Friday, November 21, 2008

Google's SearchWiki - Can it work ?

Last night, Google turned on a new feature within their flagship product, Google Search.

Those logged in with a Google account can now change the search results for any given search phrase and / or comment on a particular result.

The 'changes' will only be visible to the account holder however the comments are PUBLIC.

Google has used this approach before in other offerings.  In Google News, those mentioned in a news story have the option of commenting or reacting to the story.  In Google's image search, volunteers can use Image Labeler to correct the location or content of photos.

This latest offering is a little different and certainly has some positives and negatives.

Google will no doubt pick up some additional GMail and other Google accounts as you need a free Google account to use it.  Assuming they monitor the comments, deletions, and push-up's, Google will have some direct user interaction to utilyze.

The public comments are somewhat different and could potentially open a whole new chapter of  'abuse'.  That remains to be seen, but the potential is certainly there.

Perhaps Google was testing us this morning when I typed in 'Search Engine' and got this in the No. 1 position:

(click to enlarge)
Comments anyone? :) 

On the other hand, please, buy all means, feel free :

 For the most part, the features will be invisible to those not logged in.

User interaction, whether it be comments on blogs (and /or offsite comments on Disqus or even Friendfeed) has gone mainstream in many spaces on the web.

The announcement of Google Search Wiki was made on the 'Official Google Blog' and can be found here.