Google Add Social Networking Element To Search

25 11 2008

Google have made a brave move by tinkering with their winning formula: search.

Last week Google announced on their official blog that they were introducing a new approach to search, which they have termed SearchWiki.

CNN was promoted to first result status

CNN was promoted to first result status

The changes allow users to promote, demote or comment on search results, so that the way in which the results are presented to you do not rely so heavily on the legendary Google algorithm. This is all in aid of helping Google focus on making search results more relevant to their users:

Have you ever wanted to mark up Google search results? Maybe you’re an avid hiker and the trail map site you always go to is in the 4th or 5th position and you want to move it to the top. Or perhaps it’s not there at all and you’d like to add it. Or maybe you’d like to add some notes about what you found on that site and why you thought it was useful. Starting today you can do all this and tailor Google search results to best meet your needs.

However, the service is open to abuse right from the start, as shown by this TechCrunch screenshot.

Google were quick to mention that the changes to the results only affect your own results, within your Google account, before online marketers arrived at Google HQ with torches and pitchforks:

The changes you make only affect your own searches. But SearchWiki also is a great way to share your insights with other searchers. You can see how the community has collectively edited the search results by clicking on the “See all notes for this SearchWiki” link.

Personally, I think Google’s general idea is good for users, but a nightmare idea for SEO marketers. An industry has boomed behind SEO in the past 5 years, and Google seem to be blowing it away in one go, giving users the ability to ‘delete’ listings for their account. Yet (and I avoided using ‘however’!), even the users suffer. Improving the quality of your results can only be positive for users but the sacrifice is it adds more clutter to Google’s perfectly simple design.

The main problem with the SearchWiki function: you cannot turn it off.

Google may think they are providing nothing but positives but they are making life for the people who are making them rich difficult, removing what little control they had over promotion of a site or listing. They are also messing with the layout design that sets them apart from their competitors. Google may find this kicks up a lot more fuss then they could have imagined.

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2 responses

25 11 2008
How to Create A Google Account « Just Google It

[…] your Google Account. Now you can sign in to things like Google Groups, creating searching profiles, take part in SearchWiki searching, all sorts. Good […]

28 11 2008
website design

Thanks for all the tips. This is Good information! Well done.

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