Google Operating System has found a new experimental feature for Google Search: preferred sites. Thanks to this, you may soon be able to tell Google about your favorite sites and have them appear more often in your search results. If you like to get your movie data from the IMDB, for example, you can tell Google to prefer this site over other movie review services. This feature would also be very useful if you want Google to prefer results from your local newspaper over stories from national papers, or if you want to see product reviews from specific sites.Alex Chitu from the
As it is typical for these experiments from Google, this new feature is only slowly being rolled out and it is not clear if this will become part of Google's standard feature set for Google Search yet. If you want to see if it is available for your account, click on the 'Preferences' link next to the search box on Google Search.
Custom Search Engines for the Masses
It is worth noting, too, that Google has started to make more changes to its core search product lately, with a clear focus on customization. SearchWiki, which lets users re-organize search results, already represented a major change to Google's approach to search. The 'preferred sites' feature, when and if it is rolled out to all users, will give users another option to customize their search results. In some ways, this new feature will bring Google's relatively unknown Custom Search Engines to the majority of Google's users.
As Ed Oswald notes, it will be interesting to see if Google will use this data in some form or another to tweak its regular search results. However, given that Google isn't typically very open about sharing this information, we don't expect to hear from them anytime soon.