Home Voting Experiment: Google Sneezed but Keep Your Pants On

Voting Experiment: Google Sneezed but Keep Your Pants On

A substantial portion of the web world is turning today to look at a small experiment underway at Google, but there’s no reason to believe that big changes are right around the corner. Googlified, one of several independent Google watchdog blogs, discovered a new voting feature in the Experimental section of Google Labs and promptly jumped to the click-friendly conclusion that something Digg-like was afoot.

The search company is experimenting with letting users give thumbs up to certain items on their results pages to move those items up the page, or to select an X icon to hide a result from the page. Users can also suggest a link to be included in their personal results page for the same search query again. You have to be logged into a Google account to see the results of your clicking on these icons the next time you search.

A few things to keep in mind, perhaps talking points to bring down your hyperventilating co-workers:

  • There’s zero indication that these personal votes will influence everyone’s search results and in fact it’s quite unlikely. The current algorithm reflects years of ongoing work by some of the smartest scientists in the field. Google doesn’t need your and every hired fraudulent clicker’s input into what’s a good search result.
  • This looks a whole lot like personal bookmarking, which is good to offer as many methods of as possible as there are many people in the world and thus many ways that work best for different groups of users. Is bookmarking online a straight path to manipulation of global search rankings? No.
  • Voting has been around longer than Digg, so even if you see voting happening, it’s not necessary to call it Digg-like. Ok? How about we only call voting systems “like Digg” if a varying number of votes, not all of which are valued equally, are required within a short period of time in order for a much larger number of people to be meaningfully exposed to what was voted on. And there are comments, which can be voted on as well. The US Presidential election, for example, is based on voting – but is nothing like Digg. Agreed? Kthxbi.

Google Operating System, a particularly smart Google watch-dog blog, concludes its post today with links to previous, similar experiments by Google – like add better search results, reorder the results and remove search results.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.