Google Testing “Preferred Sites” Option In Search Preferences

Google Operating System discovered a new experiment Google is running named Preferred Sites. In short, users who are in this experiment will be able to add a list of sites in their search preferences page as their “preferred sites.” Google will then use that information to show those sites in a higher ranking order in the Google results for that user, when it makes sense. Let me share some examples of how this works.

If you set to be a preferred site and you are logged in to your Google account and conduct a search for space station, Google may bump up a result from CNN to the top of the Google search results. In addition, Google will clearly label why it is the top result, with a “My preferred site” label before the page’s URL. Here is a screen capture:

Preferred Site Google

Google explains that you must be part of the experiment to see this option in your search preferences. Personally, I do not see it. In addition, Google said you can be as specific as a subdomain, so if you want results from CNN, just use, but if you want results only from, you can do that as well.

This does remind me of the Google Coop, but it’s clearly different in that the results are not exactly tailored; they are promoted. In addition, this is an extension of Google’s SearchWiki.

For additional examples and screen captures, see Google Operating System.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Personalized Search | Google: SearchWiki | Google: Web History & Search History | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • chiropractic

    Glad you mentioned the “you must be part of the experiment” Barry because I began looking around before finishing the 2nd paragraph (add) and was thinking “I don’t see these options.” Reminds me to read first search later.

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