Changing Search Results with Google Experimental

    November 29, 2007

Some users are reportedly seeing a new experiment in Google Experimental: the ability to re-order and even hide specific items in web search results.

 I can’t see this yet, but according to the help page Google provides:

  • You can move up any individual search result by clicking an up arrow icon next to it
  • You can hide any result by clicking an X button next to it
  • You can suggest missing URLs which you think are more relevant to your search query

Now, whenever you search again – and are logged-in to your Google Account – your changes will remain visible. An orange star icon disclaims those results which were amended by you. If you like you can also reset them, though.

Google does not mention whether or not your changes might influence the results of others, but if this experiment ever becomes heavily deployed, there might well be a chance Google at least considers it; if so, then it would allow direct voting on search results with an instrument other than just linking to the page from a website. And if so, potential for abuse will be there, too… or as Jessamyn on Flickr commented: “Finally another job for out of work gold farmers.”

[Hat tip to Haochi and Techmeme! Screenshot CC-licensed by Jessamyn.]