Site-specific search provider Eurekster is today releasing a new version of its Swicki product that features a set community features on its results and home pages.
The free Swicki search widget, used here on TechCrunch in the right-hand column, provides a cloud of popular search terms and leads to a page with results voted on by users and optionally collected from related sites.
The new version attempts to bring even more attention to the site-specific Swicki community built around search. The following components will now show up on the results page: a summary of the most recent comments (users can comment on search results) and a list of the top Swicki comment contributors. On the Swicki homepage for a site (each site that adds the search functionality also gets a community overview homepage), you will now be able to see the top voted search results, a list of the most recent posts, and related RSS feeds.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Swicki search we have here on TechCrunch, since I prefer to see just a reverse chronological list of the posts related to my search term, not a list weighted by user votes. If you search “facebook”, for example, the first result comes from March 2006 and not terribly relevant anymore.
However, I can understand why community-based search is useful for less newsy sites, such as the home repair example that Eurekster has provided us to the left. For standing resources such as this one, the feedback of the community can be particularly helpful for refining search results, pushing the best to the top. Today’s improvements should help to strengthen that community and encourage participation.