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Google Personalized Search Leaves Google Labs

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Google's personalized search has left Google Labs and is now available to users on 38 Google domains in addition to Google.com.

Google's personalized search reorders search results based on your history of past searches, giving more weight to topics that interest you.

This means that if you search for "fly fishing" your future results for a search on "bass" will be more heavily weighted toward fishing than the musical instrument, according to Avni Shah, Google product manager.

Personalized search also maintains a history of your searches on Google, allowing you to revisit pages you previously viewed by scanning through your history.

Personalized search is now offered as an option whenever you sign up for a Google account, which you need to use AdWords, Gmail or other Google services. You can also add personalization using your manage account page.

Google has made several feature enhancements to the service for this launch.

A new bookmark feature lets you mark any page in search history that's useful and you want to easily find again. To bookmark a result, click on star next to it. You can also add searchable labels and notes to the bookmarks.

While it's nice to have this feature, it's not as useful as Yahoo's MyWeb feature that lets you save the full text of web pages. As with all bookmark services that only save title, URL and notes, there's not as much for the search engine to chew on when you're trying to find a page for future viewing. And if a page gets removed from the web, you're also out of luck, unless you've saved a copy of the page elsewhere with another service.

The remove results feature has also been enhanced. In addition to removing single URLs from future results, you can also block entire domains. You can also remove results for a single search or for all future searches.

Google has also increased password security for personalized search. As noted, you can remove individual items from web, images or news search results. You can also pause the service at any time, or delete personalization entirely.

If you delete the service, Google no longer maintains records that are personally associated with you, but does keep certain information in separate log systems that is uses for development and quality control purposes. Google keeps this data whenever you use Google, regardless of whether you sign up for personalized results or not. See Google's privacy policy for more information.

Google plans to integrate personalized search with Google News, in addition to the current personalized web and image search results. 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."

To get Google Personalized Search, visit its registration page, or see this help page for more information.

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