CNN reports Google is researching if it can use the data collected by its +1 button to rerank search results and combat spam. Seems like a nice idea, although it's only a matter of time until spammers will find a way to use this to their advantage. Shouldn't be too hard to vote your way to the top with the help of a small botnet.
While not surprising, the move would bring Google's search engine into the social networking era, while simultaneously creating a new avenue for blackhats to manipulate search results and potentially incurring the wrath of trust-busting authorities.
Google confirmed its plans in an e-mail to Wired.com.
"Google will study the clicks on +1 buttons as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results," a spokesman wrote. "The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. For +1's and other social ranking signals, as with any new ranking signal, we'll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality."