Friday, November 11, 2005

John Battelle's Searchblog: Google Personalized Search Out of the Labs

John Battelle's Searchblog: Google Personalized Search Out of the Labs

Google continues to add features that improve its core mission. Yes, Google keeps getting better and better. By granting Google the right to learn about you, you empower Google to make your life better.

My personal search profile on Google is currently empty as I just signed on to the new feature. I am confident that it will work like my Google sidebar and help me filter out the junk that I do not want to see.

As each day goes by, I appreciate Google more and more. I seldom search for news anymore now that my sidebar has already searched and listed the articles that I am likely to want to view. I view the snippet of many an article without reading the full piece. This is much like the two columns on the front of the WSJ. The columns give you a couple of lines telling what the heart of the article says. You can decide to read more if you like. The difference in the WSJ and Google is that Google knows which articles you chose to read and can adjust the list of featured articles accordingly.

I use the WSJ's internet partner site, CBS MarketWatch, to input and follow portfolios. It is a good service, provided free of charge. I subscribe to the WSJ and scan the paper most days. However, when I want to get quick information on a stock, often one that is in my portfolio, I often do not bother to open the MarketWatch page. My Google sidebar has already pulled up the stock price for me in advance. If the stock is not in my sidebar, I type the symbol in the Google search field and find my answer far more quickly than if I had opened Marketwatch.

I have noticed that when I find a stock this way and click on more information I am automatically sent to Yahoo but the screen has a frame at the top that allows a quick move to information on MSN and other services. It will be interesting to see how this is handled once Finance.Google is out. I suspect that Googlewill be happy to send searchers to any service of the users choice with any advertising revenues shared.

A popular news reporter and occasional TV talking head recently suggested that Google wants to dominate the world. The big "old media" try to villify Google. The reality is that the internet has permanently changed the way information is or will be distributed. Old media folks hate the internet and Googlejust happens to be the prime internet innovator.

A good comparison is that Google is the internet version of General Motors. General Motors did not invent the internal combustion engine, the standardization of parts or the assembly line. General Motors did not cause the world to quite using horses and wagons. The car certainly changed transportation forever and horse and buggy businesses hated General Motors. Mr. Sloan of General Motors fame simply came along at the right time to help millions purchase a vehicle. A vehicle that benefited the consumer.

The latest innovation will help consumers find information more quickly. We already know that Google, Yahoo and others finds information in the blink of an eye. Finding information quickly is more than getting a long list quickly. We have already come a long way from the days when Alta Vista would find a bazillion uses of the search word. We found lots of information in those days that took a long time to sort to useful information. Google's personalized search feature is going to improve the process more. Google will quickly learn that when my wife mentions stock and when I mention stock that she is talking about soup ingredients.