How do I use searchwiki?
November 22, 2008 4:50 AM   Subscribe

What is Google trying to do with searchwiki?

There are features that I would love to have integrated into google search that searchwiki implements 70% of but I just can't see how searchwiki in it's current state can be useful. I assume I must be missing how what they've released is supposed to be used.

I'd love to have to be able to tag and annotate search results but I don't like all of my notes being public. As far as I can see there's one list of annotations per URL that's gobally visible. There's not enough ways for manage my own tags or filter on other user's tags. I can't even find any way to remove a note I've made once it's made public. I love Zotero and when I see the searchwiki notes it's frustating that google didn't integrate an analogous service within searchwiki.

So am I just being dumb about how to use searchwiki? I've looked at the blog entry announcing the feature and I just don't get it. I'm not trying to slam google here. I know that I sometimes take time to understand how a new service can be useful.
posted by rdr to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ian Davis, CTO at Talis, writes about SearchWiki on his blog, Internet Alchemy:
"I’d characterise SearchWiki as a blending/blurring of search and bookmarking. They need to unify it with Google Bookmarks, Search History and Notebook which will probably happen over the coming 12 months. The outcome is the going to be a searchable bookmarking and annotation system backed by Google’s index of the web so you always find something and often it’s the best possible. An amazing display of personalisation at the largest scale."

He seems to think it's a big-going-to-be-integrated-with-some-cool-Google-stuff-deal that hasn't quite arrived. Until then, we should use it like visionaries ;)
posted by February28 at 6:50 AM on November 22, 2008

It could be used as a way to downvote spammy links that, while high on PageRank because of shady SEO, are low in the opinions of users. Think sites like Experts Exchange.
posted by wastelands at 7:55 AM on November 22, 2008

The obvious reason, to me, seems to be to continue to refine their search algorithm. If lots of people mark one of the items in a search as useful, odds are that other people doing the same search would also find it useful. I know that they SAY that they aren't using it for searches when you aren't logged on, but IMHO it is way too useful of a metric to not include it as a part of their search refinement.

If they do end up unifying it with Bookmarks and other services, that would make it extra useful, causing more people to use it, and giving them more data. I would be stunned if that wasn't their ultimate goal, tbh.
posted by gemmy at 7:55 AM on November 22, 2008

I think their short term goal is to see what kind of data they get, and then figure out how they can best make use of it.
posted by Good Brain at 9:38 AM on November 22, 2008

SearchWiki could turn into a good way to attack the unsolved problem of Google hits that make you look bad, by saving embarrassing results about a person forever. Under an unflattering result, you could write your own mitigating explanation.
posted by Kirklander at 10:36 AM on November 22, 2008

What gemmy said. They pay people to rank results now. This is free.
posted by unknowncommand at 5:04 PM on November 22, 2008

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