Last week, Google rolled out an additional feature in its personalized search results, which is based on your experience on the search engine. This feature has been slowly rolled out to users signed into their Google Accounts. An example Google likes to give is, searching for recipes. Lets say you simply search “recipes” and have clicked on epicurious.com a number of times. Google will start ranking their site higher the next time you search for recipes. It’s as easy as that.
It is a nice feature to have, but as previously stated, the feature was only available for users who were signed into their Google accounts and had their web history enabled. That’s changing now and anyone using Google will be able to use the feature, even if you don’t have a Google account.
“This addition enables us to customize search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser,” said Google’s Blog. “It’s completely separate from your Google Account and Web History (which are only available to signed-in users). You’ll know when we customize results because a ‘View customizations’ link will appear on the top right of the search results page. Clicking the link will let you see how we’ve customized your results and also let you turn off this type of customization.”
Many are worried that the new feature could wipe where their websites will rank in Google’s Searches. Barry Schwartz of RustyBrick, which offers SEO services, says the change is going to come and regardless we will all need to adapt.
“I am not going to say I know what is better for the average searcher,” said Schwartz. “They can quickly figure this out after days and decide to keep it, turn it down, or off completely. SEOs will adapt, like they always do – we are a strong and smart bunch – I am not worried.”
Rich Ord, CEO of iEntry Network thinks we won’t really see any major changes because, “There is going to be the same number of searches and the same number of clicks to content. So basically, personalization in search will just be dividing up the traffic pie more.”
“This could make people think more about the long tail instead of just focusing on their top key words that they would like to rank for,” Ord adds. “It could also make people less reliant on organic search results for their traffic and in turn increase their use of Adwords.”
It should be interesting to see what happens with ranks within the weeks and months ahead. For a demo of how personalized searches works, be sure to watch Google’s video below.