I've been following Bill Slawski's SEO by the Sea for a few years. I enjoy the presentation of search related patents and trends and the exposition of technology used by the big names in the search industry: Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft. Due to my recent intereset in recommendation systems (I now work at Outbrain) I searched back for Bill's posts on recommendation systems, ratings and raters. I came up with quite a lot:
- Google Approach to Making Online Ratings Easier... (on October 2, 2009)
- Innovating Product Reviews at Google (on June 16, 2006)
- The Growing Power of Online Reviews (on September 6, 2006)
- Google Reviews: Reputation + Quality + Snippets + Clustering (on April 6, 2007)
- Google's New Review Search Option and Sentiment Analysis (on June 12, 2009)
- How Google May Rate Raters (on June 15, 2009)
I wrote two comments on that post:
Shlomo Yona 11/03/2010 at 3:20 am
I wonder why not just use the actualaccess to a page through Google as a way to measure popularity — in a way, a Click Through Rate measure — number of actual clicks on the proposed page (link) by google on screen divided by the number of times it was shown
Yona 11/03/2010 at 4:24 am
Apparently, if a user actually clicks the link of a search result, then it means that there’s some sort of agreement with it. In cases where google can “see” (cookie of a google domain or of an affiliate) the page view timing or other clue of user satisfaction from the actual “landing” on the page, then it is an additional indication of satisfaction. So, perhaps raters are not so good and they are biased and not representative?!
- Opinion Summaries in Google Maps Reviews (on August 4, 2009)
While Google is in the search business and advertisements, Outbrain attempts to make its living from promoting content. The readers that get the recommendations come first -- they are offered with the highest quality recommendations, the revenue comes next. It makes sense as in the long run, the more satisfied the readers are the more they click on the recommendations. So, as long as the recommendations are of high quality, the traffic will drive profit, instead of doing it backwards (by attempting to influence and to control traffic with short term revenues as motivation).
See more on A view of Outbrain's algorithms' focus and on Bruni PR about Outbrain. Is Content promotion a new and a profitable way to advertise on the web?