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Software Reviews
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Google SearchWiki review

FREE

Manufacturer: Google

Google SearchWiki allows you to edit and customise search results pages.

Google SearchWiki allows you to edit and customise search results pages.

You must be signed into your Google account for Google SearchWiki to work. Once signed in, if you search for "fantasy football stats" religiously and think the result should appear in a different order, you can rearrange search results to your liking. You can also delete unhelpful results and even comment on the page's usefulness.

When you rearrange, or re-rank, Google search results with SearchWiki you affect only your Google account - so don't expect your reorganised vision of the web to impact other users. Comments, however, are universal.

Once you get involved in SearchWiki's features, it becomes frustratingly meta and throws chunks of logic out the window. You can comment on other user's comments. You can add your own URLs to your searches. How does that make sense? If you're searching for something, you shouldn't already know the destination URL, and if you do, why are you searching? And if you're continuously seeking the same exact thing, why not just bookmark the site?

What surprises us the most is that SearchWiki is turned on by default within search results for all Google users (the feature is being phased in by Google and is not yet widely available). It's our guess that most average Googlers will be confused by what this tool does and struggle with why they should use it. Ultimately, it feels as if Google is working against its winning design formula of keeping things uncluttered and aesthetically clean.

There are reports that the option to opt-out of SearchWiki will be by refusing to hit the "Yes, Continue" button on a screen explaining the program. We were not given this option and now seem stuck with it (no word on Google's official blog announcing WikiSearch on how to turn the feature off). At this moment there is no method we can find for turning SearchWiki icons off.

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Google SearchWiki Expert Verdict »

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Google account

Google at its best is simple: a logo, a search bar, and two buttons: Google Search and I'm Feeling Lucky. From there, users could quickly and accurately access billions of pages on the internet. The concept is so elementary we cannot understand why Google bothers messing with it with additions such as SearchWiki. At the very least, Google should make it easier to configure your Google account to make Wiki clutter go away.

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