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Google Search Wiki

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 20 November 2008 18:16

Wiki or prelude to social search?

Don’t like those search results Google is giving you? Change them… In an interesting twist the folks at Google have let the cat out of the bag with a feature that graduated from Google labs some dubbed 'Social Search' - a system where users can annotate, save and re-organize a given query space.

Google is rolling out the 'Search Wiki' service starting today and the product manager hopes will  “(give) a user more control over their search results”.

Search Wiki


Google Talk

Now, this is only going to be for people that are actively logged in to their Google accounts and is a deeper level of personalization that we’ve ½ been expecting for some time now – but what will the spammers make of it?

Google’s Marissa Mayer was quoted as saying that it won’t affect natural organic search listings with a cryptic twist;

At this time we aren’t using SearchWiki to influence ranking but it is easy to see how that could happen in the future

And product manager Cedric Dupont echoed that by saying;

"We don't close any doors. We constantly evaluate signals - Search is adapting to the Internet as it becomes a more participatory medium. Now you have people telling us specific things about how they'd like to see their search results."

This could be specifically troubling for the web spammers as Dupont went on to say;

"You could imagine if we do see a particular site (about which) people have a unanimous opinion, that might trigger external things. Like maybe we should check out our spam control,”

Google Search Wiki


A sign of things to come?

While the re-ranking features are personal, the annotations apparently are public – which should make for some great entertainment to be sure. If not controlled I can see the spam being massive which begs the question; will it be valuable?

And they’re not alone with this one as Microsoft also has an experiment with user interactive searches called Urank

Here’s a vid from Google and an earlier one of someone playing with it in the Google Labs stage of development ( I haven’t seen the changes in my Google searches yet)

Google's New Social Voting Features - video powered by Metacafe

Read more;

Coverage on Cnet
Article on the NY Times
October write up on Google System
Read Write Web coverage (Oct as well)
Search Engine Land coverage



0 # Roland Grey 2008-11-20 18:25
I am not at all sure about the combination of google search and wiki's. Seems like two hot technologies that are brought together just for the fun of it. I simply don't get it.
- Roland
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0 # Dave 2008-11-20 18:37
Well it seems more like a 'social search' implementation.. the Wiki part is the annotations (which are public)...

So it's a cross of personalization , social search and a (SERP) wiki
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0 # Jun 2008-11-21 02:29
This feature for selected users yet? I have it in mine but not in my officemate's PC.
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0 # Dave 2008-11-21 07:38
Lucky bastard... still haven't seen it here... seems us Canucks have to wait...
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0 # Daniel 2008-11-22 03:32
This looks about the same as Microsoft's U Rank prototype?
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0 # Jun 2008-11-22 04:41
Would there be people who would use this feature? 'Coz I tried, but only for a while. Don't have much time to do the moving and removing...
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0 # Jeremy Rivera 2008-11-23 01:20
I say that it may be a positive step- I had a "bucket test" of this type of search several months ago and I like seeing the wiki feedback on the search results. I'm only worried of the possible abuse... I wonder what measure they're going to have to prevent abuse of the system
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0 # Mike Wilton 2008-11-23 23:24
I really don't see the general public using it. To be honest I don't even imagine the general public has any idea what the heck happened with all the new icons by their search results. And again that's assuming much of the general public stays logged in to search.

I really think this is going to be another one of those features that the SEM world is going to either love or hate and try their hardest to make it work to their advantage. How they monitor it's use should be interesting, though I would assume if an account that has a certain site in Webmaster Tools moves that site to the top of all their SERPS they'd pick up on it.
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0 # Jun 2008-11-24 16:41
what i don't like about this feature is the notes/comments. anybody can write anything in the comments. a good example would be the pr0n spam on tech crunch :evil:
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0 # Anna 2008-11-24 22:06
So, who would be able to use it? Is it for general public?
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0 # Mike 2008-12-01 08:07
I've seen this feature in Google over the past few days.

I'm a bit confused by it I initially pressed up on a listing and it rose to the top. I then pressed down on the same listing and rather than just moving down to the original position it disappeared from the results altogether.

When I logged out it returned again but then on logging in it disaapeared again.
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