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How much hand editing of serps goes on?
When, Where, and How of G's hand editing.

 11:47 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am wondering what the consensus here at ww is on how much hand editing of Google's results actually goes on. I have heard GG say here that, "you can be certain that no one is hand editing your pr".

The reason I ask is because people speak on here of using the spam report at Google like someone is actually going to go tinker with the search results. Could that be, or do these reports go to help the next version of the algo, or both?

I know sometimes I have imaginary conversations in my mind about what the human editing component of the algo might be saying about certain things. But when would their input actually be felt, and how much input do they really have?

Wild speculation is appreciated.



 11:50 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

They can remove you from the results, or reinstate you if you have previously been removed.


 12:00 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

That is all? There is no other input to the algo? Is the entire algo done in a secret strategy room then?


 12:09 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google has said that they don't manually edit anyone's placement. But, I suspect they can look at the serps, decide that they don't like where a certain site is placed, and then edit the algo to raise or lower sites like that.


 12:10 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

No, that is not it. (At least from a spam perspective) There are many unique buttons on GoogleGuy's desk.


 12:34 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

These "unique buttons" you speak of. How many at Google would you estimate have access to these? 10-100-1000?

I think I have had dreams involving these buttons.

Seth Finkelstein

 8:42 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think anybody hand-edits PR of a specific
site. However, it's known that there are blacklists
of sites which aren't displayed depending on
a specific country. There's also a blacklist
of sites which aren't displayed at all, due to
Google-spamming or overall perceived illegality.

If a site is somehow, err, linked, with these
spam-sites, that may affect the PR, it's unclear.
But that would count as algorithmic, not
hand-edited, even if the spam-blacklist
is in part hand-edited.


 10:18 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ideally Google wants to weed out all the SPAM SITES naturally and the SPAM Report must be directly going to their QC team. These guys would then try to analyze what (if any) exploits the websites are using. There are various things involved [like Dupicate content (which i don't think needs a manual intervention)].

Also in some extremely rare cases Google BANS a website i.e. the website is completely removed from their index. This i think requires a manual intervention . Other penalties like using Rank Tracking softwares may also be detected automatically, after which they might decide what action to take. Most of these reports they might be getting automatically, and then, a human must be deciding what to do. Then there are some Rare cases where they come across something which cannot be detected automatically, in which case they would most probably hand edit the SERPS.

Most of the smaller offences are countered by giving smaller penalties which affects the ranking but the page remains in their index. Just my opinions.


 2:40 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks mil2k. So we know that some (negative) human editing goes on. Penalties are doled out. I wonder if any positive manual intervention goes on. Do sites ever get a "boost"?


 3:11 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Both positive and negative hand editing goes on. Of course they can do it. If Sergey or Larry says "Kill that page!" do you think those 50 plus Phd's are gonna tell them, We can't get there from here. ;) They have to have manual overrides.

I do think they try very hard not to hand edit. Hand manipulation is an absolute last resort, but sometimes you have to kill something quick and that means manually. They don't do it often but they do it. They have to be able to comply with laws, respond to media scandals, politicians and governments and court orders.

>>I wonder if any positive manual intervention goes on.

Sure. When the whole PR0 penalty first hit, a lot of innocent sites got caught up in the sweeps. GoogleGuy checked many sites individually and reported that many would be restored in the next update. I would call that a positive manual intervention. :)


 3:20 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ip-cloaked pages (sites) have to be removed by hand...


 3:20 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

It would be nice if there was some way to find out if a site was incurring a penalty


 3:25 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>It would be nice if there was some way to find out if a site was incurring a penalty

That's prob one of the most asked questions here at WebmasterWorld so i'm pretty sure, you'll find a answer if you do a site search for how do i know + penalty [google.com].

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