Tracking Google Personalized Search Referrals

Feb 10, 2006 • 8:24 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A thread at WebmasterWorld started by WMW Administrator Tedster asks Referer tell-tales for personalized search? Is there a way to track referrals from Google Personalized Search?

I do not know, the thread has very few replies and it looks like there is no easy way at this point.

Why does Tedster ask? Because personalized search is believed to be the future of search. And to get a handle and start tracking referrals and data on this technology, is a wise move for any SEO.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Mike Marshall

02/14/2006 06:20 pm

There is a difference in the anchor tag for personalized search results. However, that difference is only in the onmousedown parameter which, unless I am mistaken, cannot be accessed via any environment variable. There is nothing useful to be gleaned from the referer environment variable. If you could access the onmousedown parameter, it would tell you both the ranking for that SERP listing as well as a 22 character identifier. I doubt there's going to be any shortcut or simple way of addressing the hurdles that the personalization of search will pose once the adoption rate increases. Ascertaining specific positions of URLs within the SERPs will just become unreliable. (You won't be able to know if what 80% of people see looking at the SERPs is the same or different from what you see. It's much harder to play follow the leader when you're blind-folded) Consider the SEO vs. SE arms race escalated to DEFCON3.

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