Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google's 2009 Search Engine Results Page Change - Behavior search

This year at Pubcon by Webmaster World 2009 in Las Vegas (a trade show for everything happening in search and search engine optimization) there was a buzz about the changes in how Google is going to display search engine results pages (SERPs). Google's vision is that search will become more personalized by the user's location and previous searches.

In other words, your particular search results will be tailored to your pattern of search and your geographic location (called behavior based search). Google will begin to give personalized Organic search page results as well as more targeted Pay Per Click ads on a world wide basis.

This has been available now if you log into your Google account and perform your searches. A good example is the keyword "delta". For stock options trading website Terry's Tips, the keyword delta means "The ratio comparing the change in the price of the underlying asset to the corresponding change in the price of a derivative". Nonsense to most of us but easily understood by Terry. However, to someone in New Orleans, "delta" probably refers to "landforms where the mouth of a river flows into an ocean."

Google will now be changing the results to suit the particular user based upon their location and what other things they search for on a regular basis.

Since Terry of Terry's Tips performs most of his searches about the stock options market and trading, Google will deliver websites about options investing. While a searcher in New Orleans will get websites about rivers flowing into the ocean.

The problem for SEO folks such as us is that we can no longer do a search on Google and get the same results as when our clients do the same search. Reporting on where a site ranks in the search engines will now become subjective and very difficult to report progress to our customers.

For the customer, it will be very difficult to gauge the effectiveness of organic search engine optimization efforts performed by themselves or by their SEO firm.

Next time: What does this mean for your search engine optimization efforts today and in 2009?