On Friday, Google launched its "SearchWiki," a way of customizing your own search results. I gather that they're rolling it out according to some pattern, which means you may not see this feature in your results for a few days yet.
What you will see is illustrated below:
If, for example, Slaw hadn't come up top in my results in a search for "slaw," I could have moved it up there with the arrow, and ever after it would be first. For me. Which is what I don't quite get: why exactly would I want to fix the results of my searches for my own benefit? One answer would be, I suppose, if I don't use bookmarks but go to regular websites by putting their names into Goolgle; getting the right top result would make this approach slightly more efficient. Are there other reasons?
There's more to SearchWiki: you can annotate your results (click on the balloon at the right of "similar pages"; and you can remove search results that you don't like (by clicking on the X beside the arrow). As well, you can see what they community has done with particular search results (by clicking on "See all notes for this SearchWiki" found above the footer).
It may be that for those who use Google to find things or sites that are extremely popular, this wisdom of the crowds venture could prove to be helpful, gradually refining the way to get to the hot spots. And I'm sure that's what Google is aiming at overall here: the improvement of searching with your help.
But I wonder whether there will be much to gain for specialists, like those in law, whose "crowds" are small and unlikely, perhaps, to make use of SearchWiki. It would be possible, of course, for a group such as Slaw readers to collectively and over time annotate some standard searches likely to be of interest to us. Does that seem sensible? Am I missing something more obvious?