The “Web 2.0” revolution started a few years ago. However, if web surfers have been producing content for a long time, they have not taken any part in the search within these contents. That was left up to the search engines, and the user only had to sort out the results. In launching SearchWiki, Google calls on a third party to join the webmasters with their SEO and the search engines with their algorithms to affect the ranking of results: the web surfer himself.
Indeed, for each request SearchWiki allows users to attach notes to results, delete, add or place one at the top of the rankings. Google keeps saying that these customizations will affect only searches carried out while logged in within the customer’s own personal session, and won’t be seen by others. For the moment, at least!
However it is already possible to share notes on results with other users. And the odds are that the California-based company will know how to make the most of any changes made by users to continually improve the accuracy of the results. One can also note that in the guise of making our customer experience ever more pleasant by allowing us to customize our searches, Google is creating increasingly more ways of collecting data to be linked to our profile.
Anyway, this release is an artificial, almost cheating step on the path to semantic search: instead of working on making computers more intelligent and able to understand the meaning of a request with computer science, Google calls upon users’ services. Smart, as usual. We hope newly born SearchWiki will grow up more like GoogleMaps than like Lively!
By Romain Nervil