Mon Sep, 2011 by Grant
Personalized search. Throw that term out. Personalized search is just the new search. For some time now, Google has been paying attention to (and using) your geographic location, language and context from previous search queries to deliver the most relevant (personalized) results. They keep track of your search patterns and preferences to learn what you like to see and how you like to see it. One of the most exciting workshop sessions at Search Marketing Expo 2011 in New York was on this very topic. Jack Menzel, Product Management Director of Search at Google, and Stefan Weitz, Director of Search at Bing, teed off in a very lively discussion. They were determined to convey how personalized search relates to SEO.
Search engine optimization has come under heavy scrutiny because of this new age of personalized search. There is no shortage of claims that personalized search is killing SEO. Listen up, do not be fooled, personalized search is NOT killing SEO. Jack was quick to point out that while this may cause tracking to become more difficult, personalized SEO actually makes optimization easier. You no longer have to be globally relevant where global relevance is not necessary. Personalized search isn’t just a Google thing. Bing is also paying close attention to your personal search behavior. We all know about their deal with Facebook, allowing Bing to suggest search results that your Facebook friends have “Liked.” In addition though, Bing just announced their new Adaptive Search, a new personalized feature that learns from searchers’ behaviors.
Regardless of the search engine you choose, every time you search, that information helps the engines understand what you’re trying to do, or your intent. The more you search, the more they learn. The search engines use that information to tailor-fit your search results and make the searching experience more personalized. For those of us trying to track and report on search results, it’s important to remember that measuring search rankings is simply a moving target now, make sure you and your clients understand this.
Post written by Grant Heitkamp