How is Google’s Personalized Search Affecting SEO?

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SEO, which is short for search engine optimization, is the game of gaining ranking on the search engine results pages – aka SERPs – of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The value of a search engine is in how relevant the search results are once a user enters a search term. If the results are relevant, then the search engine did its job. If it does not show the user what they are looking for, then the user needs to enter a different search query.

This kind of search experience can become very frustrating to the user, and they’ll eventually look for a different search engine they can use to find new information on their chosen topic.

In the past, you could gain rankings on search engine results pages by including keywords in your website, filling out all of the meta titles and descriptions, tagging your images, and backlinking. But as always, Google is changing the rules of the game.

Google personalized search now considers the human element and private browsing while taking into account user engagement and interaction as a factor when determining how to rank websites.

Here Are 4 Of the Bigger Factors Google Uses in Search Personalization

Your GPS Location or IP Address

If a person is performing a search on their computer, Google will extract the IP address to identify their location. IP addresses may not always be the most accurate, but they will at least give an idea of your location. On the other hand, a user will usually have their GPS active on their mobile device while searching for information.

Either way, Google takes into account the IP address or GPS location, personalizing search results using that factor.

Search and Browsing History

Usually, one of the best indicators of what a homeowner is looking for is in their search history. Google personalized search will take note of their web history, or websites that a homeowner has visited and the interaction they had with that website.

The theory is that if they interacted and spent time on a website, they found the information valuable. The next time they enter a search query and that website is relevant, it will be included in the results so that user can find it again.

Social Media

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Social media can be looked at as a big asset to a home remodeling company and can increase Google search engine rankings by posting valuable content. But how do social networks affect Google personalized search?

By simply creating a Google+ account, you are in turn submitting valuable demographic information to Google. There is, however, the debate over Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms, and if they affect rankings. In our experience, we have noticed that our clients with better social engagement tend to rank higher, even in personalized results.

Mobile vs. Desktop

Google’s SERPs for mobile searches have become so different from those for desktop searches that it’s better to treat them as being from two separate search engines.

In fact, Google personalized search has made it impossible for a non-mobile friendly website or web page to rank high or perhaps even appear in the relevant results for a mobile search. On the other hand, websites that have a web design strategy and are mobile friendly have a higher rank in those same mobile SERPs. That makes sense, doesn’t it?