Andrew Orlowski, Google Did Not Admit To Hand Picking Top Results

Dec 15, 2008 • 7:52 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google cranks up the Consensus Engine by Andrew Orlowski at The Register completely took Marissa Mayer's comments out of context when he wrote in his introductory line:

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

Marissa did not admit that. She said at a LeWeb conference in Paris that Google may look at SearchWiki data and use that data to influence the search results. Specifically, if "thousands of people" remove a result using SearchWiki, then Google might take notice. She did not say if Google would have Google staff "pick and choose" search results. I, as others, assumed that any SearchWiki changes to the core index would be done algorithmically, not by hand.

To say Google "staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results" is a "historic statement" is false. Because, (1) Google did not say this and (2) many speculate there is human involvement in the Google index, to some extent. Google has been open about their human evaluators in the past and there has always been rumors of Google picking the top results for the most important categories. This might just add to those rumors, but it is not an admission.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Search Engine Watch Forums and DigitalPoint Forums.

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