Personally Speaking, Here’s Google Personalized Search

One of the topics to land the headlines recently is about Google’s Personalized Search. It has been announced recently and that I don’t find this move surprising at all. The trend has been pointing towards personalization and existing examples include the “MY” pages of Yahoo! (my.yahoo.com) where an account holder can choose whatever content s/he wants to see on that personalized page. Ditto for Google, whose homepage personalization feature is even more flexible.

Contrary to Yahoo! which setup its Yahoo! account long time ago to connect to its family of services (Yahoo! Groups, Launch, Yahoo! Mail and so on), I think Google established the account system not too long ago, simply because it initially got involved with a few non-search offerings. The proliferation of other products like Google Spreadsheet, GMail and Checkout prompted the creation of a single login system to connect them.

Now, a registration to Google Accounts will enable someone to view his/her search history, personalized search and personalized page as described above. Please note that this can be disabled but by default this is marked checked so be careful.

Back in 2005, Yu Chen posted about getting addicted to the trends formed by his search history. I was a little skeptical about it because I did not expect that results of a query for a new term will be influenced by my previous searches.

Search history does not only cover text searches but also news, videos and images, among others.

By doing this search, I am afraid the issue of different data centers will impact the changes in keyword ranking from one machine to another. It could now be influenced by the Google account a user is logged on. So it could be possible that I ask a client whose checking his/her rankings from her computer and s/he will notice that the phrase I am bragging is nowhere to be found (assuming s/he is not logged to Google System; nah, it doesn’t matter if s/he is, by the way).

I could be getting high ranking for the page because I check its ranking most of the time, and my search history has some say about the supposed high rankings. This means the days of everyone seeing the same results for any particular query are growing numbered. Which is why I would prefer measuring traffic than checking for rankings. But clients are often obsessed with their search placements.

More in depth analysis by Danny at Search Engine Land.