feature.

Here is a screen capture of how it works: Digg Google Results

Google says:

This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results. When you search for the same keywords again, you'll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you've made. Note that this is an experimental feature and may be available for only a few weeks.

A Cre8asite Forums thread is talking about how this may or may not impact SEOs. Well, this is nothing new. We have had whole conference panels on the topic, such as Personalized Search: Fear or Not?. Plus we have shown how much the personalized results today can differ from non-personalized results. In fact, why not try turning off Google personalized results yourself and do some tests.

Is this new Google experimental test the end of SEO? Not at all. This does not add much more than what we have today with Google Personalized results. All it does it make it more visible to all of us.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: November 29, 2007


Chris Beasley

11/30/2007 12:58 pm

Don't forget that also had those happy/sad face voting bits with the toolbar for a time. That feature went the way of the dinosaur as well (after SEOs obsessed about it for a few months first of course).

Barry Schwartz

11/30/2007 01:05 pm

Yea, that was fun. Remember the days of sitting there and hitting those faces. LOL...

Adam Dorfman

11/30/2007 05:17 pm

The negative vote permanently hiding a listing is a major change as far as I'm concerned. No matter how well you rank, one thumbs down can take away all future chances for that keyword listing to generate a sale/lead/click/etc from somebody...


11/30/2007 05:35 pm

To me it seems Google is turning into one giant personal search engine. In advertising I'm seeing this more and more; sending personal messages (advertising) to individual people. Google is doing the same, probably with these push up/down buttons a pattern will emerge about individual persons and google will starting show specific results to match your search.

Barry Schwartz

11/30/2007 06:02 pm

Adam, It removes it for only that user who is logged in. so if you hide it, then I still will see it on my screen.


11/30/2007 06:06 pm

this looks bad in my view - even if it dies out they will only keep comming back trying to get people to believe - one: that it helps search, two: possibly convert it into a voting system that effects search. Just think of digg,propeller and such... I also agree w/ sander's post.

Rhea Drysdale

11/30/2007 10:46 pm

This is limiting to the user in a world of change. What reason did they have for voting a site down? Was the site irrelevant to the search or the design poor? Relevancy can change with progress from the site owner. Purely from a usability perspective I don't think this has long standing implications and I agree with Barry's assessment that it's not the end of the SEO world.

Adam Dorfman

12/01/2007 04:04 am

Barry: Got that, was thinking more in terms of sites with decent rankings and revenues but an outdated design/user experience with higher than average bounce rates. It would suck to have a number of people ban your site for a narrowly targeted but heavily searched query due to usability issues or your site being down when they visit and not have the chance to get those people to visit your site again once you redesign or fix the server issues. For most sites I don't see this changing much, but there are some niches that could be affected heavily by this...

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