What Does Personalized Search Mean for My SEO Program?

Personalized search from Google, a new innovation ensuring search results are targeted to you and you alone, is causing shockwaves of uncertainty in regards to how it relates to Search Engine Optimization.

In reality, personalized search has been in play for well over a year, customizing search results for signed-in users based on everything from geography to browsing history. The difference now is that personalized search is in play whether or not users are logged into any Google account.

So what does this mean for SEO programs?

Search engine rankings, a long-held KPI, will grow increasingly less important – at least in a broader sense. For instance, when my #1 ranking for ‘Track Jackets’ matches what you see at #36, it can be difficult for the track jacket purveyor in question to raise either a victory banner or a red flag.

As such, rather than trying to achieve position at the top of Google’s rankings, many businesses may now find themselves scrambling to achieve position at the top of John and Mary’s rankings.

While the objective may be more complex, many of the tactics that can help promote success should already be among the components of a robust online marketing mix:

  • Onpage optimization: More and more, Google will be holding on-page keyword usage in higher regard as it decides where to position you in the search results of both your oldest clients and newest prospects.
  • Social content: Years ago, a functional website legitimatized a business in the eyes of consumers.  Social content, whether it’s a Facebook page or Twitter account, will now be used as a signal to legitimatize your business in the eyes of Google. This legitimization is yet another factor to help the search engine decide that your website deserves to rank. Merely having a presence is step one; being a valuable hub in that channel is the ultimate goal.
  • Social mentions: Personalized search brings with it real-time search, the inclusion of real-time social mentions in search results. With content from social sites such as Twitter and Facebook being indexed by all of the engines, corresponding social buzz may be seen by searchers.

Personalized search should be embraced, not feared.  It is a development that will provide us with what we truly want: search rankings defined by us, and a stronger match for us. This may require short-term adjustments to your SEO program, but the most important innovations usually do.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs offered by TopRank® Online Marketing focus on providing and implementing recommendations offering the highest impact as it relates to our client’s objectives.  Contact TopRank® Online Marketing to learn more about high impact SEO by calling toll free at 1-877-872-6628 or locally in the Twin Cities at 952-400-0194.

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