Google’s iGoogle Announcement

Google just announced their new iGoogle Personalized Homepage service. This announcement includes a variety of new features, and more insight into where Google is going with personalized search. A detailed summary of everything has been put up by Google Blogoscoped.

There are a few things that really stood out for me. One of these was the notion advanced by Sepandar Kamvar that Google wants to calculate PageRank for every person. Of course, the original notion of PageRank was simply a measure of raw incoming link juice. And this has already been extended with the notion of search query specific PageRank. And now, we finally have the notion of person specific PageRank. How the three will combine together should be interesting to see.

A couple of example of how this might work is that search results can be personalized based on your recent search history. If you have recently searched on “maserati”, and then type in “jaguar”, the auto results will receive a boost over the animal. Or if you type in pizza, and you have set a default location in Google Maps, you will get information on pizza places near you.

This is very interesting stuff. Of course, it gets complicated in a few ways:

  1. Benefiting from the functionality requires that you are logged in to your Google account. Not every one does that all the time.
  2. If you are like me, I have multiple Google accounts. Which one am I logged into at the moment? Couldn’t tell you.
  3. Many machines have multiple users, such as family machines. When my daughter cames into use my computer, I am still logged in.

Another very interesting part of the announcement is the improvements in Gadget Maker. Now users are supposed to be able to use Gadget Maker without doing any programming all. Google’s announcement states: “Anyone who can upload a photo or write an email can use one of Gadget Maker’s seven modules to create a personalized gadget without knowing how to write code”.

Here is the list of gadgets that Google is allowing non-programming types to access:

  1. A photo gadget
  2. Google Gram greeting gadget
  3. A mini-blog gadget
  4. personal list gadget
  5. personalized daily countdown gadget
  6. YouTube video favorites gadget
  7. Customizable free form gadget

There is a lot of great stuff in here, and its implications on SEO and web marketing will take quite some time to figure out.

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