Google’s Human Touch

The Human Touch That May Loosen Google’s Grip from the New York Times questions whether Google’s use of algorithms and computers to compile search results might lead to its demise in the future.

One of the search engines the NY Times focuses on is the Mahalo human-edited search engine. It also explores several search alternatives. PC World also covers some of these in a timely article.

Google engineer Matt Cutts is quoted extensively in the article, making a case that Google does have a human touch. Matt followed up the article with his own blog post named the role of humans in Google search. A summary of that post, on how Matt says humans are in the algorithm every day:

  • PageRank is based on linkage data, created by humans
  • Google News is based off article selections that ultimately get put onto the web by human editors at various publications
  • The Google Toolbar has a voting button
  • Google allows users to remove results from their personalized search
  • Spam reports help Google adjust their algorithms and spot spam attempts quicker
  • Google engineers work hard to make for a better algorithm every day

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Web Search | Search Engines: Mahalo | Search Engines: Other Search Engines | Search Engines: Social Search Engines


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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