Google experiments with Digg-style voting on search results

Google tests voting in Google Labs. How will this impact on search engine rankings in the future?

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Google is currently testing Digg style voting on its search results pages – giving users the chance to re-order the search engine’s rankings.

This is currently to be seen on the Google Labs site, where proposed new developments to the search engine are available for people to try out – other experiments include left hand search navigation and plotting search results on timelines and maps.

With the voting system, users can mark a particular search results as useful, which will move that website to the top of the page, or they can choose to remove a result from the search page altogether.

If a useful website doesn’t appear in the search results, users can even add the URL of a site they recommend, and this will appear in the next search for the same keyword. The changes are permanent, and will appear next time they log in to their Google account.

Unlike Digg, these changes don’t alter the search results for other users, and it is unlikely that this voting system will ever be used in Google’s main search engine.

While there may be some benefits to user voting, such as the removal of spam sites from search results, it would open up the possibility for major manipulation of search engine rankings.

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