Google’s Personalized Search


Oh Google, we love you so but why do you have to keep stirring the pot? Oh yes, because it is your job, I forgot.

Last month Google rolled out their ‘personalized search’ for everyone. This isn’t new technology. It has previously been available to only those folks who were signed into their Google account. Now, we all get to have it, whether we want it or not.

A short explanation of ‘personalized search’ comes from Google’s blog:

‘Now when you search using Google, we will be able to better provide you with the most relevant results possible. For example, since I always search for [recipes] and often click on results from, Google might rank higher on the results page the next time I look for recipes. Other times, when I’m looking for news about Cornell University’s sports teams, I search for [big red]. Because I frequently click on, Google might show me this result first, instead of the Big Red soda company or others.’

The long and short of it is now when I put ‘get hamster out of wall’ in the search box on my computer I will probably get a different list of sites than when you enter it on your computer.

This provides a whole host of perplexing problems for search engine optimizers starting with, oh, say keywords. Back in the old days (you know – the days of 2009) the search engines analyzed the words on a web page, then they psychoanalyzed each and every other component and Viola! a page rank is born.

Well, that was then and this is now. And this ‘now’ has your search history prominently filtered into your very own, private search results. (It’s just between you and Google and a few hundred million advertisers.)

So what is a site optimizer or owner to do?

Start with the two things that will always (probably) help with your search ranking

  1. Update you site often with great content your audience will want to read
  2. Get lots and lots of links from RELEVANT sites.
  3. Keep an eye on your analytics.