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Google Pesonalizes Search Results More with Star Feature

Star Feature from Other Google Products in Search

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Google today introduced yet another way it is personalizing search results (we talked about social search with the company at SMX). Now Google is letting users "star" search results that they like, just like the star feature in other Google products like Gmail, Reader, and Google News.

This almost seems like an obvious move for SERPs now that it is there, but it has not been present until now. Essentially, when you star results you like, you will get them at the top of your results the next time you search a query relevant to them. 

"With stars, you can simply click the star marker on any search result or map and the next time you perform a search, that item will appear in a special list right at the top of your results when relevant," the company explains. "That means if you star the official websites for your favorite football teams, you might see those results right at the top of your next search for [nfl]."

Google adds starring to search results pages for personalized search

"The great thing about stars is that you don’t have to keep track of them," the company continues. "You don’t even have to remember whether or not you starred something. Simply perform a search and you’ll rediscover your starred items right when you need them. Stars sync with your Google Bookmarks and the Google Toolbar, so you can always see your list of starred items in one place and easily organize them. Even beyond the results page, while browsing the web you can quickly click the star icon in Toolbar to create a bookmark, and those pages will start showing up in the new stars feature."

Interestingly, the feature replaces Google’s existing SearchWiki feature, which apparently didn’t catch on too much. According to Google, people don’t much care for rearranging the order of search results. I can’t say I blame them. The annotation feature that came along with that is pretty much what you get from Google’s other product – SideWiki, anyway, and Google suggests using that if you want to leave a comment on a particular result.

The new star interface will be rolling out over the next couple days. It will only work if you are signed in of course. Do you like the result starring concept? Share your thoughts.

Google Pesonalizes Search Results More with Star Feature
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  • http://www.saferoofcleaning.com Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Florida

    I just saw it in my search.
    I was wonering how to turn it off, to be honest.
    It does not re arrange the results, but still is not needed for me.
    It may be useful to others.
    Google is trying hard to improve.
    IMHO, they need to remove the Google Local Search altogether, and go back to regular websites.
    It is totally out of hand with spammers and liars, with black hat SEO outfits making a fortune helping the scammers.
    I think Google means well, I really do.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/glenwoodfin Glen Woodfin

    Not only is Google throwing in Starred Results, but they are changing the way YouTube videos are being rated.

    It used to be a 5 star rating system, now it’s a simple thumbs up or thumbs down.

  • http://www.mykeblack.com Myke Black

    Didn’t they have something like this before where you could click a link to promote or demote sites in your personalisted SERPs? Can’t remember what the link used to say now.

    Having a star will make it slightly easier to re-find sites that you want to come back to. However, it would be better if this star could be used to add sites to your bookmarks in your google toolbar, and then if you do a search and a site that is already in your bookmarks comes up, then that is highlighted by pre selecting the star. At present, if you star a result, you will need to remember what search term you used to get the site back in your serps if you want to find it again. I think they’ve missed a trick by not integrating with the google toolbar bookmarks.

    • Chris Crum

      As mentioned in the article, “stars sync with your Google Bookmarks and the Google Toolbar”

  • Dan

    I think that if they take into consideration the stars for serps everything will be a mess.
    If they really want to they should leave it to individual users only and not take the rating in consideration farther.

  • http://picturemousemat.com mat

    I really am getting hacked off with this bloody personalised search thing… the serps are full of bloody crap for 50% of searches and ultimately less relevent than before.

    • Chris Crum

      I’m pretty sure the starred ones will only show up for you if you star them yourself.

    • wildcatherder

      Well, starred results seem to be back (7 Apr 11) and I sure don’t want them either. What a pain in the butt. Every time I get my search interface paired down to text (which I read at 1200 wpm) Google pushes some other distracting feature onto the screen. How DO you turn them off? No, I NEVER starred ANYTHING myself.

  • Guest

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  • http://www.youtube.com/ william bryant

    Glen,
    I don’t see the thumbs up/down rating, but guess what is even more impressive…. their ability to crawl youtube videos!!!! Your videos now come with audio transcription (seems like the same as their Google voice voicemail transcription) — look at a video and see the “CC” closed captioning icon. It will put your audio into text!

    William Bryant
    twitter.com/wbryant

  • http://trafficultimatumexposed.org/ Steve

    Can anyone tell me how to turn off starred results.
    I know Google may mean well but I did not ask for them, don’t want them and Google has no right to decide for me.
    They do not own the web so why do they carry on like they do.

  • Guest

    ..and suddenly one day all the world will see all your stars!

  • http://www.liftingsafety.co.uk Guest

    Hey all, the reason i ended up is is because i have just made this search
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=electric+winch&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en-GBGB339GB339
    and there a three results in the page that are using ? KEYWORD ? to get themselves more noticed. I was wondering is anyone has noticed this and i was also wondering do you think those sites will be penalised? Its a really good way making yourself stand out more (cheating to get more attention than the listing above).

  • http://www.jali.co.uk/ jali

    Is there any way to list results in pr ascending order? I have heard about it in a forum but could not find option as I searched google advanced search options even.