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Effect of Personalized Search on SEO and traffic
James_WV

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 4:51 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

So, I've been reading the first Personalized Search thread and there's a lot on there about privacy concerns - which is cool as it's an important topic, but thought I'd start a thread for comments about the search aspects.

So to kick things off: I'm seeing a decline in traffic, but that can easily be accounted for with the season (I'm in travel) - but I am seeing an increase in the % of return visitors compared to new visitors.

Anyone got anything else to add?

Anyone got any thoughts on:

1) Is this keyword specific? If not, is it niche specific - i.e. if I search for "locationxyz history" and click on www.yoursite.com, does it make www.yoursite.com more likely to appear for "locationxyz widget"?
If so, then more content generation for non-money terms is the way forward.

2) Will AdWords clicks affect these Personalized Search rankings? Bit of confusion on this from what I've read. I can see this from both angles:

a) Google's always been at pains to keep AdWords separate from organic rankings - I've never subscribed to the conspiracy theories about Ad spend affecting rankings

b) On the other hand, if they're looking at personalized relevance, why should adWords clicks be treated any differently? If you find a site you like for a certain KW - should it matter to your personalized search what area of the results page it displays on.

 

gn_wendy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 9:56 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

1) Is this keyword specific? If not, is it niche specific?

I would tend to say it is keyword-specific. The location factor would probably be based on another part of the algo. The niche factor is interesting. I definitely think that niche is part of the math. Example: Dave searches for music a lot of the time and Mike searches for food a lot of the time. For the KW "popcorn" Dave would get the song/video titled popcorn and mike would get the corn-based snack... at least that is my understanding.

2) Will AdWords clicks affect these Personalized Search rankings?

Again going out on a limb (and applying logic) that wouldn't make sense - at least not for informational searches. Since G' would have trouble distinguishing I would say that the AdWords and Organic parts of G' will be applied with the status quo.

a) Google's always been at pains to keep AdWords separate from organic rankings - I've never subscribed to the conspiracy theories about Ad spend affecting rankings
b) On the other hand, if they're looking at personalized relevance, why should adWords clicks be treated any differently? If you find a site you like for a certain KW - should it matter to your personalized search what area of the results page it displays on.

a)Google has always been at pains to STRESS that they keep AdWords separate.
b) (see 2) whether you believe G' or not, and if they are applying sound logic or invesment-bankers-big-payday logic, is the big question here. For that discussion I think the other privacy thread has more clues as to what the consensus is.

almighty monkey



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 11:35 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been doing a bit of testing on this the last few days.

From what I can see, it simply displays the SERPS as usual, but it gives a legup to sites you've repeat-visited. If a site wouldn't appear for a keyword usually, its not going to suddenly appear because you've visited it twice. However, if your favourite site usually ranks 10, it may start being boosted up to 5 for your own results.

In all honesty, from a purely SEO standpoint, its a bit of a non-issue. We may see an increase in repeat-visits, but that'll be more down to the actual site content as opposed to SEO.

For me, the bigger issue is; we now know Google is tracking who goes where. I can't believe they don't utilise that information in their algorithm somewhere.

AnkitMaheshwari

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 11:50 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

IMO this would only make a difference for the first 1-2 SERP's while rest 8 positions would still be open for competition / old school relevance and .....

However, to force people to look below the first fold on 3rd result and further would be really hard as mostly one tends to click/visit the trusted sites (even if they are expensive in case of ecommerce sites).

So next thing is to start optimizing for videos/news/images/maps as they usually show in first fold of the page above 1st organic result

James_WV

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 12:28 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

"So next thing is to start optimizing for videos/news/images/maps as they usually show in first fold of the page above 1st organic result "

Good point Ankit - this probably makes it a bit more important to optimise for these areas now - probably also true for live search results too

AnkitMaheshwari

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 12:34 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Do not forget- Tweeter... :)

driller41

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 1:49 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is going to become a major change to the way that Google ranks sites.

They built their algorithm using links - this has now failed, there is just too much link noise on the internet for them make a decent job using this system.

So they are going to use user data to rank sites in the future, they will look which sites get the clicks to see where to rank a site.

They now own enough of the internet to make this possible.

This is kind of good, SEO in 2010 will involve less link buying, on page SEO will be redundant, no more worrying about funneling page rank to a certain page.

The webmaster will need to develop solid quality content and a top notch site design - one which makes the punter want to click around the site - thus generating user data for Google to use ot rank the site higher.

dertyfern

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 2:05 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing very slight differences in referral data from Google as of last Friday. A few keywords stick out as unusual or never before seen, but otherwise I can't really say that there's any serious personalization taking place that I can see.

gn_wendy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 2:19 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is kind of good, SEO in 2010 will involve less link buying, on page SEO will be redundant, no more worrying about funneling page rank to a certain page.

I do not agree. On-page SEO will never be redundant. What constitutes good on-page SEO however may change, as it has over the past 15 years.

As for what types of links will be important, and how these will be used, only time will tell, but with social media and twitter on the grow and being integrated into SEs the signal ratio that your site pushes may have an effect in the future.

James_WV

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 2:52 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is kind of good, SEO in 2010 will involve less link buying, on page SEO will be redundant, no more worrying about funneling page rank to a certain page.

Hmm, I dunno, I think SEO's gonna become more important in a way. If you don't have those top positions then the likelihood of you being found for a KW and then appearing in their Personalized Search (PS) results is not high - it seems you have to have the high positions before you get the Personalized Search.

I guess the logical conclusion to that is that SEO's will hit link buying hard to get those temporary 6 month rankings before dropping - but knowing they may still appear for PS results - although maybe G penalties will also apply to PS results too?

one which makes the punter want to click around the site - thus generating user data for Google to use ot rank the site higher

You've understood the whole proposition differently to the way I have from the sound of it. As far as I understand, it's not about clicks within your site, it's just clicks from Google's pages which will influence the PS results.

almighty monkey



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 1:23 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is kind of good, SEO in 2010 will involve less link buying, on page SEO will be redundant, no more worrying about funneling page rank to a certain page.

The only two things that can infulence SERPS are on-page and off-page factors. However they calculate it, and whatever they call it, Page-rank is always going to be a factor, and you will always need onpage optimisation to come up for keywords.

decaff

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4040166 posted 6:53 am on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think one really needs to focus on what drives websites towards success moving forward - usability -

this will come into play big time with personalization being factored in (and Google compiling trends across verticals / niches for how individuals and then groups of individuals favor certain websites...etc..)

Be thinking about stickiness/page view development...working to give the traffic the right mix of content...(video/audio/articles/news/interactive features...etc..)

Going to be challenging and a ton of fun as these new G developments really take hold...

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