Google’s SearchWiki

Emily Creech - December 8, 2008

Now more than ever people are placing a high importance on the ability to socialize, establish networks, and share interests via the Internet. As search is becoming increasingly dynamic, searchers have the ability to make it even more useful and tailored to their needs. Recently, Google made an enhancement to their own search engine, which goes hand in hand with the social and customization desires of Internet users today.

SearchWiki, Google’s latest update, is a combination of organic search results determined by Google’s algorithm and contributions from searchers.   If you are logged into your Google account and perform a Google search, you will likely see something similar to the picture below.   (Note the icons next to the listings appearing for the search query, “Spa South Florida”.)


This Google update is an added feature that provides users with the ability to modify the listings that initially appeared from the organic search results. If you find that one listing is more important or more relevant to your search, it can be promoted to a higher position on the page. Entries that are not relevant can be deleted from the results for that search query. Not only are you able to shift the order of the results, but you can also add public comments. Google will remember these changes, and when the same search is performed again, your tailored results will be displayed.

A few options offered by Google’s SearchWiki:
Move a listing to higher position on the page by simply clicking the “up” arrow.  Arrow up

Delete an entry from the search page by clicking the “x” box.  Delete icon    

If there is a website that did not appear in the search results and you would like for it to appear when searching for the same term in the future, you can click the “Add a result” link and type in the URL. This is useful for those who prefer searching for a website instead of creating a bookmark or typing it directly into the address bar.  


You can also “See all of my SearchWiki notes” and “See all notes for this SearchWiki”. “See all of my SearchWiki notes” enables you to see the changes that you have made for that search. You can also revert back to the original Google search results.   Choosing “See all notes for this SearchWiki” allows you to see how others have edited or modified the results.

Many are asking about how this update will impact SEO. The most important thing to take into consideration is that SearchWiki is only available if you are logged into a Google account. If you are not logged in, you will not have the opportunity to customize results and Google’s regular organic results will be displayed.   In addition, your changes only affect your searches and promoting and/or adding pages to the search results will only be visible in your account. You are, however, able to share your comments with other searchers.

There are still questions about how providing Google with this type of feedback pertaining to search results will affect organic search in the future. Could the combined behavior of searchers become another component of Google’s algorithm?   We will have to wait and see.

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