Google Personalized Search and You (and You and You)


Wait. What? Isn’t that what you said was going to happen back in November of 2008?

Short answer: Yes. See our blog entry about here.

What is Personalized Search (Google)?

Personalized search is the return of search results that are tailored just for you, based on your search behavior.

For a while there we saw the ability in all of us, who had one Google account or another , to personally rank sites by clicking an ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrow. And, from there, your search results started being customized based on your perceived likes, dislikes and the ability to personally remove a result from the SERPs.

Earlier this month we saw Google announce that personalized search is now a reality for all of us, whether signed in to Google or not.

But How Do I Know If My Results Are Personalized?


** See the big red arrow pointing to ‘View Customizations’. This is your tell-tale sign that your results are based on an addition to the algorithm, the personalized version of search results. Here, too, you are able to move further into the Google results and ask that Google show you results not based on customizations (or in their case of positive-spin-language ‘without improvements’).

What Does This Mean For My Site?

Probably little to nothing if you’ve been focusing on your SEO. I can hear the comments now: ‘Yeah, but my SEO tells me that success is based on rank. But, if my audience is getting different results, then rank won’t be a good measure’. You’re right. Rank as a top metric for measuring success has come to a skidding, crunching halt.

SEO companies (like Overit Media) will continue to focus on using search engines for traffic (as well as other means), so your site isn’t headed for the depths of page 10 of search results. Keep an eye on traffic, if you start seeing a trend downward, personalized search may be having an effect. If you see that steady incline still, personalized search may be doing nothing, or perhaps, helping.

So, as an SEO company, we trudge forward knowing that traffic, time on site and bounce rate are still aspects to look at. And, since we sit on the edge of our seats while analyzing, measuring and testing, we also sit close to the edge of everything that is search related – for our clients’ success.