How Google Personalizes Search

Organic Search 18th, Jun 2013

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How Google Personalizes Search

Over the last 15 years, Google search has become the champion instrument to facilitate lightning fast information to people all over the world. From it’s inception in 1996, Google has always been on the cutting edge in regards to providing its followers with the most convenient and relevant search results. Google personalized search, which is now featured on Google accounts is no exception.

Since 2004, Google has been slowly implementing personal search results. These are results that cater to the searcher by taking into account their browsing history by search queries. This can ensure interesting and personally catered results that feel comfortable and customized for users. So how do personalize search results work? I’m going to give you a brief overview of Google personalized searches and how they can provide users with great results.

How it Works

Google personalized search works when you are signed into a Google account. A Google account, is the account you receive when you register for Google-based services such as YouTube or Blogger. A gmail account will also automatically be created when you sign up for these services and Google will begin to track your Internet behaviour based on previous search results and queries.

When you’re signed into your Google account, Google will work to personalize your searches in an ongoing process. From the inception of your account creation, Google compiles your searching history when signed in and having web history enabled. Over the period of a couple of weeks Google comes to know your Internet browsing history and formulates patterns through your interests.

Google then uses this knowledge to cater search engine results pages directly to you. It uses the queries you have entered and leverages them against the information you are seeking. For example, let’s say you were a fan of a basketball team called the “Tigers.” You frequent www.tigersbasketballsite.com (not a real website) now you enter the search query “tigers” into a Google search. If you were to enter “tigers” in a Google search with no prior history of browsing the Tigers Basketball, you are most likely to receive search results that have to do with the giant feline as opposed to your favourite basketball team.

What This Means for SEO

Google personalized searches have had an immense effect on the SEO industry. This mainly has to do with the fact that websites no longer have an even unit of measurement to set against each other in standard. Instead each page becomes unique for the user and search results are catered towards their preferences.

This has caused a shift in SEO strategy as SEOs now have to innovate in order to reach users preferences. One of these is localized SEO. With personalized searches becoming so specific focusing your efforts on attracting geo targets has become a popular, viable option.

Changing The Game

Google personalized searches are changing the way people receive information on the Internet. It is a way to get relevant, personalized information in front of users at their convenience. As we move forward to the future, SEOs now have to live in a world where they can only expect to target a narrower group of people. Some would argue that this audience is more relevant due to personalization. Is this a bad thing? Let us know what you think in the comments.

By: Tyson Huggins

1 thought on “How Google Personalizes Search”

  1. I would think this can be relevant in some situations. For example if I offer a very specific business say a print shop in the middle of London then this is going to help me because it means that when some searches from a different geographic location in England it should not really show this up purely based on personalised searches geographic data. On the other hand something like Facebook or YouTube I don’t think will be affected by this? I am not sure do you think a major purely online entity would be affected.
    Personally I am happy this is happening, one for when I am using Google, and secondly I only want people coming through to my site who are relevant. Where you may lose a number of impressions on Google searches and may lose a number of visits to your webpage your bounce rate will be reduced and this I believe is a good thing.

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