Dec. 8 – Google Makes it (Even More) Personal

This is an entry in our daily Internet Marketing Advent Calendar series. Each day your favorite marketing elves Kasi and Amanda will focus on a new topic to get your internet marketing in order before the start of the new year.

Google Personalized Results has killed SEO for Google.

Oops, did I scare you? I realize that the holiday for fright has passed, so maybe I should have served up that statement with some tasty eggnog. But now that I have your attention, let’s take a step back for a moment.

Google Personalized Results is Not New

For over two years now, if you’ve been logged into your Google Account and did some searching, your search results have already been tailored to you. As of this past Friday, Google posted on it’s blog that it’s now an opt-out feature. You don’t have to be signed in to be getting personalized results based on your searches and your data is kept for 6 months.

Basically, Google explains it as simply as this: when you are performing searches and you tend to click on results you get from eBay, the next time you do a search and there is a result from eBay, that result may be shown higher than others.

You can turn this feature off, but many not-as-savvy searchers may be unaware that this can be done.

What Does This Mean for SEO?

SEO for Google is not dead. It’s still important to follow their optimization guidelines to ensure that your website is getting the best shot possible at coming up in a search query. For search users, personalization makes sense; it can be helpful for Google to remember what you’ve been searching to get an idea of exactly what you want. However, know search results will be less “normal”. People doing a search for the same term may see slightly different results based on what they’ve been searching for in the past.

You can read a couple different views on Googles’ personalized results expansion here.

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