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"Help Improve Search for Everyone" - New Google SERPs Message
MatthewHSE




msg:3446698
 8:27 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was searching around the other night and was suddenly startled to receive a message at the top of the Google results, to the effect of "Help improve search for everyone." It went on to request that I suggest a URL for the site I was searching for information about and had a form for that purpose.

Has anyone else seen this? I searched for the text of the special message that night and couldn't find anything; a search for "improve search for everyone" does bring up one relevant result today however.

Is this the start of Google actively seeking deliberate user involvement in developing their algorithm? Or maybe this is just old news that's so boring nobody is even talking about it? ;)

 

b2net




msg:3447237
 12:19 pm on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I searched for my site name where I rank at 30 out of 30 but couldn't see the link. I'll keep trying.

MatthewHSE




msg:3447270
 12:53 pm on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've only seen this come up on that one search so far. I was searching on a URL in the format of 'example.com'. It wasn't returning many results for that query. So running queries using relatively obscure domain names may be the best way to try to replicate this.

Wlauzon




msg:3448063
 1:29 am on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have seen that pop up occasionally on what I would guess are "niche" searches - that is searches not associated with Britney Spears latest fiasco, or Microsoft. In other words, searches that are less common - but perhaps tend to bring up a lot of MFA or other "iffy" sites.

Have not seen it enough to really get a pattern, but all the times that I have seen it, it has been for search terms that show less than 100's of thousands of results.

MatthewHSE




msg:3448095
 2:06 am on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

How long has this been going on? I never saw it before last week, and there doesn't seem to be much discussion about it online. I would have expected this to make pretty big news whenever it was released, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

reprint




msg:3448109
 2:36 am on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are you talking about the message at the bottom of the search page? Where it says "Dissatisfied? Help us improve"?
You can enter comments and enter a url:
"Were you looking for a specific URL that wasn't listed in the search results? If so, please enter the URL here:"

and it appears at the bottom for "britney" :) as well as more obscure searches.

MatthewHSE




msg:3448130
 3:21 am on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, that's not it. I'm talking about a form that appeared at the top of the results, requesting that I suggest a URL for the search I had just performed. The form was right there, with a message telling me to "Help improve search for everyone" by suggesting a related URL.

pageoneresults




msg:3448134
 3:27 am on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

The form was right there, with a message telling me to "Help improve search for everyone" by suggesting a related URL.

Theme from Twilight Zone in the background...

Don't you just hate when things like this happen only to you? We understand, we believe you too. Here, come sit down and let's talk about the day.

Google's user targeting hard at work.

Wlauzon




msg:3448714
 5:24 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

It happened to me too!

Next time I will take a screenshot...

pageoneresults




msg:3448745
 5:50 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

MatthewHSE sent me a few things via Sticky and I'm a believer. I'm sure we'll see more reports of this as it becomes visible.

Here is the URI string that MatthewHSE shared with me via Sticky. This is where he was redirected after agreeing to do the review.

https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?hl=en&continue=http://www.google.com/reviews/w/confirm%3Fq%3Dexample.com%26url%3Dwww.example.com&nui=1

Notice the /reviews/ section? I've not seen that before, have you?

MatthewHSE




msg:3448821
 7:02 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

The interesting thing to me is that it uses GET to handle the data instead of POST. After continuing through the Google Accounts login, you can play with those GET parameters, and presumably submit a URL of your choice for any query. I'm sure nobody will try to spam this, though! ;)

carguy84




msg:3449796
 6:25 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think google uses "post" on any of its search pages.

ddogg




msg:3449855
 7:07 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sucks if you don't have an easy to spell/type/remember url. In other words sucks to be me.

pageoneresults




msg:3449862
 7:13 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ah-ha, I got in. But, I can't get the form to show up based on searches. This is what you get once you're in...

If you click yes, we'll save this suggestion with your Google Account so we can use it to improve your search results. This is an experimental feature and, based on this experiment, we may come up with other improvements in the future. Like all data in your Account, your suggestions are subject to our Privacy Policy. If you want to delete one of the suggestions from your account, just repeat your search and click "withdraw" next to the saved result.

Now I see where this is going. It probably all ties in with iGoogle.com and Personalized Search. After reading some of the recent Google Patents pertaining to Personalized Search, this is one more tool for the user to help Google refine its core search results.

whoisgregg




msg:3449865
 7:18 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Notice the /reviews/ section? I've not seen that before, have you?

Well, there's the movie reviews section [google.com] but it's not the same thing. Seems like it would be a URL conflict actually... :/

pageoneresults




msg:3449874
 7:22 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, there's the movie reviews section but it's not the same thing. Seems like it would be a URL conflict actually... :/

You know, you bring up something that I questioned when this topic first surfaced and MatthewHSE sent me the URI string. In backtracking that string, there were some references to an XML Exploit of some sort but I don't know if that applies here. Part of that string was in the exploit.

I could only get to one page of the process by entering the above string, changing example to a domain of my choice, login to my Google Account and then get redirected to a single page allowing me to submit the review. I couldn't edit the review as that step was missed in the process. What showed as a review is what appeared to be a SERP listing that used the <title> and META Description of the site.

Simsi




msg:3449926
 8:10 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Were you looking for a specific URL that wasn't listed in the search results? If so, please enter the URL here:"

Silly question, but unless you were a webmaster checking your sites, why would you be searching Google if you knew the URL you wanted in the first place?!

carlitos




msg:3449954
 8:43 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I appears that guys at Google are now taking more seriously threats like the one posed by Calcanis and its human edited search engine MAHALO.
Check Fast Company Magazine article about this:
[fastcompany.com...]

The difference being that Calcanis pays a dedicated team + external fee-based to get the job done. It seems that Google on the other hand is trying to complement their algorithms with human intervention but of the type that comes for free.

MatthewHSE




msg:3449974
 8:58 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Were you looking for a specific URL that wasn't listed in the search results? If so, please enter the URL here:"

Silly question, but unless you were a webmaster checking your sites, why would you be searching Google if you knew the URL you wanted in the first place?!

In my case, I was looking for information about the URL, not for the URL itself. But I think the suggestion form I saw would probably come up for some queries whether you were searching for a URL or some other search term.

voices




msg:3450058
 10:28 pm on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Silly question, but unless you were a webmaster checking your sites, why would you be searching Google if you knew the URL you wanted in the first place?!

EXACTLY! They want you to spam it, it's a trap. Webmasters will put in their own url's and then google will have one of their quality experts check the site and send it off to oblivion if it sucks ;)

Unless of course you know it's a trap, then you will be putting in the URL of your competition, so they will be sent down to the depths of the Google sea.

europeforvisitors




msg:3450156
 12:02 am on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Unless of course you know it's a trap, then you will be putting in the URL of your competition, so they will be sent down to the depths of the Google sea.

Of course, if your competion's Web site is superb, you may be helping it to float on top of the Google sea. :-)

markd




msg:3450412
 7:26 am on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

What astounds me is that if you unwittingly commit a Google 'deadly sin' your site can bomb, and yet they put up something like this which is an open invitation for abuse...

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