“We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we’re exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.” Google Blog
C’mon Google, you can’t possibly be serious. Are you? You can’t see the potential for serious abuse to even consider this kind of feedback from users as a ranking signal for search results? In today’s world of social networking, how difficult would it be for someone to knock out their competition simply by having thousands of their friends click to block a site? Heck, I am willing to bet they could find a way to automate it.
Sorry Google, I just don’t see how turning users against each other is the answer.
Perhaps it is time to actually sit down and find ways to detect these issues without someone pointing them out to you.
Or, does it really take the New York Times reporting abuse to keep the search results honest these days?
Just my 2 cents is all…
J. Cricket Walker of CricketWalker.com