Google Search Appliance Leaves Results Up To You

    October 11, 2007

Ethics aside, it’s every SEO specialist’s dream: the ability to rig Google’s search results.  Yet, in this one instance, you don’t have to worry about your conscience, because Google is encouraging users to fiddle with its Search Appliance.

A fresh version (5.0) of the Search Appliance actually has a number of upgrades, but something called “Do-It-Yourself KeyMatch” from the new Google Enterprise Labs may be the most interesting one.  On the Google Enterprise Blog, Nitin Mangtani calls it “an experiment that’s both social and technical,” and continues, “the results, so to speak, have been great.”

About those results: so long as the system admin allows it, users really can program them as they please.  Rafe Needleman notes that their names are attached to any changes, so alterations are generally quite appropriate and helpful.  Also, I imagine that lots of people would be willing to put their time and effort into this matter.

Google’s probably onto something here (although you could justifiably say that Wikipedia and others were onto it first), and it looks like the company is eager to keep this feature.  What will be really interesting is if Google ever expands it in some way – human-powered search is an area in which a number of competitors are already trying their hands.