Google’s SearchWiki is no more, and I am celebrating. Searchwiki required you to be signed in to a Google account and enabled you to to re-sort, remove, and comment on search results. Your preferences were remembered from one search to the next and once started it was not easy to turn off. For my personal views on it see Begone Searchwiki http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2008/12/11/begone-searchwiki/ and Google lets you turn off SearchWiki http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2009/07/12/google-lets-you-turn-off-searchwiki/
Instead of Searchwiki we now have stars or starred results. Sign in to your Google account, run a search and you will see outlines of stars next to the search results. Click on a star to “bookmark” it and the star turns yellow:
Next time you run the same or similar search your starred results will appear at the top of the results page:
Starred results work across different Google types of search or “properties”, so if you star a result in Google News it may also appear in a standard web search.
I like this feature as it does not interfere with Google’s ranking of your search results. It merely highlights pages and sites that you have found useful in the past.
At long last Google now lets you turn off SearchWiki. If you don’t know what that is see my posting Begone Searchwiki. You first of all need to be logged into the Google account on which you enabled SearchWiki. Then go to Preferences and tick the SearchWiki box that says “Hide the ability to share, promote, remove, comment, or add your own results.” That’s the good news.
The bad news is that if you have promoted, demoted or deleted results from a search your changes will remain in place every time you log in to your Google account and run a search. You will have to re-enable SearchWiki, run a search and at the bottom of the results page click on “See all my SearchWiki notes”. From there you can undo all of your changes. Then go back into Preferences and disable SearchWiki.
For more details see Search engine land’s Google SearchWiki: You Can ‘Check Out,’ But Your Results Don’t Leave
Google’s Searchwiki sounded like a good idea at the time. Sign in with your Google account, activate Searchwki, carry out a search and you can promote, or delete entries in your results list and add comments that can be made public. So I had a go. Unfortunately, should you later want to look at the un-searchwiki’ed results list you cannot just switch it off. You have to log out of your Google account and re-run the search. What annoys me even more, though, is that it overrides my Firefox Customise Google add-on.
I like to drop in an out of my Gmail, look at Google analytics about once a day and work on my Google Custom Search Engines. So most of the time I am signed in to one of my Google accounts. I do not want to have keep logging out just to carry out an ordinary search and to be able to look at the results in the way I want. Thankfully, Google seems to have seen sense over this. Techcrunch reports that Google will be providing a add a toggle button to allow users to turn the feature off, possibly in Q1 2009.
In the mean time if you are curious about Searchwiki, curb your curiousity. Don’t go there!