Last month, fellow Worthwhile Web Strategist, Chris Rackley, asked me to Google something about one of his “most popular” blog posts he had written. He was surprised he was still #1 in the rankings.
Two identical searches only seconds apart from 5 feet apart yields two completely unique results listings in Google. Whaaaat?!
Google announces Personalized Searching
So, What does this mean?
- If you created a Google account after Winter 2007, the default account setting is to have “Web History” turned ON. If you don’t have an account, Google doesn’t store your information, from what I can tell from the sources I consulted, other than standard information which it gathered before.
- This means your searches in Google are “personalized” to you based on previous searches and history. So, if you are a fisherman searching for a new rod-and-reel, searching “bass” will likely not pull up a list of musical instrument websites. (Sounds pretty cool upfront, right?)
Good news/Bad news:
- Good news: Fewer individual irrelevant searches.
- Bad news: Google collects sensitive personal data from you, and you didn’t even know it.
- Good news: You can turn this feature off. (Best article on this subject.)
- Bad news: SEO experts can’t unequivocally promise specific placement in Google (even though they shouldn’t have in the first place). With the number of Google users skyrocketing, this technology will alter the face of SEO work in the near future.
What’s a business-owner to do?
I initially thought this Google technology would eliminate the need for SEO services. I then realized, this actually heightens the need for SEO work. With Google personalized searches, now people who are searching for the service or product you offer will see specific results, giving you a greater chance to be among them. BUT, now the question is, how have you set yourself apart from your competitors? If their site’s SEO strategy is better than yours, you may be placed lower. Confused? Don’t worry. We can help.
You’ve been informed. Act accordingly.