December 8, 2009 – Yes, it’s true and it happened right under everyone’s nose. Google has officially launched personalized search results which means there is no more “normal” search engine results. The search engine results for any given keyword on your computer will now likely differ from the computer next to you, your mom’s computer, and most importantly, your customer’s computer.
Before you begin to panic, it’s important to look at the big picture. From now on, whether you are signed in or not, Google will remember the searches you have performed for over the past 180 days to help decide which websites are the most relevant for your particular needs. This is not an opt-in feature and most Google users will not be opting-out, so how does this change the world of SEO?
Well for starters it will take some time for you to do enough searches on Google to start really seeing the difference between the normal search results and your personalized version. Second, using your researched keywords and continuously publish fresh, relevant content containing those keywords will continue to help your performance with search engines. While you may not be able to claim you are universally “#1 on Google” for x, y, or z search term, most likely you will still be showing up on the first page for most Internet searchers if you are already ranking well on those terms.
Since you do not have control of other people search habits, you cannot predict with certainly how you will show up on an individual level. However, if you continue to produce compelling, well written, keyword rich content that people want to read, they will continue to read and share your content with others, which will help your search engine rankings.
This is a time to really look at the quality of the content you are producing. Great content with Meta tags and other SEO techniques will continue to flourish while boring content that just contains keywords will likely fade into the background since it isn’t providing value.
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