Google Cans SearchWiki for Starred Search Results

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-03-04 Print this article Print

Google SearchWiki, we hardly used ye.

Google March 3 said it is replacing its little-used SearchWiki feature with stars, little star-shaped buttons next to search results that users can click to mark favorite Web pages.

SearchWiki, which you can see demoed here in its November 2008 launch, let users add, remove or reorder Web pages, as well edit and compose notes on search results for any query.

It was tedious. When you wanted to manage your favorite results, you had to go to the bottom of the search results page, which people don't tend to do naturally, and click the "Add a result" link at the bottom.

There you could add Web pages to the search results, along with links to show and restore listings you've removed, and changes and comments made by other users.

Starred favorites, an approach we've seen Google implement in Google News recently, is much more efficient for users who want to bookmark useful Web pages right within Google:

When it rolls out broadly in the next couple of days, users will be able to click the star marker on any search result or map and the next time they perform that search, the item will appear in a starred list at the top of your results.

Starred favorites is really that simple. I searched basic results for "fishing," clicked the top three results and saw this the next time I searched for "fishing":

Google Starred.png

Stars also sync with your Google Bookmarks and the Google Toolbar, which means users may always see and manage their starred items in one place.

Thanks to the integration of stars with the Toolbar, users browsing the Web can click the star icon in Toolbar to create a bookmark. This will have to do, until Google gets more people on its Chrome Web browser.

As for SearchWiki, Googlers provided this epitaph:

In our testing, we learned that people really liked the idea of marking a website for future reference, but they didn't like changing the order of Google's organic search results.

However, all existing SearchWiki edits will be preserved within users' Google Accounts. And, for those users who will miss annotating, that's what SideWiki is for.

Together, stars and SideWiki have replaced SearchWiki, which while great in intent, was poorly executed, as the lack of widespread adoption indicated. |

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