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Google Tests Preferred Sites Feature

January 22, 2009

Google is testing a new search customization option called Google Preferred Sites, according to Google Operating System. The new feature will let you personalize the results by adding a list of sites you want to appear more often when you search.

“The preferred sites feature lets you set your Google Web Search preferences so that your search results match your unique tastes and needs,” explains Google on a help page. “Fill in the sites you rely on the most, and results from your preferred sites will show up more often when they’re relevant to your search query.”

In a nutshell, the feature will allow users to get results that best match what they are looking for. Actually, so-called personalized search already keeps track of your searches in order to adjust search results in accordance with your main area of interest.

Google has definitely paid special attention to search personalization these days. In November they unleashed SearchWiki, a feature allowing you to edit and annotate Google search results. Preferred Sites feature is an extension of the SearchWiki experiment.

But could the further personalization of the search alter the way search engine optimization is viewed?

If the Preferred Sites feature goes live to everyone, people will be able to pick a list of authoritative sites and influence all search results. Then, personalized search will be yet another changer that marketers will have to take into consideration when optimizing a site. Moreover, it is not clear whether and to what extent this tagging of preferred sites could influence the ranking of the sites in general. It is likely a huge number of such entries to be viewed as signals of quality.

In any case, Google will continue to adapt and change using a variety of metrics in order to achieve better relevance. SEMers will need to adapt to all these changes in order to offer better services to their clients.


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Title: Personalised Search

January 22, 2009
Comment by The Wizard

This sounds alot like Stumbleupon and also I have read the preferred search of users may begin to have an effect on other search results

Title: ---

January 22, 2009
Comment by Tarek

Google has enough data to pick authority sites. The new tweaks are for PERSONNEL search results. Not what I expect from a search engine that wants to give you the most relevant result for your query not a list of your "bookmarks".

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