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Personalized Search: How will we measure SEO Success?

May 28, 2007
Jay

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?