Google Gets Personal
In a report from, of all places, Yahoo! News, Google’s new Search Wiki is out and it gets personal. No not like that but it actually sounds like 2 years of yammering about personalization of search may finally be more reality than hype.
The new service unveiled on Thursday by Google allows users to remove ‘bad’ results from future search queries.
For now, Google simply wants to make specific sets of results more useful to each individual that comes to its search engine, said Marissa Mayer, who oversees the company’s search products. Users will have to have a personal login to take advantage of the editing feature.
“It should make the search results more dynamic,” she said.
Sounds like an understatement to me. The idea of being able to ‘vote a bad result’ off a SERP is pretty interesting especially to search marketing types. For years and years the pundits of search marketing have hammered the ‘content is king’ mantra into our heads. This year’s PubCon audience heard much the same from panel after panel. Well, now with the start of a program that can allow searchers to say that a site doesn’t meet their needs, which will be almost solely content driven due to user experience (not necessarily on how many links a site has garnered) then this could be a bit of a game changer. The idea for the users of this service is to get their attention then keep it when they insure your page shows up for that search each time. Traditional search is more of a ‘catch and release’ mentality while this means that searchers can hold on to their results.
The system allows users who are logged in (that is obviously a huge factor in how deep the adoption rate of this service goes) to in effect vote whether a result should show up higher or not at all next time the same search is done. Now, my big question is that if someone is saying ‘I want the same results set for each SERP for a particular key phrase’ are they truly searching or just bookmarking the site? One of the things that makes search so important for any user is the ability for Google or any other engine to introduce new ideas to its users. This type of service can either be viewed as a great result for a searcher or a limitation on introducing new and better options to the user.
So what’s your take? Is this change something that falls into the good, bad or indifferent category? What could its impact be for search engine optimizers?