SMX Live: The Current State Of Personalized Search

Sep 14, 2011 - 3:15 pm 0 by
Filed Under SMX East 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the The Current State Of Personalized Search panel from the SMX East 2011 conference.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

Finished Auto-Refresh: Off
Barry Schwartz: 2:20:58 pm
We start in 10 minutes.
Barry Schwartz: 2:24:59 pm
Jack Menzel, Product Management Director, Search, Google (@jackm)
Stefan Weitz, Director of Search, Bing (@stefanweitz)
Barry Schwartz: 2:27:28 pm
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 2:27:43 pm
That is a pic of Jack, who I gave a really hard time in the other session.
Barry Schwartz: 2:27:51 pm
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 2:28:07 pm
Here is a picture of Stefan from Bing
Barry Schwartz: 2:31:13 pm
Here we go...
Barry Schwartz: 2:33:39 pm
Jack Menzel from Google is up first.
Barry Schwartz: 2:34:50 pm
He shows an example of what an SMX query can stand for, such as a camera, bike, photo frame, etc...
Barry Schwartz: 2:35:03 pm
It is an ambiguous query
Barry Schwartz: 2:35:33 pm
Personalization is not just about what is personal to you.
Barry Schwartz: 2:36:11 pm
The fact that you are in NY, is not personal to you. It is just contextual to you. So looking for bars, should you show the most popular bar in the world or one that is near you.
Barry Schwartz: 2:36:33 pm
Language, Context from previous query are also persoanlization
Barry Schwartz: 2:37:08 pm
Other things in personalization , real personalization is topicality, preference, patter and social.
Barry Schwartz: 2:37:42 pm
Example, a search for taxes... Showing NYers a tax page from the UK and not the IRS doesn't make sense.
Barry Schwartz: 2:38:13 pm
If you search for digital cameras, and then do a search for amazon. Then maybe Google will show a digital camera from amazon
Barry Schwartz: 2:38:48 pm
Personalization can show the sites you prefer, the ones you click on most often.
Barry Schwartz: 2:39:01 pm
It is also about your social network, what you and your friends like.
Barry Schwartz: 2:39:27 pm
He brings up the filter bubble from this morning...
Barry Schwartz: 2:39:39 pm
The thing is, personalization is working...
Barry Schwartz: 2:40:22 pm
He is pretty much mocking Eli's Filter Bubble... Removing Free Will, zombies, etc....
Barry Schwartz: 2:40:41 pm
Personalization is not just about what everyone is clicking on.
Barry Schwartz: 2:41:07 pm
If that was true, then everyone would get porn. Because a lot of people click on porn results in Google.
Barry Schwartz: 2:41:15 pm
...This is very very funny...
Barry Schwartz: 2:41:43 pm
Personalization is not perfect, users have active information needs, and quality/relevance is more than just clicks.
Barry Schwartz: 2:42:38 pm
More of the story... Users maintain control over their data. Be transparent about how the data is used. There is no canonical result set for a query.
Barry Schwartz: 2:43:01 pm
There is never one answer for every thing.
Barry Schwartz: 2:43:07 pm
You as a person does matter.
Barry Schwartz: 2:43:49 pm
Very good presentation! That is all for Jack...
Barry Schwartz: 2:43:59 pm
Stefan from Bing is now on...
Barry Schwartz: 2:44:47 pm
Stefan jokes that Eli is a big guy and he will track you (Jack) down and beat you down. Danny jokes, Jack will make sure he can't search to find him.
Barry Schwartz: 2:45:28 pm
Here is his next slide...
Barry Schwartz: 2:45:33 pm
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 2:45:44 pm
Not just about reranking of results
Barry Schwartz: 2:46:15 pm
It costs a lot to personalize the results, so which results do they personalize. Plus how much info do they need from the user to personalize those results.
Barry Schwartz: 2:46:53 pm
Personalization is all about giving the search engines a better way of determining searcher intent.
Barry Schwartz: 2:47:36 pm
They do selective personalization... Some queries get more personalization and some get less.
Barry Schwartz: 2:48:21 pm
Who: What are your interests
Barry Schwartz: 2:48:51 pm
What: Behaviors
Barry Schwartz: 2:48:59 pm
When and Where...
Barry Schwartz: 2:49:47 pm
Why: So Meta... Why do these people and queries always do these types of thing when they do this query...
Barry Schwartz: 2:50:26 pm
Personalized Search is gone, it is now just search.
Barry Schwartz: 2:51:15 pm
It involves: Social, Personal, Presentation, Context, Dynamics (what is changing across the web)
Barry Schwartz: 2:51:56 pm
He shows examples of Social and their example of their relationship with Facebook
Barry Schwartz: 2:53:56 pm
They do some rerankings and pull out friends stuff.
Barry Schwartz: 2:55:09 pm
He is showing live demos of personalization works in Bing...
Barry Schwartz: 2:56:12 pm
Contextual Signals: Such as localizing results...
Barry Schwartz: 2:57:23 pm
Bing is also doing personalized navigation
Barry Schwartz: 2:57:43 pm
His slides are sideways, everyone in the room is leaning their heads slightly to the right :)
Barry Schwartz: 2:58:21 pm
A new feature: Launching now... Adaptive Search...
Barry Schwartz: 2:58:39 pm
What it does is, it learns from your behaviors.
Barry Schwartz: 2:58:50 pm
He did a search for JSM
Barry Schwartz: 2:59:29 pm
It seems like previous query personalization
Barry Schwartz: 2:59:48 pm
Bing will rerank results based on the previous history
Barry Schwartz: 2:59:59 pm
It is rolling out now
Barry Schwartz: 3:10:10 pm
Here is my blog post on this new feature at
Barry Schwartz: 3:10:24 pm
Barry Schwartz: 3:10:48 pm
I asked, does Google feel sad they don't have Facebook or Twitter data, at least as much as Bing does with special deals.
Barry Schwartz: 3:11:10 pm
Jack jokes the web is bigger than the Facebook, and there are lot of ways to make connections between people.
Barry Schwartz: 3:11:23 pm
The most concerning thing is that they close off a lot of data, which is not best for the internet.
Barry Schwartz: 3:11:44 pm
Jack keeps talking about Facebook's closed wall garden...
Barry Schwartz: 3:12:49 pm
Stefan from Bing said the benefit of having Facebook is that it is the most widely used social network out there. So there is a huge benefit. The connection of people and public activities across all those different sites, this stuff is huge.
Barry Schwartz: 3:16:22 pm
Q: Does Google apply personalized news preferences to the news one box in the google results? He didn't really know.
Barry Schwartz: 3:19:34 pm
Q: How can you track personalization in analytics?
Barry Schwartz: 3:20:21 pm
A: There are ways we can improve our tools, Google said.
Barry Schwartz: 3:21:33 pm
Stefan said it is a good idea for a 3rd party tool designer to make one
Barry Schwartz: 3:25:04 pm
How is online rep management impacted by this?
Barry Schwartz: 3:26:14 pm
The answer is kind of obvious...
Barry Schwartz: 3:27:06 pm
If I am logged out, but you cookied me, are you personalizing me?
Barry Schwartz: 3:27:21 pm
Google: Now it depends how you define personalization?
Barry Schwartz: 3:27:35 pm
Set aside geographic and context (previous query) , then no.
Barry Schwartz: 3:29:16 pm
Bing said you can log out, all the social turns off. Geo is still there. but not adaptive
Barry Schwartz: 3:30:18 pm
Wait, adaptive search is cookie based, for 28 days.
Barry Schwartz: 3:32:39 pm
When is Bing coming out with a social network... They do have gamer profiles.
Barry Schwartz: 3:33:45 pm
Q: What is more important, social or links?
Barry Schwartz: 3:34:30 pm
A: Bing said, it depends. Google, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer..." and he keeps adding non sensible stuff, which Bing actually said.
Aaron Friedman: 3:36:30 pm
This adaptive search Bing is using is pretty much the same thing as Yahoo Clues...
Barry Schwartz: 3:37:08 pm
There is like 8 minutes left, but need to get to next session to get a seat. So ending here. If anything fun happens, I may add later.

Next session at 5pm EDT. Making Data From Google Webmaster Central & Bing Webmaster Tools Actionable

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