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. 🙂