A System Ready To Be Gamed for Cheap
Lots of speculation has been created around Google’s introduction of SearchWiki, which is their mandate for users to create their own so called ‘private‘ google experience, effectively allowing customization of search results. Now, when you’re logged into your google account and turn on SearchWiki, you can have the awesome liberty of having results you found hidden on the 8th page show up higher due to your vote. Furthermore, your family, friends and the entire world will be able to see your preferences in voting up or down search results.
There is an inherent problem with all social platforms that rely on mass aggretation of popular opinion – the votes can be gamed. Call it back scratching, vote buying or whatever you will, it’s damn easy to get on top of any social network if you’ve got the right contacts, or have enough money to spend. This is a harsh reality, and while I believe that any successful social media user should contribute real value to their community, that does not change the fact that many top users influence stories regardless of real popularity to go ‘hot’.
When Search Gets Social
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I believe Google is incorporating the same features that Wikia offers to see if a social signal in aggregate can be significant enough to put less weight on the section of their algorithm with less weight. This is in line with any new social media site – they all want user engagement and activity, other wise the site would essentially be dead.
My predictions include a bevy of forum thread over at DigitalPoint Forums (Google this) that offer the following (and in true digitalpoint engrish):
- 100 Vote + Comment on SearchWiki – Improve Google Ranking in 10 Days (sic).
- All unique c-class ip and proxy located all over the world.
- Manual submission by dedicated team.
- Report provided at end of work in excel format.
- Giving away 5 free review copies – Please PM me…
With automated gmail account creation, and many a webmaster holding thousands of aged account, I do not see why such a service wouldn’t show up? From a usability standpoint, I like the simplicity of the SERP results. With so much modification from Firefox extensions as a result of being a savvy netizen, I really didn’t want another bunch of vote up/down buttons. As a marketer, I see this a something I will be keeping a very keen eye on. I for one, will not take part in SearchWiki, and if you’re thinking the same way I am, you won’t either.
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