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Google Coop

© May 2006 Anthony Lawrence
May 2006

I've been wishing Google would do this, and it's finally here: Google Coop lets web sites annotate and categorize their pages.

At the moment it is a subscription only service. That is, I create categories and labels for pages here and give them to Google, but you have to "subscribe" to my pages to be able to search using my categories and labeling. However, there's intimation that Google intends to use this for more general searches:

(from https://www.google.com/coop/docs/faq.html#topics):

7. Who will see my labels?

Users who subscribe to you will see your labels for relevant searches. As your labels become higher quality and more comprehensive, and as more users subscribe to you, your labels may start surfacing to more Google users than just those who explicitly subscribed. A number of factors help determine how broadly your labels appear -- such as the number of subscribers you have, how many websites you've labeled, and, most importantly, how often your labels make it easier for users to find what they're looking for.

In other words, if you have a quallity site and do quality labeling, Google will start to trust that and use it to improve their general search engine results.

This is wonderful news both for web site owners and searchers. Google Coop will improve search - who knows better than the author what a particluar web page is really about? If we (web site owners) accurately caegorize and label our content, it will be found more easily and searchers will be more happy with the results.

I've begun working on the necessary files to submit to Google. It is a tremendous amount of work, and I'll need to automate a good deal of it simply because of the sheer volume of content. But I think it is definitely worth the effort.

So far, this is very confusing. Coop doesn't let you subscribe to your own feeds (no idea why), but I signed up my wife to both mine (https://www.google.com/coop/profile?user=012770669227043667095) and to Digg. At first, she saw "Results from Digg" when searching for anything that matcheds one of Digg's labels. But my annotated urls didn't show up. A few minutes later, Digg stopped showng up also. I have no idea what's wrong here: try subscribing to my feed and others and see what works for you.

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Sat May 13 13:43:53 2006: 2017   TonyLawrence

Although my wife doesn't see anything, I can subscribe to Digg and see those results.

I don't know why Coop doesn't let you subscribe to your own pages: perhaps they imagine that we don't need to search our own stuff, but that's certainly not true for me.

Oh well: I'll keep adding annotations and maybe it will sort out eventually.

Mon May 15 15:57:42 2006: 2021   anonymous

How can you view other people's profiles to subscribe to? (outside of Google's recommended directory) How can people find your profile?

Mon May 15 18:42:25 2006: 2022   TonyLawrence

Basically, unless someone tells you where to go (as I did above), you can't.

Mon May 15 18:44:46 2006: 2023   TonyLawrence

But note also this: If, for example, you subscribe to my profile, then your profile is listed on my page - so people could find you through someone else's page.

Tue May 16 19:23:17 2006: 2025   anonymous

Will our tagging affect our rankings if people are not subscribed to us?

Tue May 16 20:46:51 2006: 2026   TonyLawrence

I wouldn't expect it to.


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