Personalized and Customized Search

January 28, 2009

Search has evolved since Archie hit the Web in 1990. The algorithm advancements that are really changing the game include the various methods of personalized search results. Personalization occurs in the form of location-, intent-, time-, and history-based re-ranking of search results. As Bruce has explained, personalization is going to change how Internet marketers operate, as fluctuating rankings are devalued as a measure of success.

David Harry has been researching and writing about the effects of personalization on search results for several years on his blog Last year David began testing informational queries in order to study how rankings fluctuate and how personalization affects SERPs. The result was A Study of Google Ranking Flux and Personalized Search (available for PDF download). David shares his findings with Virginia and also invites people to participate in his next upcoming study. You can also talk to David in the WebmasterRadio.FM chat room during the initial broadcast.

Wrapping up the show, Bradley, Susan and Virginia talk about Google SearchWiki and the changes it portends for SEOs. Danny Sullivan interviewed SearchWiki’s product manager, Cedric Dupont, and asked a number of questions that were on every SEO’s mind. Can you opt out of the feature? Will user rankings be integrated into general search results? Will Web spam take on a whole new life? It remains to be seen how broad of an affect SearchWiki will have on Internet marketing efforts.