Most people who work with websites, from users of Scour.com to the average web user, understands that Google uses a complex system for determining how a site ranks in searches. This system helps to determine which sites are the most relevant for certain topics and lists the best choices at the top. One has to wonder if humans could do a better job of determining which search results were more relevant.
The goal of many SEO specialists is to figure out that system to help their clients rank higher for their sites. Of course, Google changes it every so often with updates such as Panda to prevent webmasters from manipulating the search results. A better option might be to use humans to tell you when a website provides valuable information on a specific topic.
The Power of People
That is exactly what Scour.com aims to do with their search engine. While they will still use the results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo, “The Big Three”; they are going to temper that with comments and rankings from people that use their search engine. This way, when a website gets several votes up, Scour will know it’s a great site for a particular search.
The Problem with Algorithms
The main issue with algorithms that search engines use is that after a certain amount of time people figure them out. They watch the results and see what top listings have in common and then use that to drive their own websites higher in the searches. Now, this is an oversimplified definition of how it works, but the point is that people work hard to learn how to manipulate the results.
This is not always a bad thing if you have a good solid website that is valuable to certain users. However, there are plenty of websites that are just looking to get ranked higher and are not concerned about providing quality on their website. While Google has made adjustments over the years with updates to prevent this from happening, website owners still learn how to get past Google. Scour.com ranks things differently.
When you use live people as part of your search engine and listen to their opinions, you get a better result. They do not have to be taught how to look at a website for relevancy. Since they are searching for the same results as someone else, they can tell you if the website has anything worthwhile to contribute. They can look at the images, graphics, and text, unlike a search engine spider crawling the website that can only see text.
Finally, people look past keywords, links, and other tools to see that the core content of the website is valuable to them. It may not have all of the fancy things that Google, Bing, or Yahoo likes, but it provides key information on a topic. While you hope Google will recognize the value, you know a person will.