Google Set To Unleash Search Personalization

Google Set To Unleash Search Personalization

Personalized Search

Google is soon to come out with its “personalized search” results that will provide the visitor with accurate and relevant information based on the visitor’s search history and individual preferences.  The search results would vary from individual to individual. Google, using its “My search history data” as a tool to filter the results will already have an idea of your personal likings and can then offer you  a better and more customized result. The results, besides, will also reflect the geo location of the visitor and provide the searcher with results pertaining to that particular area.

What is Personalized Search?

If you are searching for the word “Paris and are from the travel and tourism industry you would receive information on Paris, the capital of France. But if your search history reveals that you are very much in the modeling and fashion industry you would most probably see Paris Hilton appear in the search results. In a way this helps you to eliminate duplicate definition keywords that are in no way related to what you are searching for. If ten people search using the same search phrase and are located in different locations and have different interests and perceptions we would see that all the ten people would have ten different results.

Every time you enter a query in the search box for information the data is stored in a data base for review. The search engines build your profile based on this data including your search habits, intentions, interests and preferences. Google knows your IP address and geographic location. Overtime, this data will be used to provide you with accurate, relevant and customized search results.

An important note though - to receive the benefit from this personalized service you will need to be signed up to a Google service so they can begin capturing informationi about you.  In other words, you need a Google Account.

Lower Traffic & Increased Conversion Rates

We will soon see reduced bounce rates and increased conversions as the quality of visitors would improve. The ratio between traffic and conversion will improve significantly. Though the overall traffic coming to a site via Google search will witness a downswing, there will be more qualified visitors as the results were personalized to what they were looking for. Our perception of search engine rankings is also going to change with the arrival of personalized search.  Accuracy and results pertaining to each user will become more evident.

Implications for SEO Firms

This major shift by Google will help experienced SEO companies who practice white hat techniques. SEO companies that work with the end user in mind and prepare contents that will satisfy their target audience are sure to derive maximum benefit from this major shift.  SEO companies that collect all the needed information from the client regarding products, type of target audience, competitors, geographical areas where products are going to be marketed before the start of the SEO campaign will see increased success for their efforts. Success will come to those who are able to position their products or service direct to the end user.  I believe the need for the services of SEO companies will witness an even sharper rise - especially for SEO companies with significant bandwidth and manpower. 

But the SEO firm also needs to impress upon their clients about the shift to “personal search” and its implications on their SERP rankings.  The client will need to become educated themselves about search. A good SEO firm will help foster this education. There is a need to develop a level of trust between the two. The SEO firm on its part should explain how the new search engine results work and how a search query made by a client and the SEO firm will be different and why this happens.

Search is 2009 is about to get much more exciting!  Brace yourself, and get excited about search engines sending more targetted traffic to your site.  That is - if your site is properly optimized. :)

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  • avatar

    This is surely a welcome move. I am sure this is going to benefit the end user in a big way.

  • avatar

    Eve – as i understand it, Sightix ( is a service for social networks that means you can socially search in this specific site whereas Google wants to offer it to the public Web.
    my opinion: it’s just a matter of size..

  • avatar

    I already heard about personalized-social-search:
    check it out :

  • avatar

    We are soon going to witness increased conversion rates and less bounce rates with the introduction of search personalization. From a visitor’s point of view it is a welcome step from Google. SEO companies that are able to respond effectively to the new changes being brought about and devise suitable strategies will see success coming their way. Ultimately it all boils down to giving what the visitor wants.

  • avatar

    This is huge!
    If this is what I think it is, I can see all the pretender seo guys opting out of doing ridiculous tactics to trick the search engines.
    There will come a day when www doesn’t stand for wild wild west in the area of search.

  • avatar

    This is the first time I am reading about personalized search and that was a pretty good introduction for me. Never thought there would be so much possibilities when search becomes personal, the way Google is making it. Thanks for the article Cyriac!

  • avatar

    Google is using ‘My Search History’ data to facilitate this functionality, but hasn’t explained how they’re using it. Though it refines your search results based on searching habits, spammers (not white-haters) in the marketing field can spam entries easily into someone’s search history at Google.

  • avatar

    Google has received much attention, not all of it positive, for its efforts to personalize search. The idea has had its share of controversy. While it might sound great that you are supposed to be given just what you want, personalized search has become the real headache for SEOs. Rankings have been freely fluctuating and this has posed many problems for reporting and overall work evaluations. And then personalization is an area that raises obvious concerns about privacy.

  • avatar

    Well personalized search from Google is not exactly a new feature. It has been around since 2005 but Google has been making regular updates to the feature. To me it has proved very useful in getting the precise information I need in the least possible time. And I expect Google to make more refinements in the future.

  • avatar

    Personalization of search results is sure to benefit the end user. Google will send him search results that are relevant and accurate. For SEO companies that already target the end user with their online strategies, the going may be good. But for others that use black hat techniques it may spell their doom. But all SEO companies will need to explain to their clients that the percentage of conversion rates will greatly increase even though a sharp fall in over all traffic may be witnessed. The ultimate result will be a renewed demand for the services of experienced SEO companies..

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