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What Google SearchWiki Means for Your Rankings



Over at WebProNews I answer Chris Crum’s questions on the topic of Google’s SearchWiki. We chat about the impact on reputation management and I also share my thoughts from an SEO perspective:

"I’m intrigued by a number of possibilities here, not all of which are negative."

"First, one web site’s ‘vote down’ is another’s ‘vote up,’" [Beal] explains. "Think about it. OK, so a user could vote down your web listing, but they could just as easily vote down your competitor. Now, instead of spending endless nights worrying about how to move from #2 on Google to #1, your target customer just did the job for you–albeit confined to their search browser only."

"Secondly, let’s go with the worst case scenario and assume that a user voted down your listing in Google," Beal continues. "They would have done that anyway! OK, so now they have the option to actually vote you off the Google ‘island’ but prior to this feature, they were mentally excluding you anyway–so you’ve not lost much."

For the full interview, head over to WPN.

  • http://your-rewards.net Amy

    I think the important thing is that a single person’s preference for your site won’t affect the site’s overall ranking. If this was the case then all hell would break loose!

  • http://www.russpage.net Russ

    The question is whether the user experience of voting down will start to change the overall SERPs.

    Russ’s last blog post..College Bowl Game Schedule 2009

  • http://chrisberryonthe.net Chris Berry

    I’m one of those people who believe that quality content matters more than questionable SEO tactics, so I see this as the best possible development. If the whole idea behind a search engine is to deliver relevant search results, there is no better feedback mechanism than allowing users to determine which items they rate highest. I hope Google will incorporate this user feedback into their rankings.

    Chris Berry’s last blog post..Government Intervention Will Only Make Things Worse For Big Three

  • Saurav

    Russ – Marissa Mayers did gave an indication to whether or not Google will be using SearchWiki user data to modify SERPs. I believe I have read a post here which quoted her from the interview she gave at Le Web conference in Paris. She however said that it will have be a sizable number of votes (up or down) to trigger the change though.

    If it does happen then rankings will stand to lose some of its importance. Actually it already is. Relevance is the key and conversion is what everyone should be aiming for, ranking as a KPI would cease to exist in the future (My personal opinion).

  • http://www.tradeseo.com mike

    You left out the part where Google uses the votes up/down to influence your ranking for everyone. Those who don’t believe this will happen are naive at best… we really can’t know what Google SearchWiki means for rankings because it is completely out of our control… however, i’m sure the spammers out there have a few ideas as to what it means!

    mike’s last blog post..Free Test: How Motivated Are You?

  • http://www.anaokulumarketi.com Anaokulu

    If it does happen then rankings will stand to lose some of its importance. Actually it already is. Relevance is the key and conversion is what everyone should be aiming for, ranking as a KPI would cease to exist in the future (My personal opinion).

  • http://spudmobile.co.uk/guitar-hero-world-tour.aspx George Nobles

    Disscussion on very important issue and great reviews also.

  • http://www.spike.com/blog/wii-fit-personal/71786 Wii Fit

    For me it is hard to give replay.

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  • http://www.search-marketing-answers.com/blog Alan Bleiweiss

    It seems crazy that Google would rely on individual users to help affect the overall ranking of sites, yet wasn’t that the core concept behind back-links?

    While they may only use the data after “thousands” of people down-vote a site, that still means it’s possible for spammers to hire legions of off-shore people to artificially manipulate the competitive landscape.

    oh well. I’m glad that 90% of my clients are small business owners because I just don’t think this new path will be anything for me to worry about regarding small business sites.

    Alan Bleiweiss’s last blog post..Advanced Lesson – 6 Key points to Keyword Selection

  • http://www.aidsdrugsonline.com AIDS Drugs

    Google currently does not use the results of votes in their SERP algorithm. Its talked about more on Matt Cutts google.com blog http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/. I think that if they did decide to use it that it would talk thousands of votes to trigger a review, and then a human would look at the site determining if their was a obvious reason it was “bad or “good”. Depending on the review the site could receive a bonus or a penalty.

  • http://www.goodies4free.net Wii

    I think this will not be used too often because people use bookmarks to store their sites and actually putting the searches to the top of the results will not benefit anyone.

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