Google added a '+1' feature to promote certain results. Once a few people upvote a result, it's universally seen closer to the top of the results page.

The Google Help pages include a way to report some inappropriate or totally irrelevant results but not to '-1' them.

How do I downvote a result, if it's not useful to the subject (while still a bit relevant)?

Update. This question is about results when not logged in -- which is what everybody would see. Hiding results just for me isn't the matter.:)

  • It would be a nice feature, to keep google from getting harder to find the things I want to find. Jumping into a wrong or bad link for my search, teaches the search engine that I wanted to go there for that search. . . Ya right :-) Just having a button that allowed me at that moment to tell the machine "that sure wasnt it" would have helped.
    – Psycogeek
    Jan 5 '12 at 7:40
  • For what it's worth, the "+1" button is only one of the signals Google uses to rank search results. Since it's so easy to game, I'd expect that it's not a very strong signal. And they've not added the ability to "-1" a search result, nor do I expect them to. The best you can get is to block domains that consistently give poor results.
    – ale
    Jan 6 '12 at 14:09

The same reason Facebook won't add a dislike button; things can really get ugly if we allow people to dislike and down vote.
Take for example if all the Coke people start down voting Pepsi websites, or fans of one football team start down voting rival team's online presence. This can potentially turn into a full blown riot. Antagonizing is not the way to build a positive environment.

Plus, if you really don't like any of the results on the website, you can hit the back button and in some cases Google allows you to hide the website the next time you search for similar stuff again (as long as you are logged into Google).

  • 1
    Downvoting and upvoting would be useful if it were only used to personalize search results, instead of changing the results that other people saw. If downvoting only changed the results that the downvoter saw, I wouldn't see any harm in it at all. Apr 3 '13 at 23:25
  • @Shekhar How is upvoting your own sites different from downvoting competitors? Dec 11 '14 at 18:36
  • @TomášZato they would have the same effect if both actions have the same weight attached to them, which ranking algorithms often don't.
    – Shekhar
    Dec 11 '14 at 20:22
  • Then it's all up to the implementation. Since the implementation doesn't exist, you can't judge that for sure. Dec 11 '14 at 20:35
  • @TomášZato as far as pure ranking is concerned, yes I can't. But my answer has nothing to really do with actual ranking. It's more the social implications of having a -1 or thumbs down.
    – Shekhar
    Dec 11 '14 at 20:50

In a particular context, if you have some results with +1 , the irrelevant results will automatically go down! So try giving +1 for relevant results rather than -1 for irrelevant ones.

  • 1
    That is a terrible idea. Then all the results you see will be artificially boosted from the ones on page two, creating an imaginary larger quality gap between the results on pages one and two. Also, it does not answer his question. He wants to essentially create a differential of 2 between results, a sort of "good, neutral, bad" ranking. Your answer does not allow for that.
    – soandos
    Jan 5 '12 at 7:08
  • If it is not possible, just say so, no reason to suggest a workaround that does not really work so well...
    – soandos
    Jan 5 '12 at 7:14
  • Then all the results you see will be... .....results on pages one and two. BLAME GOOGLE :) What he wants is not possible, so I thought of providing a possible/reasonable answer.
    – Sanjay
    Jan 5 '12 at 7:17
  • @soandos Whats wrong in suggesting a possible workaround ? and if it didn't work, you can ask your money back! :D
    – Sanjay
    Jan 5 '12 at 7:22

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