Google Voice Search Adds Personalization

Traditional search on Google is already personalized (and has been for some time), and now the company has announced that its Voice Search service can also be personalized. With personalized voice search, Google will use recordings of your voice search to "build a speech model" that's tied to your Google account. In doing so, Google says it can do a better job of speech recognition and improve search results, accordingly. "Although subtle, accuracy improvements begin fairly quickly and will build over time," Google says. Personalized voice recognition shows up as a new option in the Goog [...] A Very Different Shopping Site For Women, From Google

Earlier this week Google launched offline product inventory for Google Shopping/Product Search. And this morning the company is going live with the decidedly un-Googly On the surface Boutiques may resemble other "social shopping" sites such as Polyvore or Stylehive, among others. But the underlying technology, I'm told, is much more sophisticated than comparable female-centric shopping sites. (There's also an iPad app.) Boutiques is a highly visual, social and personalized shopping destination built on sophisticated machine learning and visual recognition technology. M [...]

Google’s Schmidt: ‘Next Great Stage’ Of Search Is Autonomous, Personal

Speaking today at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, Google CEO Eric Schmidt painted a vision of the future in which search is fast, personal, and all-knowing -- even to the degree of providing search results when searches haven't been conducted. "A new definition of Google would be, we're trying very hard to get you something fast," Schmidt said. "Never underestimate the importance of fast.... We want to help you right now. Speed matters, cuz your time matters." Schmidt said that the growth of smartphones, cloud computing and the pervasiveness of the internet is creating new [...]

Study Looks At Personalization’s Impact On Search Results

A group of SEOs is testing the impact that personalized search has on a search results page. David Harry, posting today on his blog, has shared some of the preliminary findings while also admitting that the testing is in its early stages and there are "no definitive answers" to be found yet. That said, it still makes for an interesting thought piece for SEO folks. Harry and friends ran a four-day test using a series of related search queries: "antique lamps," "buy antique lamps," and "buy lamps online." The test looked at each searcher's location, browser, most common Google app used, and u [...]

Furor Over Google CEO’s Comments On Privacy

One of the big themes of the week is privacy. Facebook just did a major overhaul of its privacy settings to promote more public dissemination of user information and updates. There was an immediate outcry from some quarters as the site was a bit aggressive in setting users' defaults to "everyone." In addition, Yahoo got called out for trying to suppress its surveillance menu for law enforcement. And Asa Dotzler of Firefox railed against Google and urged users to switch to Bing in response to comments from Google CEO Eric Schmidt that made the latter seem indifferent to consumer privacy. [...]

Google’s Personalized Results: The “New Normal” That Deserves Extraordinary Attention

On Friday afternoon, Google made the biggest change that has ever happened in search engines, and the world largely yawned. Maybe Google timed its announcement that it was personalizing everyone's search results just right, so few would notice. Maybe no one really understood how significant the change was. Whatever the reason, it was a huge development and deserves much more attention than it has received so far. To put how little attention the change got in perspective, less than 50 news articles and blog posts were written about it, according to Google News. In contrast, nearly 1, [...]

Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results

Beginning today, Google will now personalize the search results of anyone who uses its search engine, regardless of whether they've opted-in to a previously existing personalization feature. Searchers will have the ability to opt-out completely, and there are various protections designed to safeguard privacy. However, being opt-out rather than opt-in will likely raise some concerns. The company has an announcement here. Below, a deeper look. How Search Personalization Works For those unfamiliar with how personalized search works, see my Google Search History Expands, Becomes Web Hi [...]

Google Enables Simpler SearchWiki Notes Sharing

Brian Ussery noticed Google has changed the way you can share your SearchWiki notes in the search results. If you are logged in to Google and you have notes on search results, you can share those notes with friends. Here is how: (1) Search on the query at Google and the results should show up with a link at the top to "share these notes": (2) Click the link and a URL will show up in a text box, copy and paste the link and send it to a friend: (3) Here is a preview of that result for you to see: [...]

Google SVP Rosenberg’s Tome On Social Challenges, The Internet And Google’s Future

Google's SVP of Product Management Jonathan Rosenberg posted yesterday on the Google Blog, turning an internal memo into a public article. He used the occasion of the US President's Day holiday to discuss Google's sense of the political and social challenges of the moment as well as a vision for the future of search and the company. It's very comprehensive and dense; there are some familiar sounding themes and there are some novel bits. It's long and I'm not going to do a deep dive on the piece (I'll leave that to Danny if he wants). Instead I'll pull out and comment on a few things that s [...]

Google Testing “Preferred Sites” Option In Search Preferences

Google Operating System discovered a new experiment Google is running named Preferred Sites. In short, users who are in this experiment will be able to add a list of sites in their search preferences page as their "preferred sites." Google will then use that information to show those sites in a higher ranking order in the Google results for that user, when it makes sense. Let me share some examples of how this works. If you set to be a preferred site and you are logged in to your Google account and conduct a search for space station, Google may bump up a result from CNN to the top [...]

Google Rolling Out “SearchWiki”? Move Results Up, Hide Them Or Suggest Your Own

A year ago today, I wrote about an experimental feature Google was showing off. I titled that article Google Like/Don’t Like: Move Results Up, Hide Them Or Suggest Your Own. Now it appears Google might be rolling the feature out, at least to a subset of Google searchers. NOTE: THIS IS NOW LIVE FOR EVERYONE. SEE Google SearchWiki Launches, Lets You Build Your Own Search Results Page. We have several blog posts across the web documenting them seeing these features in their Google web search results. Those blog posts include Justin Hileman, Garett Rogers, Alex Chitu, a German blog and [...]

Google Video Now Offering “Personalized” Video Recommendations

The Google Video Blog announced the launch of personalized video recommendations based on your search history. To see them, make sure you are logged into Google and visit In the middle of the page, you should see, "Recommended videos." Google uses your past search history and your past video viewing history to compile your personalized video recommendation list. You can view up to six recommended videos at any time, and there is a next button to see more. Here are my recommended videos: Notice a couple from Matt Cutts, one on Linux and then a few on Jewish topics. [...]

Google Expands Edit My Search Results Feature?

The Google Like/Don't Like feature, where you can move up results, hide search results, or remove search results, seems to have been expanded to a group of test searchers. We have reports from TechCrunch, Google Operating System, and Justin Hileman, with reports of users seeing this feature in the main search results. Justin does an excellent job taking us through each feature with screen shots. I personally have never seen an implementation of this on any of my searches. But I know Google has been testing this over the course of the year. [...]

“Previous Query” Refinement Coming To Hit Google Results

Yesterday (technically still today my time), I did a keynote interview with Google vice president of search products & user experience Marissa Mayer during our SMX Sydney show. We covered a wide range of topics, including how "Previous Query" refinement will soon come to natural listings on Google, plus how Australia is to get StreetView mapping, Google testing how well Yahoo monetizes, how Orkut might have to be replaced in the US, and other topics. Live blogging isn't my thing, and live blogging when you're asking the questions on stage certainly isn't either. Heck, it's toug [...]

Google Like/Don’t Like: Move Results Up, Hide Them Or Suggest Your Own

Google has rolled out a new experimental feature that allows anyone to alter search results in the way they like. You can move good results higher, hide ones you think are bad and suggest your own. Google was spotted testing this feature with selected users back in August and September, and then Googlified spotted it going live this week for anyone to use. As you can see from the screen capture below, this new feature enables users to vote up a search result or completely remove a search result from the index. Clicking the up arrow will promote the search result to the top spot for that ke [...]

Privacy Tuesday: New Google Privacy Video & Privacy Articles

Following on last month's search privacy video from Google, the Google Blog announced that a new installment dealing with personalized results is now available. Meanwhile, two new articles about privacy issues and naming Google in particular have also come out today. The video discusses how Google can use your IP address, domain, or location to better personalize your search results. The video also shows how they can use your web history to do the same. Plus, the video ends with showing how you can pause Google from recording your web history, delete specific items in your history, or com [...]

Eye Tracking On Universal And Personalized Search

In the past two columns, I've featured the interviews (Part 1, Part II) of where search might go in the next three years. The two themes consistently mentioned as the most important for the future have been personalization and blended search results. Being a user-centric type of person, my first question was, "how will that impact the search user?" So, at Enquiro, we tried to shed some light on that question. We conducted an eye tracking study looking at interactions with Google's Universal search results and we also created a mock up of what a personalized search page would look like. To [...]

Google Asking Searchers To Submit Search Results

I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that some searchers are noticing that Google is asking them to suggest search results that will "help improve search for everyone," says the Google message. The review URL submission, takes you to a login page, which then takes you to a form that looks like this: Next time you do a search on that phrase, your suggested result will be shown with a red asterisk. Google also says: If you click yes, we'll save this suggestion with your Google Account so we can use it to improve your search results. This is an experimental feature and, based on this [...]

Organizing The World’s Push Content: The iGoogle Ecosystem

Today, we welcome another guest author to Just Behave. This week, we're pleased to welcome Sep Kamvar, the lead software engineer of personalization at Google. In the first of two parts, Sep looks at how the introduction of iGoogle and gadgets have created a new ecosystem of push content and how Google tackles the problem of organizing this new community generated content for their users. - Gord Hotchkiss When the personalization effort at Google started in the fall of 2003, Google's search engine was very much a one-size-fits-all product. Over the course of two articles, I will talk a [...]

OpenSearch Plugin Ensures Your Google Results Are Not Personalized

The other day we reported about a way to turn off Google Personalized Search Results, which required you to add "&pws=0" to the end of your search string. Now, you no longer need to remember to do that. You can install an OpenSearch plugin on your Firefox or IE7 browser that does this for you. Go to the Google Search Plugin without Personalized Search page and install the appropriate version. I was waiting for someone to put this together -- thanks Joost de Valk. [...]

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