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November 25, 2008

SearchWiki according to me

I don't usually post about already well covered news, but in the case of the Google SearchWiki I will make a small exception.  Search Wiki allows you to manipulate the search engine results and leave comments for others about a result.

There is an awful lot more information on the actual Google blog, Danny Sullivan wrote a nice guide as well, and there's a Q&A with Google about it as well.

I've asked around and most general users don't seem to have even noticed it was there.  My mum definitely has no idea what the whole thing is about, because she doesn't want to break anything, she isn't going to press on any of the buttons.  The more savvy users right down to the programmers said they weren't bothered with it either.

I keep forgetting its there and so I haven't used it very much.  I think that we would all begin to use it if we started to see the benefit.  Sadly in order to see the benefit, you have to start using it!

Google said “It’s a new way to empower users. You can remember answers to repeat queries. It lets you add your personal touch to our algorithms” (See the Q&A doc).

I genuinely think it is indeed a tool to help you alter the results to suit your particular slant on a particular query.  I also think it's a pretty cool way to collect a huge amount of user data and also human edited results provide more information on the authority of the resource.

Remember how we look at Social Media sites like Digg and said that the voting was warped because of it being so easy to manipulate?  Well seeing this is in a "closed" environment, meaning that nobody else but you gets to see it, there is no reason to manipulate the results.  Also the issue with the weighting of each vote is also no issue because it's proper to a single user.

1-800-GOOG-411 was all about collecting phonemes to feed into a machine to make voice search possible today.  I think SearchWiki is along the same lines.


Wayne Smallman said...

With search being Google's biggest service, there must have been tense moments when they flicked the switch on this one!

Personally, I don't really like it. I like the idea, just not the implementation.

Being minimal is what Google do. Being self-explanatory SearchWiki isn't. And it's not a Wiki either.

BTW, thanks for following on Twitter...

Geoff Jackson (zigojacko) said...

Hmmm, I don't like it either, I don't want to manipulate my search results or "alter my results to suit my particular slant on a particular query". I honestly don't see the benefit... And this is why.

If I wanted to search for something specifically, I would search for it using a direct search string (it would be on the first page of results). That's good enough for me.

If I wanted to search for a broader term, such as [hair accessories] then it would produce the best matched results, I would filter through my results as I would anything. Once I have found a decent site with what I wanted, I bookmark it (or remember it, if it is one I am familiar with).

Why would I want to waste my time, moving results up and down the search rankings? I really don't get it... But that's just my opinion ;)

I would be interested to know that if this user data gathered will in someway in the future influence the organic listings and mean a massive change in the way we operate SEO.

(P.S - Please don't think I make a habit out of searching for hair accessories :P)

Oh, and while I'm here Miss CJ, how can I contact you? Email, social media profile etc? The message facility on Sphinn wasn't working when I tried. Thanks

CJ said...

Hey Geoff,

try me on Twitter:

I'm on Linkedin as well:

Hey Wayne,

I like your tweets :)


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Science for SEO by Marie-Claire Jenkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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