Personalize Your Google Homepage

By Nathan Weinberg

Google released yesterday a personalized version of its homepage, one that lets you choose from a limited amount of sources and arrange them on your Google page. You get to choose from:

  • Gmail
  • Stock quotes
  • The New York Times
  • BBC News
  • Google News
  • Weather
  • Wired News
  • Slashdot
  • Movie times
  • Driving directions
  • Quote of the Day
  • Word of the Day

You can drag the items around the page in any sort of fashion. This is similar to what MyMSN and MyYahoo offer, albeit cleaner, as is Google’s style, and underpowered. You can’t add any content via RSS (although the Google Blog hints that is coming).

So, what is really the point of these pages? Some people like homepages chock full of imformation, and use them religiously. My unofficial home page is Bloglines, the most useful website I use constantly (the browser home page is “about:blank”, of course). When I use MSN Explorer, my home page is MyMSN, and although I’ve customized it to include tons of useful info, I rarely look at it. While Google may do a good job with this type of page, it will only appeal to those who like that sort of thing. I’ve argued for a long time that Google needed one, just to satisfy those who need an info portal. Now that its here, I am simply reminded once again why it isn’t for me.

I’m sure plenty of you guys like it. Comment away.

Oh, I might add, I’m not impressed with the word of the day. Menagerie? C’mon, you can do better than that!

UPDATE: Okay, so its not just me. Brad Hill notes a slew of opinions, from his own:

painfully immature, even childish by industry standards
to Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny:
There’s a radical idea! A customized home page with a search box at the top. Innovative! Whoever thought of the product is a world-class genius! What next, an IM client? Web hosting? A Calendar?
to Techdirt:
Google.. Yawn… Launches.. Yawn.. Personalized Google

…Blogger, Google Groups, Picasa, and Orkut are all woefully missing.

…It sounds like the Google “Factory Tour” is much like the simulated factory tour in Hershey, PA — just like you get to see a simulation of how chocolate is made, today, reporters saw a simulation of Google product development.

to Google Blogoscoped, which is running a poll:
52% - It’s a good start which might become an alternative to classic Google.

13% - They should stop releasing new stuff and concentrate on search.

10% - It clutters the clean Google homepage. Portals are so ‘99.

9% - I’m neutral, and still playing around with it.

7% - I love it — it’s the last piece to complete the Google puzzle.

5% - Compared to My Yahoo or My MSN, this is too little too late.

SEO Scoop:
Still, if I had to describe it, I would call it bland and boring, rather than clean and clutter-free.

May 20, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in:

3 Responses to “Personalize Your Google Homepage”

  1. anonymous Says:

    Of course the word of the day is not of their choosing, but of Merriam-Webster

  2. Kashif Khan Says:

    Is it just me or everything is very clunky. Hopefully is gives users something different soon because ive had these type of features on my excite page for years now … nothing new.

  3. Noam Says:

    Now that they have AdSense for Feeds, I guess soon Google will launch some feeds for Google News, with ads in them.

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