Google Testing Digg Like Interface with Voting Features called Edit Search Results

Google has been seen testing a Digg like voting search results page and it looks like it is not a hoax as first thought and Google is calling it Edit Search Results

I first saw this here and we all believed it to be a hoax since it was on a web designers blog that has extreme Photoshop skills.

Then TechCrunch reported it and added credibility and now a post on the Google labs page explaining it more.

I have been theorizing that this was going to be a Digg / Google combination for months but now it looks like Google is taking the bull by the horns and becoming the first social featured search engine. This could take the wind out of the sails of all the social bookmarking sites if Google adds in friend social type features.

Comments would be the first step with voting up or down on comments like Digg and Propeller. I have yet to see this in my use of Google, but I am waiting on the edge of my seat. It is also important to note that Google says that “Do you have to be signed in? Yes. To see your changes next time, you must be signed in to your Google account.”

If you are signed in then they can align your IP address with your voting and then if you try to game the system by using multiple Google accounts they can remove your votes and accounts when they see multiple IP addresses.

UPDATE: One of my Propeller commenters made me aware of this Edit Search Results FAQ

The bottom line

Now let’s go one step farther and think about the full set of features Google could roll out.

Just like our social bookmarking profiles we will have a Google profile, with your votes, comments and recommendations. Think site reviews and friends lists, but it will be your Google friends. You will be able to message them and get your own messages in Gmail.

You will be able to create your own bookmarks of sites you voted on and meet and build friends lists of Google users with like interests.

Do you mind if I say that I TOLD YOU SO as I have been theorizing a Digg buy out by Google or the possibility of Google becoming the first social featured search engine and taking an even larger share of the market back from social bookmarking.

I love it when a plan comes together….

12 Comments

  1. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    You are right on top of it, I am all for it:-)
    Now we can see a more “Honest” search result.
    Great find. Hey slide back before you fall off the couch, lol

    Rheyanna

  2. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Now I can have a new business model where I guarantee a #1 google rank for any search term — in my browser only, of course. :}

    This would still be pretty easy to game. We’ll see giant networks of of people voting their results up for each other.

    I do wonder how many “normal” users would use that feature. The average person on the internet doesn’t necessarily understand these concepts.

  3. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Wow! Great stuff Chris. I am right there with you sitting on edges of our seats!

    I mentioned this in another post, but how long do you think before we see this social element fully be set into the SERP’s…? It obvious by now how ‘universal search’ affected the SERP’s – do know how long they tested that before implemented it?

    I think it will improve things – unless Google ends up with a “Google Mafia” like the “Digg Mafia” – LOL!

    BTW, love your work and about to dive into you book! Can’t wait!

  4. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I talked about how this would have to happen at some point on a couple of calls we did over a year ago.

    I forgot about it until now because nothing ever seemed to happen and tons of people were stating the obvious reasons for Google not going this way. Mostly around gaming the system and Google using hyped up vote scores by outsourcers in India to unfairly move sites up in rankings that didn’t deserve to be there.

    I guess the allure was too great and it doesn’t necessarily mean they haven’t thought long and hard about how popular pages (with social voters) would fit or be affected by the algo for rankings.

    Very interesting indeed and a KILLER scoop for you Chris! Good job!

  5. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    It’s still too early to tell, but this very well could be the end of social bookmarking sites as we know it… or perhaps it is just DIGG: The Next Generation. lol

  6. Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I just want to know how big of a pile Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson just crapped when they got woke up this morning with the news. Now there would be a Digg front page picture. But what would be the caption?

    Let’s see….

    Digg price plummets and so does Kevin’s and Jay’s breakfast? ROFLOL!

  7. Posted July 16, 2008 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Wow! This is certainly a news-worthy item. Leave it up to Google to possibly eliminate a popular social medium and consistently change the search engine algorithms.

  8. Posted July 16, 2008 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Actually, I’ll tell you exactly what I think this is and where it came from…

    Remember that Google bailout of AOL awhile back, where they got a chunk of AOL stock, enough to keep Microsoft or Yahoo from taking over AOL?

    The option for AOL to buy back all that stock expires this month, and if AOL doesn’t come up with the money, Google will be selling it off.

    There was a bit more to that deal than just stock.

    Right after that deal, AOL’s search page changed drastically and a fantastic relatively new feature they had, just disappeared…a feature that could have really set them apart and make AOL search preferable over Google, considering they were already dishing out Google results, but dressed in AOL style clothes.

    What was that feature? The “scissors” that let you cut results and move them to the top of the page, and have them travel with you to the next page as you kept on searching. You could even save the custom page and email or IM it to friends.

    After it disappeared, it was replaced with a boring, less featured, more Google-looking search page.

    I think AOL’s scissors are back…but now on Google.

  9. Posted July 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Chris,
    Very nice job on laying the whole story out. Pat yourself on the back – again :-) And I am sure the Digg guys were too puckered to crap their pants. See you soon.

  10. Duke Snyder
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    To me this shows what a 2-sided coin IM really is, learning IM tricks and techniques is more than enough to concentrate on by itself but issues like this one again show the “hidden” side of things.
    Thankfully the WF provides us “non-Geek’s” a headsup often on doings such as this which I call “the story within the story.”
    Personally I feel overwhelmed in attempting to keep pace and often realize it was much simpler when all we really noted was the model changes in our favorite cars and that was only ONCE A YEAR but the Internet seems to thrust changes upon us by the second almost!
    Thanks again Warriors.

  11. Posted July 17, 2008 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    One thing that this could solve, is when old posts from 2006 still ranking highly are offering outdated info just because the parent domain has high powered incoming links.

    Search “how to get more diggs” and you will see the top two blog posts are from 2006 and totally irrelevant. I am the 3 spot (usually) and will never beat #2 because that is MSaleem the #2 Digg user.

    If we were looking for up-to-date relevant data here I would be #1 and the others would be also listed, but as legacy representations of what has come before.

    Also this is a test, what you see is what you get and only you. Right now your voting only effects your own results, no one else.

    Also I want you to consider this if you will:

    The new Google FriendRank patent goes about ranking social profiles and group interests so that Google can serve advertising on the powerful profiles and within groups with like interests. So, I could see Google using social features in Google SERPs and then providing us with a Google profile that offers friend interaction features and then targets advertising to groups of friends with like interests but on Google itself.

    This scenario would allow Google to serve millions of ad impressions and not have to share revenue.

  12. Digideth
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I guess to be chosen to be apart of this experiment is complete random luck. Sure would be nice if they added this to their labs page so could check it myself. Or is there a page to sign up for the experiment and i just missed it.

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