Google Experiments with Customizable Search Results
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jan 2009
Google is currently trying out a new experimental feature called Preferred Sites that would allow users to enhance their Google searches. The feature lets you “tell” Google search that you like some sites above other and whenever you perform a search you would prefer it if search results from said sites would appear at the top of the list. The feature will analyze your browsing history and will take this into consideration whenever it displays your Preferred Sites search result, but there is also an option that allows you to manually include your favorite 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. Preferred Sites is currently an experimental feature, and we're very interested in user feedback. If you have ideas about how to improve the feature, please let us know by posting in the Preferred Sites Discussion Group”, says Google.


Since this feature has been deemed experimental, there are some issues with it. First of all, Google will not just put it out there like it did with its Proposition 8 opposition; only a selected few will be offered to test it. To find out if you are amongst the lucky ones, all you have to do is login and check Google Preferences. I already did that and the feature is not present, so unfortunately I cannot test it and see if it is worthy of being generally implemented in Google searches. What I can tell you is that if you deeply care about getting relevant searcg results, then there is one simple means of personalizing Google searches as long as you are a Mozilla Firefox user – just install the Googlepedia add-on.

Tags: Google, Preferred Sites
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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