SearchWiki or Search Sticky

Recently Google has introduced a new feature in search: SearchWiki.  This allows searchers to modify the search results they obtain and even add comments for future reference.  This is how Google describes SearchWiki:

SearchWiki lets you customize your Google Web Search results by ranking, removing, and adding notes to them. You’ll see your changes whenever you do the same searches while signed in to your Google Account, or until you decide to undo them. You can also see how other users have tailored any given search results page with their own notes and changes.

Since as usual this feature is in Beta version, perhaps one should not be too critical.  However I and others find the usability of this approach somewhat lacking, and the comments of other searchers are rarely useful.  Allowing people to vote seems quite often to bring problems.  Whether this is an approach that has a future would seem to be very questionable.

On the other hand an e-book that came out today seems to offer much more potential.  Watching what people do rather than what they say can be much more instructive.  We all leave electronic footprints wherever we go on the Internet.  Google has all of this data from which it can better sense which web pages individuals find more relevant.

That is the basis of the e-book that David Leonhardt has brought out today.  It is called Sticky-SEO and it is free.  It does not take long to read and it is certainly very thought-provoking. 

sticky seo

The book suggests that Google will be incorporating much more intensively the data it has on how people move through websites.   If you immediately use the back button to get back to the search results, that presumably means the web page is not relevant to your needs.  On the other hand if you stayed on that web page for quite a time then moved to other web pages within the website, the web page was probably highly relevant.  The argument is certainly very persuasive.

Google is certainly capable of following this mechanism and it would be much more foolproof than the now discredited PageRank approach.  Creating sticky websites seems to be a laudable aim for us all.  Go read the book if you need more convincing.

5 thoughts on “SearchWiki or Search Sticky”

  1. “However I and others find the usability of this approach somewhat lacking, and the comments of other searchers are rarely useful.”

    For search results that are highly competitive, it’ll be interesting to see whether the comments shift from neutral to something less benign.

    I wrote a primer on SearchWiki for businesses that you might think is interesting. Particularly the section that talks about how people have been using SearchWiki’s comments to talk about Microsoft and Google:

    A Google product manager mentioned that they haven’t closed the door on using the info they get from SearchWiki in their results.

  2. In my opinion there will be a ton of black hat tricks preformed if this sticky site thing is every implemented in Google. Then we will be robbed by black hat seos that disable the back button in browsers or use JavaScript to open a new page when you attempt to close your browser.

    Seems like a tragic end to search optimization and a horrifying beginning to more search engine spam! I will definitely be reading the book and praying that this doesn’t take place!

  3. I don’t see this as a threat. How many people want to create a google account just to be able to use google as a search engine? My bet is not many. That will be the downfall.


  4. Ahh well, I heard about this news and read reviews from leading marketing gurus, but this E-book seems pretty good. As for SearchWiki, it came in but as for the Google datacenter I’m on, it is not active any more and 90% of the google users will not even use it!

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