A Democratic Search Engine Experiment

Wikia Search puts a level of democracy into internet searching. The site, just updated with new features today, lets users rank and edit search results. So will it work, or will it encourage senseless tampering? I decided to find out.

First Stop: TechCult
Well, naturally, I needed to see where our little online home stood in the rankings. A search didn’t turn up much — I guess without the Google spiders and complex algorithms, you have to build from scratch — so I decided to get the ball rolling. I inputted a fitting description (“Your Tech Tabloid. Featuring the best-looking writers anywhere on the internet.”), left a comment (“Those writers really are good-looking.”), and moved on.

Next Up: Endless Loop
I said I was testing for senseless tampering, and now it was time to have a little fun. Wikia Search’s theory is that the community-wide input will protect results from becoming ridiculous, so let’s see. I searched for “endless loop,” then went ahead and added the resulting page’s URL right into the results. I mean, it is actually accurate. You can click on that puppy all you want and you won’t get anywhere. Right now, it’s the top match.

Moving On: Bobcat Goldthwait
I figured trusty ol’ Bobcat’s as good a trial as any. I tried to be more subtle here. I just edited the description to his Wikipedia entry to add in a mention of “irresistible sex appeal.” Come on, ladies: You can’t deny it. If I had that cracking voice, I know I’d be scoring mad chicks. Anyhow, we’ll see if it sticks.

Number Four: Wikia Search
I thought I’d take a moment to toy with the results for the very site on which I was searching. When I first typed in “wikia search,” the top result had a simple enough description: “You are here!” When I finished, it read: “No results found for ‘Wikia Search.'” Somehow, the idea of a search engine that can’t find itself greatly amuses me. Hey, I never said I was mature.

Last Stop: Best Article Ever
Aiming to end on a high note, I added one last entry. I did a quick search for “best article ever,” and — you guessed it — submitted this page. Hey, a guy’s gotta try, right?

All right, so my work is done, and the test begins. Let’s watch and see how the results morph as the Wiki-effect takes place. If the concept works, they’ll be back to a more reasonable state in no time. I must admit, though, the idea of losing my endless loop does sadden me. So, in the spirit of high spirits, we’ll go ahead and install one here. You can thank me later.