Google is introducing a new way of personalizing search results, which should really come in handy for those who usually do a search instead of typing a URL to get to a site. With the new search 'stars,' users will be able to save the results they preferred for future reference, in a way bookmarking them so that they show up at the top of the results whenever they make the same search.
"Today we're announcing a new feature in search that makes it easier for you to mark and rediscover your favorite web content — stars," Cedric Dupont, product manager, and Matthew Watson, software engineer at Google, wrote. "With stars, you can simply click the star marker on any search result or map and the next time you perform a search, that item will appear in a special list right at the top of your results when relevant. That means if you star the official websites for your favorite football teams, you might see those results right at the top of your next search for [nfl]."
Google is rolling out the feature over the next couple of days, so it may not be live for everyone at the moment. But when it does, you will start seeing a little star outline next to the search results. Clicking on the star will save the result so that, the next time you do the same search, which for several types of searches will happen often, the starred results will be listed before the regular, organic results.
The starred results are synced with the Google Toolbar and with Google Bookmarks so you can review and manage them in one place. If you have the Google Toolbar installed, you can star any web page you are visiting and it will show up when a related search is performed. With the introduction of the star feature, Google is retiring Search Wiki, the feature that enabled you to customize the search-result ranking and make annotations. Google has been very fond of the star feature lately, introducing it in Google News as well.
Plenty of people use the search engine as a sort of address bar and the fact that 'google' is a top search on Google should be proof enough. 'Facebook,' 'facebook.com' or 'facebook login' are all very, very common searches and it’s clear that those people just want to get to Facebook, they're not searching for something in particular. The star feature could help in some of these cases, but, then again, if they can't be bothered to type 'facebook' in the address bar, perhaps the star feature won't be of too much use either.