Why Can’t Google Read My Mind? A Look at Personalized Search

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Several top search engines, including Google and Yahoo, are competing to make personalized search a reality. How long will it be before search engines are able to “understand” – and, more importantly, how will personalized search affect your business?

Discuss personalized search information in WebProWorld.

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As search engines gain a grasp on human language, Search Engine Watch forum member Mikkel deMib Svendsen could see a shift of importance from getting links from high-ranked sites in Google to getting links from sites with truly similar content.

Daria Goetsch of Search Innovation Marketing is already implementing this into her SEO strategy. “I don’t know too much about personalized search as of yet,” Goetsch admitted to WebProNews, “but from my own SEO experience, I’m certain on topic links will be even more important with this type of search.”

One possible form of personalization Svendsen believes could happen is the ability of search engines to differentiate between commercial and non-commercial content. This could, in theory, mean that searchers would be able to choose whether they want their search results to contain commercial results. However, the search engines would first need to define what “commercial” content really is. Advertisers and e-Business owners with products to sell who would argue that their sites should appear on non-commercial results pages since their content provides information to the visitors.

“It would be possible to add enough non-commercial content to your website and continue to show up in the non-commercial results,” Goetsch believes. “The non-commercial content is good information for your visitors, builds the size of your website, is good for optimization purposes and visitors get something for free. Sounds like a win-win situation.”

If search engines learn to separate commercial and non-commercial content, SEO copywriting may need to evolve. In his article “The Missing Ingredient in SEO,” author David Wilkie says the old practice of “barking” at visitors to get their attention must now shift to relating to the visitors to convince them to stay. Written in a blog style to maintain reader interest, Wilkie’s copy effectively contains all the necessary keywords without sounding like an infomercial.

What might the future hold for personalization?

With some of the big players in the search industry jumping on board, many experts believe personalized search will move towards being more complex and relevant.

Even with all the technology out there right now, Andy Beal of KeywordRanking.com is quick to point out that search results are still much like a guessing game. In order to reach the level of “search nirvana,” he believes searchers will have to “relinquish at least some of the privacy that we currently hold so dear.” By allowing search engines to collect certain pieces of information from them, searchers would empower the engines to provide much more relevant results, Beal said in his article “The Future of Search Engine Technology.”

Does the secret to more relevant personalized search lie within giving search engines access to private information? How much information would you provide?

Share your thoughts on personalized search in WebProWorld, the WebProNews forum.

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Brittany Thompson is an administrator for WebProWorld.com and contributes to the Insider Reports with her regular articles and interviews.

Why Can’t Google Read My Mind? A Look at Personalized Search
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  • http://www.bulgariasfinest.com Jim Lawlor

    Geo specific search is now big thing these days

  • http://www.giftexposure.co.uk Dave

    Yes but implementing it is playing havoc with the natural listings

  • http://www.business-sale.com Chris

    Search engines are workig hard to provide us with personalised search

  • http://www.the-little-things-in-life.co.uk Peter

    Its improving but a long way to go yet

  • http://www.seethrureviews.com/Rocket-Spanish-Download-Reviews.html Rocket Spanish Review

    It’s been 4 years and personalized search is still not remotely possible. I guess it was harder than it looked.

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