In the endless battle to improve and personalize search results, Google often launches new features in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s). If the users like them, the new features might become visible to everyone, if not, they die a silent death.
With the latest feature Google aims at improving the results itself:
This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results. When you search for the same keywords again, you’ll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you’ve made. Note that this is an experimental feature and may be available for only a few weeks.
And this is what it looks like:
In other words, you get the possibility to rank the results to your own personal preferences. But nowhere is stated that the changes you make to the SERP’s won’t be used by Google to collect data on how to improve the result pages…
How do I use it?
This button will move the result to the top of the page and add this orange marker next to it so you can easily recognize it. The result(s) you promote will appear at the top whenever you search for the same keyword(s) in the future.
Don’t like it?
This button will remove the result, and it will remain hidden when you search for the same keyword(s) in the future.
Know of a better webpage?
At the bottom of the search results you can give the address of a page that’s relevant to your search. When you search for these same keyword(s) the page you’ve suggested will appear at the top with this orange marker .
Is it permanent?
Your changes will be applied each time you search for the same keyword(s). There’s a link at the bottom of the search results that lets you view the results in their original ordering.
Do you have to be signed in?
Yes. To see your changes next time, you must be signed in to your Google account.
If this feature is prolonged, it might provide Google with a strong tool to take the user’s opinion into account (and a tool for the black hat SEO guys to influence the SERP’s to their needs…). The idea isn’t exactly new, Wikia uses a similar system to grade the results.