Recently Bambi Fransisco asked Googler Peter Norvig about using wikis in search, in response to Wikia's search threat. Peter Norvig stated
Feedback from users is important, and we will continue to use the sources of user feedback we have been using, and will experiment with more in the future. I think that Google Co-op Custom Search Engine may be the largest current collection of user-generated information for search.
With everyone and their dog learning copy writing, how to pander to audiences, and doing some sort of linkbait to get a vote here and there, search engines are going to have to look for other signs of trust. If they can gain access to offline content that is one potential source of editorial signal for quality, but another which may be equally appealing is passionate guides created by trusted online experts. It takes a lot more to be included in a trusted topic specific search engine than it does to create a single linkbait. And imagine if they looked for co-citation data in those guides. Not sure if it will scale, but if it does, Google furthers the importance of search while gaining a signal of quality that nobody else has access to, which would make it appealing to find a signal of quality there, if there is one, especially since few marketers are talking about it.
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