Monday, November 10, 2008

Gasta: Personalised Search

Gasta Personalised Search for your company website.
You can reap the benefits of having your own personal search engine for you and your collegues to share in the revenues, and benefit from Search per acquisition affiliations.

Google leads in personalised search.
1. You can no longer assume that rankings as you see them are global. Anyone logged in while they search is potentially seeing a different set of results for the same keyword. You can log out of your Google account to search or turn off personalized results, but it won't do much good since every other user is potentially searching with personalization.
2. If Google is incorporating usage data from other sources such as the Google Toolbar, Google Chrome and Google Analytics, it means that the user experience is going to play a heavier role in SEO. Keep this in mind: for Google, the user experience is everything. Doesn't it then make sense for them to incorporate available usage data when ranking websites?

3. With these new data sources, Google could potentially be scaling back the emphasis on inbound links in their ranking algorithm. Links to this point have been central for Google rankings. With their market share continually improving and the unparalleled usage data that affords them we can reasonably expect that they'll be putting more emphasis on these metrics in the future.

4. Expected traffic estimates based on rankings just became difficult if not impossible to achieve. In the past, traffic could be reasonably estimated by multiplying the available search usage for a given keyword by the known traffic percentage of a given position. The 1st position, for example, receĆ­ved some 48% of traffic for a keyword according to leaked AOL data from a few years back. For a keyword receiving 100 searches per month, you could reasonably estimate 48 visits per month based on a #1 ranking for that keyword. SEO companies used that data to take some of the guesswork out of their campaigns. With personalized search these estimates are going to become far less accurate if not completely unreliable.

5. Overall, this means you need to keep your eyes OFF the search engine rankings to a large degree. Does a #1 position for your Google account mean you could be somewhere back on page 5 for someone else? Probably not. But the point is, from here on out we can't be sure without extensive testing. Rankings have haven't ever meant much - they've always been a means to an end, the end being quality traffic and ultimately more sales, attention or whatever your website goal may be. Now, more than ever, high-quality traffic should be your focus.

Personalized search isn't exactly a new concept - it's been discussed for at least a couple of years now. But we're seeing it receive heavier emphasis lately, and the buzz is on that Google is going to change the game again soon. Like it or not, we're likely going to have to let go of rankings as a metric for success.

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