There’s an interesting thread on WebmasterWorld today with GoogleGuy and Henk van Ess trading fun-filled posts about the outing of Google Rater Hub.
“… The system that was up at eval.google.com was a console to evaluate quality passively, not to tweak our results actively. But when henk van Ess submitted his own blog to Slashdot, he asserted “Real people, from all over the world, are paid to finetune the index of Google,” and that made it sound like people were reaching in via this console to tweak results directly, which just isn’t true at all.
I have serious reservations about henk van Ess taking information from one of his own students (who presumably signed a non-disclosure agreement when the student agreed to help rate the quality of our results) and posting that information online. I also believe these web pages said things like “Google Proprietary and Confidential,” but it appears that the screenshots have been cropped to exclude that information. Those are the two things that really made me sad, not the “breaking news” the Google evaluates its own results quality. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google evaluates the quality of its results in lots of ways–the fact is that every major search engine evaluates its relevance in many ways. “
It certainly is interesting to know there’s a human element to how Google rates search results quality (as opposed to 100% algorithmic). Was it responsible for Henk van Ess to publish the documents? That’s the question that will be hashed out in the Search Engine forums this week I’m sure.