Believe it or not, I don’t use Evernote, OneNote or any other program for note-taking. Whenever I need to remember something, I open the Google App and search for it on my computer. At a bookstore, for example, I ‘m looking for names of the books that attract me, to purchase it later on my Kindle. This works almost all the time even when I forget about the hunt and have not looked for quite a few days at the latest searches.
Google only displays a few last searches in the Omnibar and due to my deep browsing existence, it’s almost difficult to fish in browser history to check for the Google page I’ve been searching for. For these scenarios the history database of Google Search helps me out.
Ok, it’s just a scenario and I’m sure not a lot of people are using their Google app as a note-taking tool. So if you think about it, you might want to view the search history on a different machine on one of those days, or if you mistakenly removed the user history, you might want to restore it. So you see, it can be useful to learn about the trick.
DOWNLOADING SEARCH HISTORY
If you don’t know about it, Google will record everything you searched on Google from your account unless you opt-out of the option. Data mining comes as a premium for all the free services Google offers and as useful as it is to Google, it is also useful to you. You can view the complete web history of your account at the Google History page.
Here, you’ll be able to scroll down and take a look at the searches you’ve carried out in the endless scrolling folder. You will also see the analysis of Google’s searches and if you have been using the service for a couple of years now, those figures would shock you.
Now click on the 3-dots menu at the top-right corner to export the search results, and click on the Download Searches button. The alternative builds an archive of your previous searches that will only be open to you. Google will email you when the archive is ready to download with an email from Google Drive and it will take from a few minutes to hours depending on the data in the account.
NOTE: You can disable the search history and opt out of the feature from the settings, but as per Google, it may still temporarily store searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session. So I guess, it’s better to keep the feature active and make it useful for both.
READING THE SEARCH HISTORY
Now as I mentioned, JSON files are in an interchangeable format that stores data, and can be exported to Excel so that you can read it. To get this done, open Convert JSON to CSV and click on Choose File to import the JSON file for the month you wish to see the Google Search history for. If you have already opened the file using Notepad, you can copy and paste the entire content in the box provided in Option 3.
Finally, under the Generate output option click on JSON To Excel and you will have the excel file with all the searches you have made in the month. You will also be able to see the searches on the page itself will the time stamp.
And that’s how you can access the entire history of Google Search, and read it in a concise format. However, even after all the analysis, from the timestamp that Google uses, I was unable to make any sense. If you are fortunate enough to crack the code of (query / id/0 / timestamp usec) please share it with us in the comments section or in the forum.
I was able to make sense of the timestamp next to the search results. The numbers are basically Epoch Unix time which is used for describing instants in time in Unix, defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 (UTC), Thursday, 1 January 1970. So to know the exact date for the search you have made, open Epoch Unix converter and enter the timestamp under the Convert epoch to human readable date option.
The tool will then convert the timestamp and even tell you the local time after converting it from UTC
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