Saturday, November 22, 2008

Google unveils SearchWiki

On Thursday, Google unveiled their newest attempt to deliver the most relevant search results. SearchWiki allows a logged-in user to move results up and down, delete results they don't like, and even leave comments attached to results.

The screenshot below shows a search for "google searchwiki". I've highlighted the Promote, Remove, and Comment icons that appear next to each result. Note that the news result (ranked first) doesn't have any icons- Google always wants that result to be at the top.

I decided to leave a comment on the YouTube video, and as I entered the comment, Google warned me it would be visible to everyone. I also chose to promote the result. Now I can see my comment as well as 16 people who clicked to promote the result and 3 who wanted it removed:

This ability to give personal input to search results is only available to logged-in users. If you are not logged in (you don't see a "Sign out" link in the upper-right corner of the results page), you won't be able to vote.

It's not clear how Google will use personal votes to promote or degrade results, but you have to believe it will be a factor when ranking results in the future, a Human PageRank if you will. It's certainly something other search engines have been thinking about.