New Search Service SeenBefore Helps Users Look Back

October 3, 2012

It is an exercise in frustration: you’ve previously searched for and found a certain something online, but when you wish to refer to it again, it stubbornly refuses to be found. Developing a reflexive bookmarking habit could save you, but not if the page you want has been removed. New search engine SeenBefore tackles that uniquely modern hassle. Its description succinctly explains:

“Find that website you read weeks ago, faster than any other tool. Chrome only at the moment. [The page later adds that support for FireFox and Safari is almost ready.]

“Works across multiple machines, displays results within Google’s results and stores the website so if the content online ever changes, you can still read it.

“40% of searches online are people simply looking for what they have already seen before. Time to improve this experience!”

So, with this tool installed, SeenBefore will save all your search results on their cloudy servers. But wait, you may say, why not just use the browser history? Because, they would reply, “people regularly delete their browser history.” Well, yes. . . there’s a reason for that.

The site does give some nods to privacy. It doesn’t keep track while you’re in “incognito” mode, and gives you the option to disable the recording for a couple hours at a time. They insist they will never share data with third parties. Also, if enough users say they like the idea, they will offer a private server for $300 per year.

SeenBefore is a neat concept, and I believe them when they say privacy is important to them. If they ever have a well-publicized breach, after all, they are sure to fizzle fast. However, the idea still makes me a little uneasy. I think I’ll stick to my cache and my bookmarks; thanks anyway.

Cynthia Murrell, October 03, 2012

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext


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