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Thursday, June 2, 2005

Google’s Evaluation Lab

Henk van Ess posts about Google’s evaluation laboratory (and gets slashdotted on his first post over at

“It’s a lab of humans from all over the world (from China to The Netherlands, from Korea to Brasil) They are paid to check search results of Google every day. Most of the employees, called international agents by Google, were recruited through universities all over the world. The aim is to avoid spam, to get the right sites at the top of the listing and to test new features, not shown to the public yet.”

Henk also has a flash movie of the lab.

One think can (and already has) been misunderstood: even if this laboratory is for real – it certainly seems so – this doesn’t mean Google Inc manually changes rankings. It only means Google manually checks search quality to fine-tune their ranking algorithms; this is neither new, nor secret or scandal. (And of course, those algorithms are written by humans as well, but they certainly wouldn’t fix problems on a per-search-query or per-site basis. There’s too many web pages anyway to make this approach feasible.)


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