How would you feel if you arrived at Google, and it suggested some recommended Web pages for you before you even entered a query in the search box?
I wrote about a paper a little over a year ago which discussed that possibilty, in New Papers at Google Labs.
That post is primarily about one paper, Retroactive Answering of Search Queries (pdf). A new patent application from Google, available at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), describes a very similar process for a search engine to recommend alerts to searchers.
The inventors listed in the patent filing, and the authors of the paper are different folks, but there’s a great deal of overlap from paper to patent application.
One addition in the patent that isn’t in the paper is a user’s Web History to help identify a searcher’s standing interests.