You Can Hate (Block) But No Longer Love (Star) Google’s Search Results

Google has disabled the ability to star search results from within the Google search results page. As you may remember, Google replaced SearchWiki with starring results back in March 2010, about 16-months after Google launched SearchWiki. Now that Google has re-introduced a way to block sites in Google, Google has determined you no longer need to star search results from the search results page. This does not mean that you can no longer see stars in your Google search results. It does however mean that you will no longer be able to star results directly from the search results. Instea [...]

Google May Let You Blacklist Domains To Fight Spam

Ready for do-it-yourself spam fighting? Google has discussed giving searchers the ability to remove domains from its search results. That's according to Matt Cutts, Google's top spam fighter, who's been posting frequently in a Hacker News discussion about Google's search quality/spam blog post from Friday morning. In the discussion, Hacker News user "bradly" asks if Google would consider letting searchers remove domains from search results themselves. Cutts replies, "we've definitely discussed this," and seems to hint that some kind of announcement may be on the way: Matt, Can you spe [...]

Google Kills SearchWiki, Replaces It With Starred Results

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 The ability to re-order, remove, and comment on search results has been replaced by a scaled-down version that Google is simply calling "stars" or "starred results."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 fea [...]

Google SearchWiki: You Can ‘Check Out,’ But Your Results Don’t Leave

After months of requests from its users, Google has finally added a way to turn off its SearchWiki tool. But, while you can "check out" of using SearchWiki, your customized search results don't leave. More on that in a moment. Users can turn SearchWiki off (and on) by clicking on the "Preferences" link next to the Google search box. Down near the bottom of the preferences page, you'll see a check box that disables SearchWiki. But all this checkbox does is remove the ability to use SearchWiki; if you've voted pages up or down, or left comments in the SearchWiki system, those will sti [...]

Google Enables Simpler SearchWiki Notes Sharing

Brian Ussery noticed Google has changed the way you can share your SearchWiki notes in the search results. If you are logged in to Google and you have notes on search results, you can share those notes with friends. Here is how: (1) Search on the query at Google and the results should show up with a link at the top to "share these notes": (2) Click the link and a URL will show up in a text box, copy and paste the link and send it to a friend: (3) Here is a preview of that result for you to see: [...]

Google Is Testing SearchWiki As Way To Remove AdWords Ads

Last night I discovered reports via WebmasterWorld that shows Google testing a flavor of Google SearchWiki directly on the paid ads, also known as AdWords results. Here is a screen capture of that in action: I have emailed Google for a statement and I will update this post when I receive one. If you want to discuss this with other SEMs, just the Sphinn thread. Postscript: Here is a statement I received from a Google spokesperson: As part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, we are currently running an experiment in which users can customize the ads that appear in the "Sp [...]

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 [...]

Does Sound Encourage Searchers To Use SearchWiki?

Michael Arrington went on a rant about Google testing sound effect in the new Google SearchWiki. In short, Michael is upset that Google would spend the time adding sound effects over adding an option to turn off SearchWiki. I do agree with with Michael on this, but we do know that feature is coming in early 2009. But if you watch Michael's video, using SearchWiki becomes addictive when you hear the sound effects - at least to me. Watch the video: I can see searchers hear the sound and then be led to remove or promote more results, because it makes it more fun. However, I think [...]

Google SearchWiki To Get Off Button, Might Get Used As Ranking Signal

TechCrunch has coverage of Google's Marissa Mayer talk at Le Web conference in Paris, France. In that talk, Mayer said SearchWiki will gain an option to let users turn it off and reiterated statements that Google's previously made, that SearchWiki data might be used in the future to help rank ordinary search results. After SearchWiki launched, a number of bloggers including TechCrunch were vocal in wanting a way to turn the feature off, since once it is enabled, there is no removing it. However, Google stuck to its guns that an opt-out wouldn't be offered any time soon. Now that's changed. [...]

Q&A With Google On SearchWiki (Don’t Expect An Opt-Out Soon)

Four days after it launched, Google SearchWiki continues to attract much attention from critics and fans alike. Meanwhile, there remain questions on how it all works, under the hood. Below, a follow-up to my Google SearchWiki 101: An Illustrated Guide article from last week, answering some of the remaining questions. Oh, and for those looking for a SearchWiki opt-out, the short answer is don't expect one anytime soon. I've organized this article as a Q&A, though the questions and answers are paraphrased from the conversation I had today with Cedric Dupont, Google's SearchWiki pr [...]

Google’s SearchWiki Struggling Through Its First Week

Google's SearchWiki is off to a rough start in the user feedback/public relations department, and has already been knocked offline by some kind of technical issue. SearchWiki usage seems fair to strong, depending on the queries you're looking at, but is it the type of usage Google wants? Let's take a look at SearchWiki's first handful of days out in the wild. The Reviews Are In... ... and they're not very good. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington was one of the first to voice his complaints: "This new stuff is a mess of arrows and troll comments and stuff moving around the page. That doe [...]

Google SearchWiki 101: An Illustrated Guide

Google SearchWiki -- a new feature that allows you to move and comment on search results -- has been out for less than a day, and it's amazing to see how much confusion (as well as commentary) there is already developing. So below, some clarification on how it works, opportunities search marketers should consider, some privacy issues and ideas for improving it. What is SearchWiki? Go read our Google SearchWiki Launches, Lets You Build Your Own Search Results Page post! In short, it allows you to move a listing higher in the search results, or move a listing lower in the results o [...]

Google SearchWiki Launches, Lets You Build Your Own Search Results Page

Google will announce today (Update: official announcement) the launch of SearchWiki, a major addition to its user interface that allows users to edit search results. When using SearchWiki, you can re-order, remove, or add web pages to the search results for any query. You can also add notes to specific listings. You have to be logged in to a Google account so that the changes you make will be saved and shown the next time you run the same search. "This is a way for search to adapt to a more interactive experience," says Google Product Manager Cedric Dupont. "We ran a bunch of experiment [...]

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