No Manual Intervention On Rankings, Says Google

    July 9, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

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. discussed Google and manual edits two years ago, but the advice bears repeating today.