Have you noticed the new symbols — the promote arrows, close boxes, and word balloons — during routine Google searches? In November 2008, Google rolled out SearchWiki, a feature allowing logged-in Google users to organize their search results by moving entries around, deleting results, suggesting new pages to add, and attaching notes to listings. Whether this on-demand personalization of search results is an opportunity or a headache for search marketers may depend on their situation.
SearchWiki brings social media and search a step closer to merger. Google has used social signals to rank web pages for a long time. A webmaster’s choice to link to a site and a searcher’s choice of which result to click are both signals that Google measures and uses to rank pages. Google has said that SearchWiki activities do not affect public search results, but hasn’t counted it out for the future.