Last year we talked about the Google SearchWiki. This allowed users to personalise their search results by promoting or excluding specific results from the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
It’s all part of Google’s long term view of search as being specifically tailored to each individual user.
A couple of weeks ago they added a new feature, which makes use of ‘Star’ icons. This is where they appear (marked in red):
At the same time Google have terminated their SearchWiki. Apparently users didn’t make much use of the service. Users were concerned that they were artificially changing the order of Google’s organic search results, and preferred to have the order decided by Google
This means that the new stars are actually replacing the SearchWiki, and will act as a more lightweight way of doing things.
How do you use it?
Users can use the stars as a way of marking and then ‘rediscovering’ web pages that they like and think are more important to them.
In order to make use of the new service, just click on the star marker by the result you want highlight. The next time you carry out a similar search, the items you previously starred will appear in a special list right at the top of the results.
You can also add new web pages to the starred list whilst you are off browsing the web. Just click on the star icon and the web page is added to your list.
The new star feature also synchronizes with your Google Toolbar and your Google Bookmarks.
Try using the new star feature and let us know whether you think it’s any good!