30 March, 2004

ZDNet India : Google takes searching personally:
"As the search wars intensify, Google hopes that making a personal connection with its visitors will give it an edge.The company launched a test version of its personalized search"

The company launched a test version of its personalized search engine on Monday, part of its effort to tailor its search results to users' preferences. Google also plans to e-mail registered users of personalized search with the results of their queries.

The Mountain View, Calif., company introduced testing tools for its Personalized Web Search and Web Alerts on Google Labs, its public developmental playground.

Garcia said she would like to see Google increase the complexity of personalization it offers. The company could encourage greater use of the system by adding more depth in customization, such as providing more localized options and a larger range of buttons for finding content aimed at children and teenagers, she said. The system currently lets people highlight what state they're most interested in; by taking that down to the city or town level, Google could have even brighter prospects, according to Garcia.

"I could see people using this as an alternative to existing yellow pages and directory listings, if Google pushes it to the metro level," Garcia said. "There's also a huge opportunity to attract more local advertisers when that happens, and as much as this is a tool that caters to end users, I think it plays very nicely into that equation."

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