Personalized Search Results and Integrated Social Search Results – A Perspective

July 6th, 2011

What Is Personalized Search?

As the term suggests personalized Search Results means search as per the users preferences and as per the past search patterns generated by is search behavior .

Google also introduced social search in 2009 which they integrated in search results when they announced an update to it in Feb. 2011 when Google made Social Search more comprehensive by adding notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites.

Personalized Search in 2009 according to Google :

Signed-in Personalized Search
Signed-out Personalized Search
Where the data we use to customize is stored
In Web History, linked to your Google Account
On Google’s servers, linked to an anonymous browser cookie
How far back we use search history
Indefinitely or until you remove it
Up to 180 days
What searches are used to customize
Only signed-in search activity, and only if you are signed up for Web History
Only signed-out search activity
How to turn off


Many fear that this this way people would be get search results from their friends and network and everyone can view different results. This would further render SEO as useless and having a good content based site won’t hold much of the value.

I agree to disagree on this point as to opt for search results or to opt out of search results is totally the choice of the user. The user today maynot be that search savvy but as the search engines are evolving so is the search behavior of the users. Today people want to get search results and the opinions of the people whom they know without spending much time and this kind of feature saves time and also backs a search result by what their friends and acquaintances have to say about it.

The average user is becoming more and more savvy day by day and wants the option and choice to search within his personalized search and save time or explore and search from a wider range of results by disabling the personalized search.

This kind of feature is a great help to content curators who have a set method of curating content within their personalized search preferences as this not only saves time but also gives a choice to the user.

In fact with this aspect of the user becoming more smart and search savvy and the search engines becoming more and more open to give wider options to the user, the SEO has a much wider connotation and implies complete quality web presence rather than only search engine presence.

Hence , SEOs have to guide and educate their clients not only about regularly giving quality content to their users but also educate them on how to connect on social media and have a wider outreach via social media sites, blogs, videos , discussions, participating in Q & A related to their industry, etc. In other words create an atmosphere of trust, authority, knowledge and information for the website and the social accounts representing their business.

Personalized search is not diluting or distorting search but helping evolve search to a more meaningful and target oriented search with the user preference as the focus.

About The Author

Founder of WebPro Technologies a Web solutions company based in India which focuses on building quality web presence for businesses. Bharati Ahuja is a SEO Trainer and speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant.


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