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