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Google More Open About Customized SERPS

     

briguy182182

3:38 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just noticed this showing up in the SERPS yesterday, for certain searches, this is popping up right above where G shows how many results there are for a certain search:

"Customized based on recent search activity. More details"

The "More details" link leads to a page that reads:

When possible, Google will customize your search results based on location and/or recent search activity. Additionally, when you're signed in to your Google Account, you may see even more relevant, useful results based on your web history.

The following information was used to improve your search results for WIDGETS:
Recent Searches
You or someone else recently searched for WIDGETS using this browser. Learn more
If you're curious, you can see what a search for WIDGETS looks like without these improvements.

The "without these improvements" link then brings you to a search with the "pws=0" code included to show the un-customized results. Not sure if this means that any search where this doesn't show up is not customized or if they're just letting people know that what you see in the SERPS isn't always what everyone else sees.

tedster

5:09 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This was also mentioned by jimbeetle in the thread about the Yo-Yo Effect [webmasterworld.com]. Also there was an official Google Blog article about this new feature last week - [googleblog.blogspot.com...]

If the search results are customized by geo-location, then the "More details" page gives you a chance to correct the location Google used -- just in case they got it wrong. And naturally, using search history to customize results can only happen if you are logged in.

briguy182182

5:23 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks tedster, didn't know about the Google Blog article and hadn't seen the topic covered here yet so I figured I'd post it.

"And naturally, using search history to customize results can only happen if you are logged in."

That's not true from what I've seen, even in this case there are two different messages depending on whether you're logged in or not. If you are logged in you see:

"Personalized based on your web history. More details"

But I got the "Customized based on recent search activity. More details" message while I was logged out. Obviously when you're logged in the results are changed quite a bit, but while you're not logged in the results are still customized, just not as much.

tedster

6:03 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You may be right about that - I'll keep it in mind going forward. Certainly Google does customize based on rapid "query revisions" from the same user, especially in the are of Local Search. and they've got you by the cookies, too!

activeco

12:03 am on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



But I got the "Customized based on recent search activity. More details" message while I was logged out.

True. Ususally IP and/or cookie is enough for the personalization.

Lorel

12:31 am on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



but while you're not logged in the results are still customized, just not as much.

Boy, I hope not. I manage several client Google accounts.

lexipixel

11:20 am on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I just saw it for the first time, I had done about 200 searches for a particular niche, (industry and geographic targetted).

I had been logged in for some of the time while I was searching, but logged out about an hour earlier.

After a few more searches, I noticed the message just above the (right hand) side of the blue bar where the number of results and time it took to find them appears):

"Customized for Boston metro area, US."

With a "More details" link next to it.

I clicked the More details and it produced a page which read:

"When possible, Google will customize your search results based on location and/or recent search activity. Additionally, when you're signed in to your Google Account, you may see even more relevant, useful results based on your web history.

The following information was used to improve your search results for [company I searched for]:

Location
Your approximate location has been identified as Boston metro area, US.
Based on your IP address: ##.##.###.### [link: What's this?]
Sign in to use a specific location.

I was NOT logged into Google when this appeared, so it appears they track and retain and analyze based on logged in status, even after you log out.

This WAS helpful in my case yesterday, but lets hope they clear the data and DON'T expand on it further.

Imagine you search for a divorce, "adult" material, a birthday present for someone, island getaway travel for yourself and your "secretary", an STD, etc.. on the family computer in the early a.m., then leave for work --- the wife, kids, or other household member does a Google search afterwards and gets the message:

This search has been refined due to your recent searches for [___ fill in the dangerous___ blank].

piatkow

1:15 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Buy every family member their own laptop!

Umbra

2:41 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Imagine you search for a divorce, "adult" material, a birthday present for someone, island getaway travel for yourself and your "secretary", an STD, etc.. on the family computer in the early a.m., then leave for work --- the wife, kids, or other household member does a Google search afterwards and gets the message:

This search has been refined due to your recent searches for [___ fill in the dangerous___ blank].

That reminds me of Facebook's controversial Beacon advertising, and that story of the guy who bought a diamond ring online for his wife, but the surprise was spoiled when the purchase appeared on Facebook.

So what is Google thinking?

tedster

5:11 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The recent search data is a client side thing.

Recent searches...

In order to customize your results and show you the customization details, we keep the most recent query on your browser for a limited time. After that, the information is removed from your browser and disappears immediately if you close your browser.

Google blog [googleblog.blogspot.com]

jtbell

5:25 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Buy every family member their own laptop!

Or use a modern operating system that lets you create separate login accounts for every family member.

 

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