Google's Incomplete Web History

by Ruud Hein May 8th, 2007 

Trying out Google's Web History I see value in instant recall of things you've seen but forgot about. Searching your own history, that is.

I already showed how you can have your own web history without Google. Today I found out that I might actually prefer that technique versus Google's -- and privacy has nothing to do with it.

I was reading the extremely interesting New York Times article Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside. Later today I mentioned that article to a friend who asked for the URL. Oh, what a beautiful moment to experiment with the usefulness of Google's Web History!

"diet". Nothing. "diets". Nothing. "new york times". Nothing. "genetics". Nothing. "genetics"... still nothing.

Yet in the web history I am able to see the individual URL's I visited on NY Times... Which different titles though... Instead of "Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside - New York Times" in Google's Web History the title for that very URL reads "The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia".

Either way, Google doesn't have the title or content of that page available. The same holds true for any page which hasn't yet been indexed and cached by Google yet.

So, if you thought Google's Web History was a great way to have access to all your previous content -- not so.

The question mark whether or not it will have a specific page you visited makes Google's Web History less of a "trusted system".

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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