It has been a long time coming, but Google has at last approached the Wiki concept for search. With the announcement of the SearchWiki tool, Google now has something that lets users have a fair degree of control over results and adds sharing into the search mix.

Control such as the customisation of results with the ability to re-rank, add and comment upon them. So you can move certain results to the top of the page if you disagree with the default ordering, where it will stay when you do the same search the next time (if you ever do of course.) You can just as easily remove results from the list, or add a one that doesn't appear. I am not sure about the latter, because if you have searched for something then surely you do not know where it is and so cannot add sites.

Commenting allows you to add basic notation to your searches, like a mini-review of the web page it refers to for example. These comments, being a Wiki, are public however. So you do need to remember that others in the community will be able to see what you said.

Unlike commenting, the changes you make to search ranks etc are not public fodder and only impact upon your own Google account.

It is easy to use, just do a Google search while logged in to your Google account and the SearchWiki stuff is there by default. You should see small promote and remove icons by each result, and the ability to add comments at the bottom of the search page.

"We've always said that the best search engine is the one that understands what the individual user wants," said Juergen Galler, Director of Product Management at Google. "SearchWiki really puts that in action: this is an even deeper level of customization than we've offered before, because people know best what search results they're looking for."

Let's hope it turns out to be better than that other Wiki-based idea Google had, the truly awful Knol. Of course, you can always Google without Google to get around the increasing problem of unwanted Google content if you prefer.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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