Though Google is at the top of the search engine food chain, the mega site is taking a page from successful social indexing sites like Digg by testing out a new feature that will allow users to vote up their favorite search results and ignore results that aren’t individually pertinent.
Though the feature is still being tested at Google Labs, it looks like users will indeed be able to not only prioritize their favorite results, but also move, ignore, and add search results to personalized records of their preferencees.
Truthfully, the feature looks like a big advance in search engine structure; according to Google’s page about the feature, users will be able to mark their preferred results with an orange asterisk, hide results they don’t care for, and even submit pages they feel are pertinent to the search criteria. Best of all, at any point in time users can clear their preferences and undo changes they don’t care for later on.
The biggest point of all of this is that the preferences will be on an individual scale, not a large scale as with many social indexing sites. If Google were to go that route, the blogosphere would erupt with controversy over sites being promoted and suppressed unjustly at the whims of users and the powers that be (can anyone say Digg-like scandal?).
Even though the feature is still in development and testing, Google could really do itself and its users a big favor by allowing personalized prioritization of search results; let’s hope this one sticks!