Swanson - 11:33 pm on Apr 29, 2011 (gmt 0)
crobb305, after thinking about it I totally agree with you about it being better to use an algorithm - and I remember the Inktomi blacklist which was really amateur.
I suppose Google do in a way use manual intervention to a degree - for example when they react to spam reports, most recently in the case of J C Penney buying links and then when reported Google manually downgraded the effect of these links. They do also try to discover link selling networks and manually penalise the sites participating.
Ironically the quality raters are used to check the quality of the algorithm changes - and they gave this one the green light.
Illustrates perfectly why the quality raters are useless!