TheMadScientist - 7:09 pm on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'm open minded to other ideas such as user metrics coming from another source but I dont buy the argument that it's possible to programmatically replicate the million decisions a human makes in a second about a site.
They don't need to, really ... What they need to be able to do algorithmically to get to their goal is be able to 'match' people to pages, so if they do something along the lines of 'algorithmically assigning each page a wave' based on the variables they have access to for every page on every site and also assign each searcher a 'wave' with the same variables they can use the behavior of the searcher in their results to refine the searcher's 'wave' and can 'dial in' to what page(s) 'wave' matches what searcher's 'wave' best and show specific visitors the 'best wave matches' based on the unique 'wave' each searcher would create from their behavior in the results provided.
I'm probably not explaining what I'm thinking very well, because I've tried to figure out how for a couple weeks and haven't been able to do it, but the point is by using the variables they have access to across the board and assigning those same variables to individual visitors and refining the 'pattern' assigned to their visitors based on behavior then showing the results closest matching the visitor's 'wave' over time they can refine to 'better answers' for each visitor individually without needing anyone to use a specific browser or a specific stat program on their site or anything other than their search results.
What I'm trying to explain is a way more 'broad and inclusive' way of refining results to visitors on a per-searcher-per-query-per-page level rather than 'clouding the picture' with external noise from 'limited data sources'.
I can see them using 'external sources' as verification of direction during refinement, but actually controlling the results (or influencing them) from limited datasets isn't something I think they need to do or would want to, because it's limiting possibilities for results rather than 'narrowing to the right one from the whole' on a personal level for each searcher like they're trying to.