Will Google Personalized Search Change The Way You Market?

Google regularly makes big announcements but a recent one that most influences internet marketing is the launch of the universal Google personalized search. The news was met with trepidation by some, with disinterest from others. Let’s take a closer look at what this means to your internet marketing efforts.

The Specifics Of Universal Google Personalized Search

Google Personalized SearchBasically, Google personalized search means that everyone who uses Google will be shown customised results for a particular search – whether they want it or not and whether they are logged into their Google account or not. The results shown to an individual user are based on past behaviour such as which sites they’ve bookmarked, what sites they have clicked on when searching for certain keywords, what things they’ve searched for, and other metrics.

In terms of page rankings, when one user clicks through to a certain site, that information is stored and boosts the website’s rank for future related search results to that person only.

There is a way to opt out of this feature, but chances are that few internet users will take the time or effort to do so, plus there really is no reason to turn Google personalized search results off. After all, users are already accustomed to results based on their geographic location; this new personalized search just takes things several steps further. In addition, most of us are inured to personalized greetings from sites we’ve returned to and personalized ads targeted to our profile on social media sites.

How This Affects Internet Marketing

For one thing, organic search results will now differ greatly. Perhaps your site used to rank high for a particular keyword due to SEO techniques you’ve utilised. That value is now questionable because if a specific user’s behaviour doesn’t warrant it, your site will not disappear on their search results page. Of course, it is still good if you have achieved high ranking in non-personalized results, but now there is more to gaining traffic than simply optimising for keywords across the board.

Remember that when you check your website against ranking for certain keywords, the position of your site is influenced by your own searching habits. So if you visit your website often, it is going to appear at the top of your results page.

That domain name that you selected because it was easy to remember and contained your keywords? Well, that may not be as much of an advantage now. Each time a user directly inputs your URL into the search bar, they are bypassing Google and your site won’t come up on top when they do perform a search.

It is certainly not time to throw out all those search engine optimisation techniques you’ve learned in the past or put a halt to that PPC campaign. Instead, it is going to be critical that savvy internet marketers use the new information to alter their marketing plans in ways that will work with Google personalized search instead of against them.

About Sean Rasmussen

I am a passionate blogger and have been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When I'm not with my family, you will find me doing SEO, building websites for many of my clients, and creating products out of thin air! This is a cool gig and I love it!


  1. Mmmm, more changes hey? I have my reaction to this as an IM’er, but also as a consumer and a human being. This makes me want to cheer on Bing and other search engines, to give us more choice so we can compare.

  2. Without being someone who resists change, I’m not sure google’s plans are for the best, surely its going to skew results. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad, time will tell.
    The one strength Google has had over its competition is there relevancy.
    One thing for sure, if people don’t like it they will vote with their mouse or feet!!

    • Agree with your sentiments Cade. I mean it is all good for Google to continue to make changes, that’s why they are the No 1 search engine. However, this opens up so many issues for internet users.

      Just because I visit a handful of sites once or twice does not necessarily mean I always want those sites listed. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it comes along.

  3. Hello Sean,

    So If Goggle goes ahead with these plans would you know how to change our tactics with keywords so the SEO will be of some benefit? Is there anywhere on the internet on how to work with Google Personalization? I am wondering if Google likes us to keep on our toes!!!!, or for the fact that too many blog owners know how to create their website/blogs on SEO, its now time for a change?
    Will you be able to find out how to stay on top of number one spots on the internet?


  4. Hi Sean,
    I have just visited googles site via one of the links and I don’t think we will have to change too much at the moment the way I read it is if there is no history of the pages you visit you have to type in the address of the site you want to visit every time then it counts toward ranking.
    Am I on the right track or completely off the rails

    • The link you clicked on is a little bit old Rita, sorry about that. You will now see more and more personalized results being displayed due to your history. For instance, anything you add to your Google Reader and star, will now be shown at the top of the search results.

  5. Without being someone who resists change, I’m not sure google’s plans are for the best, surely its going to skew results. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad, time will tell.
    The one strength Google has had over its competition is there relevancy.
    One thing for sure, if people don’t like it they will vote with their mouse or feet!!

  6. This is great news. Given that all internet marketers are in the same boat in one sense but only a few have access to great strategists like Sean and YOTA, we will get an advantage over others. I am sure glad we have YOTA to keep us abreast of the latest Google changes, and any other changes for that matter. I am confident that no matter what happens, Sean will work out the best strategies. This means that YOTA forum members will be at a distinct advantage to most other internet marketers.

  7. Whilst I agree with Wal re the IM side, as a consumer it seems to me to be quite silly and thus I give a ‘here,here’ to Lina. When I am searching for something, I am looking for something I don’t know yet.. not the ‘same old, same old’, because when I want to go to somewhere I have been I have got a ‘history’ to click.
    Not to worry, necessity is the mother of invention, they say. IM will survive – for how else will search engine’s survive?

  8. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    This is going to be very interesting. I’m not sure I like it as I want to see a variety of results. I don’t necessarily want the same thing as last time but if I did, then personalized search would be great. Maybe Google will add a feature where you can see other results that you might be interested in?

    Still, on a positive note, I guess that my site will rank number one in Google soon given the amount of times I check its ranking. But, how will I know where it sits for the general population?

    • You could find out where your site is ranking to the general population, simply by checking it on other peoples computers, at an internet cafe, or asking your friends to check it for you 😉

  9. Seo Teen says:

    im really disappointed this is just another way for google to control people’s lives, come on man really how will personalizied results give me info that i want..basically the only websites that will gain anything would be big AUTHORITY websites that users are on all the time hence YOUTUBE what is owned by google..im telling you google are greedy pigs who do anything to increase profits its that sad truth, everything they do are for them not for us don’t let them fool you