How TED Helped Me Understand Personalized Search

Long time readers here will know that I’m not a big fan of Google’s personalized search. However late last week I watched a TED talk and had a zen moment of clarity, and finally got personalized search. More interestingly I got it within the first 2 minutes of the presentation (shown after the jimp)

The point is we come at it from a search marketers point of view, while it’s not the real goal, but making SEO harder, is a side benefit google is aware of, and as SEO’s it’s not something we’re going to like, at all. So why is Google doing it and what’s their benefit. Things like personalized search and google’s search wiki (which I am also not a fan of), represent Google’s point of differentiation or POD. There have been numerous tests that show with blind testing people don’t feel google’s results are significantly better. If that’s the case why does google have such a large market share compared to the other search engines? Google’s brand has a stronger level of trust in the consumers mind, and one of the things you do to build a brand is cultivate and nurture a POD. Building a POD should be something everyone understands and is doing, even if you are just an affilaite marketer.

What’s the takeaway and actionable items here:

  • Start working on building your brand, Google signaled this last year.
  • Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort circle, and read and learn new things, 80% of the blogs I read aren’t SEO related, and I learned more from Blogworld than any other conference last year.
  • Google is the bigger force in our equation, you have to change to give google what it wants, not spend hours complaining about how unfair it is your old tricks don’t work anymore.
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