Google Adds Customization Feature to Internet Search

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Google has launched a search feature that lets signed-in users re-rank, delete and add comments on search results, according to a blog posted on Thursday. (Read our evaluation).

The new feature, SearchWiki, is an example of how search is becoming increasingly dynamic and that by giving people tools, search is even more useful, according to Google.

Users who do the same search frequently can remove a site from the results that isn't of interest, said Anthony House, spokesman at Google.

Users can also add comments to a site, which will pop up every time that site is in the results. If a user searches for car sites, they can add a comment to the site, so they remember that it has a lot of interesting information on, for example, hybrid cars, according to House.

Comments are always shared with other users and signed with a person's username. Re-ranked search results, however, are only seen by the signed-in user and do not affect other people's results.

Users can further personalize search results by typing in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of a site they want to add to the results of a given search or move a site to the top of the search results.

There is also an option to see how other people have customized a search, which is accessed by clicking "see all notes for this SearchWiki" at the bottom of the page.

For SearchWiki to work you have to be a signed-in Google user, and English must be the preferred language, according to House. Changes are stored in the user's Google account.

If a user is wondering if he or she is signed in, they can always check by noting if their username appears in the upper right-hand side of the page.

Users can keep track all the changes they have made by clicking on "see all my SearchWiki notes". Users can also remove edits or comments and go back to the usual search results.

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