Yandex Turns Up The Dial On Personalized Search

yandex-logo-200px The Russian search engine Yandex has announced changes to how it presents personalized search results, saying that personalization is now based on what's happening within a single search session. When the company launched personalized results late last year, it was based primarily on looking at a user's search history within the previous few weeks/months. Now, the personalization happens within seconds and is based on the current search session. More than half of all searches on Yandex, however, are about something that interests the searcher at the very moment of searching and stops int [...]


Foursquare Responds To Facebook Nearby By Tapping Facebook’s Friend Graph

foursquare-icon Foursquare has made a quick response to Monday's announcement of Facebook Nearby, with its own announcement today that Foursquare Explore is cranking up its personalization. The irony? It's going to use Foursquare activity from a user's Facebook friends to improve the recommendations in Explore. Think of it as Foursquare judo: It's using Facebook data to battle against Facebook itself. Touché! Here's Foursquare's explanation of how it's using Facebook to turn up the personalization dial: When your Facebook friends do public things on Foursquare, like write a tip, like a place, or ta [...]


DuckDuckGo’s New Video Targets Google’s “Filter Bubble” Of Personalized Results

duckduckgo-logo DuckDuckGo's ongoing mission to challenge Google (and other search engines, but mainly Google) on privacy issues has taken another turn with the recent launch of a video that accuses Google of putting searchers in a "bubble" of personalized results. The video hits on a few of DuckDuckGo's consistent talking points in its ongoing battle to educate searchers on privacy issues and, more specifically, what it considers to be the benefits of using its own search engine instead of Google. Almost two years ago, DuckDuckGo launched DontTrack.us, a website that details how Google tracks its users an [...]


Pew Report: 65% View Personalized Search As Bad; 73% See It As Privacy Invasion

personalized search Personalized search? Both Google and Bing will tell you that it provides better results. But two-thirds say they don't care. They view personalized search as a "bad thing," a new survey finds. Nearly three-quarters also view gathering data to personalize results to be a privacy invasion. The findings come out of a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Around 2,000 adults in the US were questioned between January 20 and February 19 of this year as part of a wide-ranging poll about search engine use, though fewer may have answered particular questions. Personalized Sea [...]


Bing Gets More Personal With Adaptive Search

bing-search-featured Bing has announced at SMX East today a new personalization feature named adaptive search. It seems a lot like Google's previous query feature but supposedly, it goes well beyond just the previous query. Bing said the "more you search, the more Bing can learn" and thus adapts the search results for YOU based on your past searches - not just your immediate previous search. Here is a video that explains it, we hope to have more information on this new feature soon: Video: Adapting Search to You Note, it is rolling out slowly over the next few days in the US. Stefan from Bing add [...]


SMX East Keynote: A Conversation With Eli Pariser

eli-pariser-keynote Good morning! Welcome to day two of our SMX East Conference in New York City. We're beginning today with a keynote conversation with Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble, a book in which Pariser argues that search personalization leads to users being unaware of viewpoints and opinions that are different than their own. We should be getting started at the top of the hour, so feel free to refresh and/or come back to follow along with the discussion. Chris Sherman and Danny Sullivan will be taking care of duties guiding the conversation. Chris has just introduced Eli and we're beginning [...]


Google News Gets A Bit More Personal

google-news-for-you Google has added a pair of features today that make Google News a little more personal. First, the "News for you" section of Google News now includes stories based on your previous Google News activity. If you click on a lot of articles about a certain topic, this section will begin to show more articles on that topic. Second, the right column has a new feature called "Recommended Sections" that also uses your news history to suggest new topics to add to your customized Google News homepage. These personalized news features can be disabled by using the "Standard US Edition" of Goo [...]


Bing Results Get Localized & Personalized

The idea of "normal" search results died a little more today, as Bing has begun delivering personalized listings depending on a searcher's location or past search history. Google has already been doing the same for several years. Local Results Until today, everyone searching at Bing within the United States generally saw the same results. Now, the city you're searching from can make a difference. For example, the search on the left below is where Bing detected my location as being near Los Angeles. On the right, I changed my settings to simulate being in New York: You can see that [...]


Bing Adds Search History To Auto-Suggest

Bing has announced that it's using your search history in its auto-suggest feature. In a post on its Search Blog, Bing says that "44% of non-navigational search sessions last longer than 1 week," meaning the inclusion of previous searches in auto-suggest adds to the convenience factor of searching similar topics/queries over time. Queries from your search history will appear in purple, while other queries will show in blue. The auto-suggest box offers options like "Manage History" and "History Off" for searchers who don't this feature enabled. [...]


Google Maps’ Search Suggestions Get Personal

Google has announced that it's now personalizing search suggestions that appear on Google Maps. It's an odd announcement to me, because I'm almost sure my maps search suggestions have been personalized for some time now. One thing that I haven't seen before, though, is the explicit notice beneath the suggestions that things have been personalized. You have to be signed in to your Google account and have Web History enabled for this to work. Mike Blumenthal raises the good point that having actual personalization in Google Maps would be a bigger improvement. [...]


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 [...]


Bing Tweaks Search History, Dings Google

There's a new post on the Bing Search blog that talks at length about Bing's search history features, introduces a couple new features, and seems to ding Google a couple times along the way over its recent privacy-related stumbles. Bing has added its existing search history controls -- "Clear all," "See all," and "Turn off" -- to the Bing.com home page now. Those options appear when you click the new "History" link. Those same controls are still available in the left-hand column of a search results page, as they've been since Bing launched in late May/early June. The other piece o [...]


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 [...]


Yahoo Gives Inquisitor, Mac Browser Plugin, First Upgrade

The Yahoo Search Blog announced that they have released a new version of my favorite search browser plugin named Inquisitor. The upgrade makes the Apple Safari search plugin faster, cleaner, and multi-lingual. By faster, Yahoo has integrated Inquisitor with BOSS, enabling a faster return on your Yahoo queries. Yahoo has cleaned up both the Inquisitor home page and the client to be simpler and more streamlined. Finally, Yahoo has expanded the language support to Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German. Here is a screen shot of the new client [...]


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. [...]


Yahoo Buys My Favorite Search Browser Plugin, Inquisitor For Apple Safari

Yahoo has acquired my favorite search browser plugin for Apple Safari, Inquisitor. Inquisitor is an extremely useful search refinement and search aid tool for the Apple browser market. Inquisitor offers autocomplete, refinements, suggestions, and also allows you to add any search engine you like, plus create your own personalized and advanced query operators, much like OpenSearch. I spoke with Ariel Seidman, the director of product management for this product, and he answered a number of questions I had about the acquisition. David Watanabe is the developer behind Inquisitor, and he is al [...]


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 [...]


How Microsoft’s Behavioral Targeting Works

Microsoft Ad Push Is All About You at the Wall Street Journal has a nice overview of how Microsoft's behavioral targeting ad software works, nothing ground breaking, but a nice overview. I'll quote a piece of the article for you: Here's how it works: If someone types in "compare car prices" on Live Search, Microsoft's computers note that the person is probably considering buying a vehicle. The computers then check with the list of Hotmail accounts to see if they have any information on the person. If they do, and an auto maker has paid Microsoft to target this type of person, the computer wi [...]


Decipho Personalized Search Engine

Decipho officially launched on December 14th after having been available since October. It's an interesting search engine because it takes the concept of social search another stage further, while at the same time offering very useful personalisation. There are lots of things that you can do with it, but I would recommend registering and then uploading a list of your bookmarks to start you off. Unfortunately these have to be from your browser, rather than any other bookmarking services at the moment. Once you've done that, take a look at the search interface itself. Very straightforward, fol [...]


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