Yoople is a search engine where users get to re-rank the results if they find the results of greater relevance. The collaborative search looks to leverage social power to bring relevancy to results.
The engine works by fetching the top 10 results for a query from Yahoo and permits users to drag and drop the results in different order. While on one hand it could be described as the best combination of algorithm and human assessment, it could also be a manipulator’s paradise.
There is also a restriction on how high you can rank an entry. The engine uses a color coding scheme to show the relative position of the result compared to previous entries. The engine also tracks how often the result has been moved around. And there is the Yoople factor to measure the difference between the ranking of the result on Yahoo and on Yoople.
It is an effort to combine the best of the search engines out there with the human element. However, as with other technologies, if it does become a success, then it will be more prone to being manipulated. That is the angle that the Yoople team should really work out.
The approach by the Yoople team seems a lot akin to that of the Wikipedia. Keep it open and finally the good work will prevail. But unlike wikipedia, that is a destination, a search engine is more of a passage way. If the passage gets polluted, it will be abandoned for ever.
It will be interesting to see how the Yoople team gets in technology to prevent large scale manipulation of results.