Google Experimenting With Editable Search Results

    July 15, 2008

Google’s impressive market share makes for convincing evidence of its skill at search.  Few things are perfect, though, and the search giant is now allowing select users to alter their own results.

An experimental feature "may" or "will" be available "for only a few weeks" depending on which part of a FAQ you believe.  The key points in the meantime: "This feature allows you [to] influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results.  When you search for the same keywords again while you are logged in to your Google account, you’ll continue to see those changes."

Google Search Edit
 Editable Search Results
(Photo Credit:

Interestingly enough, other users may also be able to see those changes.  Google’s recording all edits, and as Justin Hileman discovered, at least sometimes making them visible to all testers.  If the "Edit search results" feature ever entered the mainstream, this would help reduce instances of unethical manipulation.

Otherwise, the feature might become available as a sort of secondary search option, or it may just be Google’s way of getting more information for its algorithms.

Two last notes: anyone included in the test who makes some bad edits should be able to undo his or her changes, and anyone included in the test who doesn’t like all these options should be able to opt out.