Get Personal With Google

Anyone who's been on the net any time at all knows that Google has been the search engine of choice for many for a while now. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but for now, with MSN still in development and Yahoo going through some growing pains, many still feel that Google is the leader. As such, it's worth dropping in to the Google Labs every now and then to see what's going on there.

For example, Google's Personalized search offers a fun and useful way for searchers to interact with part of the mysterious and closely-guarded Google search algorithm. You can set a search profile that's stored as a cookie on your computer. The easy-to-use Google profile interface allows you to pick specific topics that interest you. Once chosen and saved, you can then do a search from the Personalized search page. At first, you'll see normal Google results. But at the top of the page is a slider bar, and by moving this to the right, those same search results will be dynamically altered to narrow in to focus on your personalization settings.

For example, a standard search for "restaurants" (without the quotes), will return several large, well-known sites among the first 5 results. These include http://restaurants.com, http://zagat.com, http://restaurantrow.com, the official Subway corporate site, and the Yahoo restaurants directory.

But let's say you've selected Texas as a geographic area of interest in your personalization profile. Move the personalization slide all the way to the right on the same search, and now the top 5 results are from http://guidelive.com, http://Landrysseafood.com, Houston Citysearch, and Austin360, followed by http://restaurants.com. Each of your personalized results are marked with small spheres of red, blue, and yellow.

There are many personalization topics to choose from, including Arts, Business, Computers, Health, and many other categories which can be further narrowed.

About The Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.sitetube.com. Visit his website for the latest on planning, building, promoting and maintaining websites.

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