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No Manual Intervention On Rankings, Says Google

They don't, except for when they do

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The search advertising company doesn’t go in and tweak the results that come up for queries, except for the times that it does.

Plenty of sound reasons exist for manually editing search results. Listings leading to sites containing viruses or malware, pages detailing illegal content like child exploitation, or simply content that someone, somewhere, wants removed on some kind of legal grounds, all face the prospect of being excised from Google’s index.

"In our view, the web is built by people," Amit Singhal said at the official Google blog, in his introduction to Google ranking. "You are the ones creating pages and linking to pages. We are using all this human contribution through our algorithms."

Don’t get excited, webmasters, Singhal isn’t shedding any sunlight on the black box of Google’s rankings. He shared more of a philosophical viewpoint, an interesting one given he’s worked on Google’s secret algorithm sauce since 2000.

Ahead of the "no manual intervention" position Google prefers to maintain for its rankings, Singhal said the company wants to serve the most relevant results it can to a given user, and to keep that deliver simple. "We make about ten ranking changes every week and simplicity is a big consideration in launching every change. Our engineers understand exactly why a page was ranked the way it was for a given query," he said.

A couple of reasons occur to Singhal in response to that "common – but misguided" question about manual intervention. First was the ‘people making links and pages’ concept mentioned previously. The second reason, well, sometimes a broken query means an opportunity to improve the algorithm again.

And again, and again, and again.

For our webmaster readers who value their rankings, it means there will always be some kind of changes taking place under the hood of Google’s ride. To echo Professor Moody from the Harry Potter books, ‘constant vigilance’ should be the webmaster’s credo. Blogoscoped.com discussed Google and manual edits two years ago, but the advice bears repeating today.

No Manual Intervention On Rankings, Says Google
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  • http://www.michaeltyler.co.uk Mike Tyler

    Aaron Wall in a recent interview was quoted as saying – "The big thing to really look out for is arbitrary hand edits. If your site does not look good, it might get edited out of the search results even if you offer the highest quality information in your space." [Red Fly Marketing]

    I know this to be true.

    Seems like the community is saying one thing and google is breifing another.

    Google needs to be more transparent if it wants to remain a truely good search engine.

  • http://www.nextdir.com Nextdir

    How they define good looking ?

    If someone make a website for themselves they must have said its good looking, there should be something mentioned how they rank website, if its good looking or bad.

  • http://www.paraibainternational.com Tanzanite

    I would expect that they do not tamper with their own results. If there was ever an instance of this, they would lose massive market share and investors, something they could not afford.