Personalized Search (The Death of SEO?)
Search Engine Optimization has been a topic of debate since the concept was developed in the mid 1990’s.
Some think of it as techniques to artificially inflate organic rankings, in essence, to “trick” search engines to send them traffic that they do not deserve. I am not saying that people have used techniques to accomplish this for their websites and called it SEO, however, SEO is not a deceptive practice in my mind, and I do not practice techniques to build ranking artificially. The deceptive use of SEO has been called black hat.
I know, you have heard this over and over, right? There are many that cannot wait for the search engines to banish websites that practice SEO to the dreaded supplemental results, never to be found in organic results again. There are also many that think that SEO is just a marketing approach to sell website owners something that has no measurable returns. There are also many SEOs that are scared of what personalized search can do to organic results for everyone, how this will change affect their website(s) and that the rising costs of SEM will cut into their margins at greater rates than ever before.
The idea that Google, Yahoo and MSN are closing in on the ability to personalize results for users might be a concern, but it doesn’t have to be, for everyone that is.
OK, so what is personalized search?
How is personalized search personal?
There are many factors that can be used to analyze search patterns and give search engines insight into what users are looking for beyond an “all in one” result that is provided to unknown users. Here are the primary ways that they can better determine what results users are looking for:
OK, the cards are stacked against SEOs, right?
This is some of the best news that could ever happen regarding SEO, why? Because this is the most recent effort from the search engines to remove useless results from search results. This will limit organic results by removing irrelevant websites from appearing high in search results.
I am not saying that ranking higher will be any easier, of course I have never considered high ranking to be easy.
Holistic SEO, which is what I consider white hat, is providing users with the content that they are looking for in an effort to provide a positive user experience. When a user finds what they are looking for there is a much higher percentage of desired outcomes for the user and the website. Build your website for your users and it may have greater returns than just that user.
What does personalized search mean for SEO?
In my opinion, personalized search results will be a performance based organic results. Provide the visitors that search engines send you a better experience, they will send more. Why, because this means that they are giving their visitors a better experience which is a Win – Win – Win.
Personalized Search is nothing more than the death of artificial SEO!