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The role of humans in search and the evolution of the algorithm.

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
13 July 2007

GirlSo just how much of an influence do us humans have on
the infamous Google algorithm? Well according to Google Engineer Udi Manber a

Google currently employs around 10,000 human editors; it’s their job to
meticulously check the accuracy of the results being served up by the search
giant. In addition to this Google’s spam reports and news section
rely very heavily on human input not just to evaluate complaints but also to
check the relevancy of results.

Obviously with the millions of search queries that Google attracts on a daily
basis it is impossible for all the results to be verified by individuals, but
Google is constantly looking for ways to try and keep humans in the loop and a
great example of this is the recent photo tagging application – where users are
being asked to help organise Google’s vast image database, using an addictive
labelling game.

Automated algorithms will always have a significant part to play in search.
However we must not forget algorithms are written by people and people
ultimately decide the formula’s which they work by.

Neil says: ‘We know
Google has used real life humans for a number of years to help improve their
results. But we are seeing more and more human intervention removing sites that
are spamming the system’



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