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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Google Launches New Preferred Sites Feature

Posted by @ 5:59 pm

Google have taken another step towards personalizing search by launching a new search feature called Preferred Sites. This lets users personalize results by adding a list of sites they want to see more frequently on their results pages.

Google say that this will help results match each person’s unique tastes and needs when a relevant search query is entered. They also make it clear that this feature only affects results when signed in with your Google account. A screenshot of how these results appear is below:

I can see this feature being most useful for smaller niche sites (for example local news agencies) that wouldn’t normally have the power to claim top spot. Instead of placing these sites in their bookmarks, users can add it to their preferred sites so that it appears more often when searching for news or other related topics.

Google have taken some big steps in trying to personalize search recently with the announcement of SearchWiki and now this. There’s been no word if this will have any SEO impact, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Google uses it to build a list of authoritative sites that could receive prime exposure.

If you want to get started with preferred sites, visit your Google Preferences page and start adding your favorite sites. Thanks to the Google Operating System blog for posting this.


Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

Not many users search the net via log in they do it plainly. But anyhow some features and taste for some who preferred to have a great zeal. Good luck!

By Blue pill - January 27, 2009

This will only take off with the savvy techy users. The less technical user won’t pay attention to the listings. Nice idea but I cant see this helping mainstream users.
Also its going to be loved by SEO’s who have large customer base as it will boost importance and relevance to searches.

By betalabs - January 28, 2009

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