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Old 04-20-2005   #1
Chris Sherman
Executive Editor, SearchEngineWatch.com
 
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Google Enhances Personalized Search

Google has just rolled out some seriously cool personalization features that it calls My Search History. All of your queries and result pages viewed are saved, and are full-text searchable. Over time, Google does some nifty clustering, pulling together related results for conceptually similar queries. I've got a detailed writeup in over at SearchDay in Google Personalizes the Web.

Everyone involved with search marketing should take careful note of this development. My Search History results are integrated with web search results, potentially impacting search optimization efforts. SEW members should read Danny's article, Search Personalization: A Marketer's Perspective for tips for search marketers on preparing for the coming of personalized search results.
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Old 04-20-2005   #2
shor
aka Lucas Ng. Aussie online marketer.
 
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It's about time. I perused A9's search history feature when it first came out and found it nifty but not compelling.

At first glance, G's search history product seems very similar to A9. As you'd expect, both capture search queries and sites visited, but G's interface is definitely more intuitive than A9. Most noticeably, G displays both the search history AND sites clicked/visited on a single page whereas A9 requires a separate page for one or the other. Try to remove both sites and queries from your search history in G and A9 - which one is more usable?

Some further functionalities that differentiate G from A9:

-calendar widget allowing you to browse past queries on any given day
-exact timestamp of most recent clickthrough
-search frequency meter, color-coded on the calendar
-'cleaner' page design
-ability to turn off (well pause) search history without having to install a toolbar

Of course, aside from the user we have to consider Google's perspective. Once you sign on, Google can do all sorts of data-mining around user search patterns and trends.

Interestingly enough, if you have a Visited Site stored in your Search History, you can simply click straight through to a site (conveniently placed under the relevant search query) and bypass the Google SERPs, which of course means the user also misses Adwords sponsored listings...
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Old 04-21-2005   #3
semanticist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shor
Of course, aside from the user we have to consider Google's perspective. Once you sign on, Google can do all sorts of data-mining around user search patterns and trends.
Exactly. When you have "My Search History" turned on, pay special attention to your typical Google SERP. The links to the resulting sites still may appear to be direct links in the status bar (I use FireFox - not sure about IE), but if you view the properties of the link, you'll see the link is now set up as a 302 from Google to the destination site, complete with your own 20-character user code at the end of the link.

Any idea how this will affect user referrer and keyword logs?

Overall, I'm torn between really wanting to dig into this to make my searching more efficient, but OTOH, it would be pretty easy for G to tie my IP address to my email address and query strings to see exactly who I am, who my clients are, specific site: and inurl: queries I've been running to test my optimizations, etc. etc. I'm just not crazy about the potential there.

But since I've used their toolbar for years, it's probably already a done deal...
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