The Continued Evolution of Personalized Search

The number one job of search engines such as Google is to provide you with relevant information in response to your query. While the way they do this is complicated and always changing their number one job never changes. Search engines feel they have succeeded when you respond to their top ranking offers on the search return pages by clicking through. They feel they have failed when you have to keep searching. To their way of thinking, the more personable their returns the higher the probability you’ll be satisfied.

This has led to a lot of changes in search engine algorithms over just the last year. Google, for example, came out with their personalized suggestions that are now displayed in a drop down menu every time you enter a search query. These are based on your past searches and the most popular search terms. It’s all in an effort to give you personalized and relevant data.

Google has gone one step further by rolling out a new program called the “+1 Button”. This is basically a bookmark hooked to your Google profile. Every time you find a site you want to remember, share and recommend to others you will now have the option of hitting the +1 button. Your bookmark will be shared with others in your contact list and even show up in searches. (You do have the option of keeping this private and for your own use.) Now you’ll be able to give and receive recommendations from the people you trust the most. If you have a site you like, a product your want to show to others or a service – such as a dentist – you want to recommend you can do it with the click of your mouse. Likewise you’ll be able to see what is recommended by your friends, coworkers and family.

The fact that personal recommendations will show up in search engines has major implications for SEO. User friendly websites and good, useful content on your site will add to your website’s productivity by helping to determine who gets recommended and who doesn’t. Appropriate keyword usage will also deliver relevant content to anyone who conducts those searches and so this element of your website will become increasingly important as well. After all, if the public doesn’t find what it is searching for on your site it’s not likely that you’ll get “recommended”.

As search engines deliberately increase their personalization of your search returns, and as personalized recommendations through things like the +1 Button enter into the search results you see, it is going to become imperative that websites are user friendly, offer fresh and useful content and be optimized for keywords that match the public’s queries. It’s also going to become increasingly hard to get ranked if you aren’t doing all of these things.

SmartBox Web Marketing keeps on top of the constant changes to search engine algorithms so that we, and you, can make these changes work to your advantage. This is just one of the many things to come down the information super highway in recent months we’re adjusting to so that all of our clients continue to rank well.



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Posted under Local Search, Web Marketing on April 7th, 2011 |

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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.