• http://www.linux-girl.com Asia

    “So, to sum up, it seems that change is inevitable. Nothing about the interview changed my mind about the future of SEO. It just confirmed the things that I’ve been saying in various places for some time now.”

    I have a “personal” issue with Personalized search, and it has nothing to do with my SEO or SEM practices whatsoever.

    I do not foresee this affecting my business negatively in any way, since majority of my services are not encompassing “I can get you to the top of search results” any SEO/SEM company or person who relies solely on that promise alone should be shot and thrown out the door.

    SEO is a very small part of what I do, I increase sales and exposure online. Whether it be SERP results, ad exposure or negotiating with other website owners. Relying on search alone puts you in a space of panic when issues like this arise. My clients depend on me to increase sales using their website as the portal – that’s all. I do not promise high rankings, ultimately they are gained, but they are never promised. Unfortunately many of my new clients are due to idiots that promise top rankings and screwed up the sites.

    I do not like personalization, I specifically do not like Google’s idea of personalization. The idea that they will alter the #2 and #3 results, but retain the #1 is not personal to me at all – if I skipped #1 then guess what? I didn’t want it. That’s more “sub-personalization” – it’s dumb and ultimately I hope that Google takes into account how really stupid it is.

    If you’re going to alter results for someone, then alter them all – frankly I do not rely on #1 search results, #2 or #3 are usually more relative to my searches.

    During my personalized search experience, I clicked the #3 result and reran the search. Google initialized that former #3 result to #2 – and I clicked it again – only to get what I didn’t want before. Duh! if you wanted to give me a better experience of this form of search, then you should have gotten rid of #2 and replaced with #3 which would then be a different result offering me a different option. Why subject me to the crap I didn’t want in the first place?

    That’s my argument on Personalization, you cannot determine what I like by what I click on. Especially since marketing efforts are pushing clickable title tags. (Can you imagine the HELL this will create in Title Tag Optimization? ugh) One click does not equate a personal want or like.

    They should create a Google Toolbar that I can install in my brain and Matt cutts can personally monitor it to determine what I want in SERPS and call that personalization!

  • http://www.aimclearcom aimclear

    At the end of the day content and use experience (served up in competent and crawlable technical structures)remain king and queen.

    Thanks Gord.

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

    Google is still my #3 choice for many types of search. It’s just too highly gamed and not as releveant in many ways as a search in Yahoo!. Links and content are the only way to win the Google game.

  • http://www.SEOcritique.com/blog SEOcritique.com

    I remember getting my first super market club card. The promise was that by tracking my purchases they would be able to give me deals and send me coupons on the things that I want to buy. As a database miner I thought, “Cool!,” and signed-up.

    It’s over a decade later. I never get anything in the mail and the coupons that the uber-expensive cash register prints onto the back of my receipt never reflects they type of products I buy or might consider buying.

    So when I read about Google offering personal search for the masses (I’ve turned it off in my preferences by the way) my reaction is, “Cool!” Just make sure you get it mostly right out of the gate. I don’t expect perfection this early in the game, but please, please don’t release a half-beta solution that doesn’t deliver what it’s supposed to and put everyone through months and years of major revisions and tweaks. Please do not send everyone back to square one of the quest for search excellence.

  • http://jeff-kubina.blogspot.com/ Jeff Kubina

    i would agree that search engine optimization will become a lot harder. however, personalization isn’t just about the organic results, it’s about the ads also. with personalization working more relevant ads will be exposed to users more often. for example, if i were to search for glacier bay i would want organic results related to the national park and ads related to traveling there. if someone had recently been searching about remodeling, or did a lot of searching about home building, i would expect results about glacier bay faucets with ads about where to buy them (some of them localized). further, localization opens up localized advertising, increasing the size of the advertising market immensely. i think Asia said it well “SEO is a very small part of what I do, I increase sales and exposure online…search alone puts you in a space of panic when issues like this arise”; most sites could probably benefit more from better web marketing than just SEO.

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

    Two quick things:

    1) We really need to readjust our thinking of SEO. SEO – while still a term that carries lots of currency – needs to be refreshed and thought in terms of “Website Positioning”.

    As I’ve written at my blog:

    “The idea of Strategic Website Positioning is to think of search marketing (organic SEO and PPC), social media marketing and website development as an integrated approach, by asking questions centered around:

    • How is your website’s content, structure and usability fit with the intent of your audience?
    • How does your website “fit” in how people search (one-box searches on Google/Yahoo, Technorati, Oodle, vertical search engines)?
    • How is your website positioned in Social Media Community? How do you want to participate?

    From this we can build further questions…

    See the full thing here “SEO as Website Positioning Strategy

    2) Is there any hitwise or other source, that states how many Google searches are now under Google Personalized Searches?