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.