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Google Adds "Preferred Sites" Feature

   
6:06 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I haven't seen this before:


[google.com...]

About preferred sites

The preferred sites feature lets you set your Google Web Search preferences so that your search results match your unique tastes and needs. 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.

5:58 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I had heard about this, but I'm not sure how long ago. I sure do wish Google would include a time/date stamp on their information pages!
6:23 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)



The support page is not yet indexed by Google, so I'd assume this is pretty recent and the blog talk I've heard discussing it is from yesterday.

Seems like a good way for Google to retain visitors on their site rather than third party sites. Be interesting to see what the take up rate is for the wiki-esque features.

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 11:29 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2009]

8:19 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes, this is very very new.
12:25 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I don't see it on my SERPS as yet!
1:13 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Seems to me that Google got it backwards - and it will presumably disadvantage new sites.

I would prefer a "never show me anything from this site again as long as I live" feature.

I have plenty of candidates for that.

...

2:40 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



hmmm, is this Google's way of helping it's personalised results by getting users to give them information?
4:02 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would prefer a "never show me anything from this site again as long as I live" feature.

Indeed. It would help many of my programing queries if I could remove a certain "obfuscated-exchange" site. I would still want to boost the sites that I know are great (like WebmasterWorld).

4:51 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I'm not sure WebmasterWorld needs much help from Google (though the reverse may be true).

There is something unsettling about giving a boost in the SERPs (albeit personalised results) to "the sites you rely on the most" - by definition this must suppress results from sites you don't already know about.

If the idea catches on then newer - and possibly better - sites will have an even tougher time, and the status quo will be reinforced, stifling innovation. In the news area prejudices will become further entrenched and alternative views will be seen less often.

If you really do rely on a particular site for information it is simplicity itself to add its name to the search term, or to bookmark the site's own search. All this feature seems to offer is a user experience where the same few sites will always dominate the results, irrespective of whether they are the best source.

This post about search results is a stub.

...

4:52 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



"help our algo is broken" will you help us fix it, because we just can't get it right!
5:24 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I could remove a certain "obfuscated-exchange" site.

Ugh, tell me about it. I don't understand how Google tolerate such cloaking... and I still get caught.

5:38 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I wouldn't use this, as it does seem to stifle diversity in the search results. And that's exactly why I hope this feature doesn't catch on.

It's hard enough to find the kind of sites that are maintained by small groups of experts. If you encourage people to focus on the websites they're already aware of then this just perpetuates the problem and makes it harder for the tightly-focused sites to attract an audience, and therefore links, perpetuating what is one of the biggest relevance issues for search engines at the moment.

I would prefer a "never show me anything from this site again as long as I live" feature.

Absolutely.

[edited by: Rosalind at 5:39 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2009]

8:48 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I would prefer a "never show me anything from this site again as long as I live" feature.

searchwiki?

10:31 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



.. "never show me anything from this site again as long as I live" feature..

That would actually be a useful feature.

I am not so sure about the other part though. If it is based your preferred sites, how do new sites ever get past that?

4:15 am on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This is googlecracy!

G* may have just made the second biggest mistake they ever made I think, the first was the IPO.

1- If I wanted to only search on few sites, I am likely to go directly to them

2- This is the mistake: many people I hear are finding this already confusing and being stuck with it after choosing this option (though logging out of your account may solve the problem), some may just search live.com or Y!.com to make sure they get what they want in case this option is still in place amidst the confusion.

3- Many adsense users have the site search function with many of their sites and other included sites, well this new feature seem to do a paralleled and similar thing, hence some searchers will use it instead of using joe blog's site search (which may have their preferred sites)

4- Seems to be unfair to new and SEO ignorant sites, will make it a lot harder to be discovered as the searcher's mind and option is already set at which sites information should come from and presented to her/him at the top. As a result, new sites will always rank below the favorite sites BY CHOICE unless they are discovered and added later, a catch 22 situation IMA as the process of being discovered is suppressed and even degraded by the very search engine!

8:55 am on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Perhaps all this is designed to help us migrate through uncertainty towards listings to PPC. And we can expect those heady conversion rates of between 1 & 2%, I'm just sooooooo willing to hand over my cash!

Just a small question...I remember a certain GoogleGuy in these forums years and years ago...Does anyone represent from Google anymore? The difference in the forum is quite stark!

6:54 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The GoogleGuy membername hasn't posted since last summer, but several Google staff participate here. Susan Moskwa [webmasterworld.com] for instance, last posted on Jan 13; AdwordsAdvisor [webmasterworld.com] and AdsenseAdvisor [webmasterworld.com] are both very active. Matt Cutts [webmasterworld.com] still posts occasionally, too.

-------

I can see the Preferred Sites feature being helpful for certain situations. For example, I'm situated in the US but I prefer to get my international news from the media in other countries.

9:07 am on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



1- If I wanted to only search on few sites, I am likely to go directly to them

Not always true. IMO Google provides better search results than "native" search.
10:35 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Without any input from me, Google has apparently already chosen preferred sites for most of my searches -- Wikipedia, Amazon, and Youtube.
4:31 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



We just noticed something new .. or maybe its not new .. that may be part of the "preferred sites" function.

When typing in a word (a trademarked word that is the name of a well known company) into the G search box, the autocomplete function kicks in and it brings a link to the URL of the tradmarked website to the top of the autocomplete. Which is clickable and makes displaying the SERP useless and you bypass the SERP all together.

Anyone else see this?

9:14 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



autocomplete function kicks in and it brings a link to the URL

Yup, Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land covered that on Dec 12, 2008. :)

10:03 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I had a feeling it was not new.
 

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