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Wikia Search Launches Major Enhancements to Search Alpha
Remember the Wikia Search that launched in January? We had an extensive review of the product and said that it wasn’t ready for primetime yet. Today we learned that the next version (0.2) is now live on a test site and you can test it out as well. It’s still not ready for primetime but there are a lot of new features worth mentioning and is a positive step forward (the company asked me to note that it’s still a pre-alpha so be gentle — for example I was unable to get it to work in IE7).
The biggest feature is the ability to add and delete search results at will. So basically if you aren’t happy with the results for a term, you can add whatever you’d like. And if something is not correct, just delete it. For example, a search for CenterNetworks produced the main URL as the top result then a link on a story on Techcrunch about Yahoo – seemed out of place so I deleted it. It’s easy to say this will be spammed to heck but could actually prove itself similar to Wikipedia with limited spam. Not sure it’s a competitor to SEO Mahalo but it’s certainly more "human" than Google. If the spam was limited, this could be pretty hot over time.
You can also edit the header text and the description to make them more meaningful to future searchers. And you can comment on a search engine result (you know how I feel about this!), again to provide insight for the future.
The other big update is preview and annotations. Click the link and get a preview before the jump. Annotations allow you to pick up parts of the Web page and bring it back to the search engine result. I am not super crazy about this because it may remove the need for a person to visit the actual content creator’s Web page. The key for the search engine should be as a guide not a replacement.
Bottom line for this major update? Everything is editable.
Wikia is building tools which allow the community to actually participate in the search engine creation, modification and fosters engagement. I’ve seen good discussion on the Wikia Search mailing lists since January.