Google Personalizing Results Beyond the Remove Result Feature

Mar 14, 2006 • 8:14 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google personalizes the results of some of those who search while logged into their Google Account. You should see a "Turn OFF Personalzied Results" message on the page some where, if your results are being personalized. We do not know exactly what criteria Google uses to personalize the results, but you can expect it to relate to your search history, click behavior from the engine and other search behavior. The thing is, some people do not realize the results are being personalized.

Barry Welford, Cre8asite Moderator, started a thread named Does your browser affect rankings? He believed, at first, it was a browser based personalization of his results. Not until later did he find out it was based on his Google search history. Does that mean that Google personalized search is not obvious to the user? Should it be explained clearer? Or should it just work as is?

I have a tough time arguing against either side of the debate. One one hand, serve the best results for the individual and no need to tell them more (it just confuses things). On the other hand, if you are changing the editorial purity of the results based on any criteria, even personalized search behavior, then you must clearly label the page as so. For Barry W. to miss that, it can't be clearly labeled.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

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