walkman - 2:28 am on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
What was their actual job? To create a quality score for web sites, that serve as a ranking factor?
Their job was to read a document that Google gave them and than rate sites based on that: if a site is like this, it's good. If it's like this it's bad. Sounds good in theory but it could very well be garbage in, garbage out and in no way means neutrality or "raters check the sites so we're not biased." At best they show whether Google reached their goal with the algo or not. Does not mean that SERPs are 'better' for average users.
Anyway, there isn't much we can do and we have to be careful about mentioning certain events happening in Washington DC with Eric Schmidt but it's good that people are no longer taking Google's "trust us" without questioning. Maybe they increased the special dose and now it's more obvious? My favorite quote:
Google's paid search service gives the company an incentive to keep its free search results from getting too good, Clemons said at a Technology Policy Institute (TPI) forum on Google and antitrust in Washington, D.C. "I've always wanted to say this in Washington: Follow the money," he said.
The FTC's antitrust probe of Google, reported in June, will give investigators a chance to see how Google ranks search results, giving the public a "first line of defense" against anticompetitive practices, said Oren Bracha, a law professor focused on technology and intellectual property at the University of Texas.
I'm dying to read the e-mails and memos between different departments on this, gonna be fun. Especially during algo changes. Aren't you interested?