Google has added an Interesting items for you module to the personalized home page interface as noted in the Google Operating System blog. Google works with your own searches and attempts to find other things that will be of interest to you. The module provides users with three tabbed options – searches, pages and gadgets.
I found that the searches Google suggested to be something of a mixed bag; some of them were actually quite sensible, although they were limited to a maximum of three individual search terms (not a phrase search in sight) – out of the 10 recommendations 4 were 1 word searches, 4 were 2 word searches and the final 2 were 3 word searches. I have no idea how they came up with ‘butterfly marketing’ as one of the suggestions, so I’d have to say that was not exactly inspiring another search (for a local air show) was clever, given that I’d been running searches on friday and saturday to see what I could go and visit on sunday.
The pages that were suggested were very different to the pages that would have been returned as a result of doing the searches, so it was pleasing to get two bites of the cherry as it were. 7 out of the 10 suggestions were actually very useful indeed, and I could work out exactly why Google thought they might be valuable.
The third tabbed option – gadgets – suggested other utilities that I might want to add to my personalized home page. The suggestion (on medical information) wasn’t appropriate, but again I could work out exactly why it had come up.
All in all, I was really very favourably impressed with this option and it’s one that will come in very handy for when I have a few moments to spare and want to do some guided browsing around.