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Random Thoughts on Google SearchWiki

November 21st, 2008 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 7 Comments

I don’t know if you have noticed but Google launched Search Wiki yesterday.

With Google SearchWiki, signed-in Google users can now customize their search experience by re-ranking, deleting, adding and commenting on search results. 


  • The re-ranking changes you make are private and only affect your own searches. 
  • Your comments are visible to the public 

Random thoughts on Google Search Wiki:

  • You need to be very brave to change usability patterns in your world-leading-search-cash-cow (!)
  • Why wasn’t it tested as yet another interesting Google Lab project?
  • The arrows “soup” is really too much for the lonely-searcher –> way too many arrows if all you wanted is just search.
  • The comments I saw until now are mainly spam or not interesting.
  • The most important feature in Search Wiki is a way to turn it off but it is still missing…
  • It is a good time to change your default search engine ;)
  • Is it only me or Search Wiki have the lively smell all over it?

I must be missing something since the Google guys are very far from being stupid (to say the least) and it will be a very interesting to see if Google will change the search experience yet again with this move.


Update (10 Dec. 2008) : Marissa Mayer promised that Google Search Wiki would soon have a toggle button that allow people to turn it off (“early Q1.”) – I can’t wait… :)

Tags: Conspiracy · Google · Search

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1  Pasha // Nov 21, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Link please??

  • 2  Moti Karmona // Nov 21, 2008 at 7:38 am

    It is everywhere if you are signed-in to Google.
    Wait… I will attach some image to the post :)

  • 3  ripper234 // Nov 21, 2008 at 8:04 am

    I think it’s a good idea – I keep getting search results from ExpertExchange, which I can now filter. I hope Google is smart enough to learn that if I filter 1,2,10 results from EE, I want none of them.

    How helpful the comments will be is a different question – I agree with you that it’s dubious they will do more good than bad.

  • 4  Moti Karmona // Nov 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Currently, when you filter ExpertExchange (I hate them too :) search result for one query term, it doesn’t help you in your next search.

    Google have enough knowledge from their huge search logs to filter ExpertExchange and I don’t know if you have noticed but you don’t see them that often lately…

  • 5  ripper234 // Nov 21, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I saw them today several times. That website should just be erased from the internet (StackOverflow >>>> EE).

  • 6  ripper234 // Nov 21, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Blog-to-blog :)

    (Continue of the short discussion on my blog)

    They use their logs all the time, but here, for the first time, they get access to data the a user specifically doesn’t want a certain website (instead of just ignoring it in search results). In fact, Expert Exchange (which we already discussed at your blog) shows up first in my search results, I click it, so Google’s logs must think I really like the site.

    True, I almost always click on other results as well because I don’t really get my answer – but sometimes I don’t, and this is where the explicit NO vote comes in handy.

    You’re right that it dirties the interface, especially for novice users.

    You really should install some comment preview/editing plugin.

  • 7  Ofer Egozi // Nov 22, 2008 at 2:49 am

    Good questions…
    Note that with click logs you never know if that person didn’t click on a result because it was a no-so-great one, or a really-terrible one. The controls here give a much more direct indication.

    I don’t think this will go the lively way, but it will surely be demoted later. Google always had the “Dissatisfied? Help us improve” link at the bottom (Yahoo doesn’t, btw), so we might see this “feature” going half way between the two.

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