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Why Doesn't Google's PageRank Allow Negative Votes?

Dave Aiello wrote, "Google has provided a great service to the Internet community by implementing its PageRank technology to help identify the most relevant information on the web. Google describes PageRank as follows:"

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search.

Dave Aiello continued, "The only issue I have with PageRank is that it doesn't provide a way for me to indicate that I do not agree with a link that I place on my website. If I am criticizing something in an article on my site, I would like to be able to link to it. But, under the PageRank algorithm, that counts as a sort of endorsement of the information pointed to by the link."

"I think that PageRank could deal with criticism fairly easily, if it could be expressed in the markup of pages. I would say that links coded normally could be considered positive references to the object page, but links coded with some sort of additional meta data could count as negative references."

"I'd be interested to know if other webloggers think that a system like this would work, and if it would be helpful in identifying information appearing on the Internet that is technically flawed, factually incorrect, or in some way reprehensible."

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