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Google SearchWiki Gets Social—Kinda




There was a minor uproar last November when Google introduced its SearchWiki feature, allowing users to personalize SERPs by moving results up or down, adding comments or blocking them altogether. When it became clear SearchWiki was here to stay, SEOs really had to wonder to what extent the data from individual users would be incorporated into Google’s 200+ ranking signals.

But now there’s a way to make sure your friends, family and neighbors can see your SearchWiki changes. SearchWiki just got more social—albeit in a really, really primitive way. Yes, now Google offers a link to your personalized SearchWiki results, so you can share those pages with friends.

Here’s how it works:
googwah1
You make your comment.

After making your changes or comments, you click on the plus box by “Share these notes”:
googwah2
You get the URL to copy and paste. You disseminate via email, Twitter, Facebook, IM—you know, your web 2.0 channels. The real social stuff.

When your friends visit your SearchWiki, they see:
googwah3

Note, too that we’re making “public comments” here. The comments saved on a SearchWiki are visible by other users, even ones you’re not sending your link to—as long as they click on “All notes for this SearchWiki” at the bottom of the SERP and expand the comments for that result.

Let’s face it: this is only going to be useful if you have several different results on a SERP that you want to comment on and share with people. I’m still going to find it a lot easier to cut and paste the actual page URL and put my comments in an email if that’s how I want to share links.

What do you think? Is this really a step (stumble?) toward social search for Google, or does this really represent a regression when it comes to sharing info online?