Google Search History - Slowly but Surely Personalization Creeps In...

Story Text:

First announced on the Google Blog, though their permalink is 404! heh.. comes the expected GOOG move toward personalization, My Search History (Beta, of course...)

Chris Sherman says

In my opinion, it's the strongest personalization offering from a major search engine to date

and has a SearchDay article about it here

Charlene Li says

Yes, My Search History keeps track of every query and search result that you click on within Yes, there are some pretty interesting, (and scary) implications of Google keeping all of that data on their servers.

Nathan Weinberg says Google is now a Portal

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that is what we call a portal. Google may want to avoid it, but with a logon at, they are now officially a portal. One day, I wouldn't be surprised if we get to customize our with our favorite tabs, the option to integrate things like Google Suggest, and even custom Google Doodle. The Google Account is now part of your personal Google experience.

Aaron says

I would not doubt this to do a bit more of globalizing SEO. Paying people in third world countries to randomly click certain sites. I am already building a search history today as a prospective SEO tool.

Nick W says....

  • The beginning of the end for studying search results for seo
  • The birth of a new type of spam
  • The birth of a new type of competitor sabotage
  • How long before they drop the opt-in?

Interesting times....



amazon has a lot of user data too, don't they. i think i read somewhere they have the most of that type of data for retailer websites...

That is sooooo scary

Searches with no clicked results:

Apr 21, 2005

threadwatch | Marketing and Technology Discussed - 1:11am

Isn't it scary to read sth like that and having the knowledge that somebody might be able to look into your account and see what you were looking for in the past? "Sign out" - there we go ;)

Offers to sign you in...

...with your gmail sign on.

Yep, that's really one portalesque Google cookie.

Added: Might we be looking at a full rollout of gmail anytime soon?


Let us "help you" by rembering all of your searches for you. No really we won't take all that data and do anything with it really. All that stuff in the patent application was just a load of bullocks we have no intention of doing anything like that really, you trust us don't you?


or not....

Google Search History RSS

I just finished up making a Google Search History to RSS convertor. It's kind of interesting see your searches over time. It would definitely be intriguing to watch it for some of my friends (if they were willing to share that information). More info can be found here:

it's all a plot

imho the best way to 'get rid' of seo is to make the SERPS so personalised that no site can hope to be 'top' in any measurable way.

If Google start down the 'customers who liked this site also liked' path (can anyone say Urchin?) then everyones SERPS will be unique. Once it becomes impossible to show a client they're top of page 1 a lot of the £100 a month type SEO contracts will surely crash and burn.

SEO will always exist and it'll always play a part in some results, but I suspect for a lot of industries this could stir things up big time. Combined with clustering this could get very interesting very quickly.

Wired Article on it

The Wired article explores the privacy angle.

Love the quote from the workers friend Marissa Mayer

Mountain View-based Google believes the service has adequately addressed privacy concerns, although Mayer conceded people who share a computer might not want to use the service. "This isn't for someone who is particularly sloppy about signing in and signing off," she said. "You have to have very good computer hygiene to use this."

What's So Scary?

So some hard disc in california has a paper trail of my searches?

Wow! Watch me tremble. Not.

If I get better results, great. If not ... maybe M$N ... no, can't be that desperate ...

Google - Proudly making conspiracy nuts lose sleep

About a month ago, someone covered here on Threadwatch said that the search wars were just beginning. I hope this is true, because Google really does need a solid ass-whooping at this point.

Google's formula: 70% search technology, 30% everything else.

How to beat Google formula: 100% search technology, add PPC years later as your sole revenue stream.


I missed this yesterday when it was launched in Google Labs

Google's explanation:

My Search History lets you easily view and manage your search history from any computer. This feature of Google web search enables you to find information you thought you lost. And over time, you'll see an increasing number of relevance indicators in your search results that help you find the information you want.
My Search History offers you:

Powerful search options
Search your web search history, including full text search of all the pages you found with Google.
Relevant history while you search
Get more useful information in your web search results, like the last time you saw a page, how often you've seen it, and more.
Intuitive browsing
Use the calendar to quickly navigate to any day of your search history, and see similar searches you've done via automatic related history detection.
Manage your search history
Learn how often you've done web searches on a given day, and even delete individual searches and results clicks.

Now it definately has some superb value for the average searcher. I know I have been in the position where I have thought. "Ahhh, I found a site months ago, that would be perfect for this project. What was it? "

It records your searches, what results you clicked and most intersting of all the actual SERP G served to you all in an easy to use calendar.

They are tracking clicks via a mousedown event within the Anchor tag

onmouse down="return clk(this,'res',1)"

This has massive implications inlight of the new Google patent and Michael Martinez' excellent article, Google: Changes in Google Ranking Strategies that discusses (amongst other things) the patent.

I really must take my hat off to Google for the way they do some stuff. They could have easily slipped this in, under the guise of "helping the searcher" (much as they did with AutoLink ) but have taken the route of being open and giving you a choice.

It's in (so called) "Beta" and in time it may well go mainstream Google, but until then the Privacy Policy says:

You can delete information from My Search History, and it will be removed from the service and no longer available to you. However, as is common practice in the industry, and as outlined in the Google Privacy Policy, Google maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users

Yup, boys n gals, Google has confirmed it will use the data to increase effective of it's search engine.

Will this see the launch of botnets in SEO?
Will this see that it will become exponentially hard for new sites to rank?
Does this change the game?

It isn't just Google though, Yahoo's recent patent seems like it is more of the same. More on Yahoo's when I get more time :)

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