Google extends personalization options

iGoogle home page 

Google users will soon be able to display news, photos, lists and tools on their personal iGoogle home page, meaning  the famously minimalist search page could evolve into something like that pictured above.

It’s sort of like NetVibes, but with an abundance of widgets to help users add Google products including YouTube, GMail, Maps, and the instant-messaging service GoogleTalk.

As well, Google says it will extend the home page personalization features introduced in 2004, and the optional web-surfing history introduced last week, to deliver a personalized homepage and search results reflecting a user’s location and interests.

Why mobile search is different

An interesting item by Omar Tawakol at SearchInsider on why mobile search needs to be different from desk-top search.

…assuring a pleasing mobile search means a number of things, including: providing consumers a click-saving experience that returns answers instead of links; inferring a consumer’s context from his or her device, location and other information within ranking algorithms; balancing the subscriber’s short-term and long-term preferences to present personalized, relevant results that adapt to a consumer’s changing context; and providing rich client interfaces with streamlined interfaces including custom shortcuts, auto-completion of search terms, or voice inputs to simplify the user experience.

Search, it’s what we do online

Search engine Google is the most popular website among New Zealanders, and by a healthy margin, according to the latest data from web tracking service Hitwise.

Google has three sites in the top 20 list, based on market share of visits by New Zealanders, giving it a combined share of almost eleven per cent of all website visits in February. If one were to include visits to Wikipedia (a searchable encyclopedia) then the search category market share would be even higher, at 11.6 per cent.

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