Search Good For SEO, Personalization Bad

    September 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Public search still dominates the industry, but the human factor of social networking could make some inroads on that.

UK’s NewMediaAge cites the growth of Yahoo’s MyWeb as an area of concern for the SEO and affiliate marketing industry. The personalized nature of MyWeb sees networked users searching within that network for resources. And that’s bad news for optimizers.

Ideally, the aspect of the personalized network that would have greatest appeal will be its keeping spam sites out of its available resources. In the article, one noteworthy search pundit sees that impact and much more:

“SEOs will be much more fragmented on different platforms within social networks,” said Danny Sullivan of “It’ll help eliminate a lot of the search spammers, but is going to impact on anyone who gets rankings on search engines without having good content.”

A site that has been relentlessly tweaked and updated to take advantage of marketing research on keywords, etc, won’t bear the scrutiny of the social network if it does not offer anything solid beyond a high placement on the first SERP returned.

Search engines represent the best way for a marketer to be noticed by users. Once a quality resource has been found and integrated within a network, and users weary of spam sites and content-poor optimized sites limit themselves to the trusted network, the effectiveness of SEM decreases.

For Yahoo, just as one example, that’s not going to be a huge concern. Overture will continue to deliver ads to users within the Yahoo network, regardless of where they are. Social networking sites and forums abound, but there’s plenty of traffic on the public Internet today.

Tomorrow, who knows? Perhaps RSS and social networking will combine to limit the exposure of more and more users to ads.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.