Thursday, November 10, 2005

Personalized news search from Google?

Chris Sherman reports that Google will be launching personalized news search soon:
Google plans to integrate personalized search with Google News ... You'll be able to see the history of past news searches and the articles that you clicked on.

Since Google only maintains links to news stories up to a maximum of 30 days after publication, you may not be able to retrieve the article from your history. However, both the title and URL of stories are preserved, and you will be directed to news site to search for the article using the news service's own site search or archive tools.

Google says that the integration of Google News into personalized search will be coming "soon."
Excellent. Findory has had this for a long time, but it is great to see it from Google. It doesn't appear that your Google News reading history will personalize the Google News front page like Findory, but that may be coming at some point as well.

The beginning part of Chris' article talks about Google Personalized Web Search. If you haven't tried that yet, you should. It's the only example from any of the search giants of showing different search results to different people based on what each person has done in the past.

There are smaller folks exploring personalized web search including Findory. And it's interesting to look at the differences between Findory's alpha personalized web search and Google's personalized web search. Google's technique is to bias all your search results toward your profile (e.g. read an article on fly fishing, then a future search on "bass" is biased toward fishing, as is a future search on "computer").

Findory's personalized search (which admittedly is much less mature) tries to change your search results based on what you just did. If you do search, don't find what you want, then twiddle your keywords and search again, there's valuable information there. What you did or didn't find in your first search should influence what you see in your second search.

That's the big difference. Findory's technique tries to make fine-grained changes to your search results to help you with whatever you're trying to do right now. Google's technique makes coarse-grained changes (e.g. a bias toward fishing) using a long-term profile.

Fun stuff. It's great to see Google pushing hard on personalization of information.

3 comments:

PeteCashmore said...

Yep. And for Google, more personalization means more targeted ads, which is the backbone of their business. Personalization is really the next step beyond contextual ads - I guess attention ties in with all this too.

Greg Linden said...

That's right, Pete. I think we are going to see more targeted ads from Google, ads targeted not just to the content of the page, but to each reader's interests.

Findory is doing this too. Our advertising engine targets both to the content of the page and each reader's reading history.

Our goal is to make the advertising so useful and relevant that people stop ignoring it. We want to get to the point where our readers see our advertising as interesting content, information about products and services they actually want to hear about.

Anonymous said...

If I were you, I'd focus completely on the personalized search side.

I will have fewer users up-front, but once Google starts to see real returns, Yahoo, Ask, etc are all going to be buying any personalized search technologies they can get their hands on.