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]."
"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.