Google SearchWiki Vanishes (Updated)

Users are reporting that the recent changes to Google’s search engine, called SearchWiki, have simply disappeared from the site. It’s certainly gone from my account.

I was (and remain) highly critical of SearchWiki, which was announced two days ago and became the default search interface for anyone who opted into it. The changes allowed users to move search results up or down on a page (or remove them entirely), add public comments, and add entirely new results to the page (there is a good overview of all features here).

User reactions were mixed but weighted heavily towards “this is lame,” and there was no way to turn off the features other than to conduct Google searches without being logged in. Another way to turn it off was to switch search engines.

I’ve emailed Google for a comment.

Update: Google says that this is a bug and is working on restoring SearchWiki now (and by “now” they mean right after the Youtube concert):

“We’re really sorry that people can’t use SearchWiki at the moment – we’re working to fix the problem as quickly as we can. Please bear with us.”

Update 2: It’s back. Here’s how to get rid of it again using a Greasemonkey script.