I’m in total agreement with Michael Arrington: the now-removed Google SearchWiki was an unnecessary “fix” for a problem that didn’t exist. An apparent knock-off of Wikia Search (which I like) with a little Digg thrown in, the feature allowed Google registered users to “comment” on and “vote up or down” search results. While the voting did not affect general Google results (except on the Google user’s view of results when logged-in), any registered Google user could see all of the user comments.
Yet, as Steve Rubel notes, Google SeearchWiki had none of the identity and reputation management safe-guards you’d expect Google would require before letting anyone have the ability to spam and vandalize the Goose that’s laying close to $20 billion in golden eggs this year.
After about 72 hours, the SearchWiki feature is missing.
Perhaps another iteration of the feature — maybe one that limits the logged-in user’s view to comments and recommendations of people they follow or trust — might make more sense.
However, if Google brings back the too-sweet version of New Coke Google that SearchWiki was, it will discover the thin line between user generated content and user generated discontent.
Bonus link: Google Operating System blog explains how to disable Google SearchWiki.