SMX West: Personalized Search Taking Stage

    February 27, 2008

When someone searches for the term "dog," they’re very likely interested in our furry friends.  But a few folks might be curious about digital on-screen graphics, and won’t want to dig through stuff about rottweilers and retrievers.  So personalized search remains as important as ever.

(Coverage of the SMX West Conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Steven Marder, Eurekster
Steven Marder,

In a session titled "The Personalized Search Revolution," representatives from several different companies got together to discuss the subject.  Phil McDonnell, a software engineer at Google, laid the groundwork by giving a sort of overview.

According to McDonnell, personalized search is based primarily on web history data.  It finds the most relevant results for each user, and provides subtle ranking changes.

Steven Marder, the CEO and cofounder of Eurekster, later stepped in to talk about where search is heading.  "Social search has reached a turning point with search giants tapping into new methods of user engagement," he said.  "We continue to see value in explicit and implicit contributions and believe it’s instrumental to overall search experience that users are able to browse and discover, as well as more deeply engage with content and drive the conversation among their community."

Phil McDonnell, Google Inc.
Phil McDonnell,
Google Inc.

Marder also added, "Content discovery is the next step in social search, especially leveraging more distributed vertical communities.  Adding a layer of community-contributed content to enhance the user experience creates more opportunity for the monetization and verticalization of search, as well as driving highly targeted advertising inventory for advertisers."

So if they’re not already, it seems that marketers (and search engines’ accountants), along with average users, should be cheering personalized search right along.