Google Personalized Search SEO White Paper

Dec 9, 2009 • 8:27 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

So, SEOs are freaking out on Google personalized search, now that it is the default. Can't blame them really but now it is time for action, right?

David Harry on the Huomah blog put together a white paper as a zipped PDF file back in October 2008, which he promises to update, with some key findings on how Google personalized search impacts SEOs.

Let me quote his key findings back then, but downloading the white paper might be worth your while. David concluded: No two SERPs were the same (personalization ON or not):

  • Personalization re-rankings are minimal (for informational queries)
  • Establish geo-graphic baselines (or segment data even)
  • Top 4 positions are primary targets
  • Top 10 are secondary targets
  • Top 20 may be leveraged through behavioural optimization

In the Sphinn thread discussing this, David said "we're working on another round in light of the recent announcement." He doesn't expect it to change much, but he will look into it.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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12/09/2009 02:44 pm

Thanks Barry... We actually did another round in Feb 09 which I never got to writing about. We expanded the variable and did a transactional query this time. The results were pretty much the same with that round as well (around 100 people that time). We'll be starting the next round with the Dojo members next week... so we'll have some data in a few weeks time. As mentioned, seems to me this is a change in presentation (to all not just logged in) more so than a change in how it's processed. Thanks again for getting the word out there. It's funny that the first post I had "Dont freak out' as a heading near the end; then your post monday came out with the same title... Nice... Happy Holidays to U and yours Barry...


12/15/2009 12:39 pm

Hi Dave, relevance of SERP has gone to the dogs with this one. I increasingly get a feeling that Google is selling out it's top organic rankings to top brands(bidders). Google has stopped it's focus on finding the most relevant result nowadays(or perhaps it's secondary). Why else would it rank brand sites with no optimization on Page 1 for all major keywords? In the garb of 'personalization', Google could easily push brands as top SERPs without raising eyebrows. If tomorrow experts/media questions on the relevance of these brands, they can easily get away with the 'personalization' rider. Pretty shady ... and very much possible! Would be interesting what others think of this!

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