Google’s SearchWiki, which launched 16 months ago to a mix of fanfare and controversy, is a thing of the past. The ability to re-order, remove, and comment on search results has been replaced by a scaled-down version that Google is simply calling “stars” or “starred results.”
According to today’s announcement, the Stars feature will allow users to bookmark preferred pages so that those pages will show up when similar searches are done in the future. Google’s example is a search for “nfl”:
Starred results will appear above and separate from Google’s algorithmic results; using this feature won’t change the traditional 10 results that Google returns in reply to a search. The new feature is also integrated with Google Bookmarks and the Google Toolbar for quicker access to starred items. Starred results also works across Google properties, so if you star a result in Google Maps, for example, it may also appear as a starred result the next time you search on Google.com.
Stars are already appearing for some users, and Google says it will be available globally for all signed-in users in “the next couple days.”
As for SearchWiki, at the time of its launch, Google told Search Engine Land:
Before we launched SearchWiki, hundreds of thousands of people tested it and the feedback was positive.
But in today’s announcement of the new Stars in Search, Google is sending a somewhat different message:
In our testing, we learned that people really liked the idea of marking a website for future reference, but they didn’t like changing the order of Google’s organic search results.
For those who used SearchWiki, Google also says that all your edits will be preserved in your Google account.