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WARNING: Don’t Try To Game Google’s Search Wiki

Written by George Manty  · February 11, 2009

A little while back Google released what is now known as the Google Search Wiki. Anyone who is logged into their Google account can search Google and vote on the website results that Google displays. It’s very similar to the voting that takes place on most social media sites.

Since announcing the Search Wiki many bloggers have speculated that Google will use it to alter Search Engine rankings. The theory is that sites that get more votes will rank higher then those that don’t get many votes. It makes a lot of sense, but I have a different view about what Google will do with the voting results…

I think Google will use the voting to LOWER rankings of websites that get voted on too much. And here’s why…

Google doesn’t want webmasters to manipulate it’s Search Engine! The Google Search Wiki provides a great opportunity for Google to catch webmasters manipulating it’s results. Most webmasters have a Google account either for Adsense or Adwords or both. Google can easily monitor those people most likely to abuse the Search Wiki (webmasters with Adsense and/or Adwords accounts) to see what sites they are voting up and down. Since Google has made it known on many occasions that they don’t want webmasters to abuse their system, my guess is that Google is monitoring Adsense and Adwords users voting and lowering the rank of the sites they vote on.

Do I have any evidence of this?

Not really, it’s just a hunch. However, when the Search Wiki first came out I voted for a few sites and the only change I saw was a slightly lower ranking for those sites that I voted up. It seemed temporary though because the rankings returned very quickly.

Another thing that makes me suspicious is that when Google Knol first came out, I tried it, and the next day the site I promoted on a Google Knol dropped from being in the top 10 for a REALLY good keyword to being on page 10. This could have been a coincidence, but I doubt it.

This is just my personal speculation on the Search Wiki, but based on my experience I suggest that you don’t try to game the Google Search Wiki. If you are going to try to rank high in Google stick to getting quality links with relevant anchor text to your website. That’s still the best way to do it.

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8 Responses to “WARNING: Don’t Try To Game Google’s Search Wiki”

  1. Gerald Weber on February 11th, 2009 12:27 pm

    Well I don’t know if I agree that they will actually punish the sites right away but I do agree that Google may be using this sytem as a way to see who votes for what site and to get feedback accordingly.

    One thing I feel pretty confident of is that they aren’t going to actually take those votes into account and make rankings accordingly. Then Google would be especially vulerable to being gamed. In fact that would make them gamable in the same way Digg is gameable. (no offense šŸ˜‰

  2. Make Money on Internet on February 11th, 2009 6:07 pm

    Well, seems pretty logical and we still have no idea on it but I think you’re right. If they can use our Google Accounts to track that, it would be more of privacy being leaked. In this case you can also expect Google to send traffic to the pages which are already getting traffic because most websites have analytics.

  3. Dunderio on February 12th, 2009 9:56 pm

    If that true, we can use it to punish our competitor, just vote for his sites!

  4. James on February 15th, 2009 8:07 am

    I don’t think that Google would lower the results of this sites. That’s not the goal of Google. Google ’s goal is the provide the most relevant search results for it’s users.

  5. wilhb81 on February 15th, 2009 11:35 pm

    I agreed with your opinions, George. We must always use the proper ways, if we want to rank high and well on Google Search!

  6. Earn Money Online Blog on February 17th, 2009 8:36 pm

    I don’t know that they would make a BIG impact on search results based on users voting either positive or negative. However, I do think they may make some tweaks based on the voting and even click throughs. I would think you could do some statistical modeling and anything out of 97% or 99% confidence could be penalized.

    You never know – don’t try it, just work on inbound links and your onsite SEO, work for good content, etc…..

  7. Niche Blogs & AdSense on February 19th, 2009 6:11 am

    I think Google more probably tries to counter AdSense users’ votes than not šŸ™‚

  8. Daryl from Handybundles TV on March 1st, 2009 6:12 am

    I agree with you, I think it’s just a hunch. If Google will use this to alter search engine rankings, this is very easy to manipulate. If Google will lower the ranking of websites that get voted on too much, this will be unfair because competitors can just vote each other to lower their rankings.