Google Test Lets Users Vote, Add and Delete Sites in SERPS

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Google Experimental is testing the ability to actually change the ranking of results or delete sites listed in personalized search results, in a Digg style setting (similar to some tests they were running at Google’s SearchMash).

If you like the page listed in a search result, you can bump it up to the top where it will stay for your future personalized results by hitting this button :

If you don’t like the site, just delete it from your personalized results using the X button :

What’s even more interesting is the ability to add a webpage which you feel is more relevant to the Google query. “At the bottom of the search results you can give the address of a page that’s relevant to your search. When you search for these same keyword(s) the page you’ve suggested will appear at the top with this orange marker .”

The changes to your Google results are permanent, but will only be seen by you when you log in : “Your changes will be applied each time you search for the same keyword(s). There’s a link at the bottom of the search results that lets you view the results in their original ordering.

Google says that this experimental feature will not be used much, only available for a few weeks, but keep in mind, giving the Google user the ability to vote on sites themselves in the search results … and add sites, will probably have a definite effect on the Google ranking algorithm and Google can use these easy votes or ‘buries’ as a method to gauge the quality of sites. Meaning if a site is buried enough by a random sample of Google users, perhaps that site should not be in the top SERP’s for some keyterms.

Then again, if the user does not click on a site listing, how can they know that the site has no quality?

Ideally Google would not count a bury if the site’s listing in the SERPs is not clicked on and/or the user does not spend significant time on the site. However, webmasters should now (if they had not before) take a deep look into how their site is presented on Google, because a bunch of meaningless keyword stuffing in the URL or horrible description listing may lead to users voting a site out of their SERPs.

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Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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