Would You Like SearchWiki More if You Could Hear it?
The latest Google experimental lab is the addition of sound to its controversial SearchWiki, the recently launched personalized search results pages that allow users to vote results up or down, delete them, and comment on them. Google’s experimental page says:
Do you like SearchWiki? Do you enjoy having the power to remove results from your search results pages? Now you can do so in style by having a sound effect play along with the animation whenever you remove a result.
Recorded by our co-founder Sergey Brin himself, this sound effect is sure to please!
The feature appears to be a limited test, which does not work for everybody. It works for me, but Barry Schwartz says at Search Engine Land that he is not getting any sound. Tech Crunch provides a video that displays the sound, which seems to only contain one effect, for when the removal of results. Perhaps in the future they will add more sounds to different SearchWiki functions.
The sound is "cute" and all, but I don’t think it’s going to win over too many people who are skeptical of SearchWiki’s usefulness. The majority of commentary I have encountered regarding it is not very positive. There is basically, an "it wasn’t broke so don’t fix it" kind of mentality with regards to Google’s search results.
Nevertheless, change is on the horizon, and while SearchWiki does not affect regular Google results yet, there is a possibility that it will factor into them in the future, creating reputation management nightmares (as Jill Whalen puts it) for a lot of people.