Thursday, April 17

20 Questions with Udi Manber

Popular Mechanics has a rare interview with Udi Manber, VP of search quality at Google.

Just one of many interesting highlights:

There have been a lot of fads in search of late, such as Human Assisted Search and contextual search. Do those get folded into search as a whole? What are real trends in search and what are fluff?

So let me first tell you about Google. At Google we do not manually change results. For example, if we find for a particular query that result No. 4 should be result No. 1, we do not have the capability to manually change it. We made that decision not to put that capability in the algorithm—we have to go and actually change the algorithm. That is, we have to find what weakness in the algorithm caused that result and find a general solution to that, evaluate whether a general solution really works and if it’s better, and then launch a general solution. That makes the process slower, but it puts a lot more discipline on us and makes it more unbiased.
Matt Cutts made a minor correction concerning spam and legal reasons.

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