If you have a Google Account for any reason from buying online with Google Checkout to checking your Websites Analytics you may have noticed that Google is personalising your search results when you are signed in. Even when you are not logged in according to Google they are still storing your history for up to 180 days using cookies and personalising your search results.

So will this kind of personalised search results affect standard SEO?

In some ways YES! It might affect your site which is ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and replace your top place with a site which the user prefers to navigate to regularly. Will this close doors for both visitors and site owners? Surely In some cases the visitor wants to see the best sites which have fresh content, not just some site Google has tracked as being popular by there history of browsing. I’m aware there are ways to turn this feature off or completely log out to get true search results but what about those who don’t read these types of articles and don’t even know its happening.

Does this way of searching for websites mean less choice longer term?

Let’s say for example I use 5 or so news sites on a daily basis for a few months, Google picks this up and suddenly when I search for News I always get these 5 sites at the top. This is great if I want to use those sites forever, but I could just use my bookmarks for this as well without evening typing in a search. So what happens when I a new news site hit’s the web which might be of interest to me? I will have to scroll further down the results and hunt for the real content?

We all know Google is used by the majority of internet uses as there search engine, some even think Google is the internet, regardless of your understanding of Google should they have made this feature an opt in opt out feature by default being opt out? I’m sure the majority of none technical people don’t even realise Google is doing this.

When I first started to discover this, I felt strongly about 2 things.

1. Google is going to cause mayhem for normal searching and SEO.
2. Is this personalised search results not a glorified bookmark list.

I’m sure there is mixed opinions on this subject let the debate continue.

Author's Bio: 

Rick Lord is business owner at Fine Box Media who specialise in Web Design Somerset and an educational approach to SEO, also offering great packages to local companies for Web Design Yeovil.