Google Co-Op – Annotating The Web

Looks like Google is working on a new service to allow users to add labels to topics that they (hopefully) know something about. The idea then is that other people then subscribe to your labels if they feel you are accurate and that then influences their search results. Sort of like routing by rumour protocols in computer networks.

So their intention is to get around the fact that webmasters don’t put explicit semantic markup in their pages yet by exploiting the fact that it’s much easier to get other people who know about topics to provide annotations for existing pages through a third party site that (many) others can then use in their normal searches.

I guess the first thing there that springs to mind for me is “what an opportunity for guerrilla marketing” – PR companies subscribe as “ordinary people”, but skew their recommendations towards the people paying them. If that sounds far fetched then don’t forget that techniques like this have been around for over 2 decades – consider it the marketeers version of computer security’s “social engineering“.

Initially found via the Evolving Trends blog.