Yahoo and MSN Welcome Google to Personalized Search Market
Google launched its My Search History today which personalizes and saves search behavior. Search Engine Watch’s Chris Sherman even made the bold statement that with Google My Search History one does not even need bookmarks anymore. Sherman also pointed out the difference of saving of pages as compared to the saving of search behavior “My Search History doesn’t save web pages; rather, it saves your search behavior, and makes it easy to rediscover both your past queries and the search result pages you’ve viewed.”
Well, Google has been getting lots of coverage recently due to Video Search and now Personalized Search, but in the eyes of many it seems that Google is simply playing catch up to both Yahoo and even MSN (with personalized search) when it comes to these search fields. Google search technology is proven as relevant and useful, however, applying that technology to specific search has not always shown the dominance that Google shows in web search.
Yahoo, on the heels of today’s Google announcement, is planning on launching a newer version of their own personalized search offering “My Yahoo Search” which hopes to offer more personalized offerings to an already personal portal. A Yahoo Spokesperson told the Search Engine Journal today that “Since the launch of Yahoo!’s personal search beta in Yahoo! Next last October we have learned what our users find most useful – the ability to manage and save the pages they find most valuable, building a personal web. It’s about saving what you want, not everything you’ve ever searched (think about trying to search a week’s worth of search results).”
The main difference between Yahoo and Google’s personalized searches is that more Yahoo users are “logged in” as they search and Google still has some space ahead of them when it comes to securing more registered users. Yahoo users are more apt to be logged in due to the popularity of Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Mail and other long term Yahoo offerings. Google’s premier personal web tool is GMail, which despite its popularity, is only one year old.
Basically, Yahoo Search is able to deliver a valuable personal search experience to users by leveraging direct relationships with nearly 176 million active registered users per month. Something that Google, Ask Jeeves, and others are a bit behind with. On the other hand, MSN Search is ripe for the personalized search and targeted search advertising due to its large number of registered MSN and Hotmail users, something that may scare the pants off of Google.
Think Yahoo is not tracking those searches? Check out Nacho Hernandez’s breakdown of Yahoo Search redirect URL’s : Stripping out the Guts of a Yahoo! Search URL