Personalized Google home page Matt 20 May 2005

23 comments Latest by GOETT8

Google Moves to Challenge Web Portals (NY Times): “Moving more directly into competition with portals like Yahoo, MSN and AOL, the search company today unveiled a feature that allows users to personalize the Google home page with features they use frequently, like stock quotes, news and e-mail.”

23 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Egor Kloos 20 May 05

Portal? Google is charging ahead at full speed. This is where the wheels come of the wagon. Hubris indeed.

2005 20 May 05

It’s 2005 and the best Google can do is play catchup with My Yahoo who launched this, what, 4 years ago?

Chris 20 May 05

Very, very ugly. Looks like they designed the Google homepage and the “my Google” box separately, then glued them together. Which, of course, they mostly likely did…but I don’t know, something about that box is off. It doesn’t quite hit me the way GMail and other Googies have. Once it gets older and Google gives that poor box a bit of room to breath and come into its own, I’m sure things will work out.

Chuck Cheeze 20 May 05

I am going to stretch to say that you nay-sayers are jumping the gun. Look at the basics here, they are providing the search, and some generally high-desire information from some of their other search-based services. Give this a month or more (time for them to guage the general reaction) and I anticipate adding favorite links, choosing which search services you want on the page, maps, etc. Yes still a portal but, frankly, most of the tools on the web I use are G based, so I’d like to see them all on one page with my preferences.

Jeremy Flint 20 May 05

I do think the service would be nicer if the Google search box were more integrated with the other “boxes”. Maybe if they make it a mandatory box, but still allow you to move it around or somthing.

Most people are complaining that Google is turning into a portal, but at least they are not doing this on the main Google page (yet).

Darerl 20 May 05

I still don’t ‘get’ portals. I thought that was a buzzword that was killed off years ago?

As for this, Google excels at simplicity of interface. Clearly, this is getting complex, and this isn’t their forte.

Egor Kloos 20 May 05

The concept is not new, and I’m not convinced that users really want this. However google’s execution is not bad, I like the gmail integration. In the end this is paving the way to a portal implementation at some point. The design still needs some work, it looks a bit clunky. Style wise it will be more difficult to separate themselves from Yahoo. It’s like there becoming more and more alike. And lets face it, they on a high and the only way is down. I hope not, because they still feel like a real internet company that gets it.

mh 20 May 05

It looks like one option is to leave the whitespace alone. If you click “personalize,” then check off nothing, the page remains as clean as it was before, with the addition of a “personalize your page further” link. The big “example portal” block goes away. Nice.

Mark 20 May 05

I’m hoping that this is a step towards a more full-fledged, rounded out, Google PIM solution. I L-O-V-E Gmail… And I’ve said much more than once how much I’d love a Google online calendar to go along with it. This is the perceived benefit of My Yahoo! to me, email + calendar on one page, except that I don’t want to use Yahoo! mail.

I’ve gone so far in this desire as to contemplate tossing together my own PHP/MySQL calendar app and using the Gmail API or RSS to pull in unread messages on a personal portal. If can pull in Gmail, weather, headlines AND a calendar (even better…a calendar a la Trumba, which can sync w/ Outlook at work and allow me to add personal appointments into a separate calendar), I’d be ecstatic.

Thus my take: Don’t conclude that this is some pittance of a portal offering from Google, but perhaps a step towards letting Google manage everything from my Desktop to my Calendar to my Email.

Mark 20 May 05

Hell, Google, throw in an RSS aggregator a la Kinja on the /ig page for me too…please?

Matt Turner 20 May 05

Oh dear.. i severely knackered this.. tried it from uk google ( but attempting to customise cause it to go into a re-directing frenzy. Guess it’s another US only thing :(

Anonymous Coward 21 May 05

OK, people, it isn’t on Who doesn’t like it can use I like integration with gmail and there is no advertising. I don’t like design, but it is better than than My Yahoo!

Ramin 21 May 05

Why does everyone dislike My Yahoo so much? I think they’ve done a pretty good job of fitting all that content on one page. Maybe that’s the real problem, “all that content”? Hmmmm.. that could be true. I never use any of those portal sites, but I know a lot of people do, and they really like them.

As for google’s customized page. It definitely needs some work. Doesn’t look so pretty, but then again, nothing on google looks that pretty, it just works real nicely. I think they are currently in the “lets make this work VERY well” and then when they are happy with it (hence the beta notation), then the will move on to the “ok, now let’s make it pretty”

Marian 21 May 05

Google is sure on the right way to become a crappy company. Darerl is perfectly right.

4m 22 May 05

Gotta stick with the ol My Yahoo on this one.

Mihira Jayasekera 23 May 05

I use portal sites very infrequently, but I can’t help but notice that the Google portal is orders of magnitude easier to process and use than My Yahoo.

Setting up the page is a cinch. “Further personalizing” is also easy to find and easy to do. Clicking-and-dragging to rearrange the “portlets” on the page couldn’t be much simpler even if this was a desktop app (though the discoverability of that feature could be improved). Compare this to My Yahoo’s multi-step process. Yuck.

The Google page is not exactly a looker, but it’s almost as sparse as it could be: as always with Google, interface chrome (“interfacejunk”?) is kept to a minimum, so you’re left almost exclusively with the content you’re looking for.

Google’s playing the usability card yet again — if they want to win in the portal space, they will. (Here’s hoping that card wins every time.)

( — any thoughts on what the “ig” stands for in the URL?)

skck 25 May 05

ig ?= iGoogle

Jez 01 Jun 05

the UK version did work. as did the auto complete.
(Add ?complete=1)

Dunno what they did, but they seem to have taken away some functionality.

3stripe 02 Jun 05

ability to add custom rss feeds would really make this one!

still can’t quite adjust to having something other than the google logo to look at on the search page though!