Personalized Search: How will we measure SEO Success?

Personalized Search: How will we measure SEO Success?

Google’s Peter Fleischer wrote an interesting article for the the Financial Times titled:
Google’s search policy puts the user in charge . Personalized search will benefit the user, but as the search experience becomes unique for each user how will we as an internet marketing industry measure our performance for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Success?

Mr. Fleisher explains the need for personalized search with a couple simple examples:

“Our search algorithm is pretty sophisticated and most people end up with what they want. But there is inevitably an element of guesswork involved. When someone searches for “Paris” are they looking for a guide to the French capital or for celebrity gossip? When someone types in “golf” are they looking to play a round on the nearest course or to buy a Volkswagen car? An algorithm cannot provide all the answers.”

In the following search for Florida internet marketing consultant Ten Golden Rules comes up # 2 in the natural result. Is this based on my previous searches that Google has cookied or can I assume that most users are seeing this result?

The broad answer to the question about measuring SEO Success is that we have moved beyond measuring search engine results on the page and we now measure search engine results on the website. Using Google analytics or other analytics programs we can measure the number of visitors to a website that come from natural search, and we can measure what actions they take on the website. Do they complete a contact us form, or do they download a copy of a presentation or white paper? Or, do they exit immediately on the first page they see?

Please share comments. How are you measuring internet success?

2 Comments
  • BlogDude
    Posted at 15:57h, 31 May Reply

    I think the thing that bothers me most with personalized search – at least with Google – is that there’s no way to opt out. Some of us offer our services on a global level (virtually) and aren’t looking for local customers. It’s somewhat like trying to find Gigs on Craigs List – you have to select a local area first.

    After performing a search on MSN Live and looking at my preferences, my location of Boston, Massachusetts was already turned on. Had I not checked my preferences I wouldn’t have known it was giving added weight to local results. At least with MSN I can remove the local modifier, but the settings aren’t saved, so when I went back to search again, Boston was back on.

    The other issue I see is that if you use an automated tool to check rankings, what locale is being picked up by the SEs to skew the results?

    I’d personally like to see the growth of some global search alternatives that don’t take locale or prior searches into account to give us an alternative to having choices pre-made for us.

    Randy Duermyer

    HelpDocuments.com

  • merjoem32
    Posted at 15:57h, 31 May Reply

    Thanks for the link to the article. The article offers great insight on Internet marketing and SEO. An Internet marketeer that uses SEO needs to know if his or methods are really helping to increase a site’s search engine rankings.

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