Google Personalised Search
If you are still stuffed with Xmas dinner and party food it might be time for you to take 5 minutes out of your day to focus on recent developments in the world of SEO. Exactly what the doctor ordered? I thought so…
Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz last week posted his views on personalized search so I’ve decided to put my two pence in to reiterate the point that Rand and his team put forward by considering how personal search could change the SEO landscape.
What is Personalised Search?
To update those who took their eyes and ears off SEO. Google recently announced the development of personalized search, giving users custom results depending on their browsing history. This development has the potential to improve usability for everyone, but could have interesting affects to the SEO strategies of many, especially those who are trying to become leaders in their SERPs.
Firstly, personal search is a big deal. Personal search is yet another way for Google to be producing different results. SEO strategies will struggle to determine how this affects their traffic simply because due to personalized search some users will “favour” your website and others won’t, thus giving little information back to the effectiveness of your strategy.
The main concern is the possibility of Google and other search engines using user monitoring to influence the rankings regardless of user customization. If this is the case the gap between large brands and small e-commerce retailers will increase with the larger sites squeezing the niche market in which small online retailers thrive. That being said Google still believe in the cornerstones of SEO and Search Engine results.
- Make your site accessible
- Optimize for user based keywords
- Create compelling content
- Earn relevant links from sites in your field.
The implementation of personalized search results may contradict the Asimov style rules above placing doubt on “what makes a good search result”
Personalised search will no doubt bring the importance of brand bias back into the frame with many users choosing sites with brand loyalty, bringing larger brands into SERPs simply because of the brand name. i.e. specialistrunningtrainers.com may be better than nike.com for “running trainers” but due to brand loyalty our smaller site will be outranked in their own niche due to user brand loyalty.
This potential for the larger companies to instantly outrank simply through reputation and user popularity has the potential to make SEO a more demanding and challenging profession.
So what can we do?
It may sound cliché but we need to stick to the rules above whilst placing even more effort on user experience and visitor satisfaction, the importance of low bounce rates and low S.C.A.S.I maybe the difference between being included in personalized search and being left waiting in the wings. Users now have a direct communication with Google giving them the ability to rearrange search results based on user experience, if your site is ranking 10+ but your content is loved by its users you can guarantee that Google will notice and will give their users what they want. Whether they will use the personal search data to influence search result as a whole are yet to be seen, but it is something that the SEO community is keeping an eye on.Tweet