• http://searchmarketingcommunications.com Tim Cohn
  • http://www.beginnerblogger.com/ Sarge

    Wow, this is really going to screw around with SEO workers!

    I’m sort of mixed about it. I think most people have their own computers
    I think it would be better if the personalisation was OFF by default and you had the option to turn it on.

    Not everyone is going to know that google is doing this. Having said that though, they won’t even notice the difference and hopefully the algorithm is good enough that the users will get the desired results they’re after without missing something that would appear on the old traditional search that everyone would get for searching for a particular keyword.

    I’m in mixed minds about it!

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

  • http://incrediblehelp incrediblehelp

    All this means is your desktop has its own identify according to Google versus being signed as a user, Google account. Nothing more and nothing less.

  • drunkonvinyl

    this is basically what the onion predicted a while back with this gem:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/google_opt_out_feature_lets_users

  • http://www.texasenergyrates.blogspot.com Shadab Malik

    Danny,

    Even if you get answer to the ‘%age of personalized results’ question, it isnt going to be any help to a regular user. He will always unknowingly get some weird personalized results even when he doesnt want them at all.

    Also, small time researchers will face the biggest problem since many of them may not even know there is any such feature released.

    Imagine after 5 yrs (or less), almost 75% of googlers will be browsing through personalized results without knowing it! Then, as an SEO you would just sit and hope that visitors click on your website (which may be clinging to the first page somehow). If they dont, your website may never make it to the top even with best SEO done.

    Finally, if Spain and Travel could be related and customized as in your example, I am assuming that this is through Latent Semantic Analysis? Spain could be related with so many other keywords. Personalization will be exponential.

    Personally, I am against this feature. As you mentioned, it will definitely benefit PPC advertisers & Google is right now focusing on only that. But what happens to SMBs that depend on Organic results solely.

    Time to click on that “Disable” link.

  • http://www.razorlightmedia.com John Crenshaw

    Shadab, you make a good point about this change benefiting PPC advertisers at the cost of organic SEO-dependent sites.

    This seems like a pretty major issue to me for any SEOs working on organic rankings. How can you possibly work to improve a site’s rankings when those rankings aren’t consistent from user to user? I wonder just how much “personalization” will be taking place.

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    About the best thing people in the SEO community can do right now is tell as many people as possible about what Google is doing, explain how to disable the Personalized Search, and let the users decide for themselves what they want to do.

    But I think Google should have held a press conference for something of this magnitude.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GregBogdan gbogdan

    A new wrinkle for sure, humans influencing personal search results, beyond local. Perhaps over time Google may use this to influence results for everyone (a new factor for the algorithm, good and bad,). And this may make PPC advertising even more desirable since organic result rank is no longer something that you can totally trust.

    I am also concerned that diversity and selection will suffer. This month I may not be inclined to investigate something, but next month I might or I would like to at least be exposed to new or different ways of thinking. How Google will mix and move results presents a big unknown.

    The power of default options is overwhelming. Very few people will bother to change a default. Search enthusiasts will play with defaults and settings, 99.9% remaining will not.

  • http://www.levelanalytics.com levelanalytics

    I’m not sure I understand the benefit to the end user here. Clearly, the benefit to Google is the proliferation of AdWords clicks if regular Google users want to see something new.

    If I wanted to buy something at Amazon, wouldn’t I just go to Amazon? And what product specifically would I end up seeing in SERPs through Amazon that I would say “Oh! I didn’t know Amazon carried that!” I mean, they carry everything!

    @Google: My browser already supports bookmarking. Show me fresh and interesting content. Don’t be a new fangled BHO.

  • http://canadian-web-site-promotion.blogspot.com canadafred

    Just when the playing field starts to level out between the on-site SEO experts and the link schemers, Google comes up with a brand new way to breed search engine spammers and creates a fantastic opportunity for marketing scammers. Way to go Google! Huge improvement.

  • http://writingferret.blogspot.com writingferret

    I’m really not sure quite what I think of this. I very much agree with levelanalytics…they said exactly what I was thinking. Very anti-Google to AVOID introducing new content to the end user. They just might work themselves into a hole where people go to Google for the familiar, and elsewhere for the new, which would not at all be good for Google.

    On the flip-side, people might start instinctively skipping the first few entries if they see them on nearly every search. I mean, consider how many topics will have a relevant page on Amazon, or eBay. Pretty much anything? Eventually people are just going to skip those, I would think.

    I fail to see, though, how search engine spammers could really take advantage of this.

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    “On the flip-side, people might start instinctively skipping the first few entries if they see them on nearly every search….”

    I would expect their clicks to cause the listings to churn a bit if that happens; or else they’ll just figure out other queries to use.

  • http://www.evilgreenmonkey.com/ evilgreenmonkey

    Has anyone confirmed whether &pws=0 still overrides personalization in the signed-out search results?

  • http://www.suzukikenichi.com/blog/ suzukik

    @evilgreenmonkey,
    Matt Cutts confirmed it on twittter.
    http://twitter.com/mattcutts/statuses/6356230570

  • Dr-Adam

    From an SEO provider standpoint, I am thinking it is going to really change things for clients who like to look up their sites and click through in the SERPS. Suddenly they will be ranking better and better! (however that will not be reflected in any kind of traffic increase of course). Lets just hope none of our clients are clicking through to their competition…..I am thinking a company memo to them is in order!

  • Pamela Falle

    It’s definitely nice to know that finally we can see how google really make it up to increasing its subscribers. Thus, we can easily improve our sites’ ranking.

  • jimmcbean

    @Dr-Adam – good point.

    Broadly speaking from an SEO perspective, depending on how big a factor history plays, I guess this consolidates sites / pages popularity that have built up a high SERP in the past making it more difficult for smaller players to break in. In this way, my search is progressively becoming less diversified the more and more I search where Google assumes that all previous searches that were clicked were essentially ‘good’ or noteworthy for the future. How does Google decide if this click decision made simply by remembering what I clicked on was a good one?

    Hasn’t personalised search just heightened the importance of SEO overnight and the need for webmasters to rank highly this second / minute / hour / day / week because locking in a high rank today means increasing your chance of a returning visitor tomorrow.

    From a usability perspective, I can see transaction cost advantages to this as it helps me to quickly find pages that I may have forgotten from previous searches, or didn’t bookmark – much like just integrating my history onto page results for easy access. I would like to know how in effect my search is being influenced by my history.

    I much preferred the wikisearch idea where diggs were used instead. This to me seems like a much more sensible way to at least influence rank to help find the best results as diggs are aggregated and positive experiences are validated. This doesn’t chain the little man either because if he has something better to offer then the merits of her offering will presumably emerge over time and bubble to the top.

    In addition, perhaps this decision may flutter a few hearts in the domaining world where high-ranked domains on G are now worth more in the second hand market.

  • http://nl.linkedin.com/in/berthuizing sailingbert

    Have done some research about differences in results with and within signed in.
    Results:

    http://sailingbert.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/google-personalized-search-nothing-personal-about-it-sofar/

  • http://www.easyseosolution.com zoe

    I also find this feature recent days. I enter a query in Google search box and after I login my Google account, I enter the same query. But the two results are different. The feature may be convinent to ordinary people, but it influences your perception of search engine rankings.

  • littlelake

    Zoe, I also realized this. Without knowing I was logged into my google account, I was all the sudden #1 for all the sites I do SEO for. I logged out to do some reporting, and went to compose the reports on the sudden rise in ranking…when I quickly realized that the results were way off when I was not logged into my google account. Very confusing for SEO folks that periodically check google results for the sites we monitor…because of course the one we take care of will always show top results since google see those sites as our preference.