The personalization of the results in the search engines

Following the viewing of an e-conference on SEO (see end of article), I would like to talk about a topic that I find particularly important: the personalization of results in search engines.


If you have a website and you work on its SEO (alone or with a provider), it seems essential that you understand this concept.


I will try to summarize the explanations of the excellent Olivier Andrieu of Abondance site that intervened on this topic.


Maybe you do not know, but when you do a search on Google, the results that the engine will give you will not be the same as those obtained by another individual doing exactly the same search on another PC.


First, I will explain the operation of the customization and its impacts on the sites. Then, I will make a point on how we can measure the quality of SEO.


How does it work and why is it important to understand?


Google and Bing personalize the search results according to several criteria:


1. The geolocation of the surfer: depending on whether I’m doing my research in Lille or Marseille, the results may differ. For example, I live in the Bordeaux region and I have just started a search with the word “hairdresser” (see below). You will notice that Google offers me local results while at no time I give him my address!
2. Signing into a Google Account: If you’re connected to the Internet with your Gmail account, the engine will record your surfing habits and provide you with personalized results. I give you a concrete example. Take the query “e-commerce trainer”.


Here are the results when I launch this search on Google while connected with my Gmail account: “Super, my blog is first, let’s get champagne and party favors !!!! ”
And here are the results on the same query without me logging in my account: “My blog is in tenth place … heu darling, you can put away the bottles …”
3. The history of your searches: the search engine will also record your search habits. For this, it places a cookie (a small computer file) in your computer and keeps the history of the last 180 days (your requests, the sites you visit most often …). In short, Google knows your preferences in terms of navigation and it takes into account in its results. It therefore offers you results according to your “researcher” profile.


Let’s take a break now so that I tell you a story (almost not imaginary, unfortunately). Company A pays provider B for natural referencing. Provider B guarantees to Company A that his site will rank well in Google on a key query in several weeks. He tells Company A to regularly monitor this request from home. In addition, employees will regularly visit the site from their PC at the office. After several weeks (or months). Claimant B calls you and says, “Mr. A, we will check if we have fulfilled our contract. Do you want to type the key query in Google? “. And the company all content answers, “Ha super, I see that we are in front of the competitors on this request! Thank you for your work ! “. For those who do not understand what is wrong in this story, read carefully point 3.


I’ve already talked about it, but there is a free tool that allows you to objectively verify the positioning of your site. This is Positeo. The proof by the image with the request “Trainer e-commerce” on this site that gives me my true positioning (10th place).

4. Results influenced by your social sphere: finally, one of the strong tendencies for the search engines, is also to take into account (in addition to your research habits) the researches of your friends (or even those of their friends) . In the video below, we understand how Google will integrate the recommendations or shares of your friends in your results. Even though the video is in English, it’s very visual.
In conclusion of these first explanations: for the same engine and with the same keyword, almost every user will have different results. In 2010, according to Google, these differences in results were 20% (2 results per page). Research experts believe that in 2011 this will increase sharply.

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