Posts Tagged ‘igoogle’

Preferred Sites In Google

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Recently, a new feature has been added to Google accounts called “Preferred Sites”. This allows users to select a number of sites which they know and like. If these sites have pages that relate to the users search queries, they will automatically be moved to the top of the results pages.

Preferred Sites is still in the testing stage and is currently not available across the board. However, if it proves popular, it may become a significant part of the new “wiki” features of Google. In addition to manual inclusion of preferred domains, this feature uses search history to suggest a list of candidates to list as preferred sites. Once added, when preferred sites are shown in the results, they will display a green label next to the URL which reads “my preferred site”.

There has already been a lot of feedback relating to this feature. Many people feel that it is counter productive as it will hinder new sites. The argument here is that only well established sites are likely to be added to people’s lists, which means that the fist page will be swamped with well known sites, severely limiting the exposure of new (but high quality) sites. This argument does not hold much weight with me because this is exactly what the SERPs used to look like. The only difference now is that users have the ability to “bump up” quality sites.

Another argument is that although “preferred sites” is helpful, it would be more useful to create a list of sites to exclude. To some extent this can be done by deleting sites in the customisable SERPs. However, this feature is still being tested and if enough people request this feature, it may still be added.

More information can be found on Google’s Preferred Sites info page.