The end of the black box – Google to make their search algorithm open source.

Apr. 01, 2009 | by David Hughes


Image Credit: Flickr user r o s e n d a h l

In a  unexpected move, Google have released their entire search algorithm to the open source community. In the associated press release Google stated the following reasons for the move:

“Google have always strived to bring better and more relevant results to the user. In recent years, however, improvements have plateaued. Every time we tweak the algorithm, there are thousands of people out there using techniques to try to turn the results to their own ends. Link buying and black hat spam tactics have made it increasingly difficult to sort the good sites from the spammy. In the end it’s the user who suffers.

This task is too big even for a company the size of Google. The logical conclusion is to open up the problem and try to crowd source better results.

We may see some teething problems at the start, but we think it optimally it will become self regulating and everyone will work together to make the best results happen.”


However, some industry experts think this is just another example of Google trying to secure its position in the market. A source at SEOMoz said;

“Google has always tried to be the people’s search engine. By getting the public involved in developing its software, this is now literally true. Some may start to question what value Google are adding; if they don’t control the search algorithm; how can they make billions of pounds through advertising on its results?”

Microsoft released a statement that they have studied the algorithm and have noted some bizarre elements; for instance; Google’s current stock price is one variable that is used to calculate the search engine’s results.

Yahoo were contacted; and declined to comment, except to state that Yahoo considered search dead and that directories and content portals were the tools of the future.

Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Web Spam has apparently stepped down in what the company say is a completely unrelated matter. However, inside sources say he is absolutely against the move and feels that Google have ‘thrown in the towel’.

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    Comments (6)

    • Ehsan

      April fools :pApr 1, 2009 05:41 pm

    • Dax Hamman

      This is of course all completely irrelevant as banners are the future - search is dead people.Apr 1, 2009 11:35 am

    • April Fool’s Day 2009 Worldwide - Vinay | Tech, Web 2.0, SEO & iPhone

      [...] Google to make their Search Algorithm ‘Open Source’ [...]Apr 1, 2009 11:10 am

    • Kun

      After studying the algorithm I've noticed that 76% of rankings are based on the flight of a butterfly in Angola.Apr 1, 2009 11:06 am

    • Vinay

      Great write up, I wish Google made this as their April Fool's Day annoucement.Apr 1, 2009 11:04 am

    • Adam Boulton

      Simply unbeliveable Apr 1, 2009 10:54 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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