Last week Google announced that it would be rolling out personalized search for all users of Google, including those who are signed out of iGoogle. It used to be that personalized search just ran for people using iGoogle. It was based on the user’s web history and the users Google account. Users could bump up certain sites for certain keywords by click on an icon in the results or if your web history showed you visited a certain site a lot it would automatically appear higher in the results.
This latest announcement states that the new personalized search will run off an anonymous cookie on your browser that can collect up to 180 days worth of search data. It could mean a more efficient way to search, but in my opinion can skew the results. Sometimes people don’t want to visit the same site again and again, I certainly don’t use Google to find the same site again and again, I would just bookmark it.
What this means for SEO is a little more serious. If everyone will be seeing a different result then an SEO business couldn’t say to its clients that their site ranked in position ‘x’ every time for every client. It makes it impossible to say where their site ranks.
Fortunately though there is a certain tweak to an existing web analytics package out there that will let you track what ranking positioning users have from onto your site. ‘What analytics package is it’ I hear you ask, well try Google Analytics!
Funny that isn’t it.
This article is taken from the April edition of the Interaction newsletter. In one of the articles, Matt Hallett wrote a piece about Google Personalised Search.