Today’s tech blogOsphere buzz is about Google’s new wiki search feature that allows users to rank their own results. This appears to me to be a splendid idea although I agree with some who say it won’t get used much.
However, for those who use this it may eventually allow a kind of search ranking we have never seen, where user defined preferences trump the mysterious algorithmic magic mistakes, gradually giving the user a great set of results well optimized to their needs.
I’d suggest that “perfect individualized search” may only require two basic steps – the first is a *discovery* part where you surface content relevant to your particular query and then plow through that manually to determine which sites best fit your needs. Google does a pretty good job of facilitating that right now. However a second piece would allow you to build on those “personally filtered” results in various ways – some as simple as just listing them in rough order of relevance to you as Google is now doing.
Is this a good Google idea? Yes! Will anybody much use this? Nope, because our habits as humans don’t incline us to be this organized. I had a great conversation a few days ago with the developer of Reuters Calais semantic search – a brilliant tool designed to surface relevancy and meaning from massive document archives. We were noting how difficult is is to simply break the habit of using Google search, even when it’s not the most appropriate tool for the job at hand.
Funny primates we !