Posted November 29, 2007 9:15 am by with 11 comments

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If you happen to know someone that’s not a fan of having Wikipedia entries dominate every search on Google, you might want to share this news with them.

Google is testing a new search feature which allows you to promote up search results you like and completely nuke the ones you don’t.

Here’s how Google describes the experiment:

This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results. When you search for the same keywords again, you’ll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you’ve made. Note that this is an experimental feature and may be available for only a few weeks.


And here’s how it looks in practice:

Before you rush off to push all of your–or your clients’ web sites–to the top of Google, know this: the changes currently only apply to your personal search results.(via)

  • It’s interesting that they’re trying this. I doubt it will become a mainstay in the algo though. It’s all to easy to manipulate. They’re better off just tracking entries and exit times to websites. Thats still manipulatable, but less so than this method. But it would be a good feature for igoogle or something, to personalize your search more.

  • User voting seems like a great way to make the searching experience more personalized to an individual’s specific preferences and/or needs. I will be very interested, however, to see whether it catches on or not. My question is whether people will actually take advantage of this option.

  • Pingback: » New Google Experiment Allows Users To Vote Search Engine Optimization Journal()

  • @roguespammer – I’m sure it will remain a personalized option. Previous SEs tried to include “time on site” factors and they were stung.
    @Mike – if there are sites you don’t find useful – and Google can learn from that – then its a good tool.

    If nothing else, shady-SEOs can delete their client’s competitors from the SERPs and then send the client a screenshot – “see, you’re #1!!” 😉

  • I think its a great feature for personalized search – not so great for everyone…

  • I actually make a point of adding a “+wikipedia” modifier to any search query I enter into Google, especially when researching a specific topic such as a company. This is to ensure that a Wikipedia result ends up within the top 5 Google search results for the query. Does anyone else do this?

    I do believe Wikipedia is an immensely popular tool.

    I like the idea of user voting on search results, but my concern is with SEO types or domain squatters to pump their own results and put down everyone else. As they will be the most aggressive in the voting, whereas everyday users may not utilize the buttons to any great degree, their votes could carry an unnecessary and unhealthy weight. Does that make sense?

    Perhaps we could nip that potential problem by limiting its effectiveness to the user’s search preferences only and not having it affect the general Web search results everyone sees?


  • Jordan McCollum

    @Doug—If you’re using Firefox, you perform a Wikipedia search right in your search box (and a couple dozen others). That’s what I usually do if I want to look on Wikipedia. Which, GASP, sometimes I do!

    What? Don’t look at me that way. Where would you go if you wanted Marcel Duchamp’s brief bio ASAP?

  • It get’s worse – I quote Wikipedia in the new book. I know, I know, go ahead and pelt me.

  • It should be interesting to see if Google is able to build something like a community of spammers out of this.

  • It seems I’ve seen this story somewhere else, Andy. Did SEL or someone cover this already?

    Speaking of participating in Google’s UI experiments, check this out:

  • @Gab – you noticed this story was from Nov 29th, right? 😉