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Good day, fellow SEO comrades! Welcome back to another blog post from Search Engine Academy.

Why don’t we go over something that’s not well known, but is critical in SEO – personalization of search.

What exactly is “personalization of search?” How do we plan our SEO strategy around it?

First question – what is personalization of search? It is a process where, once the search engines rank and index web pages based on their algorithm, they then re-shuffle the results to fit the personal profile of the searcher.

And what’s the deal with a “personal profile?” Well, the search engines have been collecting your search query history unless you’ve gone into your Google account as an example, and it turned it off. The theory behind this is the search engines want to give you the best results possible based on your queries and which links you clicked on in the past, as well as a host of other factors, such as the keywords you use.

And this means that your client or you can no longer say “I’m always on page one of Google search results! I check it every day and I’m right up there!” Well, of course you are – Google knows you’ve been typing the damn URL in every day for weeks, so naturally they are going to humor you by kicking your web page right up there. But what if I, having just met you for the first time, type in that favorite keyword phrase of yours? What kind of results are going to show up for me? Will it be you or client? Maybe. Maybe not.

It also depends upon your IP address. Google and Bing use your IP address to serve up the best local search results for you, depending on which zip code or metropolitan region you’re in while typing in your search request.

The search engines take note of like-minded keyword phrases and develop them into concepts and networks that are very personal to you. There’s a whole helluva lot more under the hood, but let’s keep it very simple.

One way to adjust your SEO strategy has been to use the related concepts to your main, primary keyword phrase you’ve optimized a page for. Use synonyms and supporting words that mean the same, but are a variation in your text and links.

Personalization of search has been around for awhile. Recently though, it got ramped up by Google in a very big way with their introduction of Google +. Google Plus is a new way for you to connect socially with friends and businesses. It has a streaming feed, much like Facebook. You can create circles of friends, followers and acquaintances.

Anyways, just this year, Google announced that it’s SERPs would begin featuring “Search plus Your World.” What this means is it is now serving up search results for you from private information, like your Google + account.  So guess what? It changes SEO because if your client isn’t playing on Google +, it’s possible their SERP rankings could be changing.

You get “personal results” along with other organic results. It could look something like this:

I’m deliberately keeping this post short, because I would really like to know how you’re using Google +.

  • Is it working for you?
  • Are you seeing more personalized results?
  • Have you re-done your site SEO since joining Google +?

All comments related to this subject are welcome!

And if you’re curious to learn more about leveraging personalization of search, as well as other basic and advanced SEO techniques, join one of the Search Engine Academy courses taking place near you!

Until next time…think about related concepts to your primary keyword phrases on your pages.

All the best to you,