Chrome Journeys Might Be Enough to Tempt You Away From Safari

It’s the best browser feature since Google Search

Key Takeaways

  • Google Journeys helps you dive back into your old searches.
  • Journeys only works in the desktop Chrome browser.
  • It might be enough to tempt you back from DuckDuckGo or Safari.
Google Chrome Journeys showing on the screen of a laptop.

Pixabay / Mockup Photos

Google's Journeys is like a Google search for your Google searches, and it looks really, really handy. 

Finding stuff on the internet is pretty easy. What's hard is finding that exact web page you knew you were reading last week. You know what it was about, but no matter how hard you try or how much time you spend, you just can't find it in your history or even a regular search. Journeys is a new feature in Google's Chrome desktop browser that fixes that. When you type in a word from a previous research session, Journeys asks if you want to "resume your research" and takes you back to where you left off. 

"I think Chrome's Journey feature is more useful than a search history because it helps you keep track of where you've been on the web and what you've looked at. A search history only tells you what you've searched for, but not necessarily where on the web you found those results," sales manager Beau Pent told Lifewire via email. 

Journey Back in Time

Journeys is a browser feature, so nothing is saved in your Google account history, and as long as you have it enabled (you can switch it off), it's automatic. Whenever Journeys recognizes a word that you type into the search bar, it offers to take over. It shows you a list of relevant sites you have already visited. Sites you have spent more time interacting with are bumped up the list

A search history only tells you what you've searched for, but not necessarily where on the web you found those results.

"For example, let's say you're working on a project, and you need to find a specific article that you read online a few weeks ago. Normally, you would have to go through your search history to try and find the website address. But with Google Chrome's Journey's feature, all you have to do is type in a keyword from the article, and Chrome will show you where it was originally published online," Quincy Smith, Head of SEO for the learning platform, Springboard, told Lifewire via email. 

Chrome’s Killer App

If it works well, this might be the smartest search feature Google has invented for a while. And it should work because Google is still the best at web search in general. After all, what better source for your search results than websites you have already visited and found useful? 

This kind of innovation shows how primitive our browsers still are. In essence, they’re not very different from the first browsers we used back at the dawn of the web. You might be able to run entire Photoshop alternatives or get good password suggestions inside Safari or Chrome, but in fundamental terms, we still have the same dumb tools to help us get around: Search, history, and bookmarks.

Currently, the browser war is being fought on the battlefield of security and privacy. Safari is more private and also more secure. Chrome is run by Google, which means that your private data is fair game, but it’s also more capable and more compatible. It’s the same with search engines. DuckDuckGo is a privacy haven, but its results still aren’t as good as Google’s. 

Someone using Google Search on a laptop.

Benjamin Dada / Unsplash

Journeys is another category of feature altogether. It makes Chrome way more useful than the competition because it takes something that is currently a huge pain and makes it easy—just like Google search did for finding good websites back in the day. And because Journeys runs inside the browser and not as a part of your Google account, we get the possibility of privacy.

You can, for example, delete sections of your research history or erase individual sites. 

This all makes for a compelling feature that might win people back from DuckDuckGo, or tempt Mac users away from Safari. On the other hand, this is a feature that could be added to any browser—although nobody has Google’s search chops, which could be the deciding factor. 

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new kind of browser war that focuses on making the web easier to navigate and less frustrating overall. Let’s hope that all the other browsers copy Journeys as soon as possible.

Correction 5/5/22: Changed the attribution of the quote in paragraph 5 at the request of the originally attributed source.

Was this page helpful?