Personalization and Real-Time Search at Google

December 23, 2009

At the beginning of December, personalized search was rolled out to all Google users, not just those signed in to their Google accounts. Now Web history is being gleaned through an anonymous cookie, and search activity of non-signed in users will be stored for 180 days, thereby having an effect on search results. Bruce Clay, Susan Esparza and Virginia Nussey consider how personalized search results affect the job of an SEO and shape users’ expectations of search results. Bruce gives his recommendations for search engine optimization in a world of personalization and intent-based targeting.

David Harry
David Harry, blogger and founder of the community forum and discussion hub, SEO Dojo, has performed three rounds of research to gather data on result ranking flux due to personalization. Dave shares his analysis of the latest round of testing, and among his observations he notes the difference of results for informational and transactional searches. He also explains how SEOs might go about optimization in light of personalization. Finally, Dave puts the personalized search piece of the puzzle into a broader point of view, including the way a more powerful infrastructure like Caffeine allows broad customization of search results to occur.

Then Susan, Virginia and Michael Terry look at another recent Google implementation — real-time search results. The question of spam and low-quality information is raised, as is the shift in information gathering and consumption. Some seasoned search marketers expect real-time search results to disappear from Google in the coming months, while others see real-time search as a valuable tool for mining data online.