I’ve been having fun with Google Search History this past week and have noticed a few fun things:
- There is some form of search query clustering. If you look at your results page, some links will have a ‘Related History’ link next to them, taking you to a page of similar searches that you’ve done. At first I thought they were just matching basic keywords, but then I noticed some pages coming up that had no matching keywords at all (in the page title), but were still very similar in subject matter. I’m curious to see what other people’s results look like. If you’re curious to see what this looks like, simply click the associated thumbnail for a view of a cluster in my results.
- This is the big one – previous search results embedded in-page. I notice this popping up sometimes, in two different forms. The first: If you’ve visited a page before, from a Google search result page, a timestamp will appear next to the link, letting you know that you’ve visited it before. This, in it itself, is invaluable. There’s no longer a need to keep your search history, just so that you can remember which pages you’ve visited. Second: If you’ve visited a page frequently enough, it will appear at the top of your search results in a special box (much like Google News, Froogle, etc.) – this is the fundamental application of Google Search History. I want to be able to do a search and see the best result right at the top – and this application helps to make this happen. At first I didn’t think this happened, but then I saw it popping up (randomly) and I’m quite pleased at this change. This is why I think GHistory is awesome.
- You only have to log into one Google service for the search history to be activated – and this is good, otherwise I’d always forget. One of the first things that I do when on a foreign computer is log into Gmail, frequently before I do any searches on Google. Thank goodness for this – it really makes it a comprehensive and useful service.