Google Improves Personalization

January 19, 2009
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Today was a harsh news day for Google, with TechCrunch posting a leaked thread of internal emails on why Google employees quit. The emails are intriguing if highly redundant; the schadenfreude comments are merely predictable.

But the more interesting piece of news is that Google is moving beyond its initial SearchWiki efforts to offer more meaningful personalization to users. Their new feature is called Google Preferred Sites. According to the unofficial Google Operating System Blog:

Preferred Sites is a new experimental feature for Google Search that lets you personalize the results by adding a list of sites you want to appear more often when you search. Based on your search history, Google suggests some frequently-visited sites, but you can add any other site.

As regular readers know, I have little love for SearchWiki. But Preferred Sites seems to be a real step, albeit a small one, towards allowing users to meaningfully–and transparently–personalize their search experience. I say “seems” because I haven’t had a chance to try it out. Perhaps someone with a lucky cookie who’s gotten to try it can comment on his or her experience.

Today was a harsh news day for Google, with TechCrunch posting a leaked thread of internal emails on why Google employees quit. The emails are intriguing if highly redundant; the schadenfreude comments are merely predictable.

But the more interesting piece of news is that Google is moving beyond its initial SearchWiki efforts to offer more meaningful personalization to users. Their new feature is called Google Preferred Sites. According to the unofficial Google Operating System Blog:

Preferred Sites is a new experimental feature for Google Search that lets you personalize the results by adding a list of sites you want to appear more often when you search. Based on your search history, Google suggests some frequently-visited sites, but you can add any other site.

As regular readers know, I have little love for SearchWiki. But Preferred Sites seems to be a real step, albeit a small one, towards allowing users to meaningfully–and transparently–personalize their search experience. I say “seems” because I haven’t had a chance to try it out. Perhaps someone with a lucky cookie who’s gotten to try it can comment on his or her experience.

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