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.

Your thoughts?

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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  • Sean

    I don’t think its a good idea at all. It will give an unfair competitive advantage with companies with a large group of employees. I have worked for companies who have altered results by using numbers to back their ratings. What about the small guys? I don’t see this getting anywhere.

  • CVOS man

    Google tried this about 1 year ago but quickly removed the feature. we’ll see how long this lasts.

  • Sourav


    Questions is, how google going to track it…, I know they can track thru IP and all sorths of other thing….but how authentic that would be is a question..

  • alchemist

    +1 Sean, what about ‘minority reports’?

  • Gabriel Gervelis

    SERPs to show quality results? Give users the power to decide what websites they like and what websites they dont like? What do they think this is, a democracy?

    Build your site to appeal to the end user and you will be fine…… Heck….now it helps your rankings!

  • Innovations & Interesting Ramblings

    Hope google doesn’t end up being another Digg with a mafia deciding which links to top which to get buried…definitely not good at all….the current algorithm of google is quite Ok I thought…

  • Jaan Kanellis

    I know they mean well, but wont this create the same “you digg me, I digg you” effect in Google? How will they stop the spammers?

  • Wade Young

    Sean is right. The big companies will manipulate the search results. They will pay people full-time wages to vote for sites. They already pay people to walk the streets and say, “Hey, have you heard this song. Listen on my i pod. I’ts awesome.” The big companies would pay people full-time wages to “bury” their competitors’ sites. However, if the changes are just made to your personal search queries and do not affect the search queries of others, no problem.

  • Liam

    this isn’t a good idea at all…..big bad companies can rule the SERP universe, and SEO’s will become extinct….not good google, not good.

  • Michelle

    I agree with Sean. “I don’t think its a good idea at all. It will give an unfair competitive advantage with companies with a large group of employees”.

    It’s a sure way to be able to manipulate the search results someones competitor. At first glance it looks good, but when you really think about it the outcome could be a disaster.