Voting and commenting on search results: Good or bad?

Google has created a lot of neat stuff lately. OK, the company has created a lot of neat stuff for the past few years, including, most recently, a new web browser. But please, download Chrome on your own time, because I want to talk about Google's bread and butter: the search.

Back when it was just Google and search, few will debate that the company revolutionized the way most people use the Internet. Through advanced techniques, enhanced algorithms and lighting-quick speeds, Google has dominated the search front. but can it be better? Recently, there have been musing about allowing users to potentially vote and/or comment on the displayed search results. So, instead of the processors doing all the thinking when deciding what to show you, there could be a bit of human element involved.

OK, true, the more visits a particular site/page receives, the higher ranking it will receive ... but there's not necessarily human intelligence involved in that. Maybe a lot of people clicked on a link due to a misleading title or content. Maybe spammers have a lot of deceptive linkbacks to help their rankings. If people had the capability to rank and comment, they could also help others looking for similar things.

Then again, it's more likely that people will be looking out for their own interests by ranking their pages at the top, having their friends post rave reviews and so forth. When you involve the human element, you also have to throw in the potential for greed, mistrust and ultimately, misuse.

But there is an answer. What if users had the ability to "trust" other individuals or groups within the Google community? You know, sort of like ebay or Amazon, where users can vote on the best sellers and so forth. Maybe a combination of Google search, Google groups and Orkut (or Open Social) would be the answer.

(BTW, please rank this page high and give good comments.)

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