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  1. #1
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    Exclamation IMPORTANT! READ THIS: Google just screwed your ranking reports

    Effective as of Friday, December 4, 2009 Google has activated mandatory Personalized Search for all of its visitors regardless of whether they are logged in or not.

    Personalized Search is a feature where Google tracks your Web History (recording every query you make, every click you make). As you revisit queries and click on Web sites over and over again, Google gradually changes your search results to favor the sites you click on repeatedly.

    Until now Personalized Search was only activated for people who were logged in to Google. You can PAUSE Web History at any time AND clear the data that has been stored. This functionality has been extended to users who are not logged in.

    Google uses a secret cookie not tied to google.com to track your browser.

    This feature has already caused plenty of headaches for SEOs who have had to explain to customers over the phone how to log themselves out of Google or how to turn off Web history. Now people will become even more confused because they won't realize immediately that even while not logged in Google is recording everything they do and adjusting their search results accordingly.

    Your rankings reports will gradually look different from the search results you see. Your ability to hold coordinated conversations with people on the phone (or through VOIP) will be impacted.


    Admittedly, this will probably help Google fight Web spam better -- because now users will be able to adjust their search results and ignore sites they don't want to visit any longer.

    But this will also force people to rethink their Web marketing metrics. The SEO community has already been debating (quietly) the value of rankings reports for the past couple of years. Many of us have insisted that tracking search conversions is more valuable than tracking rankings because the rankings can fluctuate so much.

    Now I think people are going to have to take their conversion data much more seriously than before. Ultimately your search optimization should improve as you become accustomed to thinking in terms of tracking search conversions, but this mandatory personalized search may very well impede the discovery of new Web content.

    I speculate that, to assist both Webmasters and users, Google may start injecting fresh content into Personalized Search results -- just as it now injects News, Image, Video, Phonebook, Product, and other special search listings into Web search results through Universal Search.

    If you want to read more about how this change may impact your search experience and how you can manage it, Danny Sullivan has a nice writeup at SearchEngineLand (complete with screen captures).

    Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results

    Jeremy and other mods -- I recommend you make this a sticky thread for at least a month or two.
    Free advice and opinions are provided without any warranties or guarantees. I cannot do anything about the facts.

  2. #2
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    Wow, thanks for sharing Michael!

  3. #3
    321
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    Lots of implications in this, none of them good for anybody... except those people who only want to visit places they have visited before. Most clearly, micro sites will be hurt badly.

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    This is retarded, period.

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    cheers Michael, thank you for the heads up. Would like to see this covered on the SEO radio show.
    Last edited by cernus11; 12-05-2009 at 08:27 AM.
    Follow me on Twitter : @InboundJames

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    Stickied and thanks Michael
    ----------------------------------------
    Everyone says they are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead - but yet there are so few people up at 5AM ? - Robert Herjavec
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  7. #7
    Fabulous Beyond Compare
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    clear all cookies?

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    I don't understand why Google would want this mandatory personalized search to impede the discovery of new Web content. Doesn't this imply that users will see the same sites over and over again in their search results, if they search for the same term ? Once again, Google over-analyzing what they think users want. Just remember, the Roman Empire didn't last forever.....

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    I like how Google's examples were words or terms that were spelled the same but had different meanings. This is probably the only time that this is any good. They completely neglected to mention what would happen if I typed in online poker where all of the results were on the same subject matter.

    Any insight into how it would effect rankings in this aspect?

  10. #10
    ความลับไม่มีในโลก
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    I write about so many different topics and like coming up with fresh content, ideas and just learning. So I spend a ton of time googling. Also as google analytics user, having site map accounts and a g-mail account i'm near always logged into google. Their search engine works fine for me from a user stand point.

    I'm not sure the implications from a webmaster standpoint, but from a user stand point, the simple fact that I'm now viewing search results the same if I'm logged in doesn't matter much to me because I'm always logged in.

    From the webmaster stand point its too early to have much feelings on the topic, but sure in the end similar applies. Good compelling content that is unique and serves the readers in the end will equal free traffic coming from Google, which I still look at as a bonus even though it is the majority of most my sites traffic. I'm thankful for Google thus far and have feeling I still will be in years to come so not worried to much about this change now. Will give it time to see what it means and when i need to adapt will adapt then.
    Betting Sports in the US? 5Dimes has Best Odds (US Players Accepted) - Live elsewhere? PinnacleSports Offers the Best Odds (No US Players)


 
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