Google trials user-voted search


29 Nov 2007

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Google is experimenting with a new style of search result that aims to improve accuracy of its search engine by letting the user vote on whether they like or dislike the list of search results for a given keyword.

As part of Google Labs this trial, which the company says may only be available for a few weeks, involves the user clicking on ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it’ buttons located to the side of the web link.

In this Digg-style experiment, the result will be promoted further up the list and tagged with an orange marker so that the user can keep track of preferred changes.

Unlike Digg, other Google users will not be affected by the individual tweaking: instead it will be stored along with the users’ own personal information for the next time they search for this word or phrase, so users are required to log in to avail of it.

There is also a ‘Know of a better webpage?’ feature that allows you to submit the URL, or address, or a site you think might suit your search results better, essentially training the search engine to tailor to your needs which may be implemented in the future to work alongside iGoogle, the personalised homepage.

Google Labs is currently running other search options that are mainly display based, testing the effectiveness of right-handed versus left-handed contextual search navigation, as well as keyword suggestions: a feature already in use by search engine company www.ask.com.

Another interesting feature that can be currently tested out is the Google Timeline View. It displays the list of results not in order of relevancy but in order of the year associated with the search term.

By Marie Boran

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