Google Tagging & Bookmarking in Yahoo’s Backyard
Lots of Google action going on this morning as Threadwatch’s Aaron Wall has picked up that Google is integrating tagging and bookmarking into personalized search. In what looks like a page from del.icio.us and Flickr (two Yahoo properties) Google is expanding their bookmarking from the new toolbar and into search results.
Aaron writes (with screenshots) : Your bookmark label is inserted into the search results near the associated site. That tag is linked to a Google search history search for items tagged with that same tag. You also can tag a result using multiple tags. Google suggests tags based on past tags you have used.
Whether this is a test at Google or if Google has longterm plans for tagging are yet to be seen, but there are some clues which may lead to Google’s intentions.
Bill Slawski, the seo patent man, has responded to Aaron’s TW post with some insight on Google tags from a 2003 patent, Google’s Bookmark manager, Methods and systems for personalized network searching.
In the patent application, Google refers to tags as Annotations. Bill quotes some of the patent :
Searching annotations comprises searching the user-entered annotations using the search query 114 submitted by the user 112a. For example, a user 112a may enter the term “boat” as an annotation for a page comprising marine supplies. If the users 112a enters “boat” as part of the search query 114 utilized by the search engine 120, the page with the “boat” annotation will be returned by the search annotations component.
Other operations may also be performed on the results based at least in part on user-specific information. For example, the results may be interleaved, merged where necessary or desired, presented with annotations, or presented in other ways that provide useful information to the user 112a.
Again, without an idea how seriously Google is taking tagging, it is too early to speculate that they are on the reactionary offensive and plan on trying to play tag with Yahoo, The King of Tag.
This does go to show however, that Google has given tagging some thought, and user generated annotations may play into future algorithm plans.