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Old 06-28-2005   #1
dannysullivan
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Google Getting New Personalized Search

Google Relaunches Personal Search - This Time, It Really Is Personal over on the SEW Blog covers the new Google personalized search service that's rolling out this very moment for some people. If you use the My Search History feature, then you might be able to get personalized results now here.

If not, keep watching. Dirson's shown an example of how it is working for him here, along with this screenshot that he's posted:



For searchers, this type of service hold out the promise of greater relevancy. But for some search marketers, it's going to be the dawn of a new era -- one of where the results you see may be different from someone else, and someone else, and someone else. I've likened it to creating "multiple fronts" in the battle for top rankings.

What do you think of the service, if you're able to use it yet? And how do you think it might impact things?

Last edited by dannysullivan : 06-28-2005 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-28-2005   #2
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Originally Posted by dannysullivan
Dirson's shown an example of how it is working for him here, along with this screenshot that he's posted
Notice the "en Español" tab which is a good move on gaining ground with the Hispanic markets. Outstanding!
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Old 06-28-2005   #3
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I played around with it a bit but didn't notice anything dramatic. For example, I started out with "vegetarian food <city> <state>", searched some more, then plugged in "nightclubs", expecting to see results weighted toward the city and state I'd specified earlier. Nope, instead I got what appeared to be regular Google results ("Las Vegas nightclubs!", etc.). I take it "the magic" is supposed to kick in after you've been using it for a while, so probably it's too soon to pass judgement.

As for whether this system poses a threat to SEO, I don't think it does. It only affects those who've signed in, i.e., personalization isn't automatically foisted on any ol' searcher.

For this reason, I would expect that My Search History won't affect the results for people doing generic, "unpersonalized" searches, as Google supposedly isn't keeping track of such users' history.

That having been said, personalization as a whole is cause for concern for SEO marketers if it's being done without users' consent. Will there come a day when all search engines keep track of people's searches (use of the SE implying consent) and tweak results on the fly based on their history? THAT would be a formidable obstacle to overcome.
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Old 06-28-2005   #4
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I've seen it in action

Today I performed a search and found different results between using personalized results and not using them.

What I found is that a client spotlight page on 2 of our sites moved into the rankings. Because I visit both of these sites on a regular basis, they both appeared in the top 5 when I turned on personalization, however when I turned it off, they both dissappeared.

This was for a keyphrase not related to our corporate sites, but the phrase is related to the clients business.

I was only able to see personalized vs. non-personalized results in one query out of about 15.

Anyone else seeing similar results?
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Old 06-28-2005   #5
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From the article:
> ... but there's no doubt it will make spamming results much harder.
I wouldn't put it quite like that
If you are woking with "agressive" SEO or very competitive verticals then you have always and constantly been faced with new challenges. This one is just yet another one. Sur, it will become even more confusing for the less experienced SEOs but for many of the rest it's just the next round of the same game ...
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Old 06-28-2005   #6
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It'd be interesting to know if you can manipulate this service the same way you can spam your Alexa rank.

That is, get a bunch of friends to sign up and do lots of "personal" searches for your top keywords, then click through to your site. It's possible that could effect your site's non-personal rank in Google.

I suppose that'd be the most obvious place to start. Kind of a longshot, but who knows?
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Old 06-29-2005   #7
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I welcome it, but I won't be using it much until it is integrated into the Google toolbar for Firefox, which is how I do almost all my searching.

Quote:
It's possible that could effect your site's non-personal rank in Google.
Would Google be mad enough to leave such an obvious loophole for the dark arts? I doubt it. Your logged searches will affect your future results. That's how it works.
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Old 06-29-2005   #8
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It is integrated, more or less. If you are signed into Google, then any search bringing up its results pages no matter where they originate get logged. So if you've signed up for personalized search, that personalization is going to happen because you keep going back to Google somehow.
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Old 06-29-2005   #9
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It may work for the Google toolbar for IE. (I haven't tried it.) But it is definitely not working for the Firefox Googlebar. I am logged in for personalised search. But my searches through the Googlebar and right-click on words in text are not showing in my search history.

Last edited by Genie : 06-29-2005 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 06-29-2005   #10
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As Mikkel pointed out, it is just a new wrinkle on a old horn. So-called SEO may morph, but it will survive and prosper. Not because the concept of personalization is flawed or vulnerable to spam, but because it is not about search. It is about advertising.

Assuming I may be right, where is the focus going to be put?
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Old 06-29-2005   #11
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I imagine it will be sort of like getting someone to subscribe to your RSS feed or email newsletter. Once they subscribe, you always have an 'in'.

With personalization, the more often someone comes to your site, the more likely you are to show up in their search results. It's all about getting them to click on you that first time. Once they do, you have an 'in', which gets stronger each time they click on you.
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Old 01-15-2008   #12
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Re: Google Getting New Personalized Search

I've been using google search history for about two years. I like it but think it could be improved. I would like to be able to search my search history by date. There is a calander that you can use to click back through but it takes 20 clicks to go back 20 months. I would like to be able to search a date range, say, Jun 15 2006 - Jun 25 2006. Like so.

BTW - (and this is why I am posting) Have any other search engines followed suit by offering search history? I'd like to try some alternative search engines because I am very much against allowing google (or any other company) to monopolize the web. I would like to spread my clicks around to the little people. Who else offers search history?

Thanx
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