Yes Virginia, Personalization Is A Factor In Search Rankings

by Donna Fontenot November 10th, 2008 

Not that this is necessarily new information for the SEOs of the world, but for those who might be newer to the world of search engine optimization, it's always fun to pass along information that comes straight from a Google employee's mouth. (Which isn't to say you should believe everything a Google employee says, but it's usually fairly obvious when their tongue ISN'T forked. hehe).

Today's tidbit comes from an old friend of many SEO's, John Mueller (johnmu or formerly known as softplus before Google absorbed him into their fold). John gives a quick answer to a question asked by niemi over on the Cre8asite forums. niemi wanted to know if it was true that two people could get different results for the same search based on their surfing habits. John's reply:

Yep!

There are all kinds of personalization that play a role in Google's search results.

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. (No offense meant, John). ;)

Run on over to the thread if you want more details.

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5 Responses to “Yes Virginia, Personalization Is A Factor In Search Rankings”

  1. free utility says:

    it is funny…the more i study and know Google the more i am aware that I know this "little G-universe" very little. Google has many sides and it is quite different if not impossible to leash all of them

  2. Tertius says:

    This adds a very complex dimension to the google. Though I think that most people don't allow google to get as much information from them than they'd like. Not because they choose to but because they really don't use all the little information gathering apps.

    I could be mistaken, but if that is really as complex as it seems to be then that pokes a large hole in SEO. Niches will develop…

  3. Dennis Edell says:

    So searches are similar to how adsense operates…content. What you type in the first time, may effect how your search goes the second time?

  4. JohnMu says:

    Here's something neat for all you SEOs out there: http://searchengineland.com/eye-tracking-on-universal-and-personalized-search-12233.php

    Take a look at the eye tracking results in the image http://searchengineland.com/images/justbehave-sep22-8.jpg

    Not only is checking your rankings getting meaningless (who else sees the same results?), but users are also taking a good look at more of the results on the search results page. The takeaway of personalization is that if your site is something that users want to come back to, they'll be able to find their way back easier.

  5. SEO says:

    I find it all quite annoying!!!! Yes I do understand that users will be able to find your site easily if they want to come back to it, but I have Google anxiety and I check rankings for loads of sites daily!
    All I want is one standard search result!!!!!!!

    I have a question, maybe one of the guru's can answer.

    Why does Google show video results in the regular searches?
    why don't they just have a video search, just like an image search?