The fashion is to launch Web 2.0 services as beta. Wikia search goes one better and has launched as alpha. This new search engine follows the priciple of using the community to improve search results, as well as openly publishing the algorithms used. Currently the website states: “We are aware that the quality of the search results is low,” so don’t expect google-quality results yet.

We tried the system, and it’s really too early to say whether it will work or not. We’re concerned that, with the position in search results being so important, the system is simply going to be abused, with the best resourced companies able to rank their results highly and to tweak their site to get best results from the search algorithm.