Wikia Search : The Testbed for a Google Mock-up

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The blogs are abuzz on the release of the new search project, Wikia. It has been a disappointing note everywhere (from what I have read so far). There have been detailed deliberations on the vision of Wikia Search and how it will not pan out as a major search engine in the immediate future .

I beg to differ with the popular opinion here. First, the interface is neat. On the technical side, there are certain principles behind the project that I feel can play out better for the online community in general.

I totally agree with Jimmy Wales concept that with search engines determining the fate of online content, there’s too much control with too few (quite brilliant) individuals. That said, what is the possibility that Google or any other commercial engine would ever open up its search algorithms – Zilch. Especially now with a whole industry around search engine tailored targeting of content, there’s every reason to keep the algorithms locked behind code repositories.

Wikia Search could be the SEO community’s global real-time Google (or other commercial engine) mockup. The fact is that making relevant sites bubble up perfectly to keywords keyed in by users is what optimization is all about. The Black hat tactics aside, fact is that only relevant content will bring sustained results in the long run. In that sense, Wikia search and Google could progress as complimentary processes. Wikia Search being tailored on results that are available on Google and tweaked by the SEOs and Google picking off from Wikia where the results are more relevant.

There are several factors that go into measuring relevancy and in the end its a lot about what’s on the the webpage. Wikia provides a great way to look at how the elements on the page contribute to relevancy and it is this tweaking that will provide the SEOs will information on what gets a topic to top on Google.

Wikia search is as open to the search community as open source is for the programmers. The tweaking and cranking is not for everyone, but the rapid developments in the SEO landscape have ensured that there are sufficient individuals out there who could take the Google-in-a-sandbox approach to Wikia to success.

Lets hope that the community at large look at Wikia from this perspective and makes it the first true collaborative major search tool.

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  • MikeM

    Thank you for the balance missing today. I have never read such venom directed towards a new project since blogs were created. Never!

    An SEL author even called it crappy. Amazing really. I too see the potential. It marries social networking to search in a way I have not seen before.

    I already prefer it to Facebook because of the search interplay. I can’t wait to see how I can advertise on certain pages.

    Let’s see where this project is in April, I predict the haters will change their tune.

  • Arun Radhakrishnan

    Yes Mike M,

    I feel that the social networking angle is just another good feature on Wikia, though not the really essential one. The essential feature is the inner workings of the algorithms getting exposed to the user.

    This engine might just be the perfect demonstration machine for all SEO experts.

  • Charles Haluska

    Google today is just the beginning.

    Google SearchWiki is a revolution, and very welcome in my opinion. I think they should have done this years ago.

    I want them to activate a feature that displays a rating for each search result based on all users rating and thumbs up. Not only just a one-vote one-vote count, I want clever algorithms that kind of displays something like somekind of pagerank rating for each link, but it should be based on users manual ratings and their comments on each link.

    If I want to know what the link is about, I am definitely going to be checking the comments and the Google link rating, especially if the search results title and description isn’t descriptive or revealing enough for me.