Home Google Mobile Adds Search History, But So Much More is Possible

Google Mobile Adds Search History, But So Much More is Possible

Google just announced a new feature for mobile called Search History; users can opt-in to having their logged-in searches saved, starred, edited and accessed from across mobile or desktop searching.

Google has long allowed logged in users to save their search or even web browsing histories for full-text search or retrieval, but offering easy access to this from the home page of Google.com, including on mobile, is very convenient. It’s convenient, but it’s not super exciting. This is our data, after all, and hopefully in the future we’ll be able to see far more value be built on top of it than just search and retrieval.

Our online click-streams are one of the most familiar examples of what some data analysts call our growing “data exhaust.” That doesn’t mean we’re exhausted by data, rather that we emit huge quantities of it as we proceed through everyday life.

Where there is meaningful data, there is an opportunity to discover patterns, make recommendations and offer other sorts of forward-looking insight.

There is definitely meaningful data in Google Mobile searches, the company’s market share in mobile search is up to more than 98% this year, according to independent analysis. Google said last month that mobile searches on Android are up 300% in the first half of this year.

The Potential in User Data

One startup four years ago partnered with the Chicago Board of Trade to create a futures market for user clickstream data, with the intention of selling say a large quantity of user data from people searching for new cars, not now but a year from now. That proved a little too far ahead of its time, but the point is this: there is substantial amounts of value latent in online user activity data.

Make bulk user data opt-in and programmatically accessible and you’ve got a platform just waiting to be innovated on.

So for now we’ll be able to access and edit our search histories from across desktop and mobile searches. That’s cool, but I’m still waiting for a future that’s far more fabulous.

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