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Google's Secret Lab

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the everyone-loves-a-mystery dept.

Google 203

Voelspriet writes "The mystery behind eval.google.com should be solved soon. It's a secret lab of Google. Real people, from all over the world, are paid to finetune the index of Google, reveals Searchbistro, a new weblog of the Dutch reporter Henk van Ess. A Flash-movie shows some screens of Google's 'Rater Hub', Full details about Eval.Google will be published later this week.

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hi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695727)

FP niggers

US NIGGERS ONLY FAIL IT EVERYWHERE CUZ OF RACISM (1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695774)


Oops! (1)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695741)

Looks like all of those people from around the world will be getting paid for doing nothing while the site's slashdotted!

Re:Oops! (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696149)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the article say that if you don't have a password you will get a blank page?

Lab. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695749)

And from this article we learn what, that google has a feedback facility?

Re:Lab. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696112)

And from this article we learn what, that google has a feedback facility?

Google have secrets you can't even begin to imagine, like this toast [tinyurl.com] !

Eval?... (2, Funny)

Jambon (880922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695750)

...I thought they said they wouldn't do any of that?

Whew! (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695755)


<sarcasm>
Finally...past noon on the East Coast and still no Google Slashdot story....I was beginning to get worried.
</sarcasm>

From TFA:

What is it? It's a lab of humans from all over the world (from China to The Netherlands, from Korea to Brasil) They are paid to check search results of Google every day. Most of the employers, called international agents by Google, were recruited through universities all over the world. The aim is to avoid spam, to get the right sites at the top of the listing and to test new features, not shown to the public yet.

OK...so the best search engine is people. Well, as long as you have the scratch to pay these international agents (which Google certainly has), it seems like a great idea. If this arrangement can cut some of the spam, hallelujah, although I'm wondering just who chooses which sites are the 'right sites' to ocupy the top of the list...

Anyone know where I can put in an app?

Re:Whew! (3, Interesting)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695872)

They've had these at Yahoo! since the beginning - they're paid surfers. Their title is "Surfer".

This is just a plain-old good idea, I'm not surprised that Google is doing it, or that Yahoo! did it first.

Disclaimer: I used to work for Yahoo!

Also, the majority of the female Surfers at Y! were gorgeous when I worked there. But that's neither here nor there.

Re:Whew! (2, Funny)

pizen (178182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695937)

<Charlton Heston voice>
so the best search engine is people.
</Charlton Heston voice>

Google is the Soylent Green of search engines!

Biased lab. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695960)

I've been finding google's viability as a search engine to be verry questionable in rare moments. It's jest that brightens my day, but then I wonder. They have a pre-calculated site rating mechanism situated by a lobby, and there are moments that I find myself adding more words to a search and getting more results than if I had searched for a single word. So, hesitantly, I googled for that related subject matter and found this document [searchengineshowdown.com] explains much of the hidden technical merits google has been found lacking and that some people like me experience. Quoting from that article, as to not induce a website failure;
PHRASE SEARCH INACCURACIES: Phrase searches do not always work right on Google. Sometimes this is due to Google finding the words within the phrase query in anchor text on pages that link from that anchor text to the page shown as a result. But the words do not necessarily appear in exactly the correct order within the anchor text. See the search on "american medical association" for example, a problem that dates back to at least 2000. Another example from Dec. 22, 2002: A search on "montana mountain ranges" found a page that contained "Montana's Mountain Ranges" but did not contain the exact phrase given. Status: Ongoing
Despite these difficulties, I actually enjoy hearing about Google and its success. One day, Google may be the OS of choice for libraries; and the Libraries of Congress measurment may see a successor in a new undesignated rate by Google designers.

Re:Biased lab. (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696048)

If you're looking for an exact phrase you can just put the query "in quotes" and it'll look for exact matches.

Re:Biased lab. (2, Interesting)

moonbender (547943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696190)

Are you kidding? He obviously knows about the phrase-feature - doesn't everybody? - the problem he describes is that it doesn't really work properly. Try the example queries he quotes. Result 2 when searching for exact matches on "montana mountain ranges" is indeed Montana's Mountain Ranges (put in bold so there is no doubt it's this phrase that triggers the hit).

Of course, this isn't so much a bug as a documented feature - Google automatically searches for morphologically similar keywords. But what typically is useful can be annoying when you really do want exact matches and nothing else.

Re:Whew! (1)

alnjmshntr (625401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695986)

So much for Google being all about geeky search algorithms... I guess that doesn't work.

Re:Whew! (1)

joepeg (87984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696003)

Det. Thorn: It's people. Google is made out of people. They're making our search engine out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for answers. You've gotta tell them. You've gotta tell them!

Hatcher: I promise, Tiger. I promise. I'll tell the exchange.

Det. Thorn: You tell everybody. Listen to me, Hatcher. You've gotta tell them! Google is people! We've gotta stop them somehow!

Soylent Google (5, Funny)

DuckofDeath87 (816504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696047)

Google is made from people!

Re:Whew! (1)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696073)

What is it? It's a lab of humans from all over the world (from China to The Netherlands, from Korea to Brasil) They are paid to check search results of Google every day. Most of the employers, called international agents by Google, were recruited through universities all over the world. ...in other words, they're all on the Global Frequency.

Obligatory Matrix Tie-in (1)

Wattsman (75726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696130)

TFA:
What is it? It's a lab of humans from all over the world (from China to The Netherlands, from Korea to Brasil) They are paid to check search results of Google every day. Most of the employers, called international agents by Google, were recruited through universities all over the world. The aim is to avoid spam, to get the right sites at the top of the listing and to test new features, not shown to the public yet.


SEO employee: Our client listings got kicked from the first page of Google. I don't know how.
SEO boss: I know. They changed their methods.
SEO employee: Are they using agents?
SEO boss: Yes.
SEO employee: God damn it.
SEO boss: You have to focus. Not everyone is using Google. There are people who still search through MSN and AOL. You can do it.
SEO employee: All right.
SEO boss: Go.

Bias? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696155)

It's going to turn into a Slashdot GroupThink (tm) situation. Indexing must be done without bias, something that MOST (certainly not at /.) are not.

Re:Whew! (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696244)

Well, as long as you have the scratch to pay these international agents

I assume you mean "agent" to read "sweatshop worker"

Asia and South America? Where the wages are "extreme" to say the least.

Re:Whew! (1)

DrinkingIllini (842502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696328)

Anyone know where I can put in an app?

They'd put these little quiz/application things in the student newspaper here (UIUC) all the time last year. It usually consisted of a bunch of pattern finding / abstract thought questions. I think this must be what they were actually applications for.

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695757)

Wednesday, June 1. 2005

Google Secret Lab, Prelude

It's one of the best kept secrets of Google. It's a mystery on Webmasterworld. Also in Europe (France) they don't know what to expect from that odd URL http://eval.google.com./ [eval.google.com] Click it and you get ...nothing. The site reveals itself only if you have the proper login and if you use a network known by Google. Residues of Eval.google are found on the web, but the full content of the mystery site has never been published before. Here it is: the real story about Eval.Google. And welcome to the first entry in Search Bistro. .

What is it? It's a lab of humans from all over the world (from China to The Netherlands, from Korea to Brasil) They are paid to check search results of Google every day. Most of the employers, called international agents by Google, were recruited through universities all over the world. The aim is to avoid spam, to get the right sites at the top of the listing and to test new features, not shown to the public yet.

I call it Google's Secret Evaluation Lab, but the real title is less adventurous; 'Rater Hub Google'. The coming weeks I will reveal all I know about this lab. To keep you busy, here's a Flash-movie from a part of the site. Stay tuned, next posting will be on Wednesday.

Evil (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695758)

Thought it said "evil.google.com" for a sec then instead of "eval.google.com".

Re:Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695911)

THAT'S REALLY FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if it's not +5 already then it should be. you see, it said eval! but he thought it said evil! like google! haha! fuck the system!

Re:Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696164)

You're not very nice.

Re:Evil (1)

mbaudis (585035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696214)

he is just eval.

secret lab (1)

mindwar (708277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695759)

.. every mad genius need a secred lab

Re:secret lab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695983)

That and a spell checker...

YAGS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695765)

Jesus christ on a stick. Yet another Google story. Who'd have thunk it?

Re:YAGS (2, Funny)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695866)

I'm sorry, but "Jesus Christ on a Stick" has already been patented by my company. Prepare to be sued.

Re:YAGS (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696137)

Who new Pontius Pilate posted to slashdot?

If it weren't for GOOGLE, NO Lesbian STRAPON PORN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696293)

If it weren't for GOOGLE, NO Lesbian STRAPON PORN!

I therefore welcome these Jesus Christ on a Stick google overlords!

Compute Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695767)

So when they said that it's all algorithmic, they were referring to Magrethea's latest computer?

Wouldn't this look better? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695770)

Secretlab.google.com ?

make sure you don't let google search it or it might be come known.

Re:Wouldn't this look better? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696339)

Hmmm... So, let's say you are a 31337 h4x0r and you are looking to 0wn some b0x. Which host would you try? eval.google.com secretlab.google.com The latter, of course....then you can say 'w00t! 1 0wnz0r3d g00gl3's s3cr37l4b!!!

Eval ~ Evil??? (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695775)

Could "eval" be a misspelling of "evil", proving that Google has been knowingly "eval" all along? Time to switch search engines!!!

Re:Eval ~ Evil??? (1)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695797)

That would have been one of the best google jokes ever.

Re:Eval ~ Evil??? (1)

kloidster (817307) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695860)

all your base are belong to google

Dr. Eval (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695782)

Is the secret eval lab built in to the side of a volcano?

Don't you love it (1)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695783)

When the submitter of the story writes the summary as if he were an objective 3rd party when he isn't? Far as the actual thing goes, it's interesting but so far very few details. I want to know how much these guys get paid and how long they work each day, and where do I apply if it's decent? ;)

evil.slashdot.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695784)

I prefer the super-super-secret Google lab at evil.slashdot.com, where searches are reviewed by frickin' sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads.

Do no eval (5, Funny)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695793)

This is proof... Google is slowly turning eval!

</bad puns>

Re:Do no eval (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696054)

Hi, I'm calling from a mile away. I saw that joke coming. Yes, "evil" and "eval" have similar spellings. Hardy har har.

Real people? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695794)

Damn I always imagined Google would have legions of tiny googlenauts or elves to do this sort of thing.

Re:Real people? (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695943)

No, they're pigeons. [google.com]

Oh no! Secret labs! (1)

half_d (314945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695799)

Are the US going to attack Google, like they did with Irac's secret labs??

Re:Oh no! Secret labs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696001)

Maybe once we figure out where Irac is. Moronc.

Re:Oh no! Secret labs! (1)

chadbailey (886903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696308)

No, and learn how to spell.

There aren't many people evaluating pages (1)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695814)

There aren't many people evaluating pages. It's page rank [netcraft.com] is only 513,258; right after the ever-talked-about talk.guns.ru.

Apparently, the pigeon's union... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695818)

....wanted too much in the way of medical.

surprise ? (1, Insightful)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695830)

Is this really so surprising to people that google has a human feedback loop ?

Their pagerank system, while incredibly good, is not infalliable, and requires some checks and balances.

Did they ever say directly that they didnt use humans to check up on the system?

I dont really see what the big secret is here..

Re:surprise ? (1)

SolidGround (883883) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696189)

It means that Google either retired/fired all of its pigeons (http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html [google.com] ) in favor of humans, or it reveals that the pigeons were actually peons all along.

Gotta love the mainstream media. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695835)

Real people, from all over the world

As opposed to imaginary people that exist only in my head.

Forget that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695842)

I want to know the secret behind evil.google.com

Re:Forget that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695874)

You just want to see the flash-movie of Google's 'Hater Rub.'

Hey, wait a minute...! (2, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695843)

I thought Google was all about NOT being eval. What gives?

Google Slashdotted (1)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695853)

Looks like Google has finally been slashdotted, or well at least a tiny part of Google.

Secret Lab? (4, Funny)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695858)

Don't tell me it's in a supposedly inactive volcano on a south-pacific island, perhaps guarded by large numbers of minions in silver jumpsuits.

'Cause while I'm sure there are many Phd's there... I'd like to think none of them went to evil medical school.

NB: Not responsible for the reactions of the humor impaired.

Re:Secret Lab? (1)

mbbac (568880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696117)

You're thinking of Google's Secret Lair.

Fp 6naa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695888)

would c4oose to use

Erotic Writing (1)

mizel (888623) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695890)

I especially like the last link in the flash-movie:
"Erotic Writing"
Looks like this google agent is enjoying his job.

Let me guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695895)

And they're building a giant laser?

Google Rocks! (1, Insightful)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695897)

Google I love you! Google! I want to have your babies! Gooooooogle!!!

Re:Google Rocks! (3, Funny)

GraZZ (9716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696091)

Insightful? WTFBBQ?!

Re:Google Rocks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696205)

Half Man. Half Search Engine. All Cop.

Re:Google Rocks! (2, Funny)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696207)

Insightful? WTFBBQ?!

Dude, I don't know, but shutup about it.

If the people find some infinite wisdom in it then more points for me :)

Can't get to the link... (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695900)

...because it's already slashdotted! Since the slashdot effect is almost always guaranteed here at slashdot, what can really be done to avoid it? We do really need a solution to this effect.

What about slashdot editors setting up a mirror before posting?

Re:Can't get to the link... (1)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695920)

Read the Slashdot FAQ, moron. If users of Slashdot who subscribe (and thus can see the story early) would CoralCache it and then post a link, we'd all be saved.

proof of their pur eval (1)

th0mas.sixbit.org (780570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695906)

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/stats/hosters [netcraft.com]

proof of their eval - they are #4 most phishiest hosting company!

(anyone have an explanation for this?)

Re:proof of their pur eval (1)

topper24hours (853597) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696053)

Maybe they consider companies than have toolbar products that take over the standard msn search and switch it to google for example to be phishing products somehow?

This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

bigwayne (650386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695912)

It doesn't surprise me how they have this set up.

The system is widely distributed (read: international), low cost (read: $20 an hour), with no single point of failure, every person can be replaced if they break down, because it's been factored into the design! They apply the same Zerg mentality to everything!

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696160)


In Sovjet Russia, Zerg mentality is you!

Google is great and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695918)

... but I will be impressed when regular expressions are supported.

(Yes, I know it is hard, but isn't that why Google hires all those smart people?)

Mirror!!! (2)

Cavalkaf (656724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695923)

Managed to get the files just before it got slashdoted :-D http://cavalkaf.frihost.net/mirror/secret_google/ [frihost.net] (Entire Page) http://cavalkaf.frihost.net/mirror/secret_google/s ecretlab.swf [frihost.net] (Flash Movie) Oh, and visit my forum http://forum.scuzzstuff.org/ [scuzzstuff.org] while you are at it ;-)

Re:Mirror!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695940)

And exactly why couldn't you use CoralCache? Too much bandwidth, too easy, too... logical? Let me guess, all of the above? Oh, you just wanted to karma whore and plug your dumb forum.

Unfortunately... (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695926)

... neither eval.google.com nor searchbistro.com were available for comment :P

Re:Unfortunately... (4, Informative)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696045)

Eval.google.com isn't down, it just doens't respond to you unless you're a known ip.

Oh My God! (3, Funny)

tfaust (888625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695939)

It's made out of people! eval.google.com is people! It's people!

Raters (0, Flamebait)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12695967)

I wonder if they use meta-moderation?

[rant]

Do the folks who meta-mod the raters actually get more rater points, or is it like a certain well-known site (hint: rhymes with "cashbot") where you can meta-mod all the time and never get to mod?

Every time I ignore that certain site (rhymes with "'stache rot") for a few weeks and come back, voila, I'm rewarded with mod points. I don't like that. When I come back after being away, I want to spout off, not critique. Gimme mod points after I've been active every day for a while, so I know what to do with them.

[/rant]

Re:Raters (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696083)

"... I want to spout off, not critique...."

So it works just fine.

Re:Raters (1)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696144)

my sig says it all

abc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12695991)

abc

A few years old (2, Informative)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696002)

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/11972.htm [webmasterworld.com] discusses people getting referrals from eval.google.com back in 2003, so it seems this has been around for a while.

Google, google google, google (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696014)

Someone should create a slash google site.

$20 an hour (1)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696019)

Many people are asking as to how much Google pays those international agents. The complete page of the blog didn't load (obviously /. ed) and the alternate text for the image read "... $20 per hour.." so thats how much they are paying

Am I the only one... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696035)

Who read eval.google.com as evil.google.com? I figured they had taken the "be good" option to a new level and had locked all their evil stuff away to its own site;-)

Ahh, so these guys are the reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696050)

...that everytime I search for pretty much *any* kind of product info, the first three or four pages of info are filled with fly-by-night dot bombs trying to sell me crap?

Is it really so difficult to find decent product reviews these days? /gripe

Like /. Moderation?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696069)

If these reviewers do for search results what /. moderators do for comments like these, the world will be a better place for it.

Re:Like /. Moderation?? (1)

downsize (551098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696266)

right, that's what we need to make this world a better place, a bunch of idiots unable to separate their feelings or opinions on the results - or simply not intelligent enough to figure out if the search result is helpful or not to the searcher.

how do you know I don't want to see baseball links when google for '...midget and with a bat'

Slashdotted. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696078)

Slashdotted already. Google cache anyone?

minority report (1)

SirChris (676927) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696101)

so basically they have a group of people like minority report does behind the scenes doing all the real work

manual review...not a 'secret lab' (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696111)

At first glance this looks like a portal for people to manually review serps and provide feedback for the serps that are in beta. Yahoo does this. Google has recruited people over the past year to review results (first indication of this came from a craiglist ad). If this is true then it's cool to witness how this process is accomplished. While on the subject of monitoring serps, here's a way to search on Yahoo and tune [yahoo.com] your results.

its not slash dotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696175)

actually if you read the pasted in story from a user above... it explains that this website comes up blank regardless, unless your computer is in a trusted ip space or you give the appropriate get parameters...

Agggh!!! (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696177)

Google searches are made out of people! They're people!

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696186)

Nope, not to rate Google's index. Workers are not directly employed by Google but by a third-party company [payrolling.com] . Employees sign a non-disclosure form. Pays fairly well, but no benefits.

Make your own news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12696210)

Instead of finding News for nerds or Stuff that matters just start your own site and put one article on it and link it to slashdot!

Author: Voelspriet
Author Email: henk@vaness.nl
Page: http://www.searchbistro.com/ [searchbistro.com]
Creation Date: May 22, 2005
Registered to: voelspriet.nl

Could you be a little more obvious?

I bet their labs have more than that! (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12696302)

I bet they have a thousand monkeys working on a thousand typewriters.

Burns: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times!
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