I previously wrote about Google’s new Web History as a handy tool to bookmark sites in retrospect [rather than on the fly] and monitor internet usage through RSS. [see Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring].
However, the main feature of Web History is to record the sites you visit, ala your browser’s history.
Always on the Web
The first benefit of using this instead of your regular history is that Web History is web based, hosted by Google. This means you don’t have to delete history records to save space on your hard drive, and your history is accessible on other computers.
The second, and more interesting, benefit is that you can actually track your surf history while on another computer. All you have to do is login to your Google account, ie. Gmail.
I discovered this while looking for solutions to the corrupt WMI on this computer that was preventing my web access. While performing searches on this other computer, I was logged into Gmail to check overdue emails. Once the problem was resolved, I noticed these queries appear in my Web History.
Now if I find something I want to reference while I’m on a different computer, I don’t worry about logging into Del.icio.us or emailing it to myself. I know it will be recorded in Web History and I can tag it later.
This is another step in the direction Web History is taking me into auto-bookmarking. No more will I bookmark something in case I might want to check it again. Now I only Star items [later] that I know I need for future reference, using tags to put them where they belong.
Why would you do this?
- Mobility – use any computer, anywhere, and have your history with you
- Stability – no matter how many computers you crash, Web History will still be there
- Productivity – don’t stop to bookmark, keep your workflow continuous knowing that what you visit is being saved
Also worth noting is that Web History keeps track of every search query you make from Google. Not only that, but it also categorizes those queries into Web, Image and Map searches. This is probably the least useful feature around, but it does indicate more automated categorizing. For instance, Web History already puts your viewed Google Videos in it’s own section. Now, how about the video sharing sites we actually use?
Web History – [Google]