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ciml's quote stands out the most for me:
I don't know anyone who's found link-theming in Google using controlled-conditions test.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't seen any evidence of "link-theming", hubs, authorities, or anything else other than your standard, 2002, "it's got more links, so it's ranking well, and links from it mean more" type results.
I'm asking someone to prove to me that Hilltop/link-theming is being used. Let's revisit the concept discussed in that thread: Is hilltop in play?
I, for one, have not swallowed the "Hilltop" magic pill yet.
So, Marcia and jcoronella, you're both implicitly saying that the top 1000 is probably "sort of right", ie. that the top 1% is most likely found within that set - ie. not outside it?
Or perhaps it didn't cross your mind that the 1000 was just a sample of the students of that discipline from all over the world? Sometimes there are millions, sometimes a few - but still it sounds as if you've got a feeling of some kind that the top 1000 (sorted on grades alone) is, well, sort of "not all that wrong"?
I'll buy that assumption for now. There'll be misses, of course, especially related to broad disciplines (eg. "The Sciences"), but of course, the more specific your task/query is (eg. "Quantum mechanics and String Theory"), the easier it will be to identify the top 1000 properly, as the total pool of students will get smaller.
Now, that's interesting. I don't know if it was the wording of my question that did it, but... both of you intuitively would put the top 1000 through an extra test?!
Ie. you wouldn't "call a friend" or something. In stead, you'd assume, instinctively, that the answer was found within that (sub-)dataset already, and that it (by itself) could be used to get a more accurate ranking.
Perhaps it's even as simple as asking (some or all) of these 1000 students who they would recommend themselves?
Now, that's a simple solution to me ... I'll buy it.
Also, i've got this odd feeling, that 1) who you ask, 2) how you phrase the question, and 3) what you do with the answer, will determine if you should call it Hilltop, or LocalRank, or whatever...
both of you intuitively would put the top 1000 through an extra test?!
I assumed that the 1000 students was the entire population. I think that if you have an algo that works, you don't need to run a second one on the results.
Without evidence, I do not think that google would use Hilltop, it seems batty to me on a top level architecture point of view.
The linking to my competitors comment was just a mental game based on the problem and my solution.
If I can I would narrow your simile to getting good grades on a class quiz, rather than an overall term mark...
Firstly, I would assume that those who are "working the system" are intrinsicly not terribly interested in the subject/lazy/mercenary and had been using something like Cliff's Notes or a copy of some old answers to get the high marks in the quizzes.
Secondly, I find a way (expanding the scope of the tests, coursework) of testing a lot of related but simple information to find those students that have studied around the subject (or have really done some work on their "cheating").
Thirdly, I take note of past performance - it's more difficult and takes more perseverance to game my tests over a period of time.
Fourthly, I take my initial top students and ask them for their opinion on who they think are the top students.
You know that some of the good guys are plain lazy, and you know that all of the bad guys are cheating
Good analogy :)
I would reverse the criteria for getting A-grades for a short while to see who followed suit. Those who adapted very rapidly would be (too) focused on the grades/the criteria instead of the subject of the class. The good lazy students would not change their behavior instantly, since they would not be as aware of the criteria. And then I would return to the previous system after sending all those students who got the high grades in the wrong system out the door...