Million $ idea: Google should allow users to provide feedback on whether or not the search results were helpful

*NOTE: Google stole my idea! This was a draft blog post from maybe a couple months ago. I came across it today and, coincidentally, heard about the new “Google +1” button — which I think is essentially the idea I had. I guess great minds think alike. Or whatever. Anyway, here was my suggestion:

I think Google needs 2 buttons next to each search result labeled “helpful” and “not helpful.” (And maybe a 3rd one labeled “flag” (or “SPAM” or something).

Usually Google’s results are relevant and logically ordered, but today I was searching for something and none of the results led me to the info I was looking for. I found myself saying, “Why the hell are you showing me this page?” and wishing i could tell the search engine that it had done something wrong and that I was mad at it and demanded an apology for wasting my time.

The more I think about it, the more surprised I am that Google doesn’t have this feature. The trend these days is away from technology and marketers and towards users and consumers (consider Digg, Reddit, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Facebook “Like” and all the other various and sundry sharing, bookmarking & social media services out there…) An algorithm can only do so much. Why rely solely on artificial intelligence to try to figure out what people were looking for when you can simply ask them, “Hey, was this what you were looking for?”

Just a thought.