After some bucket-testing flirtations with the public, Google has taken SearchWiki live.
SearchWiki is a utility in the Google search user interface that lets users edit and compose notes on search results and save them. Basically, you can add, remove or reorder Web pages to the search results for any query, providing more control over your search experience.
At least that’s the theory according to some who have been briefed and whitelisted for SearchWiki. Grrr, I have not been whitelisted for SearchWiki yet, so I can’t try it out.
Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee has been briefed and whitelisted for the feature. He does a fine job explaining what SearchWiki will look like when it launches to more people today:
“Two light-colored icons next to each listing let you reorder the search results. An up arrow lets you move a result higher on the page; an X will remove the result. After you’ve moved a result higher, a down arrow shows up so you can move it back down the page. The icons turn bright green after an edit to remind you that you edited the result. A fourth icon in the shape of a text bubble lets you leave comments on any listing; anyone can see the comments you make on a separate page (see next paragraph).“
McGee also said there’s an “Add a result” link at the bottom of the search results page that lets you 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.
Update: Google has posted this video demo of SearchWiki on YouTube.
SearchWiki, which in its editable search result capacity is akin to Wikia Search, Microsoft U-rank and Mahalo, will be turned on automatically for those with Google accounts; these users can save their search results and edits so they can easily recall them later instead of redoing their work.
Google’s search engine guru Marissa Mayer told Brad Stone of The New York Times that SearchWiki comments and re-rankings will have no effect on the Google algorithm and how it ranks sites for the general Google audience.
However, McGee said Google Product Manager Cedric Dupont didn’t “completely rule out” the possibility that user data from SearchWiki may impact regular search rankings. Now that will bear watching.
How about you? Do you see SearchWiki in your Google results? How do you like it so far?