Google Personalized Search Results Now Live for EveryonePublished Dec 7th, 2009 Google, Search Engines, SEO, Traffic View Comments
This past weekend, Google went live with personalized search results for all users. Whether logged in or logged out, results will be customized based on search history.
Many search optimization professionals (and enthusiasts) are essentially freaking out and lamenting as if all their efforts to rank highly for certain keywords will be thwarted. In some cases, this may be true.
Here is a brief video introduction to personalized search by Google.
A Step Closer to Search Perfection
This is an innovative change for the general public to gain accurate results. I feel that legitimate business websites, well optimized blogs and organic content will begin to reap the benefits of personalized results soon as well.
Why will this be good? This search history data that Google is collecting is more powerful than we can readily imagine. They will use the nationwide collective data in the future to improve their algorithm, deliver further optimized results and put quality content at the top.
So, if you put in the hard work to deliver great content, network with your industry to gain authority links (which may now be more important) you will be rewarded by Google and indirectly by those who find their way to you through Google.
Another perk may be that spammers, keyword stuffers, obscure minisites or made for AdSense sites may become a thing of the past as the trickle of traffic they do get from Google grinds to a halt.
For more information on privacy issues, opting out and how Google is making sure to keep results diverse despite personalization, Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land has published a nice writeup for further reading on the topic.
Turning It Off For Research Sake
Web developers, domainers, marketers, and SEO professionals may want to consider turning off personalization. Sacrificing your own customized search results to get a more accurate representation of keyword research and where your own sites rank.
Alternatively, you could use a third party service like Authority Labs to monitor your rankings on Google as well as Bing and Yahoo.
What are your thoughts? Will you be turning off personalized results? Comments are always open.