Article: Google Admits That Employees Change Index Rankings

by HSam
14 replies
I thought I'd share this with you all, there were a few things in here that I didn't know, so I thought there would be people who would learn something new like I did.

The article is here: Google admits that employees change index rankings | ZDNet

I'd like to see some of your opinions on this, especially those who've had their sites mysteriously slapped.

Sam
#admits #article #change #employees #google #index #rankings
  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    I don't think there has been a question about that.

    Google has made clear that there are certain types of sites and topics it likes, and does not like. It is not possible for an algorithm to always make this determination.

    Anyone who uses Adwords, and checks IP hit data, knows that Google uses a bot, and later a human reviewer, to check out their pages.

    So Google has website raters (a rating guide from a few years ago is floating around the net). They spend a couple seconds looking at your site, and from that your site goes up or down in the ratings.

    Once you're nuked, it doesn't matter how many 'quality' backlinks you get.

    There would be no purpose to the raters if they could not affect search rankings.

    So if your income goes in the toilet because Google drops your site, it may be because of some faceless minimum wage rater in some obscure locale using a generic rating card - who knows absolutely nothing about your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
    Imagine the amount of money a google rater could make by taking payoffs to move your listing up......

    I bet this happens, any takers?
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Morgan
      Originally Posted by EWGQDD View Post

      Imagine the amount of money a google rater could make by taking payoffs to move your listing up......

      I bet this happens, any takers?
      Who knows, but it can be possible.

      Nobody can know full ins and outs of a company, or what goes on 'behind the scenes'

      If they were able to manipulate the rankings though, they can even pull their own sites to number 1 - which is wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
        Originally Posted by Matt Morgan View Post

        Who knows, but it can be possible.

        Nobody can know full ins and outs of a company, or what goes on 'behind the scenes'

        If they were able to manipulate the rankings though, they can even pull their own sites to number 1 - which is wrong.
        Well if their system is indeed set up the way the OP is talking about then not only is it possible but highly likely, just food for thought that really cannot be proven until someone gets fired for it and someone else finds out about it and so on..............

        You would think that there would be more people though protesting about something like this, because it does lend to corruption.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    Has there really ever been any doubt about them making manual adjustments?
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  • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
    This is OLD news, There is nothing in that article about Google changing rankings. The author of that article has got is very wrong and has totally misinterpreted what Google said.

    Google have had a panel of 100's people rating the SERPS for years... those who have been around long enough will recall the leaking of the manual used by them. They do not change the SERPS!!! They just rate the quality of SERPS during the testing of algorithm changes ... that is all.

    If you read the quote from the Google employee:
    Google uses human raters to assess the quality of individual sites in order to counter this effect, he adds.
    All they are doing is assessing the quality of the SERPS. SOmehow the journalist interprets this as:
    These Google employees have the power to promote or even completely erase a site from the Google index.
    He is not a very good journalist.
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  • Profile picture of the author DPM70
    I'm surprised that, with a company as large as Google, you don't get more "revelations" from ex-employees etc about the algorithm. Perhaps they treat their employees so well that there aren't any ex's.

    Or they simply silence anyone who utters a word with other "manual adjustments".

    Or, more realistically, they are so compartmentalised with their in-house data sharing, that only a very few elite within Google get to see the whole picture?

    Or I just haven't seen them and they only "talk" to the highest paying "guru"?

    I saw this news item earlier and, for sure, manual observance and manipulation comes into play, but who knows to what extent? I'm not seeing any new revelations here.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    If Google employs a technique of monitoring how long people stay on your website and where they entered and exited from they would have a pretty good idea of just how valid it is for a specific term.

    That's letting the real user provide data on where a site should rank in terms of relevance.

    On a side note, whoever they employ to do the manual manipulations either needs to be fired, retrained or they need more help because I've seen some real garbage ranking well in the search engines.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
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    • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
      Originally Posted by TimG View Post

      If Google employs a technique of monitoring how long people stay on your website and where they entered and exited from they would have a pretty good idea of just how valid it is for a specific term.

      That's letting the real user provide data on where a site should rank in terms of relevance.
      There is NO indication that they are actually doing that. If I recall correctly, there was some talk a while back that they did look at (or could look at) that data as a measure of the quality of the SERPS, but they do not use it as a ranking factor.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimG
        Originally Posted by cbpayne View Post

        There is NO indication that they are actually doing that. If I recall correctly, there was some talk a while back that they did look at (or could look at) that data as a measure of the quality of the SERPS, but they do not use it as a ranking factor.
        Acknowledged - I failed to word my post properly and meant to merely use that as an example of what they could/should do.

        Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    An old quality reviewers manual is all over the net and can be found with a simple search. From Bing:

    slideshare.net/maxduke/google-quality-rater-guidelines-2007

    I like the request to review sites for issues such as:

    "sneaky redirect to ebay"

    "amazon thin affiliate"

    "keyword stuffing"

    "wikipedia content plus ads"

    "copied text from _____ plus ads"

    A thin affiliate site is considered spam. Check to see if images are really hosted by a merchant, or if clicking 'more information' leads to a merchant website.


    Back then Google claimed this was simply to evaluate the effectiveness of the algorithms and had no direct effect on search results.

    Of course, that is nonsensical. At a minimum, it would mean the Google algorithm would be adjusted to get rid of certain sites because of a poor rating.

    Today, personally, I wouldn't put anything past Google.


    You may also remember the BMW fiasco where the BMW site was dropped from Google's search rankings. Of course, BMW quickly got back in. If you think this was all automated without any human interference and you could do the same ... yeah right.
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  • Profile picture of the author GCostanza
    Google most likely has all of their employees sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement, so if they are fired they have to keep their mouths shut. This is a pretty common business practice.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Here's an interesting, but much to brief account from someone who claims to have been a Google Quality Rater:

    Working from Home - Review - Google - Website raters

    Take note of his comment about flagging 'spam' sites - and remember that Google instructs its rates to evaluate many (perhaps most) affiliate sites as 'spam' sites.

    Looks like quality raters can make $43k per year: Google Salaries | CareerBliss.com
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    I failed to mention earlier that one of the reasons why I turned to learning everything I could about article marketing was so that I could make Google work for me instead of my working for Google.

    It doesn't really matter what Google thinks about my site as long as the sites I submit my content to are in Google's good favor. My site can be on page 50 but if I am leveraging the power of enough sites with my content then traffic will show up no matter where my site is ranked.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
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