Don't like your search results? Edit them


Wikia Search, the nascent search engine that's promising it won't store your search terms for the benefit of creepy advertisers - or even creepier intelligence services - is beginning to look the part. A bit, anyway.

The site has finally delivered on one of its unique features, Users can now edit, annotate and re-order search results. Their changes will be reflected in the search index and seen by other users.

The idea is to have the community of users help sort the good stuff from the trash. Just mouseover a search hit and a bunch of options appear to the right - letting you edit, annotate, spotlight (highlight in garish yellow), comment or delete. You can also re-order the hits by upscaling or downscaling the importance of a hit.

To suddenly have some measure of control over search results is great fun, it has to be said. But it's clearly highly open to abuse.

A list of "white pages" - that must not be deleted from the index - will be kept to try and defend against that. Just like Wikipedia has a strong core of volunteer editors who help keep site vandalism and spam down, so Wikia Search must create its own watchdogs.

Since it launched in a less-than-popular alpha version in January - which didn't have editing features - Wikia Search's distributed Grub crawler - running on volunteers' PCs like SETI@home - has indexed 30 million webpages. That's small, if not infinitesimal, compared to the more than 20bn Google has indexed. But because Search Wikia is offering something very different I think we should give it a chance to prove it is worth.

Tell us what you think of Search Wikia: does it have legs? Or is it a disaster on stilts?

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