Google Announces 'My Search History' Feature

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Sunday, April 24, 2005
Google Announces 'My Search History' Feature

Say goodbye to bookmarks! Google, in a move to outdo rivals, announced this past Wednesday that it will begin to offer its users custom accounts to search over their personal query history. The search king will unveil "My Search History," another of its experimental services. This service takes a page from the long-standing "My" programs from which Yahoo!, MSN, and others prominently use. However, unlike typical personal portal services, such as customized stocks and headlines, Google's feature will focus exclusively on archiving personal search histories for a later recall.

Why is This Important

This feature differs greatly from the automatic caching feature that resides in the Google Desktop application, which saves copies of web pages you've viewed on your personal computer. Most importantly, the service will automatically integrate with Web search so that once people have signed up and logged on they can view their personalized history alongside general information from the Web.

Using the application is easy. Simply enter your query in a Google search box and click the additional "Search History" button that is installed next to the familiar "Search Web" button. Results are displayed in what Google calls the Main View for your search history.

Results on this view are ordered by date, with your most recent searches appearing at the top. Each of your search queries is displayed as a linked, boldfaced term. Beneath each search term is a list of results that you viewed from that search, along with the time and number of times you've viewed each page. A calendar on the right side of the result page allows you to access the searches you did on a particular date. Color on a date box on the calendar shows the number of searches you did on that day. White means zero, and shades of green from lighter to darker indicate heavier usage.

As you build a search history, Google begins to cluster results from related queries together, making it easier to find conceptually similar results even if you can't recall the exact search terms you used. The more search history Google has to work with, the better the related results... at least in theory.

My Thoughts

Google's "My Search History" is a very desirable feature and one that has launched the search giant into what I feel will be the future of search. Imagine a search engine that can provide its users with personalized search results - those that 100% geared towards that individual user. Simply amazing... and that's what Google is out to achieve.

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