• http://www.newfangled.com Eric Holter

    Thanks for the news and tips! I wrote a newsletter back in December 2005 called Number One in Google? Not for Long… – I guess the “not for long” part was about one year. I’m generally optimistic about Google collecting the data they need to refine searches that take intent into account. Ultimately, I consider highly targeted searching that delivers content (and even advertising) that closely matches what I am interested in as a good thing. I suspect the targeting will not be very good for awhile, and I am concerned about privacy and protection of the data, but we have to start somewhere and I’m glad Google is pushing ahead.

    I would love to hear from SEO folks about how they intend to adjust the expectations and goals for their services, given the impact personalized search will have on individual search results.

    Eric Holter
    CEO – Newfangled Web Factory

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    Great article Nick, thanks for taking the time to put it together. I had some questions for you thatI didn’t want to post here so I tried to visit your link but it was password protected, care to send me your email address?
    info at lucky lester dot com

  • Nick Wilson

    Eeek! Sorry about that lucky, the company is new and the site not ready for public yet but the password was an error nonetheless, i’ve fixed that now, thanks!

    Sure you can email me at nick@communicontent.com

  • http://www.aimClear.com aimclear

    Thanks for the post. When you use third party reporting tools (like webPosition) what is the data returned your “personal” search results?

  • Steve Amundsen

    Interesting post, Nick, but I think you are paying too much homage to the social networking scene. There is a good reason companies paid Google more than $10 billion in 2006…they are selling real products to real consumers. And they are paying the piper because they are not well optimized. As personalized search begins to take hold, it will be even more important for companies to reach their customers with an intelligent and compelling web presence.

    People will continue to search the web to find and purchase products, web searches will still begin with a query, and the search engines will still provide the initial SERPs. It is up to the website owner to be relevant enough so that the searcher will click to the site, and keep returning to the site. Personalization from the search engines is the last step in this process. SEO, along with web analytics will thus continue to become even more relevant as personalization permeates the web.

  • http://www.jontusmedia.com jontus_media

    Probably the most intriguing article I read yesterday! It kept me awake thinking.

    As an overview of where things are going, I think you’ve hit the nail the on the head.

    What concerns me given the majority of clients I work for (think small businesses who don’t really understand the net), is that Google have just raised the bar for businesses with limited resources: time, staff, IT-strategy, etc.

    People understand you need to rank highly in Google. But Digg, del.ic.ious, Fark, etc: I meet a lot of managers who (i) haven’t heard of social booking (ii) don’t get it (iii) don’t want to get it because it means changing strategy again.

    It’s going to be hard to persuade small businesses to go after this but it will no doubt be exciting.

    Bottom line: such a major paradigm shift will allow Web 2.0-orientated businesses to come to the fore, excluding a lot of businesses that are excellent but just don’t get IT. And most of them don’t even realise this is happening.

  • Nick Wilson

    @Steve: Yes, I mostly agree with what you’ve said. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough, if so my apologies: I was talking about using your presense on social network for example as a way of increasing the “personal” data for Google. IE: all those people using Google services on these networks, all those with the Google toolbar etc. It may only help a little right now, but im convinced that it WILL help, and that in the future it may help a LOT.

    @Jontus

    Yep. I hear you. Have them start a blog, network with other similar shops, find the enthusiast sites (and if there are manhy, pick out the influencers for them) and network with them. Link to them, join the conversation.

    Once a blog is setup and initial training and orientation provided it shouldn’t really take them much more than an hour a day to catch up with immportant discussions in their niche and comment on the issues of the day.

  • http://www.globalwarming-awareness2007online.com NunoH

    Useful tips. But I’m somewhat confused what personalized search will mean in the future.

  • Steve Amundsen

    Thanks for the clarification, Nick. I do agree that as Internet searches become ubiquitous in the mobile environment, i.e. the merging of PDAs, phones and other devices, the personal data of which you are speaking will undoubtedly play a key role in delivering increasingly relevant data to the end user.

  • http://www.para-diddledesign.com tblotsky

    Great write up Nick. It sounds like niche domination and geolocation (at least for brick and mortar service providers) will continue to gain importance.

  • http://www.seopractices.com seo beginners

    As long as Google runs the “Search Party”, we are prompted to follow their steps.

    Great article, I am visitin Search Engine Land more often to read, you are in my favorites now, thanks.

  • http://www.emergence-media.com DanielR

    Nick,

    Great Article.

    As we all here have discussed, this puts empahsis on the use of more social media techniques, but really the game hasnt changed all that much in terms of the types of tactics used for a robust SEO Campaign:

    • Ensure website is crawlable by search engines
    • Having content the audience wants and searches for
    • Long term link building strategy (from directories to virals and from word of mouth campaigns to blog outreach)
    • Leverage social media to distribute content and encourage link building
    • Integrate SEO strategy with PPC, Branding and Awareness (Word of Mouth Campaigns etc)

    What I’m interesting in knowing is what percentage of Google searchers are made by users who are logged on into Google Account?

    Blog Marketing, Widget Creation etc can be resource intensive and difficult to the client to learn and grasp.

    Is Google Account use large enough to justify such use of resources? If not now, will it be in 6 months?

    If anyone has stats on how many searches are done under a Google Account, please share!