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Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Google "My Search History" Personalization

 

Google Labs has released the beta version of what might become the application that changes Google’s relationship with its users forever. My Search History (beta) is an opt-in program that records your Google search history and where the search results led you, making that history available for personal viewing on any computer. Users who sign up for the service will learn a lot about how they use Google. In turn, Google will learn a lot about every user as well.

My Search History will record everything a searcher does while using Google. Users will note the amount of time they spend on Google, where they went, the amount of time they spend on each document found through Google, the last time they visited a web document, and where they went after visiting a web document.

Over time, this information will start to affect and personalize the search results Google displays for individual users. If a specific user tends to access one or two documents each time they do a search for “Blue Widgets” Google will start to indicate to that user that, historically, they have found those two documents more relevant than others.

This is the first major stab at visible personalization for any of the major search engines. Google users who have already established a Google Account, (Gmail, Google Groups, Google Alerts or Froogle), can sign in immediately. Those who don’t can easily establish an account.

For what it’s worth, if you are a Google user with a pre-existing account, signing up for My Search History is not going to give Google any more information about you than they already collect. It will however change your relationship with the results Google produces for you.


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