Google Personalized Search
June 28, 2005
Today, the Google Labs team rolled out yet another search experiment that aims to make Google search even more relevant. It’s called Personalized Search and what it does is personalize a user’s Google search results based on what they’ve looked for in the past. For instance for the query [bass], Google Personalized Search may show the user results about the instrument and not the fish if that person was a frequent Google searcher for music information.
Today’s Personalized Search experiment comes on the heels of our Personalized Homepage announcement, and represents another step we’re taking to make Google services of greater utility to the individual needs of our users. And we’re particularly excited about this experiment because from the results we’ve seen thus far it’s clear that this kind of personalization could potentially make a significant improvement to search quality.
To use Personalized Search, users can visit www.google.com/psearch where they will be asked to sign up for a Google Account if they don’t already have one. As the user searches and builds up more of a search history they will notice that Google gets better and better at delivering the information they’re looking for. Personalized Search orders results based on what it learns from the user’s prior search history.
In addition to making results more relevant to a user’s interest, Personalized Search also includes a Search History feature, which enables users to browse through a timeline of their past Google searches and even check the level of search activity on any given day. It also adds useful information to Google.com search results, including the number of times a user has visited a web page, and the last time he or she viewed it.
Users will see links on the upper right corner of their Google.com homepage indicating whether they are signed into Personalized Search. Using these links, users can easily sign out of the service or remove it entirely with the My Account page. They can also easily remove items from their Search History, if they choose, using the Remove items’ link in the service’s interface.