Feeds

Google fitted with (temporary) Digg implant

Stops making sense

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google wants to know what it feels like to be Digg.

Google Labs is testing a new-fangled search page where users can "vote" on all those links that pop up after a keyword query. If you like a link, you hit the "like it" button. If you don't like it, you hit the "don't like it" button. And in Digg-like fashion, these clicks move items up or down the list.

But your votes aren't used to influence the results of other users. Unlike Digg, this Google experiment is merely a means of tweaking content inside your own browser. Each time you search on the same keyword, your past votes come into play. Any modified links are tagged with a big orange asterisk.

"This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results," Google explains. "When you search for the same keywords again, you'll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you've made."

Google Labs's Digg-like Test

Google, Digg-ified

The page also includes a "Know of a better webpage?" link, where you can recommend additional links. Again, these changes will pop up the next time you search on the same keyword. Naturally, you'll need a Google account, and you'll have to be logged in for all this to work.

The question is whether you'll want it to work. Is all this even remotely valuable? A keyword search is all about finding sites you haven't found in the past. If you stumble onto a site that's valuable, you bookmark it. Who cares if it pops to the top when you do the same search a second time?

Of course, this experiment could be extended. Google could in fact use your votes to influence search results across the web. But unless you believe in all that Web 2.0 nonsense, this sort of user-generated results page makes even less sense.

Word of this experiment has popped up here, but it's not open to the web at large. According to a Google spokeswoman, only a "small percentage of people" were invited to participate. But even for these folks, it will be available for "a few weeks" only. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.