Today has seen the launch of a significant development from Google, namely Searchwiki.
Searchwiki is described by Google as follows:
a way for you to customize search by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results. With just a single click you can move the results you like to the top or add a new site. You can also write notes attached to a particular site and remove results that you don’t feel belong. These modifications will be shown to you every time you do the same search in the future. SearchWiki is available to signed-in Google users. We store your changes in your Google Account. If you are wondering if you are signed in, you can always check by noting if your username appears in the upper right-hand side of the page.
The changes you make only affect your own searches. But SearchWiki also is a great way to share your insights with other searchers. You can see how the community has collectively edited the search results by clicking on the “See all notes for this SearchWiki” link.
The ability to move results around is indeed quite a nice touch, however I can’t help think the comment facility potentially opens up a completely different can of worms, and one which may POTENTIALLY carry a sinister undertone.
As well as the ability to move results around, SearchWiki also allows user interaction via the addition of a comment button. Such responses can then be seen by others by clicking on the ‘See all notes for this SearchWiki’ option at the bottom of the page.
Now I would suggest further to going any further here, the likelihood of anybody actually exploiting this is minimal and given the delay in publishing any responses (and the fact all Googles responses were strangle positive – which lets be honest is never the case) there must be some form of moderation in place (really can’t help thinking Google won’t have put anything live here without considering potential implications. However as someone who looks after brands online interests I for one would like to understand just what implications this does have from a brand reputation perspective, and what can be done if it is utilised from such a perspective.