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Google Personalized searches

     
9:01 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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People,

[labs.google.com...]

And then on the SERPs see the slider!

This is unbelievable. I don't know what this means for:
1. SEOs
How do you optimize your keywords now - a different approach is required now....

2. Other search engines
This looks to me like some kind of customer lock-in (though a weak one, I agree). How would other SE react?

Very interesting developments today.

-Mervyn

1:56 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting to play around with that slide bar!

Editing your profile to "health" and "diseases"
and then searching for "virus" - slowly fades away the "computer virus" results to the bottom of the SERP

4:07 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well it seems the United States have gotten their own local search in the Serps (as Adwords already existed) as well:

Edit Profile - Regions - United States - Iowa

similar to what we Europeans are offered in e.g. "pages from Belgium [ww.google.be]"

[local.google.com...] should do the same but does not seem to work for me "state-wise"

4:33 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's a pretty fun demonstration. And even though this is just a demo, you can see that we're playing with lots of ideas on how to improve the future of search. My personal favorite is how the results change in real-time as you move the slider from "min" personalization to "max" personalization. :)
4:43 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Doesn't work on my Mac in IE or Netscape - in safari I get the message "Sorry, Google Personalized does not currently support Safari"
5:09 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hmm. I'll pass that on. I think the real-time changes are done with a bit of JavaScript wizardry; not sure if your version of IE has JavaScript on?
5:34 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hey GG,

What is the ball logo to the left of each search result as you slide the bar?

Why do some have the ball logo and others don't?

If it is tied to the directory, they don't allow you to go deeper thus limiting your results to top level sites.

5:37 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What do the colored balls next to my search results mean?
The balls indicate which results Google thought were more relevant to your search, based on the interests you entered in your profile. As you move the slider to the right to increase the degree of personalization, these results move closer to the top.

[labs.google.com...]

5:41 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am fluent in three languages, so is there any chance that in the future i could "personalize" my languages setting to get in one serp the best results for those languages?
5:49 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Good suggestion, viggen. I'll pass that on to the folks who did the demo.
5:53 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There's no way to select Canada or Mexico (or North America) among the Regions!
6:24 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Great feature.

Now if I could personalize search to enter my DISinterest in affiliate shopping, hotels, and directories, the results would be really really cool!

:-)

6:43 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Chndru!

Overall it looks like a great new feature but still has kinks.

I noticed the slider actually took a lot of the most relevant sites out of the top of listings moving them further down the page.

7:17 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>DISinterest in affiliate shopping, hotels, and directories

That's easy : turn off your computer and find a new line of work.

7:55 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm, intereresting personalised results.

I have a site about "topic". It is #1 for several keyword searches related to that topic. If I tick the personalise box associated with that topic and then personalise the result, the #1 listing disappears completely out of the results! If I set personalise back to minimum, then the #1 result returns.

I need to work out what I need to do to convince Google that this site really is about "topic" beyond all the content being about that topic, 90% of the incoming links being from sites about the same topic, or several very closely related topics (several are THE authority site), and 75% of the outgoing links being also closely related.

.

See also: [webmasterworld.com...]

9:10 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Cool stuff, but you've abolished Canada! Go to the Regions category, and you've got every continent/region except for North America, which you list as "United States"!

Does Canada count as "Polar Regions" instead?! ;)

9:12 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Isn't Canada part of the United States?
9:36 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Not yet.
9:49 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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They're working on it in Google Labs right now.
10:02 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yah, just walked across the hall to talk to these folks. They're working on re-adding Canada to the world community now. If you've got Safari, we've heard reports that changing the user agent to Mozilla can fix things. Not sure why (different browser behavior toward JavaScript would be my own personal hell), but you can give that a try if you run Safari. :)
10:10 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Note how GoogleGuy will send an email about a misnumbered FAQ entry but will actually walk across the hall to save Canada.
10:24 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A misnumbered FAQ entry is a victimless crime. But you gotta send the love out to Canada. Respect.

<joking>Little-known fact: thanks to the metric system, Canadians are about 1.6x smarter than Americans. ;) </joking>

10:25 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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theres a marvel comic in there somewhere

"the new adventures of googleguy"?

10:30 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Heh, so now we know the location of his office relative to a known project team.

And, last year he made a comment about what he could see out of his office window.

If you go on a Google tour, keep 'em peeled. :-)

Unknown factor: did he move office between postings?

10:44 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Unknown factor: did he move office between postings?"

Yes. On average, I figured out once that I've moved to a new location every 5 months while at Google. We tend to shift around a lot as we work on different projects. :)

10:50 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I can't get this to work :( I can select my categories, but when I press Start Searching nothing happens. I'm in IE6, allowing all cookies from google, javascript enabled (actually I can't even find where you disable it in IE6... :/)
11:05 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately as usual Google launches something based on ancient data. Looks like being listed in the Directory in the Fall (before the last two updates) gives you that triple globe thingee, even if the page is no longer listed.

Interesting to watch the stuff move, but it's clear this is pretty awful in terms of trying to accomplish what it intends. Sites that obviously should move up via greater personalization often don't get the triple globes. Sites that have everything similar get treated differently, etc. Long way to go.

11:09 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If you've got Safari, we've heard reports that changing the user agent to Mozilla can fix things.

Well, it works now like that ... but still very clumsy.

Guess I don't get it. I setup my profile to Music / Rock and went and did a search for my favorite band. The results were as they usually are, with the band's official site No. 1 and the best fan site No. 2. Then as I move to "max" personalization, this one odd site I've never heard of started moving up the list and eventually took over the No. 1 spot. This site doesn't hold a candle to the regular results, so ... why is it No. 1? Hmmmm. Better keep playing to figure this out. Or maybe RTFM is appropriate here. :)

11:20 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I got it now. Although the Start Searching button still doesnt work, I just went to google/personalized after setting up my preferences.
11:22 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It still needs a lot of work, but as a concept it looks like a good idea for searchers. It (currently) totally (seems to) negates many of the current "theories" of how to SEO a page or site to make it rank high though.

Google needs more data for it to work better; or should I say that they need to do more processing of the data that they already have in order to get to the core themes of the page.

I just realised that the actual word that I ticked for the personalisation doesn't appear anywhere on that #1 page that drops out of the listings the more personal you get, even though the topic of the page really is all about the topic that I ticked.

.

Oh, heck. What a pain that you can't quote specific examples, 'cus this is a peach.

.

Heh, Googleguy. Nice to see your sense of humour on my mild ribbing.

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