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Google SearchWiki Lets Users Customize Search

Yesterday Google debuted SearchWiki, which enables users to further customize their search results.

The search giant already uses previous search behavior to divine what a user is likely to click on in future searches. But moving forward, users can actually move search results either up or down.

"Tailor Google search results to best meet your needs," proclaimed the Google Blog, putting the service in context in its opening paragraph:

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.

Modifications made on a person's customized search will appear every time the user conducts the same search in the future. Access the capability by logging in to your customized Google page.

To make the most of crowdsourced wisdom, the function includes a built-in feature that enables searchers to "share insights." Access the community by clicking on the link marked "See all notes for this SearchWiki."

According to Google, customized search results will not affect the search results of other users. But it is likely a search edited the same way by a large number of people will ultimately be incorporated into the broader algorithm. Enabling searchers to customize search results will also provide valuable insight in what users actually mean when they type a query into the engine.

As of October, Google served 72% of searches in the US.


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