Google Personalized Search and Content Marketing Strategies: Friends or Foe?

In this Article:

  • A little background on Google Personalized Search
  • Social Interaction and Google Personalized Search
  • Cut to the Chase – What does this mean for Content Market Strategy

Will Google Personalized Search make pure SEO impossible? Will it become a content marketing strategies nightmare? Or could it just be the dream that you have been hoping for as you build a real, sustainable business?

A little background on Google Personalized Search

The March, 2004 press release from Google announced the Google Personalized Search as well as the Google Alerts Service.  While both were and are meant to enhance the user experience as we search  the web for the most relevant sites, some people have some concerns over the personalized search aspect. It has been called a search tool for the narrow minded – those that only want to view information that agrees with their already established ideas about a topic. Others have called it a scary form of Orwellian censorship controlled by the mysterious algorithms and capitalistic leanings of the Google monster.

I’m only concerned with how it affects my content marketing strategy…but I tend to lean toward the practical and away from the drama or secret-spy-stuff conspiracy theory type conversations.

I actually stumbled on the negative effects of Google Personalized search as it relates to SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and SEO strategies on accident. When I was first learning this whole internet marketing thing I was very excited to discover that one of my first websites was advancing in ranking…on my computer only. When I tried to search my keyword on another computer, my site mysteriously lost ranking in a matter of seconds – the time it took to walk from one computer to another for my “show and tell” demonstration to a friend.

Then I ran across some research that quickly mentioned logging off of all things Google to get accurate results. Huh?

What they were referring to, I discovered, was Google personalized search. Because I had been following and choosing my own site over and over and over again to monitor which marketing actions were producing positive results, Google determined that I must really love that site. Which I did because it was my own, but that did me little good as I was trying to gauge my marketing efforts.

Now, there is a way to turn this off and I’ll show you how a little later in this article.

Social Interaction and Google Personalized Search

So let’s fast forward a few years. Of course the fist attempts at Google personalized search were not a complete success and the idea is still being tweaked today, as of this writing. You see, Google had always hoped for some user interaction with their searches to help decide if their algorithm formulas were getting close to achieving a state of search results nirvana.

However, not everyone wants to “engage” in their search. Like going to mass, they want to get in, get their God, and get on with their life.

So getting user feedback has been a little tougher than hoped for.

Now, here is an interesting part with the whole capitalistic politics of the internet. Many of you already know that Google and Facebook are kind of arch enemies, right? So all that feedback that may be given on Facebook pages, Friends and fans about a website or product may not transfer over to the Google Personalized Search.

However, Twitter tweets and follows just might make the cut.

So what does this mean? Well, if you were looking for a great restaurant in Boulder, Colorado and Google knew that your friend on Twitter just did a quick review of a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, that tweet might end up in your search results.

However, if an ever better friend made a comment on Facebook that the place was just condemned for cockroach infestation, that information may not make it to your search results page. Google may have determined that the information given by your friend on Facebook was of less value that the information given by your friend on Twitter. Not because that Facebook person is a less valuable friend but because they used the venue of Google’s arch enemy, Facebook.

Could this happen? Maybe…maybe not. That’s kind of left up to Google’s Personalized Search algorithm formulas and not your own ability to decide which information is most relevant to you.

Cut to the chase – What does this mean for a Content Market Strategy?

So while the greater minds sort through the conspiracy and monopoly debates, I would just like to focus on what I have control of in my content marketing strategies and the success of the websites I work with. After all, this type of Artificial Intelligence is most likely here to stay and will go through various Beta, feedback and improvement stages. I just want to know how to capture my customer’s attention and keep it – AI or not!

Click through to these 2 posts for additional information on Google Personalized search and Content Market Strategies:

3 Content Marketing Strategies that will work in all Google Personalized Search scenarios

How to turn off your Google Personalized Search

 Resource References:

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